Navy Nukes and the Navy Nuclear Program
The Navy Nuclear Power Program
This page is about Navy Nukes and the Navy Nuclear Program. I hope to give you information that you may be looking for but haven't been able to find. When my son entered this program I looked for information and discovered that it wasn't readily available. Everything I could find about the Navy Nuclear Program is here on this page. If you are thinking about this program or you have a loved one who is, this page should give you some of the information you are looking for. If you have questions, scroll down and check out the comments in the guestbook because there are several responses from those who have "been there and done that."
Photo is of the USS George Washington (photo taken by US. Govt employee in the course of their duties and therefore public domain)
Navy Nuclear Power School
Navy Nuclear Power School, "Nerd Capital of the World"
U.S. Navy Nuke School
They come with IQs off the charts and ASVAB scores that number higher than their life expectancy, but that's what a 22-year-old needs to succeed when he's asked to run a nuclear power plant on a U.S. Navy warship
Gibberish. To the average "idiot," this talk is nothing more than gibberish: "Twenty k is 2R and 20k in parallel with 20k is 10k," says the man in a white lab coat, scribbling on a chalkboard as fast as he talks. Twenty-five students look on, seemingly absorbed. "To determine the voltage out we consider that the step is Vin over 3R, times one half to the N, times feedback resistance. N is equal to the number of nodes slash digits; therefore, the Vstep is equal to (Vin/3R)(1/2)n(RFB). Based on that, who knows what the step voltage is?"
A dozen hands go up. For these young men and women - students at the Naval Nuclear Power Command, Charleston, S.C. - the gibberish is decipherable; for them, digital to analog conversion is easy. They could do it in their sleep.
This is a great article about the Navy Nuclear Program and Navy Nukes. You can read the rest of it here: US Navy Nuke School
US Navy Nuke, If You See Me Running, It's Already Too Late
This is my most popular Nuke design.
We know that the Naval nuclear reactors we operate are some of the safest in the world, but your friends don't! Generate some interest among your friends with this hilarious shirt.
Eligibility for Nuclear Power Program
How to qualify for the Navy Nuclear Power Program
The Nuclear Power Program allows those who qualify to gain a solid understanding of science and technology as well as the ability and confidence to operate advanced nuclear propulsion plants around the world. Only the most qualified candidates are selected. Basic qualifications for the Navy Nuclear Power Program include the following:
High school diploma or college degree;
Successful completion of one year of high school or college algebra;
Good academic performance at school;
Qualifying scores on Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and an advanced placement test if necessary;
No older than 24 years on date of enlistment;
Meet physical standards;
Sound moral character.
Source: United States Navy
Tell me about you! - Are you a service member? Do you have a loved one in the military? Veteran?
This isn't really a poll, maybe more of a survey. Take the survey and feel free to leave me a comment in my Guestbook about yourself or your loved one in the military.
Are you in the military? Do you have a loved one in the military? Are you a veteran?
Specialties in the Nuke Field
EM, MM, & ET
Want to support your rate? Show your loyalty with these unique rate specific T-shirts!
The Nuclear Training Pipeline--An Overview
What you can expect in the Nuclear Power Program
Enlistment at Paygrade E-3
Recruit Training, Great Lakes, IL
"A" School, Charleston, SC
Electronics Technician (ET) - 6 months
Electrician's Mate (EM) - 6 months
Machinist's Mate (MM) - 3 months
Advancement to Paygrade E-4
Nuclear Power School, Charleston, SC - 6 months
Math (Algebra, Trig, Etc.)
Intro to Physics
Nuclear Prototype School,
Ballston Spa, NY or
Charleston, SC - 6 months
Nuclear Propulsion Systems
Nuclear Plant Operations
From Prototype some MMs will go to Engineering Lab Tech School or Nuclear Welder's School Program
From Prototype some will go to NROTC, Naval Academy or BOOST Program and then into the Officer Training Pipeline
The rest will go to a Nuclear Carrier or Submarine. They are assigned to the Engineering Department of a Nuclear Powered Carrier/Submarine for Nuclear Operations Advanced Qualifications and Training.
