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Prarie Island

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duke99301

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #100 on: Dec 05, 2006, 05:49 »
this is the best place I ever been in a long time.
you should see the view from my office wow. great plant and people.
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2006, 09:31 by Marlin »

JsonD13

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #101 on: Dec 06, 2006, 03:57 »
I was thinking of trying to get in there when I get out of the Navy (which is a while a way, but im preparing).  How is the HP/Rad Protection life there?  I am working on my M.S. in HP right now, so I'm looking at a CHP type job.

Jason

JohnK87

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #102 on: Dec 08, 2006, 03:23 »
Give me a yell when you are ready to get out, I'm an SM here and can put you in touch with the right people.

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #103 on: Dec 10, 2006, 06:38 »
Hairdude,

I know your plant is one of the oldest in the country and on a tight budget, but maybe your site should check into some of those Continuous Air Monitors, (CAM's).  I saw a couple for sale on Ebay.

I was also interested in the definition of "A little while after"?  Apparently a little while after, a little while after, it wasn't so clean!  42 uptakes, I heard your outage in the spring had well over 100!  Looks like your management has raised the bar to a new industry standard few will be able to break, but then again it's been a long time since I've heard of anything so irresponsible in the industry.

Hey, I just thought of a T-Shirt logo you can use,” PINGS"!

Of Course PINGS stands for Particulate, Iodine & Nobel Gas Supplier!

Kind of catchy, you betcha!

RG

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #104 on: Dec 10, 2006, 01:07 »
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE forgive me for being pedantic.  I don't mean to, but this is one of my pet peeves.  We, as Health Physics/Radiation Protection Professionals, should use correct terminology when discussing issues related to radiation.
My point is that I take exception to the use of the word "uptake" in the previous post.  It appears that RG is referring to incidents of internal deposition of radioactive contamination.  The correct term for this is "intake".  The two terms are not interchangeable.  Uptake refers to the absorption or deposition of radioactive material into an organ where it will reside until it is eliminated by some biological process, radioactive decay, or both.
Material which is inhaled or ingested may be eliminated through exhalation, expectoration, or passage through the digestive tract without ever being deposited in the critical organ.
As techs. we are primarily employed to  prevent the intakes.  Uptakes are the business of the Health Physicists whose job requires them to calculate CEDE's and stuff like that there.
Again, I apologize for being so picky.  It's just that the misuse of the term "uptake" is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
« Last Edit: Dec 10, 2006, 01:08 by BeerCourt »
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RAD-GHOST

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #105 on: Dec 11, 2006, 04:26 »
Beercourt,

Didn't mean to bust on one of your pet peeves!  We all have them!  As Health Physics/Radiological Professionals, one has to realize the inherent dangers associated with pedantic logic, (I read it, so it must be right)!  Our industry promotes the values of abstract thinking, or knowing when something is incorrect, in writing or not!  Sometime even as rudimentary as a gut feeling!  Actually your pet peeve was triggered by a term echoed from a previous posting.  Therefore I can not validate the actual use of the term "uptake"; it may, or may not be correct.   

Sorry, Moderate Away and Have a Great Day............RG! 


wlrun3@aol.com

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #106 on: Dec 11, 2006, 07:22 »
   "According to ICRP 30, f1 is the fraction of an ingested radionuclide reaching the blood. An intake is that amount of radioactive material taken into the body. An uptake is that amount of the material which  is taken up systematically (in the bloodstream). The retention fraction (f1) is that amount of the uptake which is retained by the blood or body fluids." Datachem Software Inc., CHPprep V2.2, question #760.

     

Offline Marlin

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #107 on: Dec 11, 2006, 09:02 »
We are drifting off topic. Would you like this split this out into HP pet peeves? It looks like it has enough legs for a new thread.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #108 on: Dec 11, 2006, 01:44 »
There is, of course, a reason why this particular "pet peeve" made it into this thread.  It doesn't matter who started it, but discussion degenerates into rumor-spreading and gossip when the discussion includes incorrect facts.  Someone, at some point, suggested that there were 42 uptakes at some outage or another and over 100 at some other.  Since an uptake is a more serious thing than an intake or a face contamination, it suggests events far more serious. 
I have reread Hairdude's previous post and find that he referred to 42 uptakes.  Since he also mentions that a CEDE was assigned to these, it appears that he is using the term correctly.
I'm a little surprised to see that there were so many people in containment during such an event, but it's not like the old days when you could evacuate containment to perform these evolutions.
SECONDLY - I would like to point out that the post to which I objected seemed to be aimed at criticizing Prairie Island Management for allowing so many uptakes.  The tone appeared to be purely one of sarcasm intended to ridicule.  I would remind the poster that there is absolutely no correlation between any particular number of uptakes, or intakes, and bad Radiation Protection management.  It has been acceptible under the current regulations to allow internal exposures as long as the TEDE is maintained ALARA.  Not that I like the idea of allowing internal contamination that could be avoided, but I didn't get to vote on the new 10CFR20.
While it is possible that the 42 or 100 cases may have been entirely unintentional and avoidable, the mere fact that they occurred is not evidence of mismanagement at all.  Since the CEDE's were 4 mR or less, the uptakes in question were hardly a matter for calling in the feds.

