United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Reactor Operator and Senior Reactor Operator Requalification Examinations (Generic Letter No. 82-18)

                               UNITED STATES 
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 

                              October 12, 1982 

To:       All Power Reactor Applicants and Licensees  

Subject:  Reactor Operator and Senior Reactor Operator Requalification 
          Examinations (Generic Letter No. 82-18) 


This letter is to inform you that NRC-administered requalification 
examinations for licensed reactor operators and senior reactor operators 
will begin at your facility sometime after October 1, 1982. 

Following the Three Mile Island Accident, the Commission directed the staff 
to administer examinations as part of the requalification program for all 
licensees and applicants. In response to SECY 82-232, "Use of 
Non-Plant-specific Simulators for Initial, Replacement, and Requalification 
Examinations for Licensed Reactor Operators and Senior Operators," the 
Commission approved staff recommendations regarding the use of simulators 
for requalification examinations. A copy of SECY 82-232 is attached for your
information. To implement these directives, the NRC staff intends to conduct
requalification examinations at your facility. The procedures for the 
requalification examinations are still under development and review. 
Additional information will be provided to you later this year. 

Subject to timely approval of the procedures for conducting the 
requalification examinations, we intend to administer a written and an 
operating examination to at least 20% of your licensed personnel per year. 
In this way, all licensed personnel will be examined at least every five 
years and the impact on your requalification training program will be 
minimized. Detailed schedules will be worked out with your training staff. 
The NRC plans on making two visits to your facility during the year for 
replacement examinations and one visit for requalification examinations. 
Therefore, scheduling of replacement and requalification examinations, 
including reexamination of failures will need to be closely coordinated to 
prevent the number of licensed operators from being reduced to unacceptable 
levels and to ensure timely reexaminations can be given. 

An objective written examination consistent with the scope of the 
requalification program required by Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 55 will be 
administered to selected licensed personnel. If your plant has a 
plant-specific simulator, an operating examination will be conducted on that
simulator. Otherwise, an operating examination will be conducted at your 
facility. Unsatisfactory performance will necessitate removal from licensed 
duties and accelerated retraining in weak areas. This is consistent with 
your in-house requalification program currently in place. Reexamination by 
NRC may be required in unsatisfactory areas. Renewal licenses will continue 
to be issued to licensed personnel who are enrolled in your approved 
requalification program, provided the NRC requalification examinations do 
not indicate significant weaknesses in that program. 


                                    - 2 - 

This program should not represent a significant departure from the 
requalification program you already have in place, since you are required to
conduct examinations at the reactor operator or senior reactor operator 
level as part of that program. It will, however, provide the NRC and the 
public with additional assurance that continued operator training is 
effectively being conducted. We encourage you to submit training material 
and examination questions and answer keys to NRC for our use in developing 

In addition, in response to SECY 82-232 the Commission removed the 
requirement for NRC conducted simulator examinations for those plants that 
do not have plant specific simulators. The NRC staff is conducting an 
evaluation of the role of simulators in training and examinations to be 
completed by July 1983. When this study is completed, we intend to 
incorporate any changes into revisions to 10 CFR Part 55, Regulatory Guide 
1.8 or into new regulatory guides, if necessary. Until then, the 
requirements for requalification training in Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 55 
and NUREG-0737 remain in effect. You should refer to NUREG-0094 and 
Regulatory Guide 1.8 for additional guidance on initial and requalification 

You will be contacted at a later date to schedule requalification 
examinations If you have any questions on this program, please contact Mr. 
Don H. Beckham of the NRC's Division of Human Factors Safety at 


                              Darrell G. Eisenhut, Director 
                              Division of Licensing 
                              Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 

SECY 82-232  
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