United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Notification Concerning Changes to 10 CFR Part 55


UNITED STATES
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

April 25, 1994


NRC ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER 94-05:  NOTIFICATION CONCERNING CHANGES
                                  TO 10 CFR PART 55


Addressees

All licensed operators and all holders of operating licenses or construction
permits for nuclear power reactors, test, and research reactors.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this administrative
letter to inform addressees of the implementation of the amendments to the
regulations in Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 55 (10 CFR Part 55)
concerning renewal of operator licenses.  No specific action or written
response is required.

Background

Section 306 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 directed the NRC to
promulgate regulations or other appropriate guidance to establish "simulator
training requirements...and...requirements governing NRC administration of
requalification examinations."  On May 26, 1987, the NRC amended 10 CFR
Part 55 to require each licensed operator to pass a comprehensive written
requalification examination and an operating test conducted by the NRC during
the term of the operator's 6-year license as a prerequisite for license
renewal.

At that time, the Commission determined that during the term of a 6-year
license, the staff would conduct individual operator requalification
examinations for the purpose of license renewal.  As a result of conducting
these examinations over the ensuing 6 years, the staff has determined that
facility licensees have established a high standard of performance and that
NRC examiners are largely duplicating tasks already required of, and routinely
performed by, facility licensees.

Discussion

Enclosed for your information is a copy of a final rule amending 10 CFR
Part 55 (Attachment 1).

The final rule deletes the requirement that each licensed operator at power,
test, and research reactors pass a comprehensive requalification written
examination and operating test conducted by the NRC during the term of the
operator's 6-year license as a prerequisite for license renewal.  The rule now

9404190132.AL 94-05
April 25, 1994
Page 2 of 2


requires a facility licensee to have a requalification program reviewed and
approved by the NRC and to submit, upon request consistent with NRC inspection
program needs, a copy of its comprehensive requalification written
examinations or annual operating tests to the NRC for review.  The NRC will
conduct requalification examinations when this action is deemed to be the most
effective tool to evaluate and understand programmatic issues or if the NRC
loses confidence in the ability of a facility licensee to conduct its own
examinations.  In addition, the final rule amends the "Scope" of the
regulations pertaining to operators' licenses so that the regulations also
apply to facility licensees.

This administrative letter requires no specific action or written response.
If you have any questions about this letter, please call the Office of Nuclear
Reactor Regulation (NRR) contact listed below or the appropriate NRC Regional
Office contact.

                            original signed by


                        Brian K. Grimes, Director
                        Division of Operating Reactor Support
                        Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical contacts:  D. J. Lange, NRR        M. A. Ring, RIII
                    (301) 504-1031            (708) 829-9703

               R. J. Conte, RI        J. L. Pellet, RIV
               (610) 337-5210            (817) 860-8159

               T. A. Peebles, RII
               (404) 331-5541

Attachments:
1.  "Renewal of Licenses and Requalification
Requirements for Licensed Operators,"
Federal Register, Vol. 59, No. 27,
page 5934, February 9, 1994
2.  List of Recently Issued NRC Administrative Letters

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