There is no need to slam anyone for doing something that is perfectly legal and of so little consequence.  BTW, the continuous air monitors that are for sale on eBay wouldn't have prevented the problem - they would have just made it noisier.
« Last Edit: Dec 11, 2006, 02:03 by BeerCourt »
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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #109 on: Dec 12, 2006, 04:47 »
Yo Beercourt - sometimes I wonder how you poop when your butt gets that tight....  ;)

This end of the thread is an indication of the real theory knowledge level of some of the folks in our biz....
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2006, 08:20 by pet_snake »
Remember who you love. Remember what is sacred. Remember what is true.
Remember that you will die, and that this day is a gift. Remember how you wish to live, may the blessing of the Lord be with you

Offline Old HP

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #110 on: Dec 12, 2006, 09:59 »
Hey lighten up on BeerCourt, he is what he is, and as he mentions he can even remember when they would have essential only crew in containment for head lifts etc.
Getting back on topic in regard to PI, they have followed the course of the industry. They were the best plant in the country in the 70's even set the world record for the shortest commercial refueling in 1978. (It was a fun outage 19 days)
But as time passes things and people change (and retire) so in 30 years I have seen the good plants turn bad  and the bad turn good.
If you cannot coexist with plant management for the 3-5 weeks of an outage all you have to do is scratch that plant off the list and pick another place to meet new friends.

Nuclear Hooker

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #111 on: Dec 12, 2006, 10:36 »
BeerCourt, you are right....to a point.  Yes the 4 mr =dose is dose is dose.  BUT, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.  Prairie Island has chosen the WRONG way many times this year, starting with last outage, and picking up where they left off this outage.  Management wouldn't listen to us techs, the ones that do NOTHING but outages year round.  They viewed us as "kids" that didn't know what we were talking about.  I requested an early layoff due to the fact that I couldn't do my job as an HP.  We, as Radiation Protection are supposed to be PROTECTING the workers.  I couldn't do that at P.I. because the Management wouldn't allow us to.  In Fact, one of the level ones there, (Level ones are lead techs for those who don't know) stopped a job.  He was yelled at by RP Management and told "You don't stop any work without my approval"  Another level one told the OCC that they couldn't do a job because it was unsafe.  The OCC over-rode them once again and made sure the job got done.  I could go on and on.  I spent over 2 hours with employee concerns before I left.  The plant is a toilet plain and simple.  The techs that stayed, I don't blame them, people need to work.  But, I can't put blinders on, just go in and collect a paycheck every Thurs.....and have any self worth.  Like I stated before, We are Radiation Protection, not Production, and the R.P. department isn't even a speed bump there.  They could get rid of all the RP's and have the same results......a couple ED alarms, 40-100 uptakes, (or intakes) and it wouldn't matter.  DOSE IS DOSE.....Right????!!!!   Maybe so, BUT RIGHT IS RIGHT and WRONG IS WRONG!!!

Offline roadhp

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #112 on: Dec 12, 2006, 02:32 »
Hooker,
    It's not like we didn't warn you before you went there :o.
                                                     Bill and Debbie
Brave, brave Sir Robin, set forth from Camelot!!!!

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #113 on: Dec 12, 2006, 08:11 »
You are going to run out of places to work if you insist on power plants doing everything right.  PI is just another in a long list of plants that are sutting every corner they can to maximize profitability.
The current crop of management is not to blame.  They are just doing what they are told by the "Fleet".  This didn't start with the new RPM - it just got worse when he got there.  PI started their slide down hill several years before that when "The Safest Place ot be is ON SCHEDULE!!!!" was their outage motto.
What has to happen is for plants to hang themselves with their own rope.  They'll pinch pennies and rush people to get jobs done without regard to safety and then BAM! the boys from D.C. will take their keys away.
It is the only way these greedy SOB's are going to learn.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #114 on: Dec 13, 2006, 09:08 »
Strange view point, Health Physics Management isn't responsible for their department’s problems!  I hate to disagree, but if you’re making the call, you’re also taking the fall!  I may sound somewhat critical with that expression, but any individual who accepts the responsibilities of a manager and directs the course of a task, they are also responsible for its outcome, good or bad!

