The US Navy is the only military service in the world that has a large number of nuclear submarines and nuclear vessels. Other nations have vessels, and a few nations even feature nuclear power but none with the sheer volume that the United States has. The United States has a continuing need for trained, skilled Nuclear power personnel. The Navy Nuclear Power school is a very intense scientific program operated by the Navy to train sailors and enlisted personnel.
The United States created the nuclear age for the first atomic bombs that ended World War II, and they further created the first nuclear powered reactors, vessels and ships. The USS Nautilus was the world’s first operational nuclear submarine. To qualify for the Navy Nuclear Power Training program an enlisted Navy Sailor has to already have graduated from the Class A school that is their assigned rating, such at Electronics Technician or Machinist Mate. Despite being a highly competitive program the Navy has no problem finding candidates, it is a very lucrative program for those that can achieve the high academic standards. The school is located at Goose Creek South Carolina, and graduates of the school go to Prototype Nuclear reactor units for further training. With the advent of the First Nuclear submarine the USS Nautilus the Navy has had a training program to train people to deal with Nuclear power and nuclear reactors. The sailors that make up the program are called “nukes” and are considered the brains of the Navy, the scientists and mathematics whizzes of the service. Students have to actually study in the classroom, because most of the material is classified, and when students access study materials a security badge has to be worn. Training for fleet operations for Nuclear Power operators is conducted at the Navy school in South Carolina. Power program and then are separated are often employed as college level instructors, teaching physics or nuclear physics. When a student graduates from the program they are awarded a certificate that is considered at a higher level than a bachelors degree. Graduates learn how to operate shipboard nuclear power plants on submarines and surface vessels. If they have graduated from their Class A school they can apply for the Navy Nuclear Power School. It is a very competitive program; only the top 3 percent of the sailors in the entire Navy are selected.
This school is acknowledged as having the most technical and demanding occupational training program in the United States today. It is a very face paced program with very strict standards of all its academic programs. Classes typically spend about 45 hours a week in the classroom and about an additional 20-40 hours a week in study and homework.