After 21 months of service and completion of training they are eligible for re-enlistment and up to a $60,000 bonus.
Meritorious advancement to E-5
Source: U.S. Government Publication
What is a Nuke?
According the the Urban Dictionary:
A definition of "Nuke" from the The Urban Dictionary
A US sailor, either enlisted or commissioned officer, who has successfully finished the US Navy nuclear power pipeline and is qualified to operate the nuclear power plants aboard aircraft carriers or submarines.
Prospective nukes are subjected to intense scrutiny and higher standards of behavior and technical knowledge than your standard sailor. They are the elite of the elites.
Nukes often advance quickly through the ranks due to the amount and intensity of training they are subjected to while as a student.
Nuke school is widely considered to be one of the toughest schools offered in the military.
A: So, what do you do in the Navy?
B: I'm a nuke.
B: (with much hubris) Yeah, it's tough being the best of the best.
Answers to some of our readers' most common questions!
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for more Q & A in the comments section.
Question: What's the difference between them MM, EM, and ET rates? -Thanks to Nate's Mom
Answer: Machinist Mates (MM) are responsible for piping systems and turbines, and any other mechanical systems, if you know which way to turn a wrench you'll fit in here. Electricians Mates (EM) run the power distribution system and make sure the lights stay on all over the ship, if you like breakers and transformers, this is the rate for you. Last but certainly not least Electronics Technicians (ET) arguably the smartest of the Nukes, they control the reactor and the safety systems, if you're comfortable with circuits, wires, and control boards you'll be at home in this challenging rate. It should also be stated that you may not be able to choose your rate, you get an input but they may put you where ever your ASVAB score suggests you would preform the best. If you score especially high on the mechanical portion for example, you may ask for ET and get MM.
-Thanks go to my son for this answer
Question: Are Nukes able to get off the ship in foreign ports or are they stuck on the ship? - a great question from Thinking of Nuke
Answer: While Nukes are always on a tighter duty rotation than the rest of the ship, and may get less days off than other rates, I never visited a port I didn't get a chance to see and thoroughly enjoy. - answered by Tahoehawk
Question: My boyfriend is joining as Nuke, how much time will I be able to spend with him? How long will he be gone once he gets to his ship? Can I live with him on base? Will I have base access while he is out to sea? -driving questions from navygirlfriend89
Answer: Unfortunately during the pipeline, your boyfriend will have very little time off. It is very difficult on couples. Out to sea time varies greatly, deployment is 6-8 months long on average, but there will be several underways of different durations for a myriad of reasons. As a girlfriend you will not be able to live with him on base, however if you at any point get married, he will be able to move off base with you. Additionally you will not have base access as a girlfriend, as a wife you can receive a dependent ID and have base, Nex and commissary access. -These complex and important questions answered by ET3 B. L. Gay
Question: Can anyone give my son advice on joining the Nuke field? -question from Craig
Answer: If he can get ET he will in all probability advance faster, and have better options at civilian plants should he so choose. The nuke field can be challenging, so he should be certain he wants to do it. Don't let your recruiter talk you into a job you don't like, look at all the facts and pick what works best for you. -comprehensively answered by Daniel, Kathy A Vines , and Derek
Question: What can I expect going in as a Nuke? -Asked by FreeJayPatches
Answer: First, you will go to bootcamp, it can be tough, you would be well served to keep your head down and not stand out here. After bootcamp you will be assigned a job (Rating as its called) and go to A School, 6 months for EMs and ETs, 3 months for MMs. After that 6 months of power school and 6 months of prototype. Then to your first command. If you work hard and stay out of trouble this will be challenging but not overly so. -Thanks go to kathystauffervines, Steve, and Derek for the prompt replies.
Question: How are the sections arranged in power school? -asked by Heather
Answer: The sections are arranged in a logical order, they lay a ground work with a math review, the add a knowledge of physics Thermodynamics and Chemistry, Materials, and Radcon, then move in to Reactor Principals, and your rate specific class covering what you'll need for your specific job. -Answer well covered by Wends and Derek
Question: Is it normal to have to wait for an opening in the Nuke program? -from George Totherow
Answer: It isn't normal and I would absolutely question it. After talking with my son however, he had this happen. He was initially contracted as Advanced computer and electronics field, until they got the new numbers from his detailer. -Answered by ET2 McFarland, Derek, Kathy A. Vines, and input from my son.
