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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Apply fundamental reactor engineering principles and theories related to nuclear power generating plant 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
13709  Apply fundamental reactor engineering principles and theories related to nuclear power generating plant 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Power Plant Operations 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Manufacturing and Assembly 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
A person credited with this unit standard is able to describe fundamental concepts, terms and theories related to nuclear reactors as applied in nuclear power plant. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
N/A 

UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
Range Statement: Reactor engineering fundamentals as prescribed by the National Nuclear Regulator for the Generic Fundamental Requirements of nuclear power plant operators. 

Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
Define the structure of the atom and methods of radioactive decay. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
1. Particles of the atom known. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Protons, neutrons, electrons and neutrinos
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
2. Mechanisms of radioactive decay known. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Alpha, beta, gamma
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
3. Tracking radio activity on the Chart of the nuclides understood. 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
Define neutron classifications and their origins and time of appearance. 
OUTCOME NOTES 
Define neutron classifications and their origins and time of appearance, together with life cycles with respect to the fission process. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
1.Types of neutrons identified. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
prompt, delayed, thermal, fast, slow.
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
2. Moderation process known and understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
3. Multiplication factor defined and its relationship to the state of the reactor understood. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Subcritical, critical and supercritical
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
4. Reactivity, excess reactivity, and shutdown margin calculations defined. 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
Define reactor kinetics and neutron sources. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
1. Subcritical multiplication concept understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
2. Subcritical reactor reactivity calculations and responses explained. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
3. Delayed neutron importance and effects understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
4. Start up rate defined together with the factors that affect its magnitude. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
5. Reactor period and reactor response to positive and negative reactivity additions explained. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
6. Reactor power levels calculations. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Time to change power, start up rate and reactor period.
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
7. Purpose for the installation of primary and secondary neutron sources in a reactor core understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
8. Reactor behaviour due to stepped reactivity additions understood. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Prompt drop, prompt jump, and prompt critical.
 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
Define reactivity coefficients and the resulting effects due to changes in fuel temperature. 
OUTCOME NOTES 
Define reactivity coefficients and the resulting effects due to changes in fuel temperature, moderator temperature and steam void fraction. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
1. Reactivity coefficients defined and changes explained. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Coefficient Range: moderator, fuel temperature (Doppler), pressure, void and power.
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
2. Resonance capture in a reactor core and the major contributing factors understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
3. Doppler broadening effect on core reactivity understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
4. Boron worth with respect to changes due to boron concentration, moderator temperature and core life understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
5. Reactivity defect calculations relating to reactivity coefficients performed. 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
Understand control rod use and the changes in rod worth due to changes in various parameters. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
1. Reactor control with control rods. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Reactor start-up, power operation, and reactor shutdown) understood.
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
2. Control rod differential and integral rod worth changes understood 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Rod position, boron concentration, moderator temperature, fission product poison
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
3. Control rod effects on neutron flux and hot channel factors known and understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
4. Control rod insertion limits understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
5. Control rod sequencing and overlap understood. 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
Define burnable poisons, how they are controlled and their positive and negative effects. 
OUTCOME NOTES 
Define burnable poisons, how they are controlled and their positive and negative effects on a critical reactor. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
1. Burnable poisons characteristics known and understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
2. Burnable poisons use for reactor control known. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
3. Burnable poison, the reasons for installation in a reactor fuel understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
4. Boron concentration changes and their effects over core life understood. 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 7 
Define reactor operational physics with respect to changes in reactivity. 
OUTCOME NOTES 
Define reactor operational physics with respect to changes in reactivity and methods of reactor control. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
1. Parameters to be monitored and controlled during reactor operation known and understood. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Sub criticality, up to the point of adding heat [POAH], criticality and power operation.
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
2. Subcritical multiplication concept and the role-played by source neutrons understood. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
3. Point of adding heat characteristics and their respective responses explained. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
4. Criticality in terms of reactivity defined and the ability to predict it by use of a 1/M plot demonstrated. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
5. Power changes in an operating reactor due to normal and abnormal parameter known and understood. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Control rod movement, dilution or boration, steam flow.
 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
6. Reactivity calculations involving reactor power responses following a reactor trip demonstrated. 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
7. Decay heat production and its relationship to power generation understood. 
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
Power level history, power production, and time after trip.
 


UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
According to SAQA requirements.

Moderation:

Standard Generating Group Power Plant Operations-Technical Group. 

UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
Understanding of the fundamental concepts, theories and characteristics related to reactor engineering principles. 

UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
N/A 

UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
N/A 


Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
Identifying & solving problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made. 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organization, and community. 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
Organising and managing oneself and one`s activities responsibly and effectively. 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
Collecting, analysing, organizing and critically evaluating information. 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written persuasion. 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others. 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
Demonstrating an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognizing that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation. 

UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
Contributing to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large, by making it the underlying intention of any programme of learning to make an individual aware of the importance of:
a. Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
b. Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
c. Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts.
d. Exploring education and career opportunities.
e. Developing entrepreneurial opportunities. 

UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
N/A 

REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
Occupational Role:

Process Plant Operator. 

QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
  ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
Core  23733   National Certificate: Nuclear Power Plant Operation  Level 4  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L4  Reregistered  2023-06-30  EWSETA 
Elective  61570   National Diploma: Power Plant Process Control Operations  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
2020-07-30  EWSETA 


PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
 
1. ESKOM DRANKENSBURG PUMP STORAGE (PEAKING) 
2. ESKOM INGULA PUMP STORAGE SCHEME (PEAKING) 
3. Kelvin Power (Pty) Ltd 
4. MPUMELELO TRAINING 



All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.