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CNNP establishes CPO team to improve Operator performance

By Ronn Smith, Communications Manager, WANO Tokyo Centre

China National Nuclear Power Co., Ltd (CNNP) currently has 15 power reactors in commercial operation, with 12,162 MWe of generating capacity online. The company has 9 nuclear units under construction and several more planned. CNNP established a working group in 2016 in order to continuously improve the operator skills of their nuclear fleet.

From January 2014 to March 2016, the member companies of CNNP have accepted Pre-start up Peer Reviews (PSURs) conducted by WANO.

The specific units reviewed are Fangjiashan Units 1&2 of CNNP Nuclear Power Operations Management Co., Ltd., Fuqing Units 1, 2&3 of Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power Co., Ltd., and Hainan Units 1&2 of Hainan Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.

As a part of WANO PSURs in the operating area, Crew Performance Observations (CPOs) aim to help units to detect and correct possible Areas for Improvement (AFIs) before initial criticality. By observing the crew teams under simulated scenarios, especially observing their responses to transients and complex conditions, WANO helps to assess crew readiness and the effectiveness of related training.

In order to continuously improve the operator skills of each member company, the CNNP established a working group in 2016 to improve operator skills. The working group consists of experts from member companies of CNNP and RINPO (Research Institute of Nuclear Power Operation, a technical supporting institute for CNNP). CNNP and its member companies provide financial support to this group.

The main focus areas of the working group in 2016 include the following:
  • A CPO experience exchange meeting has already been conducted. Working group members (or representatives) introduced training of the operators, shared the experience from the CPO, and reviewed corrective action plans and their implementation, aiming at resolving the AFIs of operator performance. The working group also briefed the implementation of the corrective actions of WANO SOER 2007-1 (Reactivity Management) and SOER 2013-1 (Operator Fundamentals Weaknesses).
  • Organizing seminars and trainings on areas such as reactivity control, conservative decisions, and the use of human error prevention tools in the main control room, alarm response, and the Shift Supervisors' leadership.
  • Developing documents on "CNNP Position Training Guide of Operating Deputy Shift Supervisors and Shift Supervisors", and "CNNP Scenarios Design Plans of Superimposed Simulator Accidents". The two documents will be used as reference documents to improve the operators' response ability of superimposed accidents and the leadership of the Shift Supervisors as well as to promote the skills of the operators.
  • Conducting CPOs at Sanmen NPP (completed in May, 2016); Hainan NPP (August, 2016), and Fuqing NPP November, 2016.
The above items are the main work of the working group in 2016. The working group will also develop a series of guidelines in accordance with the review results of WANO PSUR CPO and CNNP CPO. Meanwhile, the review system CNNP uses for the CPO will be improved continuously. This will include compiling regulations of management and implantation, conducting trainings of CPO review team leaders and reviewers, and organising CPOs for operating plants regularly before the first core loading of the new projects to consistently improve the skills of operators.