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Browns Ferry

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Author Topic: Browns Ferry  (Read 157011 times)

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Offline HydroDave63

Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #100 on: Jun 23, 2007, 11:04 »
I would suggest writting an e mail to the nrc at allegation@nrc.gov or call their allegation or concern line at (800) 695-7403.


20kats, what reply did you get when you called NRC as above, or emailed them?

Offline azkidd

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #101 on: Jun 24, 2007, 02:23 »
I'm living the same experience, 20kats.  I too, am a long time believer in doing what is right.... never steered from that perspective.  I am currently living your experience to this day.  Not knowing yet where this will put me.  I am with you.  My glasses are not rose colored.  Details later.......maybe.

20kats

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #102 on: Jun 25, 2007, 01:22 »
Thanks Rob, I may contact you in the near future; azkidd, I feel your pain, please mail me at nucleartalk@msn.com with your story please.  I will keep it confidential. 

I am not, at this time, discussing any conversation I have had with any organization.  Like Mike says, it may just fall on deaf ears, but thanks HydroDave63 for your interest.  I have never backed down from a difficult situation and have reported all violations I have run across in my career.  The fact they were addressed, to my liking or not, was good enough for me.

Mike, I believe I was addressing everyone reading this forum and did not say you made the comment about "all legitimate issues being addressed".  I am not challenging you or anyone to a verbal duel.  I know this information is difficult to believe and cuts to the core of many personal beliefs about the industry.  I'm glad you have such good success in your work but you are too high up on the management ladder and no, people at my level DO NOT have your advantages.  I know many contractors who laughed at me when I suggested they write a violation up.  I didn't understand it then, I get it now.

Procedures are the issue as the instructions for submitting a violation document is contained therein.  If procedures are ignored or circumvented and TVA allows that to happen, the system for reporting becomes mute.  TVA must police their subcontractor's and not just for physical problems in the plant.  Other problems can cause safety issues.

The system has to work for everyone, not just management.  Management always has the advantage but the procedure is written to allow employees, like myself, to report without going through management.  Shortly after I left, my coworkers were told all PER's were to go through management for review before submittal to the MRC.  Naturally, this instruction was never put on paper because that would be a violation of the procedure and leave a damaging paper trail.  So what's an employee to do?

Don't kid yourself, get your employer in trouble and you are marked.  I knew that was a possiblity, but hey, I had the OIG, NRC, TVA Internal Investigations, and least of all Employee Concerns.  Well, I thought they would be interested.  There is a lot at stake when rolling one of these plants online.  All subs are sweating the schedule milestones because there is money to be made or lost.  Throw a wrench into making that milestone on schedule, even if you were only the messenger, and ego's get hurt and managers get angry.  Unfortunately, it's the messenger that gets shot not the perp.  Subs like to keep their dirty laundry in house and quiet while they figure out how to fix the gross problem and keep their bonuses at the same time.

Mike, you said it was your experience that people were fired for other reasons.  No kidding, firing someone and putting on their exit papers.."They wrote a violation against us", is not a popular cause for dismissal.  Nor is it legal.  Is it difficult for an employee to prove?  Unbelievably.  Can it be done?  I don't know.  Like TVA Employee Concerns said to me, "Well, that investigation would take a long time."  So I guess the difficulty of the task is a reason not to perform it.  Or maybe there is the hope that I will simply go away and make their jobs easier.

I don't agree with the airline industry that 250 lost souls per year is an acceptable casualty percentage.  I was shocked when NASA announced that the 2 foot piece of insulation that fell off the shuttle during launch would not affect flight operations.  They had no evidence at that point to make such a premature announcement.  But we all listened and felt relief until a few days later. I don't agree that a handful of fired nuclear plant employees who stick their necks out is OK and just a fact of life. 


Industry_event

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #103 on: Jun 25, 2007, 11:04 »
I have reading 20kats posts, all I have to say is I agree. It is tough to do the hard thing but in the end you have too look out for yourself.

20kats

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #104 on: Jun 26, 2007, 10:38 »
I want to thank everyone for their input to my discussion.  Especially the links, phone numbers and offers to assist.  Mike, I truly enjoyed your feedback and TVA is lucky to have someone of your calibur in that position.  You are the type of manager employees like myself hope to get the opportunity to work for and rarely do.

