This paper reports a study in which the usage of emergency operating procedures (EOP) in a simulated accident scenario in a nuclear power plant was carefully analysed. The background assumption was that in an accident situation, even within the closely defined envelope of the EOPs, crews may act differently. The empirical findings demonstrate the variance in the operating performance of twelve professional crews all complying with the EOP. The variance was identified by analysing how crews acted in situations and what particular meanings they associated to the situations. Variance was identified in six tasks: information usage, situation identification, dealing with automation, decision making, communication, and leadership. Corresponding habits, the operationalizations of practices, were identified in the analysis. The discovered operating practices in EOP usage were analysed from the point of view of increasing system level resilience. For example, a strong inclination towards connecting operations with process responses will eventually increase the capability of the whole system to adapt to external disturbances. The conclusion is that on a micro-level the activities of crews are different even within EOP following and also, that some practices seem to have more capability produce resilience in the system. A practical implication is that in the training of proceduralized work, attention should be paid to integrating the EOP usage to the operating work, not only to adherence to the procedure. The contribution of the paper is the insight into the role of proceduralized tasks in the construction of resilient emergency operating activity.
- Emergency operating procedures
- Habit of action
- Nuclear power plant operation
- Practice approach