Employees working at nuclear plants may feel like they are always being watched and, in reality, this is partly true. Monitored security cameras are located throughout the plant property and buildings, and employees only have authorized access to plant areas based on their level of security clearance and the type of work they perform.
Duke Energy’s Fitness for Duty (FFD) Program, which complies with all Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules, is designed to provide reasonable assurance that individuals are not under the influence of any substance (legal or illegal), or mentally or physically impaired from any cause, which in anyway adversely affects their ability to safely and competently perform their duties. In addition to initial testing, the FFD program includes random drug and alcohol screening to ensure employees are continuously able to safely perform their duties.
The FFD program also includes a behavioral observation component. Under the behavior observation program, workers must inform their supervisors and plant security of any legal action that may impact the worker’s own trustworthiness and reliability. Workers must inform their supervisor of personal issues that could affect their job performance.
Additionally, workers are trained to recognize behavior changes in co-workers that might constitute a risk to the individual, others, public health and safety, or plant security. Workers are advised to report such observations, suspicious or unusual behaviors promptly to management or plant Security. Suspicious behavior could be a worker observed in an area of the plant where they don’t have authorization to be, or making statements about harming themselves, others or plant equipment.
While the nuclear observation program might seem far-reaching, the primary goal is to protect the health and safety of the public from intentional or unintentional damage to the plant. This means a safe plant for both plant employees and the public.
You can read more about nuclear behavior observation requirements on this NRC blog.