The first aspect of safety management implies planning. This planning must consider different time frames (long, medium and short terms):
- Long term: this is achieved through policies and a management plan.
- Medium term: this is done through setting objectives, allocating budgets and designing plans (investment, refuelling, etc.).
- Short term: this is accomplished through daily planning of operations and follow-up of established goals.
The second aspect of safety management is execution. This is based on the effectuation of different processes, which may be grouped into the following types:
- Strategic: management of the surroundings and regulation, definition and creation of strategies.
- Productive: administration of generation assets, production of electric power, and management of fuels.
- Supportive: management of economic-financial resources, rendering of logistical and general services, management of human resources and information technologies.
An indispensable tool for the management of safety and radiological protection is the periodical follow-up of operational indicators collected by the control panel, each one reflecting goals which are set annually and which are conservatively linked to the continuous improvement of operational and management-related parameters and the mid and long term objectives. The Nuclear Generation Division has established a methodology for defining operational indicators used in the evaluation of the most important parameters related with processes, product and safety. The appropriate degree of follow-up or measurement is chosen for each of the established processes in relation to its impact on conformity with the particular and specific requirements of each.
The status of the operational indicators and degree of attainment of the goals is part of the information included in the management review of the Integrated Management System. At IBERDROLA GENERACIÓN NUCLEAR, the relation between indicator and commitment is quite direct.
- Training on numerous relevant aspects, such as safety culture, radiological protection and plant operations, using tools such as the full spectrum simulator, specific to each plant, where personnel with operating licences are trained within a time period considerably longer than that required by the Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (Nuclear Safety Council). Control room personnel hold an operations licence granted by the Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (Nuclear Safety Council) (renewable every six years), upon completion of a lengthy training period and passing of corresponding examinations (theoretical, simulator and on-site).
- Use of operating experience, both external and internal. This analysis derives aspects as important as corrective actions (which may engender improvements to procedures, modifications to design or other organizational or supervision-related improvements), lessons learned (which may engender improvements in the training programme for licensed or other type of personnel), or the trends analysis, which may lead to an exchange of experiences amongst different plants. External operational experience is mainly channelled through the analysis of documentation of international scope remitted by the INPO - Institute of Nuclear Power Operations - and WANO - World Association of Nuclear Operator- (significant event report, significant operating experience reports, operating plant experience…) and the evaluation of their applicability to IBERDROLA GENERACIÓN NUCLEAR nuclear plants. In this regard, IBERDROLA GENERACIÓN NUCLEAR is a member of WANO, and assumes all the rights and obligations implied thereby. In the specific realm of operational experience, IBERDROLA GENERACIÓN NUCLEAR receives pertinent information from WANO for its analysis, and remits relevant experiences back to WANO for their diffusion amongst WANO members. Likewise, WANO verifies during its periodical evaluations of plants (peer reviews) that the operational experiences received and better management practices have been properly analyzed and implemented.
The third aspect of safety management is evaluation. It allows for verifying that compliance with the specified requirements for plant operations is correct and is capable of identifying possible deficiencies and opportunities for improvement which will result in greater operational safety and efficiency.
The fourth aspect of nuclear safety management implies the management of:
- Preventive and corrective actions.
- Actions for improvement.
A process which entails the following characteristics is established through the corrective actions programme:
- An integrated process which includes the identification, evaluation, and resolution of real or potential non-conformities, as well as proposals for improvement upon the verification of the effectiveness of committed actions. The identification of possible non-conformities or actions for improvement may result from a diversity of sources: external evaluations, independent internal evaluations, self-evaluations, findings made by personnel or discovered through routine activities.
- It sets forth a system for categorizing non-conformities and for prioritizing actions in accordance with their relevance for safety.
- It establishes mechanisms for identifying adverse trends and for evaluating the effectiveness of implemented actions.