TVA is the best place to work, contract or direct.  I spent 5 years in the belly of Watts Bar Unit 1 during the early 80's and have the best memories of that contract.  If you can get a contract directly with TVA you won't forget it.  Coming in through a subcontractor requires a balancing act of tackfulness and professionalism in order to follow the client's expectations and not piss off your employer at the same time.  The work can be stressful enough without walking that tight rope.  I will not be going away.  Anyone may contact me at my email address.  Good luck to all.

diparyar

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #105 on: Jun 27, 2007, 08:52 »
 8) ;D ;) :o
well follks i finaly did my time at bfnp, anna i wuz treeted reel good,  worked the frywell on nitz, and enjoyed ever minit of it.  matter of fack i wood like to go back, and get some more of it. mabe appli 4 a house job.

sur itz durty, but whut r u wurkin n tis bisnes 4?

4 duty and humanity?

peace

diparyar

Industry_event

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #106 on: Jun 27, 2007, 09:23 »
Hey diparyar, love having you! We need ole hands like you helping us out. Being on Days you never left us with a problem. Thanks again and come back.
Rome

billyp08

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #107 on: Aug 08, 2007, 02:08 »
Has anyone heard of the possible start date of this class when they posted it on the website it said september 07. I know that TVA is notorious for pushing them back though. I have already passed the tests for Watts Bar so if they decide to interview me I should go straight to interview and not have to tests again corect? Just wondering would love to get into the field and any tips or help would be greatly appreciated.

Offline tigger

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #108 on: Dec 11, 2007, 07:58 »
Has anyone heard of the possible start date of this class when they posted it on the website it said september 07. I know that TVA is notorious for pushing them back though. I have already passed the tests for Watts Bar so if they decide to interview me I should go straight to interview and not have to tests again corect? Just wondering would love to get into the field and any tips or help would be greatly appreciated.


If you are referring to the EEI, for TVA you only have to take it once every 3 years. Good luck to you!

Offline Ops Nub

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #109 on: Dec 23, 2007, 04:20 »
Do they ever do exceptions for taking the EEI test. I'm trying to get a job from Guam and I just can't make it over there before i separate from the navy. I figured a navy nuke would not have to prove aptitude...
Jay

Fermi2

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #110 on: Dec 23, 2007, 09:41 »
Do they ever do exceptions for taking the EEI test. I'm trying to get a job from Guam and I just can't make it over there before i separate from the navy. I figured a navy nuke would not have to prove aptitude...

Nope no exceptions, and given a Navy Nuke has no real experience why wouldn't you have to prove aptitude prior to operating a real nuclear plant?

Fermi2

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #111 on: Dec 23, 2007, 10:15 »
Actually no, I haven't found Navy Nukes are anymore likely to make good commercial nukes than reasonably intelligent people from off the street. I guess technically Navy Nukes do have experience but they do not have aptitude for operating a commercial plant. Look at it this way, you have to get out of Kindergarten before going to first grade, Navy Nuclear is Pre School at best and the gap gets wider everyday. I'm saying Navy Nuclear Experience gets less relevant everyday as our standards are much higher than the Navy.

So far as Browns Ferry, nothing he learned in the Navy can prepare him for life at a BWR as it's a totally different world.

So far as SRO Positions, I doubt anyone gives the POSS/EEI for instant SRO Candidates but TVA ain't about to interview anyone they have to fly in from Overseas when we have plenty of excellent candidates knocking on our door.

I still believe the test isn't really valid but you gotta start your screening somewhere. In the same vein I also believe Navy nuclear Experience is not that big a thing either. A Good Nuke is a Good nuke, it doesn't matter where you find them and increasingly we're finding ours in Garages, Junior Colleges and the like of our areas. To be honest when I look at a resume I don't even look for Navy Nuke anymore.

Jason you live in Alabama?

Mike

Fermi2

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #112 on: Dec 23, 2007, 10:53 »
We've been interviewing candidates for NSGPO jobs fot Watts Bar and Sequoyah. I didn't know we had bids out for Browns Ferry too.

A HINT for anyone applying to SE Tennessee, if you see a bid for Watts Bar and Sequoyah at the same time BID BOTH, we're more likely to interview you as we can get everyone for both plants together in the same place and same time and we figure we'd rather get the 40 best operators rather than find out someone missed the cut by 1 at one plant and we had to take a less desirable candidate at another unit. And it's less expensive for us.

