Career Path > NRC

NRC Rule change concerning working hours.

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Already Gone:
I'm still trying to decipher some of the rules.  That thing is almost 900 pages long.  Typical government job - bury the five paragraphs that actually mean something in a trillion word publication.

This link is the summary of changes.

The working hours changes are part of Subpart I

--- Quote ---Subpart I—Managing Fatigue
   Establish program requirements for fatigue management at nuclear power plants.
•   Codify a process for workers to self-declare that they are not fit for duty because of fatigue. (§26.197)
•   Require training for workers and supervisors on symptoms of and contributors to fatigue and on fatigue countermeasures. (§26.197)
•   Require licensees to include fatigue management information in the annual FFD program performance report that would be required under §26.217, including the number of waivers of the individual limits and break requirements that were granted, the collective work hours of any job duty group that exceeded the group average limit in any averaging period, and certain details of fatigue assessments conducted. (§26.197)
   Establish work hour controls for certain job functions at nuclear power plants, performed by operations, maintenance, health physics, chemistry, security and some fire brigade personnel.
•   Establish individual work hour limits of no more than 16 hours in a 24 hour period, 26 hours in a 48 hour period, and 72 hours in a week, excluding shift turnovers. (§26.199)
•   Establish individual break requirements of at least 10 hours between shifts, a 24-hour break in any 7 days, and a 48-hour break in any 2 weeks, with some exceptions for outages. (§26.199)
•   Allow licensees to waive the individual work hour limits and break requirements only if necessary to mitigate or prevent a condition adverse to safety or to maintain the security of the facility and if a fatigue assessment is performed for the worker with satisfactory results. (§26.199)
•   Would not permit licensees to waive the individual work hour limits and break requirements for individuals who self-declare they are unfit due to fatigue; if a fatigue assessment performed for those individuals determined they were fit, the individuals would only be permitted to perform non-risk significant activities under the waiver. (§26.199)
•   Establish a group average limit of 48 hours/week over a 13-week calculation period. (§26.199)
   The first 8 weeks of a plant outage would be exempted from the limit for non-security personnel and would be increased to 60 hours/week for security personnel. (§26.199)
   Security personnel would be allowed a 60 hour/week limit during the first 8 weeks of any planned security system outages. (§26.199)
   Security personnel would not be subject to any group average limit during the first 8 weeks of an unplanned security system outage or increased threat condition. (§26.199)
   Successive plant outages separated by 2 weeks or less would be considered as a single plant outage for purposes of the 8-week exemption. (§26.199)
•   Allow the average work hours of any job duty group to exceed the 48 hour/week limit in one averaging period if either:
   NRC approval is obtained, or
   The circumstances could not be reasonably controlled, the group average does not exceed 54 hours/week, and the additional hours are worked only to address the circumstances the licensee could not have reasonably controlled. The group average would not be allowed to exceed the 48-hour/week limit in any two consecutive averaging periods without NRC approval. (§26.199)
•   Waive the individual and group limits during a declared emergency. (§26.199)
•   Waive the individual and group limits for security personnel if the NRC notifies licensees in writing that the limits are waived in order to assure the common defense and security. (§26.199)
•   Require licensees to review individual and group hours worked, including reviews for any individuals granted more than one waiver, individuals assessed for fatigue, individuals with average work hours over 54 hours/week when subject to a 48 hour/week group average, and individuals with over 66 hours/week when subject to a 60 hour/week group average limit. The rule would require licensees to record, trend, and correct, under the corrective action program, problems found with fatigue management. (§26.199)
   Require face-to-face fatigue assessments for specific post-event, for-cause, self-declaration and follow-up conditions. (§26.201)

--- End quote ---

I also have some papers that I got from work that have some of the Working Hours Rulemaking efforts from NEI and the Industry, send Me a PM if you want a copy of them.

Already Gone:
Unless your work group is one of the 5 listed, the effect is nothing.  If you are in one of those groups, the work-group average hour limits take effect after the first 8 weeks of an outage.
Back-to-back outages with less than two weeks in between count as one outage for the 8 week rule.  The interesting question is how this affects a licensee like Entergy or Exelon who have consecutive outages at multiple sites.  Considering the "shared resources" including contractors moving from outage to outage, how will this affect the averages of their respective work groups?  Will they define the work groups who share people as a large single group, or count them independent for each site?  Will the work hours of a person who is being "shared" count against the average at his or her home plant or against the host plant, or both?
Ahh!  Nuthin' like asking simple questions to scramble the collective brains of the powers-that-be.  (Insert a sinister laughing sound here).

Not entirely true. This is just the first step, eventually the NRC would like to insert a maximum of a 12 hour work day, with no more than 60 hours in any week with no waivers. Also if you have access to the protected area they'd eventually make it so you you'll fall under the rule.

The people who really get screwed on this whole deal are the plants still on 8 hour shifts.


Already Gone:
Whoa Trigger!  We're still talking about the current new rule.  Future new rules are another matter entirely.
These rules don't usually apply to me anyway.  I'm not an operator, or security guard.  I don't do maintenance on safety related systems, and I haven't been a shift RP since I got sacked from my house tech job seven years ago.
Nobody is going to get "screwed" by the rules.  Plants are just going to have to readjust the way they manage manpower.


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