This paper addresses to the problem of utilisation of the artificial neural networks (ANNs) for detecting anomalies as well as physical parameters of a nuclear power plant during power operation in real time. Three different types of neural network algorithms were used namely, feed-forward neural network (back-propagation, BP) and two types of recurrent neural networks (RNN). The data used in this paper were gathered from the simulation of the power operation of the Japan's High Temperature Engineering Testing Reactor (HTTR). For the wide range of power operation, 56 signals were generated by the reactor dynamic simulation code for several hours of normal power operation at different power ramps between 30 and 100% nominal power. Paper will compare the outcomes of different neural networks and presents the neural network system and the determination of physical parameters from the simulated operating data. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.