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Title 10Chapter IPart 55 → Subpart F


Title 10: Energy
PART 55—OPERATORS' LICENSES


Subpart F—Licenses


Contents
§55.51   Issuance of licenses.
§55.53   Conditions of licenses.
§55.55   Expiration.
§55.57   Renewal of licenses.
§55.59   Requalification.

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§55.51   Issuance of licenses.

Operator and senior operator licenses. If the Commission determines that an applicant for an operator license or a senior operator license meets the requirements of the Act and its regulations, it will issue a license in the form and containing any conditions and limitations it considers appropriate and necessary.

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§55.53   Conditions of licenses.

Each license contains and is subject to the following conditions whether stated in the license or not:

(a) Neither the license nor any right under the license may be assigned or otherwise transferred.

(b) The license is limited to the facility for which it is issued.

(c) The license is limited to those controls of the facility specified in the license.

(d) The license is subject to, and the licensee shall observe, all applicable rules, regulations, and orders of the Commission.

(e) If a licensee has not been actively performing the functions of an operator or senior operator, the licensee may not resume activities authorized by a license issued under this part except as permitted by paragraph (f) of this section. To maintain active status, the licensee shall actively perform the functions of an operator or senior operator on a minimum of seven 8-hour or five 12-hour shifts per calendar quarter. For test and research reactors, the licensee shall actively perform the functions of an operator or senior operator for a minimum of four hours per calendar quarter.

(f) If paragraph (e) of this section is not met, before resumption of functions authorized by a license issued under this part, an authorized representative of the facility licensee shall certify the following:

(1) That the qualifications and status of the licensee are current and valid; and

(2) That the licensee has completed a minimum of 40 hours of shift functions under the direction of an operator or senior operator as appropriate and in the position to which the individual will be assigned. The 40 hours must have included a complete tour of the plant and all required shift turnover procedures. For senior operators limited to fuel handling under paragraph (c) of this section, one shift must have been completed. For test and research reactors, a minimum of six hours must have been completed.

(g) The licensee shall notify the Commission within 30 days about a conviction for a felony.

(h) The licensee shall complete a requalification program as described by §55.59.

(i) The licensee shall have a biennial medical examination.

(j) The licensee shall not consume or ingest alcoholic beverages within the protected area of power reactors, or the controlled access area of non-power reactors. The licensee shall not use, possess, or sell any illegal drugs. The licensee shall not perform activities authorized by a license issued under this part while under the influence of alcohol or any prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal substance that could adversely affect his or her ability to safely and competently perform his or her licensed duties. For the purpose of this paragraph, with respect to alcoholic beverages and drugs, the term “under the influence” means the licensee exceeded, as evidenced by a confirmed test result, the lower of the cutoff levels for drugs or alcohol contained in subparts E, F, and G of part 26 of this chapter, or as established by the facility licensee. The term “under the influence” also means the licensee could be mentally or physically impaired as a result of substance use including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as determined under the provisions, policies, and procedures established by the facility licensee for its fitness-for-duty program, in such a manner as to adversely affect his or her ability to safely and competently perform licensed duties.

(k) Each licensee at power reactors shall participate in the drug and alcohol testing programs established pursuant to 10 CFR part 26. Each licensee at non-power reactors shall participate in any drug and alcohol testing program that may be established for that non-power facility.

(l) The licensee shall comply with any other conditions that the Commission may impose to protect health or to minimize danger to life or property.

[52 FR 9460, Mar. 25, 1987, as amended at 56 FR 32070, July 15, 1991; 74 FR 45545, Sept. 3, 2009; 79 FR 66604, Nov. 10, 2014]

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§55.55   Expiration.

(a) Each operator license and senior operator license expires six years after the date of issuance, upon termination of employment with the facility licensee, or upon determination by the facility licensee that the licensed individual no longer needs to maintain a license.

(b) If a licensee files an application for renewal or an upgrade of an existing license on Form NRC-398 at least 30 days before the expiration of the existing license, it does not expire until disposition of the application for renewal or for an upgraded license has been finally determined by the Commission. Filing by mail will be deemed to be complete at the time the application is deposited in the mail.

[52 FR 9460, Mar. 25, 1987, as amended at 79 FR 66605, Nov. 10, 2014]

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§55.57   Renewal of licenses.

(a) The applicant for renewal of a license shall—

(1) Complete and sign Form NRC-398 and include the number of the license for which renewal is sought.

(2) File an original of NRC Form 398 with the appropriate Regional Administrator specified in §55.5(b).

(3) Provide written evidence of the applicant's experience under the existing license and the approximate number of hours that the licensee has operated the facility.

(4) Provide a statement by an authorized representative of the facility licensee that during the effective term of the current license the applicant has satisfactorily completed the requalification program for the facility for which operator or senior operator license renewal is sought.

(5) Provide evidence that the applicant has discharged the license responsibilities competently and safely. The Commission may accept as evidence of the applicant's having met this requirement a certificate of an authorized representative of the facility licensee or holder of an authorization by which the licensee has been employed.

