Nuclear Decommissioning Operative

Inspect and close down nuclear power plants.
picture of Nuclear Decommissioning Operative

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$25,000 – $64,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Nuclear Decommissioning Operatives do?

As technology continues to progress at record speeds, new forms of energy are rapidly replacing the not-so-old ones of the last 50 years. For example, nuclear power plants and the plants that support them are closing down and being replaced by safer, cleaner, more efficient, and more sustainable methods. Since it’s not safe to leave all that radioactive material lying around, these facilities are being decommissioned, decontaminated, and dismantled.

As you can imagine, this is neither an easy nor a fast process. First, government entities must decide whether to immediately dismantle the plant, secure it for later demolition, or entomb it (bury it in concrete and leave it). Once the decision is made to dismantle or secure it, you and your team of other Nuclear Decommissioning Operatives move in to perform the dirty work.

As the Nuclear Decommissioning Operative, you’re one of the first on the site as you prepare the area for decommissioning. You evaluate the materials left behind, and oversee the removal and transfer of those products to the proper disposal areas. Then you dispose of equipment and tear apart the existing infrastructure.

This might sound as easy as taking a load of garbage to the dump, but it’s not. In fact, it is a slow and detailed process. The entire process happens in stages, and can take up to 50 years to complete!

Along the way, as the Nuclear Decommissioning Operative, you must take extra care to observe safety procedures. In addition, you are responsible for reporting your progress to management, monitoring budgets and timetables, and dealing with any problems.

Should I be a Nuclear Decommissioning Operative?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to Become a
    Nuclear Decommissioning Operative

    Most Nuclear Decommissioning Operatives have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9yaaaa&chl=no+college+%2872%25%29|certificate+%2828%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,72,72
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