It’s actually A school…but I’ve had people ask, in a nutshell…here you go…a brief explanation…and I may have some inaccuracies as even my sailor doesn’t know what all he has in store for him.
The Navy’s Nuclear program offers extensive training as nuclear propulsion plant operators and technicians to individuals with an aptitude in mathematics and science. The standards for selection for enlistment in the Nuke program are high.
The Nuke program has three job specialties called “ratings”, they are Machinist’s Mate (MM), Electrician’s Mate (EM), and Electronics Technician (ET). The rating in which a candidate is trained is determined at the Recruit Training Center (boot camp). My son is an EM.
ELECTRICIAN’S MATE…a brief description…
It’s a long and very intense path…starting with boot camp and that first graduation, then A school…which my son has just completed…that consists of: basic knowledge of technical mathematics and a basic understanding of power distribution. Students solve basic equations using phasors, vector notations and basic trigonometry and analyze DC and AC circuits. Students demonstrate working knowledge of DC and AC motors and generators. Students learn to operate electrical equipment using controllers, and to properly test, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair electrical circuits, motors, cables, circuit breakers, and other related electrical equipment for power distribution.
Each rating has a different set of technical items that the enlistee has to master…
There are three levels each Sailor needs to complete. There are graduation ceremonies for each one.
- A School
- Power School
Power school is what comes next after this graduation and leave…This course provides a comprehensive understanding of a pressurized-water Naval nuclear power plant, including reactor core nuclear principles, heat transfer and fluid systems, plant chemistry and materials, mechanical and electrical systems, and radiological control. All 3 ratings go through Power School.
Lastly we have Prototype: This course provides knowledge of the fundamentals of a Naval nuclear power plant and the interrelationship of its mechanical, electrical, and reactor subsystems. Students develop oral communications skills. Students understand the physical nature of nuclear radiation, its detection, interaction with matter and human health consequences, and gain knowledge of the safe operation of a complex Naval nuclear power plant and its sophisticated subsystems with an emphasis on basic industrial safety principles. Students learn to identify, troubleshoot, and correct problems in nuclear mechanical, electrical, or reactor control systems at the component level with an emphasis on reactor systems, and apply earlier technical classroom knowledge gained to the practical safe operation of Naval nuclear power plants. Officers are given the broadest understanding of the plant subsystems, and are taught command skills to effectively lead the watch team in the safe operation of a Naval nuclear power plant.
Each segment runs 6 months, rerating can occur during any phase…The academic rigors are very intense and competitive. This is tech school on speed. 8 hours of classes and then at least two hours of studying per night…mastering time management is surely a must…