The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued Confirmatory Orders yesterday to Entergy Nuclear Operations and a licensed control room operator over an incident that occurred in 2010 at the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan. The NRC press release described the incident:
The Confirmatory Orders stem from an incident that occurred on October 23, 2010 at the Palisades nuclear power plant. The NRC conducted an investigation and concluded that (Edward) Johnsn, who was one of the reactor operators in the control room, left his post without providing a turnover to a qualified individual to take over his position and did not obtain permission from the control room supervisor.
The NRC decision requires a number of specific actions from Entergy applying to all its facilities:
Some of the commitments for Entergy include: issuing a letter to every licensed reactor operator in the Entergy fleet re-emphasizing the responsibilities of their position and safety obligations to the public; preparing a case study of the events and incorporate it into the operator training; reviewing the procedures associated with the event to determine if they are adequate; retaining outside expertise to conduct a safety culture assessment for the operations department; ensuring potentially stressful work activities in the control room are properly planned for; and informing the NRC on how they plan to monitor and manage Johnson’s performance if Entergy decides to restore him to licensed activities.
The Commission also requires a number of actions from Edward Johnson:
Some of the commitments for Johnson include: completing 200 hours of successful work under supervision; participating in interviews with Entergy management to assess his eligibility and readiness to resume licensed work; and writing an article for an industry publication discussing the events, his personal lessons learned, the safety and legal responsibility of a licensed reactor operator, his responsibilities for public safety, his corrective actions and his interactions with the NRC resulting from the violation.