Blog | Fauske and Associates, LLC

What is a Power Plant Safety Manual?

Written by AnnMarie Fauske | Jul 18, 2017 3:22:00 PM

We noticed this topic is searched quite a bit on the internet.  When I asked our team what it means to them, I got a variety of responses.  

As background: Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) was the principal author of the original Severe Accident Management (SAM) Technical Basis Report (TBR) (FAI/91-19 Volumes 1 and 2 also known as EPRI TR-101869).  This report provided the technical bases upon which the PWR Owners Groups at the time (Westinghouse (WOG), Combustion Engineering (CEOG), and Babcock & Wilcox (B&WOG)) developed generic severe accident management guidance (SAMG) support material, which served as a framework for each utility’s plant-specific SAMG program.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima accident, EPRI commissioned an update to the original TBR, and FAI again was a principal author in this update.  In addition to the immediate insights from the Fukushima accident, the TBR update also incorporates a significant amount of research and experimental information that post-dated the original TBR and therefore was absent from the technical basis.

While FAI leveraged its severe accident technical basis experience within the SAM TBR in its post-TMI and post-Fukushima evolutions, Westinghouse Electric Company, the parent company of FAI, focused on implementation of the TBR into the actual plant-specific SAMG implementation programs for customer sites.   Thus, FAI and Westinghouse have maintained complementary SAMG capabilities which can be utilized to assist customers with preparing for NRC inspections. 

FAI's founders Dr. Hans K Fauske and Robert E. Henry have just published "Experimental Technical Bases for Evaluating Vapor /Steam Explosions in Nuclear Reactor Safety" published by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 

"In context, a plant safety manual is not synonymous to anything in particular when it comes to nuclear plants. When I read safety manual, the first thing that came to mind was an FSAR (Final Safety Analysis Report). ...an FSAR is roughly a reference guide that describes how pretty much the entire plant should run safely based on analyses, safety margins, some procedures and so on, that the operators rely on it. The NRC has to approve it so you can get some general materials and examples on the web.

Generally speaking, we have contributed to FSARs, safety manuals or guidelines (like a Severe Accident Management Guideline (SAMG)- “manual”), either as authors or reviewers.

There are several safety situational plans, procedures, manuals and so on that apply to normal operation and severe accident conditions that plant personnel, particularly operators, rely on." -Samad Erogbogbo, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Thermal Hydraulic Services, FAI.

Most organizations have some type of a "Environmental, Health and Safety Pocket Guide" as a general reference but does not replace site-specific policies or procedures. Power plants have site specific safety guidelines and procedures.  One in particular has a "Standards and Expectations Handbook" - a condensed version of its online full procedures.  This pocket sized guide states that it will "stress alignment on clear and consistent standards, we will improve our Station performance, and we will achieve our Station's Vision..."

Topics of the standards and expectations include vision, mission and core values, culture, behaviors, goals, priorities and business plans. Then, "Safety" includes culture traits, plant status control, industrial safety, radiological safety, emergency preparedness and employee concerns.  Next, comes "Human Performance" clear goals and expections from qualification verification to peer checking and specified communications channels.  Pre and post briefing, collaboration and learning how to observe and report are keys to a successful plan. Continous improvement fundamentals are outlined as part of the whole package.  

There are also "Generic Plant Access" training courses available.  These cover low to high level safety training and can be broken into specific topics based on need.  

Others on our team wonder if we speak of electrical power plants or power stations only then we need to discuss other issues such as those pertaining to the types of generators used.  More environmental factors are considered for fossil fuels, for example. 

So, what we have here is a bit of a misnomer in searches because Power Plant Safety Manual is a generalized reference to a multitude of tools used to ensure safe operations. Case by case, is best, partnering with experts in current regulations, testing and engineering...

For more information or help in where to start on safety procedures for your facility, please contact FAI at kfauske@fauske.com, www.fauske.com or 630-323-8750.