United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 88-40: Examiners' Handbook for Developing Operator Licensing Examinations

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

                                  June 22, 1988

                                   OPERATOR LICENSING EXAMINATIONS


All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 


This information notice provides addressees a copy of NUREG/BR-0122, "Ex-
aminers' Handbook for Developing Operator Licensing Examinations."  It is 
expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to 
their facilities.  However, the information contained in this information 
notice does not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or 
written response is required.  


The NRC staff has developed the above-mentioned handbook to improve the 
content validity of the operator licensing examinations.  The content has been 
made more valid through the performance of job/task analysis focusing on the 
delineation of essential knowledge and abilities.  Additional copies of this 
handbook are available for examination and copying for a fee at the Public 
Document Room of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1717 H Street, N.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20555.  


After the NRC examiners have been trained in the procedures described in 
NUREG/BR-0122, the format of the operator licensing examinations administered 
under 10 CFR 55.41 or 55.43 should reflect the sampling plans contained in the 
handbook.  These sampling plans should incorporate the knowledge and abilities 
requirements contained in NUREG-1122, "Knowledge and Abilities Catalog for 
Nuclear Power Plant Operators:  Pressurized Water Reactors" and NUREG-1123, 
"Knowledge and Abilities Catalog for Nuclear Power Plant Operators:  Boiling 
Water Reactors."

The new format will change the sections of the written examinations for all 
initial and replacement examinations.  As detailed in the enclosed handbook, 
the reactor operator written examination should normally sample:  (1) 25% of 
its content from the fundamentals area (reactor theory, thermodynamics, and 

.                                                                 IN 88-40
                                                                 June 22, 1988
                                                                 Page 2 of 2

component operation), (2) 48% from plant systems and plant-wide safety and 
administrative procedures, and (3) 27% from emergency and abnormal plant 
evolutions.  For senior reactor operators, the written examination content 
should normally sample:  (1) 24% from fundamentals, (2) 33% from emergency and 
abnormal evolutions, and (3) 43% from plant systems and plant-wide safety and 
administrative procedures.  Candidates must obtain a score of 70% in each of 
the three sections and an overall score of 80% to pass the written exami-

After full implementation of the handbook, expected in the fall of 1988, 
NUREG/BR-0122 will provide guidance to operator licensing examiners for the 
development of initial and replacement written licensing examinations.  The 
training staff at the plants may wish to become familiar with the handbook as 
far in advance of their examinations as possible so that there will be a 
maximum benefit for candidates.

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 

                              Charles E. Rossi, Director
                              Division of Operational Events Assessment
                              Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical Contact:  Susan F. Shankman, NRR
                    (301) 492-1053

1.  NUREG/BR-0122, "Examiners' Handbook for Developing Operator
      Licensing Examinations"
2.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
.                                                            Attachment 2
                                                            IN 88-40 
                                                            June 22, 1988 
                                                            Page 1 of 1

                             LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED
                            NRC INFORMATION NOTICES 
Information                                  Date of 
Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________

88-39          LaSalle Unit 2 Loss of        6/15/88        All holders of OLs
               Recirculation Pumps With                     or CPs for BWRs. 
               Power Oscillation Event 

88-38          Failure of Undervoltage       6/15/88        All holders of OLs
               Trip Attachment on General                   or CPs for nuclear
               Electric Circuit Breakers                    power reactors. 

88-37          Flow Blockage of Cooling      6/14/88        All holders of OLs
               Water to Safety System                       or CPs for nuclear
               Components                                   power reactors. 

88-36          Possible Sudden Loss of RCS   6/8/88         All holders of OLs
               Inventory During Low Coolant                 or CPs for PWRs. 
               Level Operation                              

88-35          Inadequate Licensee Performed 6/3/88         All holders of OLs
               Vendor Audits                                or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors. 

88-34          Nuclear Material Control      5/31/88        All holders of OLs
               and Accountability of                        or CPs for nuclear
               Non-Fuel Special Nuclear                     power reactors. 
               Material at Power Reactors 

87-61,         Failure of Westinghouse       5/31/88        All holders of OLs
Supplement 1   W-2-Type Circuit Breaker                     or CPs for nuclear
               Cell Switches                                power reactors. 

88-33          Recent Problems Involving     5/27/88        All Agreement 
               the Model Spec 2-T                           States and NRC 
               Radiographic Exposure                        licensees 
               Device                                       authorized to 
                                                            distribute or 
                                                            operate radio-
                                                            graphic exposure 
                                                            devices and source
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015