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General Nuclear Worker Radiation Training

Gary W Castleberry, PE

Course Outline

This course will prepare the student with an understanding of the basic radiological knowledge requirements for nuclear plant workers who must work in areas where they may be exposed to radiation. The sources and types of radiation along with the potential biological effects of radiation exposure are discussed. Understanding of radiological postings and radiation measurement devices will help the future nuclear worker be prepared for an exciting new career.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:

Course Introduction

Prior to being granted unescorted access to a commercial nuclear facility, a new employee or contractor must pass a written examination. This exam tests the workers general knowledge of the various facility organizations. Upon successful completion of orientation training and the written exam, the employee will be granted unescorted access to the Protected Area but not to any Radiation Controlled Areas (RCA). In order to perform unescorted work in a RCA, the worker must take additional training and pass a written examination on radiation work practices. The training is referred to as General Nuclear Worker Training (GNWT). This is the subject matter for this course.

Although each commercial nuclear facility has developed their training modules for GNWT, a large amount of the information is standard for the industry. This has become necessary over the years due to the number of contract workers who move from plant to plant. This course will provide the basic generic information which is applicable to any plant. Therefore, a new employee who has successfully completed this course will only have to address the minimal site specific topics in order to obtain unescorted access.

Each plant also tends to place emphasis on certain areas where they have experienced problems. Therefore, when you take radiation training at a plant some of the requirements or rules may be more severe than presented here.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file General Nuclear Worker Radiation Training. You need to open or download above documents to study this course.

Course Summary

As noted in the companion course for General Nuclear Worker Training, the nuclear industry has its own jargon and ways of doing things; however, due to the consequences of not doing things right the first time, adherence to the rules and standards of behavior are mandatory. This is especially true when it comes to radiation protection. Each plant has several professional radiation protection professionals who are well trained and tested in good radiation work practices. Always follow their advice.

The amount of information that must be learned in a short amount of time can be intimidating to a new employee. This course has provided a good introduction to the radiological expectations to which you will be held accountable at a commercial nuclear facility and should make your first few days there a little less stressful. Again, one final nugget to take away from this course is to remember that the nuclear industry respects people who say "I don't understand this, would you help me." Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help or direction, because the person you asked for help has been there and done that.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.