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'When a control room operator in a nuclear power station places his hand on the control switch, and begins to withdraw the reactor control rods, he has more power in his hands than a captain opening the throttles of a 747 for takeoff or the NASA engineer who ignites the booster rockets in a space shuttle launch' (Z. T. Pate). This paper discusses the importance of the control room operator with respect to human performance. It discusses British Energy's Human Performance Foundation Training Course which is aimed at raising the awareness of human performance failures, setting clear operational standards and identifying error-prevention techniques for use by control room staff. It covers eight areas which are discussed in the paper: introduction to human performance; operational conduct and self checking; communications; choosing behaviour; shiftworking and alertness; situational awareness; decision making; and high-performance team skills.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2002