The NRC's oversight program is designed to focus on those plant activities most important to safety, including the continuing requalification training and testing of licensed operators and senior operators (10 CFR 50.54 and 10 CFR 55.59).
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How NRC Conducts Its Oversight Program
For more details regarding the oversight of requalification programs refer to "Licensed Operator Requalification Program (Attachment 11 to Inspection Procedure 71111). This baseline inspection procedure, which is generally scheduled every other year, is intended to determine if a facility licensee's requalification program meets elements (4) and (5) of a SAT-based program as defined in 10 CFR 55.4. The objectives of the procedure are to
- verify that the facility licensee's requalification program ensures safe power plant operation by adequately evaluating how well the operators and crews have mastered the training objectives, including training on high-risk operator actions;
- assess the facility licensee's effectiveness in evaluating and revising the requalification program for licensed operators based on their operational performance, including requalification examinations;
- assess the facility licensee's effectiveness in ensuring that the individuals who are licensed to operate the facility satisfy the conditions of their licenses as specified in 10 CFR 55.53
- supply regional management with the information necessary to assess the performance of the facility licensee's licensed operator requalification program and determine the need for additional inspections (e.g., a "Training and Qualification Effectiveness" inspection in accordance with IP 41500 or NRC-conducted examinations in accordance with "Operator Licensing Examination Standards for Power Reactors" (NUREG-1021));
- assess the adequacy of the facility licensee's simulation facility for use in operator licensing examinations and for satisfying experience requirements as prescribed in 10 CFR 55.46.
Results of Oversight Program
The NRC evaluates issues identified during the requalification oversight process, using the significance determination process in Appendix I to NRC Inspection Manual Chapter 0609. As part of its oversight process, the NRC issues sanctions called enforcement actions to facility licensees and to licensed operators who violate our regulations.
See Plant Assessment Results for recent results of the reactor operations oversight program, including enforcement actions for licensed operators. These results include a summary of the most significant inspection findings over the previous four quarters for all plants. Enforcement sanctions may include notices of violation, monetary fines (10 CFR 55.71), or orders to modify, suspend, or revoke a license (10 CFR 55.61) or require specific actions because of a public health issue. You can learn more about the enforcement process at our Enforcement Process page.