Operator Licensing

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What We Regulate

The NRC licenses all individuals who either operate or supervise the operation of the controls of a commercially owned nuclear power reactor or a test/research (i.e., non-power) reactor in the United States. Although the regulations in this area generally apply to both power and research and test reactors, this site focuses primarily on the operator licensing activities at power reactor facilities. For more information on research and test reactors operator licensing, please refer to Operator Licensing for Research and Test Reactors.

There are approximately 3,600 active NRC-licensed power and 350 non-power reactor operators in the United States.

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How We Regulate

NRC regulates the licensing of reactor operators and senior operators through a combination of regulatory requirements: initial licensing, including written examinations and operating tests; oversight of requalification training and examination programs, including enforcement. For more detail, see:

Note: The Public Health Emergency has expired on May 11, 2023. All COVID-19 related exemptions are no longer being considered for the operator licensing and RTR programs.

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