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Information Notice No. 89-40: Unsatisfactory Operator Test Results and Their Effect on the Requalification Program
UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 April 14, 1989 Information Notice No. 89-40: UNSATISFACTORY OPERATOR TEST RESULTS AND THEIR EFFECT ON THE REQUALIFICATION PROGRAM Addressees: All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power reactors. Purpose: This information notice is being provided to alert addressees to problems associated with high failure rates for operators taking requalification examinations. It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, as applicable, to avoid similar problems. However, suggestions contained in this information notice do not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required. Description of Circumstances: During the weeks of March 13, 1989, and March 20, 1989, requalification exami- nations were administered by the NRC to six crews of licensed operators at Turkey Point Units 3 and 4. Three of the six crews performed unsatisfactorily during the simulator portion of the operating test and 12 of the 24 licensed operators failed at least one portion (written examination, simulator test, or plant walk-through examination) of the NRC-administered requalification examinations. As a result, the Turkey Point Units 3 and 4 requalification programs were evaluated as unsatisfactory by the NRC. The number of licensed operators at the units currently is limited to the 27 licensed operators who have not failed either a facility or an NRC-administered examination within the past 12 months. New crews have been formed using licensed operators who have not failed recent facility or NRC-administered examinations. Under the terms of a Confirmatory Action Letter issued by the Regional Administrator, Unit 3 has shut down to allow the facility licensee time to train the new crews in team performance. Unit 4 was already in a shutdown status for refueling. The NRC, in conjunction with the licensee, will perform an operational assessment of the new crews' performance before concurring in the decision to restart either unit. 8904100376 . IN 89-40 April 14, 1989 Page 2 of 2 Discussion: The NRC resumed administration of requalification examinations after conducting extensive pilot tests of a system for examining candidates in the work environ- ment on job-relevant tasks of great safety significance. Facility licensees provide licensed senior operators to the NRC examination teams to share the quality assurance responsibilities and to concur in the importance and relevancy of the examinations. The examinations were field tested before administration by the examination team. The NRC's confidence in the ability of facility licensees to ensure public health and safety depends upon the licensee's ability to administer an effective requalification program that maintains highly qualified, professional licensed operators and senior operators at the unit controls at all times. The importance of this aspect of licensee responsibility cannot be overstated. No specific action or written response is required by this information notice. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the technical contact listed below or the Regional Administrator of the appropriate regional office. Charles E. Rossi, Director Division of Operational Events Assessment Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Technical Contact: K. Perkins Jr., NRR (301) 492-1031 Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices . Attachment IN 89-40 April 14, 1989 Page 1 of 1 LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED NRC INFORMATION NOTICES _____________________________________________________________________________ Information Date of Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________ 89-39 List of Parties Excluded 4/5/89 All holders of OLs from Federal Procurement or CPs for nuclear or Non-Procurement Programs power reactors. 89-38 Atmospheric Dump Valve 4/5/89 All holders of OLs Failures at Palo Verde or CPs for nuclear Units 1, 2, and 3 power reactors. 89-37 Proposed Amendments to 4/4/89 All U.S. NRC 40 CFR Part 61, Air licensees. Emission Standards for Radionuclides 89-36 Excessive Temperatures 4/4/89 All holders of OLs in Emergency Core Cooling or CPs for nuclear System Piping Located power reactors. Outside Containment 88-86, Operating with Multiple 3/31/89 All holders of OLs Supp. 1 Grounds in Direct Current or CPs for nuclear Distribution Systems power reactors. 89-35 Loss and Theft of Un- 3/30/89 All U.S. NRC secured Licensed Material byproduct, source and special nuclear material licensees. 89-34 Disposal of Americium 3/30/89 All holders of an Well-Logging Sources NRC specific license authorizing well- logging activities. 89-33 Potential Failure of 3/23/89 All holders of OLs Westinghouse Steam or CPs for PWRs. Generator Tube Mechanical Plugs 89-32 Surveillance Testing 3/23/89 All holders of OLs of Low-Temperature or CPs for PWRs. Overpressure-Protection Systems _____________________________________________________________________________ OL = Operating License CP = Construction Permit ..
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