United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Nuclear Power Plant Staff Working Hours (Generic Letter No. 82-02)



                                UNITED STATES
                        NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                           WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555

                              February 8, 1982

TO ALL LICENSEES OF OPERATING PLANTS, APPLICANTS FOR AN OPERATING LICENSE, 
AND HOLDERS OF CONSTRUCTION PERMITS 

Gentlemen: 

Subject:  Nuclear Power Plant Staff Working Hours (Generic Letter No. 82-02)

The Commission has issued the attached policy statement on factors causing 
fatigue of operating personnel at nuclear reactors. It is being sent to you 
at this time for your information. 

As part of the implementation of this policy statement, we are revising 
Regulatory Guide 1.33 and NUREG-0737 (Item I.A.1.3) to reflect the policy. 
In addition, we will be requesting all licensees to revise the 
administrative section of their technical specifications to require that 
administrative procedures follow the policy statement guidelines and that 
authorized deviations to the working hours guidelines be documented and 
available for NRC review. We will be contacting each licensee by separate 
letter once the Regulatory Guide and NUREG-0737 revisions have been 
completed (presently estimated for March 1982). 


                                   Darrell G. Eisenhut, Director 
                                   Division of Licensing 

Enclosure:  Policy Statement



8202120001 
.

              POLICY ON FACTORS CAUSING FATIGUE OF OPERATING
                       PERSONNEL AT NUCLEAR REACTORS

Licensees of operating plants and applicants for operating licenses shall 
establish controls to prevent situations where fatigue could reduce the 
ability of operating personnel to keep the reactor in a safe condition. The 
controls should focus on shift staffing and "the use of overtime--key job-
related factors that influence fatigue. 

The objective of the controls would be to assure that, to the extent 
practicable, personnel are not assigned to shift duties while in a fatigued 
condition that could significantly reduce their mental alertness or their 
decision making capability. The controls shall apply to the plant staff who 
perform safety-related functions (e.g., senior reactor operators, reactor 
operators, health physicists, auxiliary operators, and key maintenance 
personnel). 

Enough plant operating personnel should be employed to maintain adequate 
shift coverage without routine heavy use of overtime. However, in the event 
that unforeseen problems require substantial amounts of overtime to be used,
on a temporary basis, the following guidelines shall be followed: 

a.   An individual should not be permitted to work more than 16 hours 
     straight (excluding shift turnover time). 

b.   An individual should not be permitted to work more than 16 hours in any
     24-hour period, nor more than 24 hours in any 48-hour period, nor more 
     than 72 hours in Any seven day period (all excluding shift turnover 
     time). 

c.   A break of at least eight hours should be allowed between work periods 
     (including shift turnover time). 

d.   The use of overtime should be considered on an individual basis and not
     for the entire staff on a shift. 

Recognizing that very unusual circumstances may arise requiring deviation 
from the above guidelines, such deviation shall be authorized by the plant 
manager or his deputy, or higher, levels of management. The paramount 
consideration in such authorization shall be that significant reductions in 
the effectiveness of operating personnel would be highly unlikely. 

In addition, procedures are encouraged that would allow licensed operators 
at the controls to be periodically relieved and assigned to other duties 
away from the control board during their tour of duty. 
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