CEDE, perfectly legal?  I hate to bring this to your attention, but there is a protocol for its allowance. I don't believe regulatory requirements are to be ignored when dealing with airborne issues.  First of all it isn't a tool to be used solely as a method for recovery.  It is to be assessed prior to, during and after an event, just like other area conditions.  Second, the worker is to be informed of the condition PRIOR to being exposed.  Third, the worker is also allowed to make an informative decision, or choice, if he will allow it!  I find it hard to believe, that all those workers made an informative decision to take 40 to 80 nanocurie home to little Billy or Becky! 

Sometimes unforeseen event take place that require an immediate response.  Sometimes these events require workers to exit the area to reassess conditions.  I believe that is a sound responsible course of action, but I've been wrong before.  It seems to be generally accepted that 4 mr, per individual, isn't a big deal.  I also find myself on the other side of that discussion.  4 mr that was unplanned and could have been prevented by a simply course of action.  I guess that old, anti-quated, Health Physics Standard, of a degree of risk with any exposure, has gone by the way side! 

It has also been stated that you can't evacuate containment during these evolutions, WHY NOT?  Please don't say budget, that applies a dollar value vs. personal safety, personal safety being last!  Actually I believe if you do a little reading in 10 CFR 19,  it is not only the responsible thing to do, but a regulatory mandate to have a contingency plan for unplanned events, such as changing conditions, which each worker is to know!  By the way, holding your breath during and airborne event is not a contingency plan!

It has been suggested that the immediate HP management staff is not responsible for the situation, BULL!  I believe it is well publicized that each employee, managers included, have the right to report safety concerns to the facilities Employee Concern Program, or the US NRC, (NRC form 3)!  As a manager, if a superior outside of his realm of expertise, over rides a sound radiological decision, or procedure, you always have the above course of action.  I know, that’s pretty funny, but it is a fact!

Have a Great Day....RG!

duke99301

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #115 on: Dec 14, 2006, 12:55 »
PI is great I made a wheel barrrel full of green. and I still got a few weeks left .
I meet some nice folks here thank goodness the fleet is breaking up. YO HO no more swabs huh? oh poop the deck she coming back on line and get ready for the news AS the Tubine turns ... it was good to see the alara guy from westinghouse even though he was not caring a clip board.
I went to OCC meetings and stuff and even got to go in the can a few times .and there was a time when HP even told us we had to leave cause they did a booboo I never know what that was I will ask the  Nuclear over Site! they know it all. We have the brightest minds in the company working on all your problems. Before I say Merry xamss to you all, on more thought I learned it there. it is called CLOSE TO TREND. the outage is over move on it was fun to be there and make the best of the next plant you are at.
not to say I ran in to some ex hp there who are doing ok. even a squid can come up and shine on the surface,
Merry christmass all
« Last Edit: Dec 18, 2006, 01:26 by duke99301 »

Offline JApluto

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #116 on: Dec 14, 2006, 10:06 »
I just left there last week. I was working nights and we had a good time. It was a good outage as far as I am concerned. I am better off financially today than I was before the outage.
Later

Nuclear Hooker

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #117 on: Dec 15, 2006, 10:45 »
JApluto,
I do have to agree with you that night sift was much better than days.  My friends on nights said that they didn't have near the problems that days did....however "Teflon Jon" and his trusty sidekick were on days.  I know a lot of people think that when we get on here and voice our opinions, we are just bitching.  But some of us actually do care and take our job seriously....so much so that we are willing to give up the $$$$ for a couple extra weeks of work solely based on principles.  Like a wise man once said, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

This is a letter from a tech who just left there.  It's a columnation of everything that was going on at P.I.  I won't disclose who wrote it, but I can attest for almost everything that was written....some things happened after I left.

