Information Notice No. 89-40:Unsatisfactory Operator Test Results and Their Effect on the Requalification Program
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
All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power
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
. IN 89-40
April 14, 1989
Page 2 of 2
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
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: K. Perkins Jr., NRR
Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
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.
89-36 Excessive Temperatures 4/4/89 All holders of OLs
in Emergency Core Cooling or CPs for nuclear
System Piping Located power reactors.
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
89-34 Disposal of Americium 3/30/89 All holders of an
Well-Logging Sources NRC specific
89-33 Potential Failure of 3/23/89 All holders of OLs
Westinghouse Steam or CPs for PWRs.
89-32 Surveillance Testing 3/23/89 All holders of OLs
of Low-Temperature or CPs for PWRs.
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015