The OPEX Program at Bruce Power
L.D. Romanowich (Bruce Power)
This paper discusses Operating Experience (OPEX) being incorporated into the work planning process by Bruce Power in order to avoid unexpected radiological events. The regulators, international community as well as investors have recognized the importance of implementing OPEX and lessons learned in station design, operation and maintenance. OPEX comes from many sources and in many formats. Two examples of the extensive use of OPEX at Bruce Power are given. The first involves high hazard radioactive work involving the moderator systems at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station B. A sister station had performed similar work and experienced widespread contamination and unplanned uptakes. Because the two stations have very similar designs, Bruce Power studied extensively the difficulties at this facility and incorporated those lessons learned early in the work planning process. From this Bruce Power developed it’s own lessons learned for future work. The second involves the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) Significant Operating Experience Reports (SOER). SOER 2001-01 “Unplanned Radiation Exposures” caused several changes to the Bruce Power Radiation Protection Department procedures and processes. Bruce Power has developed an extensive Operating Experience program, which looks for applicable OPEX from a variety of internal and external sources and has numerous channels to ensure the correct OPEX gets to the correct internal or external customer at the correct time. Through the Observation and Coaching program and auditing the Pre-job briefings that occur at Bruce Power, Bruce Power ensures OPEX is being used at all levels within company. Without the use of OPEX, the Health Physics professional faces the risk of having to relearn lessons that have already been learned elsewhere, sometimes at great cost.