To whom it may concern,               December 13, 2006



Over the past two refueling outages (U2R24 and U1R24), there have been many deficiencies observed in the Prairie Island radiation protection program.  However, these observations are not solely mine.  They are a collection from several concerned technicians, many of whom were uncomfortable to come forward themselves for fear of retaliation of some sort.  And while I respect their decision for anonymity, I must voice my concerns over the many shortcomings of this program.  These observations range from flagrant procedural violations by RP management, to posting inconsistencies and many things in between.  This is the most deficient radiation protection program I have ever worked in.  The management of this department does not display the guidance or leadership qualities that you would expect at a facility such as this.  I am voicing these concerns in the hope that will bring to light some of the serious deficiencies that plague this program.  Hopefully, hearing the many concerns and issues from techs who have worked at this facility, will bring about some positive changes.

Below is an assemblage of the practices, policies and behaviors, specific to the RP department, from the last two refueling outages that technicians are concerned about, and found to be unacceptable.

RP management was informed by house techs months in advance of U2R24, that no specific work orders contained an RWP which allowed entry in a posted Airborne Radioactivity Area.  By the start of the outage nothing had been done to correct this.  After U2 containment was posted ARA, all workers on site used one generic work order to enter containment, rendering dose tracking for any work groups impossible.
 
When U2 containment was initially posted ARA due to Xe-133, workers were permitted by RP management, to continue work without being on an RWP that allowed entry into a posted ARA.

RP supervision instructed technicians to not evacuate U2 containment after they received concurrent data of .4 DAC particulate, a direct violation of site procedure, RPIP 1204 1.4.1.

RP supervision allowed workers to enter a posted Airborne Radioactivity Area while being on an RWP that did not have a stop work airborne limits, a violation of RPIP 1204 1.4.4.

By not evacuating containment after several air samples were recorded at >.3 DAC, RP management knowingly gave over forty workers uptakes of Co-58.  This was a hazard craft workers were not aware of because containment had been posted “Airborne Radioactivity Area” for several shifts previous due to a XE-133 issue, which the workers were told was relatively harmless.

OCC has taken stop work authority away from the qualified RP techs in the field, by overruling them on radiological issues on several different occasions.
 
During times the OCC overruled the RP tech’s stop work authority, plant management displayed a “production over radiological safety” mentality.

At times, LHRA briefs were conducted by someone other than the coverage tech assigned to the job.  Giving the coverage tech no idea of what was discussed in the brief, such as: work scope, duration, area dose rates ect.

High risk evolutions were being covered by techs who were not involved in the formal pre-job brief for that job.  In some cases the ALARA plans for these jobs (i.e. cavity decon) were several years old.

RP supervision reduced dress requirements for a job, after the formal pre-job brief, without conferring with coverage techs.  The techs didn’t find out about the new instructions until they were in containment preparing to dress the workers, who refused to dress according to requirements discussed in the pre-job brief.

Budget minded RP management understaffed its supplemental RP workforce, but expected the same production as if they’d hired a sufficient number of augmented staff.  They hired only enough techs to cover containment.  When those techs came out of containment, they were expected to work the auxiliary building and RCA access.  This wide range of work assignments put many techs in unfamiliar areas of the plant, performing unfamiliar evolutions with little or no guidance from RP supervision.

Five Sr. RP techs quit only a week into the U2R24 outage due to working conditions, the way their radiological questions and concerns where handled, and management’s apparent disregard for any suggestions on areas for improvement.  They were told by the RPM (name deleted), that if they didn’t like the way Prairie Island did business, they could leave.  Technicians had legitimate radiological concerns, and that’s what they were told by their department head.  Some felt so strongly about these issues that they went to the employee concerns program prior to leaving site.

Dayshift and nightshift RP supervision constantly provided conflicting guidance and directives to the technicians.  On one occasion, management’s expectation for basic dress requirements in containment changed several times in one shift.

I was directly instructed by RP supervision that an LHRA boundary guard did not need to be present at the boundary to adequately perform his duty.  I was told that having the guard simply observe the boundary via camera was acceptable.  I told supervision I would not allow the guard to perform his duty unless he was able to maintain positive control of the LHRA access point by being stationed at the boundary.

RP supervision directed techs to put flashing light on HRA postings.  A directive of this nature is inconsistent with other HRA posting throughout the plant (and the industry) and is certain to confuse inexperienced rad workers.  I removed several flashing lights from HRA postings in the U2 annulus and also in the auxiliary building.

Communication from RP management to technicians was very poor.  Many times the craft workers were aware of new RP policy changes and expectations before the RP techs were.  On several occasions, craft workers coached technicians, including myself, on the “new” expectations, when we attempted to enforce the “old” management expectations in the field.

RP management allowed LHRA reach-ins on S/G secondary side hand holes without constant RP coverage.

