Reactor Operator Certification

The Reactor Operator Certification process provides a two-part "final examination" of your plant knowledge and operating ability.

Certification Menu

The process begins by entering your name on the Student Registration Screen. The Certification Screen then appears where you can select either of two examinations - a written exam and a simulator exam.

Written Exam

Written Exam
The written exam consists of multiple choice questions examining your knowledge of BWR technology. The questions are answered by clicking on the "radio" button adjacent to the choice being made. There is only one correct or best answer for each question. Answers can be reviewed, and changed if necessary at any time prior to completing the examination. The exam is completed by clicking on the LOCK-IN ANSWERS push button.  The program will then display the results of each question and corresponding answer in the examination. An explanation of each answer is provided. A score of 80 percent is required to pass the examination. If the exam was not passed successfully, it can be taken again at any time.

Simulator Exam

Simulator Exam
The simulator exam is a hands-on test of your ability to operate the reactor plant. The examination consists of five objectives which the user must successfully meet through operating the simulator. Each examination objective begins with an initial score of 100 points. During the simulation, as the user maneuvers the plant to establish the conditions required by the objective, the program will subtract points if errors are made.

When the plant has been brought to the required conditions for the objective, the user exits the simulation. The program then compares the plant conditions existing at the time of exit to the objective requirements. If the requirements have been met, the score for that objective is added to an accumulating total score, and the next objective is started. The minimum total score needed to pass the simulator examination is 400 points, or 80 percent. Note that the maximum possible score is 525 points (100 points for each objective plus a possible 5 bonus points for each objective). Each of the five exam objectives will require operation of the simulator starting at a power level corresponding to the same Initialization Conditions (IC's) accessed in starting up the plant.

The objectives are sequenced in an order corresponding to a normal plant startup. Bonus points are awarded if the objective is completed within a given time.
OBJECTIVE 1 (Source Range Operation) - A. Bring the reactor critical and establish a positive reactor period; B. Allow power to increase to IRM range 3 or above, then terminate the objective by exiting the simulation.
OBJECTIVE 2 (Intermediate Range Operation) - A. Raise power and commence a normal reactor heatup. do not exceed an average heatup rate of 500 degrees per hour; B. When reactor temperature has increased to 225 degrees or above, terminate the objective by exiting the simulation.
OBJECTIVE 3 (Turbine Generator Operation) - A. Raise power until the bypass valve is between 30 and 40 percent open; B. Roll the turbine generator to 900 rpm at the slow rate, then soak for greater than 2 minutes. Increase to rated speed at the fast rate; C. Synchronize and load the generator. When load has been increased to 150 MWe or above, terminate the objective by exiting the simulation.
OBJECTIVE 4 (Manual Load Following) - A. Withdraw control rods to the 50 percent rod pattern, then raise core flow to 100 percent; B. When reactor power is between 48 percent and 52 percent, and core flow is at 100 percent, terminate the objective by exiting the simulation.
OBJECTIVE 5 (100% Power Operation) - A. Raise core flow to 50 percent then withdraw control rods to the 100 percent rod pattern; B. Raise core flow to 100 percent; C. When both reactor power and core flow are at 100 percent, terminate the objective by exiting the simulation.

Completion of the Reactor Operator Certification Exams
Upon successful completion of both the written and simulator examinations, the Overall Score and Certification Status displays are updated.

The certification status window updates as follows:

  • "Student" status if both exams have not yet been taken, or are not completed with passing scores.
  • Reactor Operator" status for passing both examinations with a combined average score of at least 80 percent.
  • "Senior Reactor Operator" status for a combined average of at least 90 percent.

With certification status as either Reactor Operator or Senior Reactor Operator, you are eligible to receive a signed certificate suitable for framing documenting your success.

  1. Make note of your overall score and the dates and scores of both the written and the simulator exams.
  2. Contact Acme Nuclear Services via email ( with the above information.

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