Example: WBN Needs 20 Operators, you're 21 on their list, during the Interview Sequoyah might say yes he's 21 there but we didn't get 20 people from our interviews, they may confer with Watts Bar and offer you a job particularly since we do combined interviews.

If you only bid the Sequoyah or Watts Bar job you're hoping we don't hire people from those who bid both jobs and honestly we're pretty good at getting qualified candidates during our first set of interviews.

Jason when are the interviews?

Mike

Offline RRhoads

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #113 on: Dec 23, 2007, 11:42 »
Actually no, I haven't found Navy Nukes are anymore likely to make good commercial nukes than reasonably intelligent people from off the street. I guess technically Navy Nukes do have experience but they do not have aptitude for operating a commercial plant. Look at it this way, you have to get out of Kindergarten before going to first grade, Navy Nuclear is Pre School at best and the gap gets wider everyday. I'm saying Navy Nuclear Experience gets less relevant everyday as our standards are much higher than the Navy.

So far as Browns Ferry, nothing he learned in the Navy can prepare him for life at a BWR as it's a totally different world.

So far as SRO Positions, I doubt anyone gives the POSS/EEI for instant SRO Candidates but TVA ain't about to interview anyone they have to fly in from Overseas when we have plenty of excellent candidates knocking on our door.

I still believe the test isn't really valid but you gotta start your screening somewhere. In the same vein I also believe Navy nuclear Experience is not that big a thing either. A Good Nuke is a Good nuke, it doesn't matter where you find them and increasingly we're finding ours in Garages, Junior Colleges and the like of our areas. To be honest when I look at a resume I don't even look for Navy Nuke anymore.

Jason you live in Alabama?

Mike

Excellent position on this subject!  ;)
I think other people on this board should read & digest this post.

ddklbl

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #114 on: Dec 23, 2007, 12:45 »
So far as Browns Ferry, nothing he learned in the Navy can prepare him for life at a BWR as it's a totally different world.

What is so different about it?

Offline rumrunner

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #115 on: Dec 23, 2007, 03:52 »
As the second-most-senior RP shift supervisor at BFN (I've been an RPSS since 1986), and as a former Navy ELT, I guess I am qualified to answer any questions about "Le Ferry".  I'd appreciate specifics.  I am also retiring from TVA in two weeks, so I am not worried about saying things which would normally get me in trouble.  :-*

As for the trainee class....we are hiring X number for each plant.  Being a local has never been discussed as a qualifying factor in the meetings I have attended.  Note the curious language in the VPA about having a degree "within the past four years".  Draw your own conclusions on the target age group.  I can't say we are looking for young people because that would show age discrimination. And bear in mind, I am leaving so I have no input on who gets hired.

Now on to the subject of Navy nuclear experience...this is not a defining factor for us.  A Navy nuc will get points for veterans preference but remember this is a trainee class and all we are looking for is motivated people with a capacity to learn to be an HP.  ELTs getting out would be better off going on the road for a while and then applying on a senior tech vacancy.  Trust me, we will be having MANY senior tech vacancies over the next few years.



Dave

Offline rumrunner

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #116 on: Dec 23, 2007, 04:29 »
What is so different about it?

A BWR is simply a nasty reactor.  This is not a nice clean PWR with stainless piping and valves.  GE designed the BWR to be cheaper to build, cheaper to run, and easier to refuel.  Not much thought was given to contamination, dose, etc.  At BFN we often see contamination levels in the millions of dpm on the turbine side of the plant (along with alpha), but then on other outages we see just a few thousand dpm.  During power, the main turbine and most of it's supporting components are >1 Rem/hr GA.  GA dose rates in the quads (spaces outside the primary containment and down in the "basement") can be 10-20 mrem/hr.

I still remember the day a sump dried out in the Radwaste Building and offgas backed up and spilled out into the service building (the service building is a clean area).  We had airborne in the RP plant lab and the adjacent men's room.  I had to go and knock on stall doors to get people signed in on an RWP to track their exposure.

Ahh, the good ol' days!
Dave

ddklbl

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #117 on: Dec 23, 2007, 05:03 »
A BWR is simply a nasty reactor.  [...]

I agree with the scope or scale being significantly different.  But does the scale of an operation really undermine any previous NNP experience?