(6) Provide certification by the facility licensee of medical condition and general health on Form NRC-396, to comply with §§55.21, 55.23 and 55.27.

(b) The license will be renewed if the Commission finds that—

(1) The medical condition and the general health of the licensee continue to be such as not to cause operational errors that endanger public health and safety. The Commission will base this finding upon the certification by the facility licensee as described in §55.23.

(2) The licensee—

(i) Is capable of continuing to competently and safely assume licensed duties;

(ii) Has successfully completed a requalification program that has been approved by the Commission as required by §55.59; and

(iii) Has passed the requalification examinations and annual operating tests as required by §55.59.

(3) There is a continued need for a licensee to operate or for a senior operator to direct operators at the facility designated in the application.

(4) The past performance of the licensee has been satisfactory to the Commission. In making its finding, the Commission will include in its evaluation information such as notices of violations or letters of reprimand in the licensee's docket.

[52 FR 9460, Mar. 25, 1987, as amended at 59 FR 5938, Feb. 9, 1994; 68 FR 58813, Oct. 10, 2003]

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§55.59   Requalification.

(a) Requalification requirements. Each licensee shall—

(1) Successfully complete a requalification program developed by the facility licensee that has been approved by the Commission. This program shall be conducted for a continuous period not to exceed 24 months in duration.

(2) Pass a comprehensive requalification written examination and an annual operating test.

(i) The written examination will sample the items specified in §§55.41 and 55.43 of this part, to the extent applicable to the facility, the licensee, and any limitation of the license under §55.53(c) of this part.

(ii) The operating test will require the operator or senior operator to demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to perform the actions necessary to accomplish a comprehensive sample of items specified in §55.45(a) (2) through (13) inclusive to the extent applicable to the facility.

(iii) In lieu of the Commission accepting a certification by the facility licensee that the licensee has passed written examinations and operating tests administered by the facility licensee within its Commission-approved program developed by using a systems approach to training under paragraph (c) of this section, the Commission may administer a comprehensive requalification written examination and an annual operating test.

(b) Additional training. If the requirements of paragraphs (a) (1) and (2) of this section are not met, the Commission may require the licensee to complete additional training and to submit evidence to the Commission of successful completion of this training before returning to licensed duties.

(c) Requalification program requirements. A facility licensee shall have a requalification program reviewed and approved by the Commission and shall, upon request consistent with the Commission's inspection program needs, submit to the Commission a copy of its comprehensive requalification written examinations or annual operating tests. The requalification program must meet the requirements of paragraphs (c) (1) through (7) of this section. In lieu of paragraphs (c) (2), (3), and (4) of this section, the Commission may approve a program developed by using a systems approach to training.

(1) Schedule. The requalification program must be conducted for a continuous period not to exceed two years, and upon conclusion must be promptly followed, pursuant to a continuous schedule, by successive requalification programs.

(2) Lectures. The requalification program must include preplanned lectures on a regular and continuing basis throughout the license period in those areas where operator and senior operator written examinations and facility operating experience indicate that emphasis in scope and depth of coverage is needed in the following subjects:

(i) Theory and principles of operation.

(ii) General and specific plant operating characteristics.

(iii) Plant instrumentation and control systems.

(iv) Plant protection systems.

(v) Engineered safety systems.

(vi) Normal, abnormal, and emergency operating procedures.

(vii) Radiation control and safety.

(viii) Technical specifications.

(ix) Applicable portions of title 10, chapter I, Code of Federal Regulations.

(3) On-the-job training. The requalification program must include on-the-job training so that—

(i) Each licensed operator of a utilization facility manipulates the plant controls and each licensed senior operator either manipulates the controls or directs the activities of individuals during plant control manipulations during the term of the licensed operator's or senior operator's license. For reactor operators and senior operators, these manipulations must consist of the following control manipulations and plant evolutions if they are applicable to the plant design. Items described in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) (A) through (L) of this section must be performed annually; all other items must be performed on a two-year cycle. However, the requalification programs must contain a commitment that each individual shall perform or participate in a combination of reactivity control manipulations based on the availability of plant equipment and systems. Those control manipulations which are not performed at the plant may be performed on a simulator. The use of the Technical Specifications should be maximized during the simulator control manipulations. Senior operator licensees are credited with these activities if they direct control manipulations as they are performed.

(A) Plant or reactor startups to include a range that reactivity feedback from nuclear heat addition is noticeable and heatup rate is established.

(B) Plant shutdown.

(C) Manual control of steam generators or feedwater or both during startup and shutdown.

(D) Boration or dilution during power operation.

(E) Significant (≥10 percent) power changes in manual rod control or recirculation flow.

(F) Reactor power change of 10 percent or greater where load change is performed with load limit control or where flux, temperature, or speed control is on manual (for HTGR).

(G) Loss of coolant, including—

(1)   Significant PWR steam generator leaks

(2)   Inside and outside primary containment

(3)   Large and small, including leak-rate determination

(4)   Saturated reactor coolant response (PWR).

(H) Loss of instrument air (if simulated plant specific).

(I) Loss of electrical power (or degraded power sources).