Thanks for all your great questions and helpful answers. Be sure to keep them coming and we'll get as many answered as possible.
I'm a Navy Nuke. What's Your Superpower?
Yeah we know we're awesome. Let every one else know it too!
Transitioning out of the Navy?
Check out URS Energy and Construction
Are you a Nuke transitioning out of the Navy and looking for a civilian job? Here is the contact information for URS. Patricia tells me that what they are searching for in the Navy Nuke program is Electrical / Mechanical Repair Troubleshooters that can work in their Industrial Plants as Repair Specialists.
Patricia Neuhalfen, PHR
Six Sigma Black Belt
URS Energy and Construction
411 Hamilton Blvd, Suite 1810
Peoria, IL 61602
(309) 621-3300 (Cell)
(309) 676-5068 ((Fax)
Mettler Toledo Product Inspection Division
Looking for Transitioning Nuke EMs
Mettler Toledo Product Inspection Division is looking to hire transitioning Navy Nuke EM's for Field Technician positions across the US. Interested applicants should send their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org you can also visit our website at www.mt.com for further information on open positions.
Ever Think About Being an Instructor at Power School? - Job Description Here
- Power School Instructor
See the job description of a nuclear power school instructor. "Today’s Naval Nuclear Power School Instructors train the future Navy nuclear community through a technologically advanced curriculum that is taught with a sole purpose in mind: to prepar
Life Aboard an Ohio-Class Trident Submarine
What can I expect while serving on a submarine?
A nuclear-powered Ohio-class Trident ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) (also known as a "Boomer") is one of the most modern and complex ships in the Navy. The largest of the submarine fleet, the SSBN has a crew of 15 officers and 148 enlisted men.
Each Trident sub has 14 nine-man, U-shaped bunkrooms, serving as the crew's main living and sleeping areas.
A closed-circuit television system shows prerecorded network programming, sports, and movies. The library can accommodate about eight people. The lounge is big enough for 15 crewmen. Physical fitness is still a priority and hydraulic weight equipment, pulleys, treadmills, rowing machines and stationary bikes are available. Excellent meals are served in a spacious dining facility.
Source: Government publication
What is Power School like? - US Naval Nuclear Power Training Command
Support Your Navy Nuke
Nukes are working hard and deserve your support!
There is the idea that Nukes have it easy, playing golf and eating dinner with the captain. We can lay that myth to rest. They are the first ones on the ship and the last ones off. Are you a proud Mom, Dad or Wife of a Navy Nuke? These guys and gals are working super hard to get through their training or they are working hard in the fleet.
Navy Books - The Bluejackets' Manual
The Bluejackets' Manual is a popular book, written in 1902.
In 1902 when Lt. Ridley McLean first wrote this "sailor's bible," he described it as a manual for every person in the naval service. One hundred years later, it continues to serve as a primer for newly enlisted sailors and as a basic reference for all naval personnel--from seaman to admiral.
My Heart Belongs to a Navy Nuke
For the Wives, Sweethearts, and Doggies
Show your support for the Nuke who holds your heart with these beautiful T-shirts and gifts! Doggies love their Navy Nukes too you know.
Navy Nuclear Power School
Information on the Navy Nuclear Program
Are you thinking of joining the Navy in the nuclear program? Here's some information on Wikipedia that might help you make your decision.
"Naval Nuclear Power School is a nuclear engineering school operated by the U.S. Navy to train enlisted sailors, officers, and KAPL and Bettis civilians for shipboard nuclear power plant operation and maintenance on surface ships and submarines in today's nuclear navy. Due to its depth and fast pace, it is regarded as one of the most difficult academic programs in the world rivaling nuclear programs at such universities as Harvard and MIT."
