United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Integrity of the Requalification Examinations for Renewal of Reactor Operator and Senior Reactor Operator Licenses (Generic Letter 83-17)

                               UNITED STATES 
                       NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION  
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 

                               April 8, 1983 



Subject:  Integrity of the Requalification Examinations for Renewal of 
          Reactor Operator and Senior Reactor Operator Licenses (Generic 
          Letter 83-17) 

Recently, an investigation was completed which determined that a senior 
official at a nuclear power plant certified to the NRC that a licensed 
individual had successfully completed the licensed operator requalification 
program, when in fact, that individual had cheated by submitting another 
person's work in response to some examination questions. 

Such an individual has not successfully completed the requalification 
program and has not discharged his licensed responsibility in a safe and 
competent manner, as required by 10 CFR Part 55. Furthermore, it should be 
noted that cheating on examinations which are used to certify individuals to 
the NRC will result in an automatic denial of a license application or 
license renewal and could result in more severe penalties. 

The purpose of this letter is to highlight the need for you to ensure that 
the validity of the certifications required by 10 CFR Part 55 and the 
integrity and honesty of the requalification program are adequately 
addressed in facility procedures. You should review your procedures on this 
subject to ensure that an applicant's individual performance can be 
determined. Your procedures should include provisions to detect and prevent 
instances of cheating. In particular, unproctored examinations, take-home 
quizzes and on-shift tests allow ample opportunity for cheating which could 
go undetected and, therefore, are not an acceptable means for certifying 
individual performance. While some portions of examinations may be conducted 
in an open-book format (e.g., use of steam tables on thermodynamics problems 
or use of facility procedures and drawings during oral examinations), 
adequate monitoring provisions are essential to ensure that the persons 
being evaluated are working independently and are using only authorized 
instructional or reference materials. 



No submittals of procedures or results of your procedure reviews are 
required by this letter; however, we will review these procedures as a part 
of our audits of the licensed reactor operator and senior reactor operator 
requalification programs. 

                                   Darrell G. Eisenhut, Director 
                                   Division of Licensing 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015