I was told by RP supervision that for ALARA purposes, to have the LHRA boundary guard and timekeeper be the same individual.  I had to remind supervision that such a directive is a clear violation of the PINGP 1470 form, which is required per RPIP 1135, and that we must have separate individuals to perform these tasks.

Around the industry red flashing lights are synonymous with LHRA boundaries.  However, red flashing lights have a wide array of meanings at Prairie Island.  Some of the uses for red flashing lights that I observed are as follows:  Operation’s postings for protected train, radiography informational postings, heaving lift warning signs, parking lot speed limit signs, and LHRA postings.

There are no specified colors required by procedure for flashing lights used for LHRA postings, so they use all sorts of colors: red, orange, green and blue.  In many cases, there were different color lights on the same posting.  This is the very definition of inconsistency.  Blue, another color that is known throughout the industry, is by and large associated with ALARA low dose waiting areas.  There was one case in particular,  where a worker exited containment and came to RP control point.  He commented that he was unaware of any low dose waiting area in on 695’ elevation (the basement) in containment.  He said that he needed to take a minute to review his paperwork, and when he saw the blue flashing lights on the regenerative heat exchanger gate; he thought he would be radiologically conscious and read his material by the low dose area.  Once he reached the gate, he noticed the LHRA posting and exited the area.  Dose rates in front of the gate at that time were 90-120mR/hr.

The electronic dosimeter set points used at Prairie Island, in many cases, are worthless.  They are set so high that the average worker will never receive a dose rate alarm.  This defeats the entire purpose for which EDs were designed.  The craft workers are not meter qualified.  So when they are working in areas with elevated dose rates that do not require constant RP coverage, an ED is their tool used to inform them that radiological conditions have changed, that it may be unsafe and that they need to exit the area immediately.  Sending every worker entering a HRA into containment with a dose rate set point of 500mR/hr, with no regard for their actual work area, defeats the purpose of the tool we have given these workers.  Generic, not job specific tasks, on many RWPs for LHRA entries had dose rate alarms as high as 6000-8000mR/hr.

Several times workers were permitted to work in HRAs and even RAs on LHRA RWPs, basically ensuring they could work all shift, anywhere they pleased, and never receive an alarm of any kind.  This is not radiation protection.

There was frequent down posting of areas without documented survey data to verify posting changes.  The questions and concerns about these situations came from concerned techs, not RP supervision.

The RP department’s organizational method for archiving documented surveys is terrible.  It is nearly impossible to find historical data if necessary.  That is due, in part, to the fact that management’s requirements for accurate and thorough survey documentation are very lacks to begin with.  There were several cases where areas (including LHRAs such as the transfer canal and regen heat exchanger room) had to be resurveyed because the documentation for the surveys performed the shift prior, could not be found.

At times, we were instructed to post areas HRA or LHRA, when the radiological conditions for the majority of the area, did not meet the posting criteria.  A practice which is not in accordance with RPIP 1120 17.0.

Workers were required to frisk themselves with an RM-14, at the step off pad after exiting containment.  The friskers, however, were set on the X10 scale and signs on the friskers informed workers that the purpose of those friskers was to check for hot particles.  At no time was any portion of containment posted “Hot Particle Control Area” and at no time was there an issue or a concern with hot particles in containment.  Yet RP supervision had all workers monitoring for hot particles we didn’t have, and not low level loose contamination that could have been tracked all the way down the PCMs.

 RP management allows laborers, untrained in radiation protection site procedures, to perform a task as significant as LHRA timekeeping.

Site procedure RPIP 1303 G 1.0, allows workers to carry personal items with them through the friskalls (Prairie Island’s version of a personal contamination monitor), if they have not been in a contaminated area and if they have kept the item(s) with them the entire time.  This “honor system” by which RP management controls unconditional release of these items from their RCA is ridiculous.  The only person, who knows for sure if those requirements were maintained, is the worker, who often has the conflicting interest of ensuring his items make it out of the RCA.  On many occasions I have coached workers about keeping items close to the detectors, while in the friskall, so that they can be accurately monitored to ensure radioactive material is not leaving the RCA.  I have also observed workers purposefully keeping items away from the detectors in an effort to clear their belongings.  For all the times these workers are caught, how many times have they gotten items through unmonitored?  Another issue is that the workers have been observed placing their notebooks and binders in front of their body while in the friskall.  While the individual may be making an honest attempt to follow procedure and ensure his book gets monitored, he is managing to shield part of his body from the detectors in the process.