To read the rest of the article click here:
Power and Light, For Nukes Working on Aircraft Carriers
Available For All the Carriers
The airwing gets most of the credit, but lets be honest, its the Nukes who keep the lights on! Everyone on a ship thinks their job is the most important, but without the Nukes, the ship never leaves the pier! The nukes make the steam that powers everything on the ship.
What are Zoomies?
What are Zoomies? Perhaps the Urban Dictionary can be of some help. "Slang for the invisible particles and energy emitted by radiation at Nuclear Power Plants. 'I picked up a lot of zoomies today at work. The little suckers are everywhere.'" Nukes are regularly tested for radiation to make sure they are within safety limits.
For all those proud Zoomie collectors, there are these cool T-shirts!
"Carrier" A Series on PBS
Doesn't deal much with the Nukes but you can see what life on a carrier is like.
My husband and I watched all 10 hours of Carrier. We enjoyed it immensely as we were able to get a glimpse of what life will be like when our son joins the crew of a nuclear aircraft carrier as a Machinist's Mate.
It seems that a lot of it is about attitude. It is what you make of it, as are most things in life. Some of the crew were unhappy and thought they had made the wrong choice by joining the navy. Others loved their jobs and all the benefits that go with it. The separation from family and friends was hard on all of them. Some families and relationships couldn't stand the strain of separation while others seem to manage.
Near the end of the deployment they made a stop in Hawaii and those that wanted to participate could fly their spouses, parents and children out to the ship to cruise with them from Hawaii to San Diego, the home port. This is called the Tiger Cruise.
Opening segment of "Carrier" - "Carrier" a PBS Series that follows the Nimitz on a 6 month deployment.
Attack Submarines (SSN)
Attack submarines are smaller, but faster and more operationally flexible than the ballistic missile submarines. The stealth and versatility of attack submarines provide an opportunity to be involved in exciting military operations.
If you see an aircraft carrier group sent by the President to a hot spot around the globe, chances are a submarine is already there.
Sailor's Bible (Leather Bound) - This is the Bible I sent with my son to basic training. A Bible is one of the few things they are allowed to bring with them.
Horace Greeley, founding editor of the New York Tribune, said "it is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people."
A Place For Navy Moms to Connect
There's even a section for Nuke Moms.
Are you wondering what your son or daughter is in for now that they have joined the navy? Do you have questions about where they'll be going next, what you can send them, or what they can take with them? Maybe you are a long term Navy Mom and can answer these questions. There is a group for every type of Navy Mom that you can think of from submarine moms, frigate moms, aircraft carrier moms, and moms from every state. Check out Navy for Moms for information and support.
Visit Navy For Moms
Read about Navy Nukes here - Nukes on submarines and aircraft carriers
- Take this rare opportunity to enter the classified world of Navy Nuclear Propulsion.
They put nuclear power to a greater use, operating the most advanced Fleet of submarines and aircraft carriers in the world. They pursue the highest degree of intellectual and personal challenges imaginable in their field. They assume the kind of lea
- Teaching the Brightest Minds of the Future
Meet a Nuclear Power School Instructor.
- Navy Nuclear Power Program
Members of the Navy Nuclear Power Program (NF) receive an excellent education via an extensive classroom theory, on-the-job training and practical application and qualification process second to none in the armed forces. Navy "Nukes" become propulsio
- Operation White Hat: Brightening Lives of Children One White Hat at a Time
Sailors assigned to Naval Health Clinic Charleston teamed up with the staff at the Medical University of South Carolina's (MUSC) Children's Hospital for Operation White Hat (OWH) July 27. OWH-ers collect hats from Naval Health Clinic Charleston and t
- Naval Reactors Engineer
For Naval Reactors Engineers, the future is now. Responsible for designing, maintaining and operating the world's most advanced reactor plants, Reactors Engineers stay ahead of the curve in order to remain on the cutting edge of nuclear propulsion at
- Meet Navy Nukes: Submarine Officers
Leading the silent service at all fathoms. Meet Navy Nuke submarine officers.
- Meet Navy Nukes: Surface Warfare Officer
Lieutenant Chris Zundel Surface Warfare Officer, USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) Working on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier NIMITZ has been the most intellectually demanding experience of LT Zundel's life. His daily routine consists of standing watch and r
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