Symbiosis of Rule-Following and Flexible Acting? Procedure Designers' Views on NPP Operating work

Mikael Wahlström, Marja Liinasuo, Leena Norros, Paula Savioja

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


    Emergency operation procedure (EOP) design is one of the most important and challenging tasks in NPP design. After all, it is the procedures that guide the operators in emergency situations. It is thus relevant to explore the premises of EOP design, that is, the conceptions that guide the design process. This study assumes that EOP usage yields an element of paradox: on the one hand it is crucially important that the procedures are followed to the letter, yet the operators should be able to draw their own conclusions in accident situations as it is assumedly not possible to prepare for every possible situation with the predetermined instructions. Drawing from five in-depth interviews, this study explores how NPP procedure designers consider the use of procedures in operator work - in view of the apparent paradox, in particular. The results suggest that procedure designers do appreciate operators' capability to solve problems independently, but they also expect precise adherence to the procedures in emergency situations. Overall, however, the views on procedure usage vary among the respondents. The results are discussed by contrasting them against the concept of resilience in safety-critical work and against findings on interpretative modes of work in NPP operation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventEnlarged Halden Programme Group Meeting, EHPG 2014 - Röros, Norway
    Duration: 7 Sept 201412 Sept 2014


    ConferenceEnlarged Halden Programme Group Meeting, EHPG 2014
    Abbreviated titleEHPG 2014


    • nuclear power plants
    • emergency situations
    • emergency operation procedures
    • resilience


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