Friskalls, the archaic monitors Prairie Island utilizes at RCA access, do not adequately perform their function of accurately monitoring individuals for contamination prior to egress from the RCA.  To begin the monitoring process, the friskalls employ a foot pedal which an individual applies pressure to when standing in the monitor.  The problem with the pedal is that it is the only sensor used during the monitoring process.  Once pressure is applied to the pedal there are no other controls in place to ensure the individual maintains proper body position within the friskall to achieve an accurate count.  On numerous occasions, myself as well as other technicians, have observed workers intentionally attempting to circumvent the friskall’s monitoring process by leaning away from the detectors.  In newer model PCMs, this would not be possible, because multiple sensors require workers to maintain a designated body position to allow the monitor to accurately detect contamination.

RP management allowed RP lead techs to transfer and maintain control of the sump c key, which is a VHRA key.  This is a violation of RPIP 1008 13.3 and RPIP 1001 7.5.3 that was brought to light, not by a member of RP management or supervision, but by a technician with a questioning attitude.  This is yet another illustration of how contract RP techs, who were unfamiliar with some of the site’s RP procedures, were directed to perform tasks that were blatant procedural violations, because RP management at Prairie Island does not exhibit a strong knowledge of the procedures to which they hold ownership.

In the auxiliary building truck bay, there is a roped off area which is posted as a “No Loose Surface Contamination Area”.  Any items entering the NLSCA, according to RP management, must have smearable contamination levels <100 DPM/100cm2 (which is the same criteria as items to be unconditionally released).  There is no procedure that addresses this posting.  As an RP tech, there is no document which I can access for guidance, which outlines the requirements for this area.  RP management says the NLSCA is controlled as a clean area, yet vehicles in this area must have the tires frisked prior to exiting, just as they would if they left any other location within the RCA.  As far as I have found, there is no special criteria for this area that is more restrictive than any general area in the auxiliary building (which is also required to be <100 DPM/100cm2).  The posting doesn’t seem to serve any real purpose, and often, maintaining the cleanliness of this area within the auxiliary building, is very time consuming and slows down work.

The lead shielding aspect of the ALARA program is, at best, unsystematic.  During the U1R24 outage, many shielding packages were installed and removed from containment without documented surveys.  The same can be said of the shielding packages removed during the end of U2R24.  In all these cases, only minimal documentation can be produced for the past unit one or unit two outages of 2006.  The lack of documentation does not leave RP management with the means to show that they are in compliance with RPIP 1716 6.1, 6.2, 6.6 or 6.17.

During U2R24, containment RP rovers were tasked with covering S/G secondary side hand hole reach-ins.  They were directed to cover the job in a manner that I feel was unacceptable.  The RP rover was to provide remote coverage via camera.  However, the only camera that was available, viewable only from a monitor on the 735’ elevation, belonged to the work crew.  The only headsets available also belonged to, and were already being utilized by the work crew.  The worker in the generator vault was on teledosimetry, but the readout could only be viewed at the S/G RP control point, down on the 715’ elevation.  So, the coverage tech could see the worker on the monitor, but not communicate to him, except through his co-worker.  The worker was wearing teledosimetry, but while watching the worker on the monitor, the tech could not view the workers dose, unless he ran downstairs (at which point he would no longer have a visual contact with worker).  The S/G RP could view the worker’s dose, but had no monitor to view the worker, and had no communication with the coverage tech on the 735’ elevation.  That was Prairie Island’s poor excuse for remote RP job coverage.

Again during U1R24, there were two RP techs working the S/G control point.  Various work activities were taking place on both generator platforms simultaneously.  During the same time period, one worker needed to be cut out of his paper suit at the HCA step off pad, while two more workers were checking in at the check point, preparing to enter the platforms.  I was at the S/G control point observing the monitors during this time.  One of the techs called the S/G RP lead who was outside of containment at the time, to explain the situation. He said that with this much work going on with only two techs, he felt uncomfortable covering that many different activities and also felt an error likely situation was right around the corner.  He asked his lead to call the OCC and have them prioritize work, so they could properly cover one job at a time.  His lead told him that he would not call the OCC and that they just needed to deal with it.  A tech shows the cognizance and foresight to call and ask for work prioritization to enable him to properly and safely cover work and that is how his concern is handled.  This is just another example of how contract RP techs have had to deal with disregard for radiological safety while working at Prairie Island.

