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In 2018, one of the projects that Utilities Service Alliance (USA) conducted was focused self-assessments at eight of the nine (Cooper did not participate) USA facilities on the implementation of Level 1 IER 17-5. In addition to the IER 17-5 focus, stations had the option of identifying any additional Operations Fundamentals focus areas that they wanted the team to assess while on-site for the 17-5 assessment. The goal of the assessment was to ensure that each station fully implemented the recommendations of IER 17-5 prior to being evaluated by Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) / World Association of Nuclear Operators) (WANO) so that there were no recommendations graded as unsatisfactory. Alec McGalliard of the South Texas Project led each assessment with the support of an off-site operations peer and training peer from one of the USA member stations and a host peer at the station being evaluated. The team identified IER 17-5 recommendations that needed additional attention, conducted a debrief with station leadership and provided a written report of the assessment. During the assessment process an issue with IER 17-5, recommendation 6, related to a conflict with the Systematic Approach to Training was identified. This issue was elevated to the USA Board of Directors (BOD) and discussed at the August INPO Operations Manager Meeting. Following those discussions, the USA BOD took action to discuss this issue with INPO Leadership and the issue with Recommendation 6 was resolved in the industry’s favor resulting in reduced industry person-hours required to meet the objective of Recommendation 6.

A final roll-up report was provided to the USA BOD and each member station and the issues identified were discussed on monthly USA Operations Networking Team calls and at the August USA Operations Manager meeting in Atlanta.

To date, three USA Stations (STP, Columbia and Monticello) have completed their INPO/WANO Evaluations with no unsatisfactory recommendations or Areas for Improvement (AFI) related to IER 17-5. All three stations stated that they believe had the USA IER 17-5 project not been undertaken by the fleet, they may have likely received an unsatisfactory AFI. The project’s success was due largely to the support of member stations in providing peers and being prepared for the assessment at each station.

The success of this project is an example of strong leadership at the stations by fully leveraging the Alliance to influence the industry and set the member stations up for success.

In 2019, the USA BOD has undertaken similar projects to assess and improve Plant Status Control and to validate that the issues discussed in IER 17-9 are adequately implemented at the participating stations.