Generic Fundamentals Examinations for Reactor Operators
The Generic Fundamentals Examination (GFE) is the first in a series of examinations administered by the NRC to reactor operator (RO) and senior reactor operator (SRO) license applicants at U.S. nuclear power plants under the regulatory authority of the NRC. The examination is a 50-question, multiple-choice written exam covering three (3) broad categories of nuclear power plant fundamentals: Components, Reactor Theory, and Thermodynamics. Each new applicant (except those applying for a Limited-SRO license or an SRO-upgrade license at the same facility) must pass the GFE with a score of 80% or better for the applicable reactor type (boiling- or pressurized-water reactor) within 24 months before the date of application.
For more information about the Generic Fundamentals Examination see General Information.
The GFEs for BWRs and PWRs are developed by the NRC's GFE contractor and typically administered by the NRC two times per year on the Wednesday following the first Sunday in March and September. The NRC may administer one or two additional GFEs per year, on the Wednesday following the first Sunday in either June or December, if designated industry-based exam authors (other GFE authors) develop and submit the additional GFEs to the NRC for review and approval.
Questions used on past GFEs have been compiled into question banks for each reactor type. The NRC delays the posting of GFEs from the two (2) most recent exam dates.