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Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship – Intermediate Apprenticeship at GEN II Engineering & Technology Training Ltd

Course description

The work carried out by a Nuclear Operator can vary greatly and this programme will prepare learners to engage in both nuclear decommissioning activities and process operations. Nuclear Decommissioning involves the safe shutting down and dismantling of Nuclear Power Plants that have reached the end of their energy producing life, ensuring that there is no danger from radioactive materials and no chance of accident to people visiting the site.

Process Operations entails the operation of large and often complex machinery and equipment, making sure they run safely and efficiently. These skills are transferable to other fields such as environmental restoration or general engineering activities that are carried out within many businesses in the chemical, polymer and petrochemical industries.

Year one will be spent giving you a wide range of engineering and nuclear related skills in preparation for assessment on your NVQ Level 2 in the workplace including basic hand skills, maintenance skills, process measurement and control.

Course content

  • Safe use of equipment and tools
  • Safe working practices
  • Accurate measurements and readings
  • Basic maintenance skills
  • Oxy fuel cutting methods
  • Plasma cutting
  • Health and safety
  • Glove box training

The Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship scheme is divided into two types of career paths dependent upon employer requirements:

1. Nuclear Plant Operators:

These people are trained to operate and maintain chemical and process plants that make a variety of products. Operators will monitor levels of flow, chemicals, temperature, waste products and radiation. They may take samples of products at different stages of the processes in their building and send them to another part of site for analysis for the business, customers, UK & international agencies.

Some Plant Operators will be trained in Plant Control Rooms which are automated processes to allow chemicals and products to be moved around the building or site in a controlled manner, other plants will manufacture products e.g. nuclear fuel pellets or put waste products into containers for UK and overseas customers.

2. Decommissioning Operator:

These operators will be trained up to clean out and decommission old buildings and any redundant equipment as required to ensure that vessels and pipe work have no liquids inside them, monitored for contamination prior to them being cut up / size reduced before “bagging” them for disposal.

These operators will be trained to use a variety of cutting techniques, basic monitoring and collecting waste.

In some areas the operators will be trained up to use robotic equipment to cut or to compact materials as required by Sellafield Ltd or for customers. These are generally operated from a small control room inside the building.

Some examples of Sellafield Ltd “on plant“ training that apprentices will carry out in process or decommissioning include:

  • Health and safety courses
  • Building induction course
  • Glove box
  • Monitored / classified medicals
  • Monitored workers / classified workers courses
  • Respirator fit test
  • PVC & dust mask ( PPE worn in Contaminate / radiological environments)
  • Crane driving
  • Fork lift truck driving
  • Size reduction techniques ( Plasma, Grinders etc)
  • Red & green waste route course
  • Basic monitoring techniques

Please Note:

Due to the nature of this particular apprenticeship, it is a requirement that you will be least 17 years of age by September 2013 in order to be considered, this is because of the employers policies regarding entry to ‘active areas’.

  • Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Nuclear Decommissioning
  • Technical Certificate – BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate in Engineering or BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Engineering
  • Functional Skills / Personal Learning and Thinking Skills/ Employee Rights and Responsibilities


This is carried out on site placement and the modules will be agreed locally by each plant where the apprentice is assigned to.


Entry requirements

Preferred results: GCSE Grades A-C in Mathematics, English and Science. Successfully pass the Gen2 aptitude testing. Satisfactory reference.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact GEN II Engineering & Technology Training Ltd directly.

Last updated date: 25 June 2015
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