1. To the extent that the industrial institutions we have
examined are representative of the nuclear industry, the nuclear
industry must dramatically change its attitudes toward safety and
regulations. The Commission has recommended that the new regulatory
agency prescribe strict standards. At the same time, the Commission
recognizes that merely meeting the requirements of a government
regulation does not guarantee safety. Therefore, the industry must also
set and police its own standards of excellence to ensure the effective
management and safe operation of nuclear power plants.
a. The industry should establish a program that specifies
appropriate safety standards including those for management, quality
assurance, and operating procedures and practices, and that conducts
independent evaluations. The recently created
Institute of Nuclear
Power Operations, or some similar organization, may be an appropriate
vehicle for establishing and implementing this program.
b. There must be a systematic gathering, review, and
analysis of operating experience at all nuclear power plants coupled
with an industry-wide international communications network to
facilitate the speedy flow of this information to affected parties. If
such experiences indicate the need for modifications in design or
operation, such changes should be implemented according to realistic
2. Although the Commission considers the responsibility for
safety to be with the total organization of the plant, we recommend that
each nuclear power plant company have a separate safety group that
reports to high-level management. Its assignment would be to evaluate
regularly procedures and general plant operations from a safety
perspective; to assess quality assurance programs; and to develop
continuing safety programs.
3. Integration of management responsibility at all levels
must be achieved consistently throughout this industry. Although there
may not be a single optimal management structure for nuclear power plant
operation, there must be a single accountable organization with the
requisite expertise to take responsibility for the integrated management
of the design, construction, operation, and emergency response
functions, and the organizational entities that carry them out. Without
such demonstrated competence, a power plant operating company should not
qualify to receive an operating license.
a. These goals may be obtained at the design stage by 1)
contracting for a "turn-key" plant in which the vendor or
architect-engineer contracts to supply a fully operational plant and
supervises all planning, construction, and modification; or 2)
assembling expertise capable of integrating the design process. In
either case, it is critical that the knowledge and expertise gained
during design and construction of the plant be effectively transferred
to those responsible for operating the plant.
b. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities for operating
procedures and practices must be established to ensure accountability
and smooth communication.
c. Since, under our recommendations, accountability for
operations during an emergency would rest on the licensee, the
licensee must prepare clear procedures defining management roles and
responsibilities in the event of a crisis.
4. It is important to attract highly qualified candidates
for the positions of senior operator and operator supervisor. Pay scales
should be high enough to attract such candidates.
5. Substantially more attention and care must be devoted to
the writing, reviewing, and monitoring of plant procedures.
a. The wording of procedures must be clear and concise.
b. The content of procedures must reflect both engineering
thinking and operating practicalities.
c. The format of procedures, particularly those that deal
with abnormal conditions and emergencies, must be especially clear,
including clear diagnostic instructions for identifying the particular
abnormal conditions confronting the operators.
d. Management of both utilities and suppliers must insist on
the early diagnosis and resolution of safety questions that arise in
plant operations. They must also establish deadlines, impose sanctions
for the failure to observe such deadlines, and make certain that the
results of the diagnoses and any proposed procedural changes based on
them are disseminated to those who need to know them.
6. Utility rate-making agencies should recognize that
implementation of new safety measures can be inhibited by delay or
failure to include the costs of such measures in the utility rate base.
The Commission, therefore, recommends that state rate-making agencies
give explicit attention to the safety implications of rate-making when
they consider costs based on "safety-related" changes.