On several occasions during the U2 outage, when RP management needed to take the lead on critical decisions such as stoppage of work, or more importantly, the evacuation of containment, the radiation protection manager (name deleted), was nowhere to be seen.  He was quick to criticize the wrong decisions made by his technicians in the field, but not so quick to make a decision of any radiological significance himself.  Certain radiological significant decisions should be the responsibility of RP supervision, or the RPM.  (name deleted) would rather remain in the background, to allow the technicians who work for him to make the tough calls.  Then, when the chaos has subsided, he emerges to show himself as the assertive department head that is primed to resolve these situations.  It is not difficult to lecture on the proper course of action once the moment has passed.  Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

The bottom line is that you can not run a proficient radiation protection department without seasoned RP technicians at the helm.  The current RP management at Prairie Island has no previous RP field experience to speak of.  You can not go to individuals who are charged with providing you with oversight, and ask them specific questions pertaining to job coverage, dress requirements or how to handle an unanticipated radiological issue, if they’ve never been there themselves.  I have never worked in an environment such as this, were management delegated critical decision making responsibilities to the technicians.  It creates a very difficult work environment when most of the techs know that their knowledge level, in this field, exceeds that of those who are supposed to provide them with guidance and oversight.  In many cases, RP was nothing more than a speed bump on the road to production.  It is difficult to go into the field, work hard to do things the right way and care about the job you’re doing, when in so many instances, you are overruled or ignored.

In closing, I would ask that you pay these matters serious attention.  The aforementioned issues are not angry ramblings from disgruntled employees attempting to lash out.  Rather, they are heart felt concerns, from people who take very seriously the task of being responsible for the radiological safety of workers in the plant.  They are the concerns of people who take pride in what they do.  If they did not, these types of issues would not bother them.  They would simply collect there check, and move on to the next plant.  But this is not the case.  I implore you to take a good hard look at this program.  Numerous unchecked deficiencies of a minor nature are the precursors to a significant radiological event.


Edited by pwh
« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2006, 11:49 by PWHoppe »

Offline JApluto

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #118 on: Dec 15, 2006, 12:12 »
I heard of all the incidents on day shift. Hell I would probably feel the same. It's hard to be successful in that environment if you care about what you're doing.
Hopefully you're next outage will be better.
Take care.

Offline arizonie

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #119 on: Dec 17, 2006, 05:20 »
re :jepluto last entry

"instances on dayshift"

are you serious?

 i was an hpt at 2 of the last 3 refuels at PI (missed fall 06).

the issues mentioned in the prior letter are not unique to 1 shift.

you had to be aware or exposed to some of the issues.

i read the letter and agree with most of the issues i was involved with in containment.

 i aggree that  sommetimes when my isuues were forwarded to supv / mgmt the answers or results were not always clear or adequate.

but like you i rode the outage out till the end. $$$

i felt i could be more help to the hp group onsite than quitting in disgust or protest.

hopefully the P I  hp group will improve as a result of hp's coming forward and speaking up or documenting issues via letter as above ( i commend the author).

thx for listening........




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Offline HydroDave63

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #120 on: Dec 17, 2006, 09:02 »
Looks like NMC still stands for "Not Much Compliance..."

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #121 on: Dec 18, 2006, 08:37 »
Wow!  The stuff you miss in a coupla days is amazing!
Hooker, If I understand correctly, the manifesto you posted was authored by someone other than you.  If so, the question I'd like you to ask him or her for me is: did you sumit any of these items via official channels?  (i.e Condition Reports)  This person seems to have a grasp on procedures.  Logic says that he or she should follow them too.
There are a couple of conceptual errors I'd like to point out, though.
First; A Friskall doesn't work the way you'd expect other contamination detectors to work.  The "HP Lean" has the opposite effect.  If you don't hug those detectors like you love them, the light leaking in will give false alarms.  I, being only 5' 7", have trouble with them because my short body doesn't block out enough light at the top to prevent alarms.  I have actually had larger people stand at the entrance to block incoming light so that I could pass.
So, kicking the pedal and leaning away from the detectors will not help someone who is trying to sneak out a little contamination.
Second: the NLSCA is not unique to PI - just the name is.  Other plants call it a peninsula, a controlled contamination area, or no name at all.  But, almost everywhere you can find an area in the RCA which has been surveyed for loose contamination so that clean items (including trucks) can pass into and out of them without being surveyed.  It saves hundreds of man-hours of needlessly surveying clean items that were never exposed to contamination.  Frisking the tires of a truck that is leaving such an area is just a precaution, and does not magically turn the NLSCA into a contaminated area.  You might think that the theory of the NLSCA (no loose contamination) would make frisking tires unnecessary, but a tire, under the weight of a vehicle, could pick up contamination that was not loose enough for a masslinn mop to pick up.  So, although the area has been surveyed for loose contamination, frisking tires is still necessary.