To be the devils advocate: RadCon, RP, HP (whatever we choose to call it) all rely on the same fundamentals.  It still simplifies to time, distance, and shielding.  With respect to personnel exposure it doesn't really matter where the Rad-field or C-zone originates from but, rather, what you do to mitigate those hazards.  Both commercial and navy nuclear rely on varying levels of administrative and engineered controls to handle these risks, right?

Good info.  Thanks.  Any more differences out there?

Offline rumrunner

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #118 on: Dec 23, 2007, 05:45 »
It can be a shock, going from NAVSEA08 to commercial.  We don't use glove bags in most cases.  We just erect a big c-zone and bust things open, and then clean up the area when the job is done.  We expect to "lose" the refuel floor at least once during an outage.  The worst case we had at BFN was a mid-cycle outage after running too long with failed fuel (a business decision).  The gaseous activity on the floor when we lifted the vessel head was awful.  That was the morning I walked into the plant and saw 53 people in papers waiting to get body counts, sitting in the hallway by dosimetry.  That was a bad day.
Dave

Offline RRhoads

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #119 on: Dec 23, 2007, 06:58 »
I agree with the scope or scale being significantly different.  But does the scale of an operation really undermine any previous NNP experience?

To be the devils advocate: RadCon, RP, HP (whatever we choose to call it) all rely on the same fundamentals.  It still simplifies to time, distance, and shielding.  With respect to personnel exposure it doesn't really matter where the Rad-field or C-zone originates from but, rather, what you do to mitigate those hazards.  Both commercial and navy nuclear rely on varying levels of administrative and engineered controls to handle these risks, right?

Good info.  Thanks.  Any more differences out there?

It used to be like this;
Folks directly out of the Navy went on the road to work outages as a Jr. HP/RP Tech. to get the feet a bit wet & get a some Commercial Power experience. Just from the scale of things & dose rates on a sub vs. dose rates in say...RWCU,under vessel crap,nozzel inspections,SG coverage(not so bad now days) Pzr re-sleeving, cavity crap in both PWR & BWR's.
But now this is totally off topic ;)

Offline rumrunner

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #120 on: Dec 23, 2007, 08:13 »
I remember when I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore.  I was assigned to cover a "sludge" sample in Radwaste on a Saturday afternoon.  12 minutes start to finish in the room.  I got 230 mrem.
Dave

Offline PWHoppe

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #121 on: Dec 24, 2007, 10:03 »
But now this is totally off topic ;)

Thanks for pointing this out ;D

Please note the topic is Browns Ferry, not what are the differences between Navy/Shipyard and commercial nuclear plants. ;)

Back on topic everyone or the dreaded delete post button may be utilized ;D

Your friendly neighborhood moderator 8)
« Last Edit: Dec 24, 2007, 10:16 by PWHoppe »
If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many days will it take a grasshopper with a rubber foot to kick a hole in a tin can?

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Offline Limited Quanity

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #122 on: Dec 24, 2007, 10:28 »
I am also retiring from TVA in two weeks, so I am not worried about saying things which would normally get me in trouble.  :-*


Hate to hear that your leaving Dave.  Enough is enough, huh.  Who's going to do the Daily Outage Newsletter and Plant Manager or INPO tours during outages?  I've been house since 85' at Watts Bar and Sequoyah and you guys always treated us very well, like your own during shared resources (pentagen).  Well maybe better than your own even.  We sure hoping to return this spring, the guys at the Bar say they're having problems staffing.  Imagine that.  Back in the day Browns Ferry was a great proving ground, it made a dull knife sharp quick.  Others I just saw their heads explode.  The rest of SQN crew 5 says "hey", Debby and Jackie, and good luck!  We're here keeping the Christmas tree lights burning tonight for Santa.
« Last Edit: Jan 20, 2008, 08:31 by Limited Quanity »
I used to be a lifeguard until some blue kid got me fired.

Offline rumrunner

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #123 on: Dec 25, 2007, 01:24 »
Yes, I've had enough.   The most common remark I get when people learn I am leaving...."Oh no!  No more RP Outage Newsletter?"  At least I made a good impression for something!   

Dave

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Re: Browns Ferry
« Reply #124 on: Dec 26, 2007, 05:03 »
Thanks for the good info, I do realize that commercial power and navy nuke power is different. That's primarily why i'm even considering staying in nuclear power. Just trying to overcome the distance factor in trying to land a job. Its a pain in the butt being all the way in guam.
Jay

 


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