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Offline number41

OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« on: Feb 26, 2010, 04:34 »
I don't know if anyone else has had this issue.  Luckily I can say that I'm way too clueless to even be involved to begin with.  But, I got an email today from our Chief Nuclear Officer (one of those stock, mass emailings that we all love) that didn't beat around the bush.  It said (paraphrasing) that it had come to his attention that site outage schedules had been posted on an "internet message forum" and that any info such as outage schedules, contract amounts, etc, etc is property of the company and any personnel  or contractor posting that info to the internet were violating company ethics policy.  Discuss......
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Offline RDTroja

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Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 26, 2010, 05:16 »
Outage schedules are fair game, but I would agree that if financial information got out to the public it would be a violation. When a plant shuts down is not a secret.
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Content1

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Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 26, 2010, 07:29 »
If something is public record, like an outage schedule, it is not a violation, free press applies.   If it some trade secret, that is not allowed.   It is unwise to list an exact salary as it could vary, but if you gave a range like Sr. Hp's get between 20 to 25 dollars and hour depending on experience if you know it is true and you label it as your opinion, not guaranteed, again, you are entitled to give an opinion.   For example, if it was my opinion that Catawba pays $19 to $24 dollars for a senior, and I feel it is the lowest in the industry, I am entitled to say so.   Now if you say "Catawba treats their workers like trash" be ready to back it up or you libel them.    Do let the companies intimidate you from legitimate free speech.

Offline number41

Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #3 on: Feb 27, 2010, 08:22 »
Not an issue for me.....I'm a company employee & I certainly don't post schedule information since the damn thing is so fluid that there's not much point!  Just thought it was odd that one of our "higher-ups" deemed schedules company property.  Also,  I assumed he was referring to this forum.  I suppose someone could have posted very specific info such as project run dates or contract award dates either here or somewhere else.  Oh well ::)
You can sleep when you're dead.

stownsend

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Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #4 on: Feb 27, 2010, 08:59 »
When they state contract amounts do they mean between company X and utility X because I have never seen such numbers? The numbers I have seen are what company X is offering to pay in order to fulfill that secretive contract not what utility X is paying.
This would circle back to the first 40 hours at xyz to cover per diem then a rate lower for all other hours.It has always been a sticking point when you're working 72's, get the outage grunge and miss a day so you only put in 60 then they pull a days diem when they get paid and you don't.

stownsend

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Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #5 on: Feb 27, 2010, 09:00 »
  Do let the companies intimidate you from legitimate free speech.
Is this a typo?

kp88

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Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #6 on: Feb 27, 2010, 09:27 »
Not an issue for me.....I'm a company employee & I certainly don't post schedule information since the damn thing is so fluid that there's not much point!  Just thought it was odd that one of our "higher-ups" deemed schedules company property.

Refueling outage schedules certainly aren’t any big secret.  I would guess that the issue would be with someone posting a detailed breaker open to breaker shut type schedule.
The utility’s best case plan is for the outage to last thirty days.  The plan provided to the state agency that regulates electricity rates may be thirty three days.  Those three days involve a dollar or two in replacement power costs.


Offline Rennhack

Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #7 on: Feb 27, 2010, 10:06 »
I would guess that the issue would be with someone posting a detailed breaker open to breaker shut type schedule.

I would agree, that might be secret, proprietary information on how they do business.

On the other hand, a lot of information used to be posted in the nuclear news...

Offline Neutron_Herder

Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #8 on: Feb 27, 2010, 11:23 »
Outages aren't a big surprise to the industry, or anyone else that's interested enough to do a little research.

I'm thinking that they're more concerned with the unplanned outages or down powers that happen when a piece of equipment malfunctions.  I'm pretty new to the civilian side of the house, but it seems to me that prior knowledge about a base load plant that's going to go off line would set some people up to make some good money based on the price of electricity changing...  Then it would become an anti-trust issue (I think).

Instead of going through all of that discussion though it's much easier to tell your employees that they're just not allowed to discuss things of that nature at all.  That way they minimize the chance of someone inadvertently giving advance notice of something that's going on at their plant.

If I'm way off base let me know (like y'all wouldn't anyway), but that's just what I'm thinking about the whole thing.
"If everybody's thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking" - Gen. George S. Patton

Offline HydroDave63

Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #9 on: Feb 28, 2010, 12:10 »
but it seems to me that prior knowledge about a base load plant that's going to go off line would set some people up to make some good money based on the price of electricity changing...  Then it would become an anti-trust issue (I think).

Know how long it takes the oily marketeers to find out when your plant came off-line unplanned? The big wheeler-dealers can subscribe to Genscape, which monitors thousands of power plants, transformers, lines etc. with IR cameras, and makes that info available within 15 minutes. Or, since your utility is now scrambling to buy those missing megawatts from someone else, those same oily marketeers can log into theICE.com and see the prices changing in real-time trading. About the only way this knowledge would be interesting to traders would be if they knew the hour you were opening breakers. And who here has seen an outage start exactly as planned?

Offline number41

Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #10 on: Feb 28, 2010, 07:56 »
The email wasn't really that specific about what was posted, when, etc.  I just thought it was odd that something that most industry people consider common knowledge would be viewed in this way.  I'm assuming that the email only includes half the story.  If it were really an issue, I would think NERC/FERC may get involved since all of our plants are in regulated markets.
You can sleep when you're dead.

Offline redline

Re: OUTAGE SCHEDULE = ETHICS VIOLATION?
« Reply #11 on: Mar 01, 2010, 02:52 »
Many of you are missing the point here. First off I can't imagine a utility making their outage schedule "public record". Next thing is, and probably the only thing that matters is, when you go to work for a company like a utility you are bound by some sort of a code of ethics. Within that code you'll find that you as the employee may not disclose ANY information outside the company. They have people (PR folks) that it's their full time job. So if you as the employee disclose any information outside the company, you have violated your code of business ethics. You could be terminated or maybe even face legal action. It's not my job to release information therefore I cannot.
Now if you work for a contract company. You probably have access to information that the company would not allow their own employees to share, and my guess is your employer has it's own code of conduct. You could easily be held liable for the information that would be "stolen" from the company and released by you.
Companies arent' too worried about their outage schedules, that's a hard secret to keep. But be careful with other information, if you hit a nerve with a company you could be in some trouble. In most cases that's unlikely...but possible.

 


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