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NRC POLICY STATEMENT ON CONTROL ROOM CONDUCT

NEWSLETTER ARTICLE

In the past, the conduct of control room operators had been relatively free and open-handed. Recently, the situation began to change. Plant inspectors were finding instances where personnel conduct seriously jeopardized the safe operation of the plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a policy statement concerning expected conduct of nuclear plant control room operators, one which could possibly serve as a future model for other control room operators.

Code of Federal Regulations(10 CFR parts 50 and 55) details expected conduct to be exhibited by nuclear plant control room operators The following is a summary of the statement.

  • The control operator and supervisor should never relinquish their responsibilities prior to a thorough shift relief debriefing.
  • Operators' actions must be within accordance of approved procedures.
  • The control operator and supervisor must be alert of all plant conditions and activities.
  • Only plant operation activities should be conducted in the control room.
  • Separate facilities should be provided for meetings and other activities.
  • All activities affecting the plant, including maintenance, must be coordinated with the control room.
  • Written records of plant activities must be carefully prepared and maintained.
  • Environmental conditions must be carefully controlled; distractions, such as non-functional alarms, should be eliminated.
  • Foreign objects should be restricted to preclude inadvertent actuation of the controls.

Nearly all of the policy statements are directly applicable to oil refinery and chemical plant control rooms. With the statement, management now has a guide with which to work to help foster their control room "safety culture". If you would like a copy of the entire policy statement, please contact one of our Beville associates.

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