Nuclear Facility Operator

24 month programme

What is a Nuclear Operator?

A nuclear operator is responsible for the hands-on operation of plant systems and equipment on their facility. Operators will be trained in procedures for plant control and monitoring, sampling operations, environmental controls, radioactive discharges, emergencies and other systems such as ventilation, steam and cooling water and dealing with the handling & disposal of radiological and hazardous waste.

Nuclear Operators promote a positive safety culture and act as custodian for front line operations and demonstrate excellent behavioural standards including the nuclear professionalism standard.  Operators comply with all legislative, regulatory and company policies & procedures applicable to the role and follow the Sellafield Ltd Standards and Expectations and align to the Sellafield Ltd manifesto values.

What will I be doing?

As part of your apprenticeship, you will gain the skills and knowledge required by working alongside other fully trained Nuclear Operators.  The role of a Nuclear Operator is very diverse and you may be involved in some of the following activities:

  • Operating equipment, tools or transport.
  • Carrying out plant alignment or monitoring of plant, equipment, vehicles, systems and material conditions.
  • Identifying and taking corrective action to resolve simple issues and reporting those which cannot be rectified as necessary.
  • Complying with required site emergency arrangements and may be required to form part of an emergency response and undertake emergency tasks following clear instructions.
  • Performing log keeping and handovers, including log entries / notifications, to ensure the service status of the facility is known at all times and meets required standards.
  • Housekeeping / cleaning duties where required e.g. vehicles, equipment, plant, external areas, sumps, lagoons, drain gullies, rail tracks (rail workers only). Cleaning may entail; hoovering, emptying bins, removing redundant equipment, cleaning up water leaks, pressure washing, wet vacuuming, de-icing, removing contamination including radioactive, chemicals and oils to ensure a safe & secure environment.

As an apprentice, you must be able to work in radiation and contamination-controlled areas and depending on the facility, will be required to wear varying degrees of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) / Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).  You may also be required to work at heights, in confined spaces or in hot / cold environments.

What do I need to consider?

This is a two-year scheme where, for the first 6 months year you will receive training and for the following 18 months, you will be working on the Sellafield Ltd site to obtain a Level 2 Apprentice accreditation.

As an integral part of your apprenticeship, your progress will be monitored and assessed against the National Apprenticeship Standard requirements. You will be required to compile an evidence folder, demonstrating your areas of learning with accredited certificates of completion for elements of training.

Within the last six months of your apprenticeship, you will undertake a knowledge and skills assessment with an independently appointed organisation, where you will be expected to clearly demonstrate both your ability to meet the Apprenticeship Standard and your capability to perform as a Nuclear Operator.

You may be required to work shift patterns in support of your learning, which can involve working weekends and/or unsociable hours.

Where will my training be delivered?

First 6 months – Training is delivered at our local off-site training facility.

Last 18 months – Placed in one of our operating units within the business to continue your training and apprenticeship. You will be continually monitored and assessed during your training.

What qualifications will I obtain*?

  • Level 2 ST0291 Nuclear Operative
  • Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Processing Industries Operations Process Operations
  • Level 2 Award for Nuclear Industry Awareness (ANIA)

 *Specific qualifications are subject to change and replaced with an equivalent.

What are the entry requirements?

  • Minimum age of 18 by 1st February 2025 in-line with health and safety requirements.
  • Minimum of 3 GCSEs Grade 4 (Grade C) in Mathematics, English Language & 1 Science or Engineering subject.
  • Functional Skills Level 2 will also be considered as equivalent to GCSE Grade 4 (Grade C). Other equivalent qualifications may be considered.

What are the requirements to do the role?

  • The roles can be physically demanding.
  • You will be required to wear personal protective and respiratory equipment, which may include latex gloves, leather gauntlets, lead aprons, full face respirators, PVC suits, air-fed suits, breathing apparatus, etc.
  • The work will involve working in a range of conditions i.e. work at heights, in hot or cold environments and in confined spaces.

Additional Requirements

Candidates will be required to achieve appropriate security and medical clearances; these will be instigated on receiving a conditional offer of employment.

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