(J) Loss of core coolant flow/natural circulation.

(K) Loss of feedwater (normal and emergency).

(L) Loss of service water, if required for safety.

(M) Loss of shutdown cooling.

(N) Loss of component cooling system or cooling to an individual component.

(O) Loss of normal feedwater or normal feedwater system failure.

(P) Loss of condenser vacuum.

(Q) Loss of protective system channel.

(R) Mispositioned control rod or rods (or rod drops).

(S) Inability to drive control rods.

(T) Conditions requiring use of emergency boration or standby liquid control system.

(U) Fuel cladding failure or high activity in reactor coolant or offgas.

(V) Turbine or generator trip.

(W) Malfunction of an automatic control system that affects reactivity.

(X) Malfunction of reactor coolant pressure/volume control system.

(Y) Reactor trip.

(Z) Main steam line break (inside or outside containment).

(AA) A nuclear instrumentation failure.

(ii) Each licensed operator and senior operator has demonstrated satisfactory understanding of the operation of the apparatus and mechanisms associated with the control manipulations in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section, and knows the operating procedures in each area for which the operator or senior operator is licensed.

(iii) Each licensed operator and senior operator is cognizant of facility design changes, procedure changes, and facility license changes.

(iv) Each licensed operator and senior operator reviews the contents of all abnormal and emergency procedures on a regularly scheduled basis.

(v) A simulator may be used in meeting the requirements of paragraphs (c) (3)(i) and (3)(ii) of this section, if it reproduces the general operating characteristics of the facility involved and the arrangement of the instrumentation and controls of the simulator is similar to that of the facility involved. If the simulator or simulation device is used to administer operating tests for a facility, as provided in §55.45(b)(1), the device approved to meet the requirements of §55.45(b)(1) must be used for credit to be given for meeting the requirements of paragraphs (c)(3)(i) (G through AA) of this section.

(4) Evaluation. The requalification program must include—

(i) Comprehensive requalification written examinations and annual operating tests which determine areas in which retraining is needed to upgrade licensed operator and senior operator knowledge.

(ii) Written examinations which determine licensed operators' and senior operators' knowledge of subjects covered in the requalification program and provide a basis for evaluating their knowledge of abnormal and emergency procedures.

(iii) Systematic observation and evaluation of the performance and competency of licensed operators and senior operators by supervisors and/or training staff members, including evaluation of actions taken or to be taken during actual or simulated abnormal and emergency procedures.

(iv) Simulation of emergency or abnormal conditions that may be accomplished by using the control panel of the facility involved or by using a simulator. When the control panel of the facility is used for simulation, the actions taken or to be taken for the emergency or abnormal condition shall be discussed; actual manipulation of the plant controls is not required. If a simulator is used in meeting the requirements of paragraph (c)(4)(iii) of this section, it must accurately reproduce the operating characteristics of the facility involved and the arrangement of the instrumentation and controls of the simulator must closely parallel that of the facility involved. After the provisions of §55.46 have been implemented at a facility, the Commission approved or plant-referenced simulator must be used to comply with this paragraph.

(v) Provisions for each licensed operator and senior operator to participate in an accelerated requalification program where performance evaluations conducted pursuant to paragraphs (c)(4) (i) through (iv) of this section clearly indicated the need.

(5) Records. The requalification program documentation must include the following:

(i) The facility licensee shall maintain records documenting the participation of each licensed operator and senior operator in the requalification program. The records must contain copies of written examinations administered, the answers given by the licensee, and the results of evaluations and documentation of operating tests and of any additional training administered in areas in which an operator or senior operator has exhibited deficiencies. The facility licensee shall retain these records until the operator's or senior operator's license is renewed.

(ii) Each record required by this part must be legible throughout the retention period specified by each Commission regulation. The record may be the original or a reproduced copy or a microform provided that the copy or microform is authenticated by authorized personnel and that the microform is capable of producing a clear copy throughout the required retention period.

(iii) If there is a conflict between the Commission's regulations in this part, and any license condition, or other written Commission approval or authorization pertaining to the retention period for the same type of record, the retention period specified for these records by the regulations in this part apply unless the Commission, pursuant to §55.11, grants a specific exemption from this record retention requirement.

(6) Alternative training programs. The requirements of this section may be met by requalification programs conducted by persons other than the facility licensee if the requalification programs are similar to the program described in paragraphs (c) (1) through (5) of this section and the alternative program has been approved by the Commission.

(7) Applicability to research and test reactor facilities. To accommodate specialized modes of operation and differences in control, equipment, and operator skills and knowledge, the requalification program for each licensed operator and senior operator of a research reactor or test reactor facility must conform generally but need not be identical to the requalification program outlined in paragraphs (c) (1) through (6) of this section. Significant deviations from the requirements of paragraphs (c) (1) through (6) of this section will be permitted only if supported by written justification and approved by the Commission.

[52 FR 9460, Mar. 25, 1987, as amended at 59 FR 5938, Feb. 9, 1994; 66 FR 52668, Oct. 17, 2001, 81 FR 86909, Dec. 2, 2016]

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