Corrective actions outlined

Mike Paoli, Public Affairs, 509-377-4164
Carla Martinez, Public Affairs, 509-372-5156

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Energy Northwest executive board has reviewed corrective actions developed by agency leaders in response to the investigation report released last week into claims raised in anonymous letters to the board. The report concluded a "systemic" chilled work environment at Columbia Generating Station does not exist, yet recommended actions to improve. Many of the actions have already been implemented.

Initial Corrective Actions From Pillsbury Final Report

Discussion of the Energy Northwest employee concerns program during a series of all employee meetings two weeks ago marked the first of several initiatives aimed at improving communication throughout the agency.

Energy Northwest employees will receive a videotaped presentation of lessons learned from an August, 2015, major maintenance issue involving a valve repair at Columbia Generating Station. The presentation will provide employees insight into that specific maintenance decision process, which actively included feedback from employees involved in the project. Completion date for the video is Oct.14.

Leaders of the 10 organizations assessed by Pillsbury recently met with their teams to discuss results of the investigation, and safety culture in general, including expectations for reporting concerns and raising issues without fear of retaliation.

Agency leaders engaged organizational development consultants in early September to conduct on-site follow-up interviews in preparation for making recommendations to further improve the culture of two of the 10 departments assessed by Pillsbury.

Agency leaders implemented improvements to the employee concerns program, including:

  • Establishing periodic speaking engagements for the employee concerns manager at all-employee meetings to increase program visibility;
  • Establishing an annual Employee Concerns Awareness Week, initiated last month, to foster greater understanding of the program and its functions. A special emphasis on the program will be part of Refueling and Maintenance Outage 23.

EN Human Resources adopted the following recommendations contained in Pillsbury’s final report:

  • Developed a revised process for exit interviews and strengthen the coordination of that process with the employee concerns program;
  • Provide the supervisory chain an opportunity to bring individual improvement plans and disciplinary issues before the organization’s Human Resources Committee to achieve consistency in administrative performance actions across the agency.

Agency senior leaders have kept Nuclear Regulatory Commission representatives apprised of the progress of the investigation. They will provide an opportunity for the NRC to receive a detailed briefing of the investigation’s final report and associated corrective actions.

Corrective actions will be monitored by the executive board on an on-going basis and assessed for effectiveness.

About Energy Northwest
Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar and wind projects – and the Northwest’s only nuclear energy facility. These projects provide enough reliable, affordable and environmentally respon­sible energy to power more than a million homes each year, and that carbon-free electricity is provided at the cost of generation. As a Washington state, joint action agency, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million ratepayers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members’ needs.