The bulk of the comments seem to indicate a breakdown in RP at the plant.  Posting these issues here has as much a chance of affecting a change in PI's policies as Jay Leno has of changing government policy with his monologue.  Actually, Jay has a better shot.  I urge the author of the "letter" to use the reporting procedures that are authorized and recognized by the licensee and the regulatory agencies.


Rad Ghost, am I far off the make by guessing that you haven't worked at a commercial nuke for a while?  Honestly, I agree 100% that the things you say should be the way things are done, but it just ain't so.
For example, I believe strongly that a person should not be required to accept internal deposition of airborne activity - PERIOD.  Forget all this hocus pocus about TEDE ALARA.  If I can wear a respirator or otherwise prevent breathing that stuff in I want to do it, and to Hell with some BS TEDE ALARA evaluation.  (Everybody forgets that the R in ALARA stands for Reasonable.)  So, we agree on that.  But the hard reality for several years has been that nobody wants to use respirators anymore, and nobody is going to hold up work just because the air is bad.  (Nobody, in this case, means Nuclear Plant Management)  They are going to give the worker a choice alright!  The choice is going to be; breathe this air or don't have a job.

I never said that RP management has no responsibility for RP department problems.  I said that they can't control some things.  An RPM can't stop airborne activity levels from rising when someone leaves the cavity dry and uncovered.  They could have dealt with the recovery differently, but they aren't going to as long as the entire industry lets them get away with the expedient method as opposed to the responsible one.
Commercial nukes are getting out of control.  PI isn't any different in this regard - it's just a matter of degree.  For decades RP had a stranglehold on the productivity of plants.  Once that hold gets broken, it gets broken totally.  Now that money is the biggest issue, plant management has no qualms about leaving a mess in their wake and having RP clean it up (or having RP to blame if it doesn't get clean).  It wouldn't give me a heart attack to learn that any company (NMC included) had installed an RPM who would allow the schedule to run over the techs like a freight train.  If you are working at a commercial nuke where this hasn't occurred yet, just wait.  Today, we're talking about Prairie Island.  Next year it could be your place.
« Last Edit: Dec 19, 2006, 04:42 by BeerCourt »
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Offline Old HP

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #122 on: Dec 18, 2006, 09:16 »
Beer Court,
Now you are scaring me and I am feerless. When you say management could let thing get out of hand in regard to radiological conditions. I don't know if that has ever happened before. You are starting to sound pessimistic.  So start thinking of Minnesota as in MMPI.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #123 on: Dec 18, 2006, 10:44 »
C'mon!  You're kidding right?
Think about this from the POV of a middle manager who has a mortgage and kids in college.
The OCC says that (insert high risk job here) is going to happen when the schedule says it will.  They don't care if you're ready or not.
The people are on location - maybe without having the necessary HRA brief.
The crane is hooked up.
The meter is ticking, and your job does NOT depend on whether some contractor HP tech is "comfortable about this".
You can either wave your magic wand and say that they don't need a brief as long as the techs "keep an eye on them", or you can stop the job and look up the number for unemployment right after that.

No, it doesn't always come to that, but middle managers are more concerned with keeping the upper management happy than with placating contract techs.  Most of the time, the consequences are not so bad.  Having been lucky before - and knowing how the techs whine about everything anyway - the risk is usually one they'd prefer over having to explain why the outage schedule has slipped.

You might call me cynical, but I've seen it happen enough times that I think of it as being just realistic.

HP's have screamed that the sky is falling for so long that nobody takes seriously anything we say any more - even when we're right.  They have gotten used to doing things that we had never let them do before and getting away with it.  Even when something does go wrong, they ignore it. Or worse - they'll write it up as OPEX so that everyone who has not suffered from that particular FU can pat themselves on the back while asking themselves, "how could they have been so stupid?"  The commercial nuke industry prides itself on its ability to communicate around the country every single mistake made by anyone other than themselves.  Meanwhile - as they walk over a cliff - they can be thankful that they knew better than to trip over that extension cord.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline Old HP

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Re: Prairie Island
« Reply #124 on: Dec 18, 2006, 05:51 »
Okay you caught me on my sarcasm. But I do have a mortgage and a son in college so I must have pressure on me to get my job done just as well as the next guy. Hang in there BC and maybe I'll see you at PI during the Great Reform.

 


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