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Protecting the Nuclear Image

DNV’s International Safety Rating System, the ISRS, is about much more than safety. It is also about industrial leadership. England’s Sizewell A nuclear power plant has recently achieved an ISRS level 9 rating - placing it among the top three per cent of the 6,000 industrial units worldwide that have been audited in accordance with the ISRS.

At a recent award luncheon, Station Manager Mike Wilding, on behalf of his 350 staff, accepted the award from DNVs Robin Pitblado, introduced his predecessors who first implemented the ISRS, and passed on awards to ten of the unit managers. In accepting the ISRS certificate, he emphasised a concern common to many nuclear-plant operators.

There are many people who wish that Sizewell didn’t exist. So it’s even more important that we do the best possible job as regards safety and the environment.

A Corporate Standard

Wildings predecessor at Sizewell A, now operations manager for the eight Magnox Electricity plants in the U.K., Dr Chris Marchese, agrees. DNVs ISRS has proved to be a useful tool. Were thinking of making it a corporate standard. It seemed at first sight to be very bureaucratic, but has proved to be a good management system to which you can attach your local systems.

BNFL Sizewell ISRS Award - Forum 2000(1).bmp

Sizewell A station manager Terry Kay
(left) started
the ISRS process in 1994,
followed
by Chris Marchese and then
Mike Wilding, who took over in
September 1999 - and accepted the
ISRS level 9 award in 2000.

The plant started on level 4 when first audited in 1994, reaching level 8 in 1998. Station manager during that time was Terry Kay. Weve included a lot of nuclear safety work in this process, and weve also demonstrated that this is a very safe place to be. Sizewell A is among the best in the Magnox Group. 

ISRS Offers Solutions

The eight Magnox Group power stations - among Britains very first to be built - generate some 8 per cent of the current electric-power output of England and Wales. Six use the ISRS. In order to attain level 9 from level 8, several important improvements were made at Sizewell: 

  • The full integration of various elements into a single management system;
  • A task analysis of all functions was carried out, the aim of which was to identify those requiring more management attention.

We have always felt that we can turn to the ISRS and get a solution, states Mike Wilding. The ISRS system enables us to achieve and to do our work. It’s also relatively easy to get into the ISRS way of working. In a couple of years we can start to talk about and think about level 10.

Just now, well stick with maintaining and creating an understanding of level 9. This is hard enough. We still have a long way to go! You can’t manage a nuclear power plant from a desk. You have to get out and meet your staff where they are. My style is a direct one setting a good example.

 

Date: 15 August 2000
Author:
Source: DNV Forum no. 1, 2000