Friday, July 15, 2011

Decision Scoring No. 2

This post introduces the second decision scoring example.  Click here, or the box above this post, to access the detailed decision summary and scoring feature.  

This example involves a proposed non-code repair to a leak in the elbow of service water system piping.  By opting for a non-code, temporary repair, a near term plant shutdown will be avoided but the permanent repair will be deferred for as long as 20 months.  In grading this decision for safety impact and decision strength, it may be helpful to think about what alternatives were available to this licensee.  We could think of several:

-    not perform a temporary repair as current leakage was within tech spec limits, but implement an augmented inspection and monitoring program to timely identify any further degradation.

-    perform the temporary repair as described but commit to perform the permanent repair within a shorter time period, say 6 months.

-    immediately shut down and perform the code repair.

Each of these alternatives would likely affect the potential safety impact of this leak condition and influence the perception of the decision strength.  For example a decision to shut down immediately and perform the code repair would likely be viewed as quite conservative, certainly more conservative than the other options.  Such a decision might provide the strongest reinforcement of safety culture.  The point is that none of these decisions is necessarily right or wrong, or good or bad.  They do however reflect more or less conservatism, and ultimately say something about safety culture.

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