Operation is a complex of activities performed by the operating staff to ensure safe and reliable operation of the plant equipment. The operating staff is an authorized shift of personnel on duty, including managers, operators and technicians who maintain operational control over technological processes at the plant and configuration change-over. The operating staff is managed by a head of operation services who is a technical director deputy for operations. The head for the operation services administers activities of the operational personnel of the plant: directly administers control room personnel and through the deputy heads for workshops for operation, operational personnel of the workshops. The plant shift supervisor is the senior operational principal of the shift. During his shift, the plant shift supervisor, through the deputy and heads for workshops, performs general technical and operational management of the Ignalina NPP. From the operational point of view, the plant shift supervisor reports to the Lithuanian State Power System dispatcher. He must receive permission from the Lithuanian State Power System dispatcher to perform planned changes in operational conditions of equipment, for which the dispatcher is responsible. The plant shift supervisor subordinates to the plant technical director, technical director deputy for operation (head of operation service) and deputy head for operation service. The deputy plant shift supervisor is a senior operational leader for the shift at the unit. During his shift, the deputy plant shift supervisor, through heads of workshops and operational personnel of the control room, performs technical and operational management of the unit. On the operational level, all on-duty shift personnel report to the plant shift supervisor through heads of workshops shifts and the deputy plant shift supervisor. They must follow the orders of the plant shift supervisor with respect to operation of the plant, excepting only situations where the operator believes that the order will affect the safe operation of the reactor or safety of personnel. During mitigation of accident consequences at the unit (plant), all workshop personnel present at the plant become subordinate to the plant shift supervisor regarding the issues related to the accident. In case of the illness or injury of plant shift supervisor, coordination of work at the units is the responsibility of the deputy plant shift supervisor of unit 1 until another plant shift supervisor arrives at the plant. During his shift the orders of the plant shift supervisor can be recalled only by decision of the plant technical director or his deputy for operation. In case of errors or inappropriate actions, the plant shift supervisor can be relieved of his responsibilities by the plant technical director or his deputy for operation. In that case, management of Ignalina NPP performance will be responsibility of the plant technical director or his deputy for operation.
The head for each workshop shift administers the entire on-duty personnel at that workshop. He reports administratively and technically to the head of workshops and his deputy for operation, the plant shift supervisor and deputy plant shift supervisor. Orders issued by the administrative-technical personnel of workshops and divisions to his own operational personnel on issues under plant shift supervisor jurisdiction are to be performed only with the agreement of the plant shift supervisor.
The key responsibilities of the on-duty shift include control of all plant activities, both safety and non-safety, to the extend that the activities affect plant operations in all modes of operation. Within the plant organization, all workshops must obtain control room authorization to perform work that may affect plant operation. The primary responsibilities of the on-shift control room staff and the distribution of duties includes the following:
Operating personnel is provided in accordance with industrial standards. The operating staff is grouped into seven shifts. Five shifts work on regular basis. The sixth shift is a back-up for the main shift and the seventh shift undergoes periodic training and review operating procedures. Each shift consists of 137 persons. For each shift job description an initial and advanced training program, including emergency training, is established. The program includes theoretical training, training in the use of plant systems, simulator and on-the-job training. Up to 1997 the full-scope simulator at Smolensk NPP was used for basic training of operators, but from 1998 the full-scope simulator at the Ignalina NPP will be employed. A program is provided for the enhancement of professional skill enabling the personnel to promoted.
Before a shift starts working, operational personnel involved in key positions must pass alcohol level and physical tests at the plant medical office.
Operational personnel carry out duties according to the schedule, approved by the Director General. It is prohibited to be on duty for the duration of two shifts or within a time which is more than two shifts. In exceptional cases, operator replacement is possible under a written decision of the plant shift supervisor or the technical director deputy for operation. Operator replacements must be registered in a special record-book.
The plant shift supervisor is authorized to implement the following objectives:
The plant shift supervisor must bear disciplinary, judicial and administrative responsibilities in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Lithuania for the following:
The plant shift supervisor controls on-duty personnel activities as well as equipment status (faults, deviation from normal conditions for equipment operation, place in operation, place in maintenance status) at the beginning and end of the shifts. During accident mitigation the plant shift supervisor must first secure operation of electricity supply of plant’s demand and residual heat removal. In case an accident occurs at the plant which leads to the release of radiation, the plant shift supervisor must direct the accident mitigation activities before the plant technical director or technical director deputy for operation arrives.
The key responsibility of the main control room operators is to assure normal safe operation of all equipment in compliance with requirements of official instructions, including operational instructions, nuclear and radiation norms, and normative-technical documentation, Technical Regulation  under normal and accident conditions. For normal operation the duties of the control room operators include:
An operator from control room has the authority to perform the following:
In case of significant events in the operating condition are identified or equipment damages occurs, a control room operator must urgently take measures to restore operational conditions or mitigate the abnormal conditions and stop unfavorable events. He must then immediately inform his superiors. In the event of an accident control room operator must follow the “Technical Regulation” , “Instruction for Elimination of Accidental Situations at the Ignalina NPP” , “ Instruction for Elimination of Nuclear Accident at Ignalina NPP” , “Temporary Guidance for Management of Beyond Design Loss-of Coolant Accident with Loss-of-Off-Site Power at Ignalina NPP” . Division of responsibilities during accidents elimination at Ignalina NPP include the following:
Each control room operator is responsible for:
Regardless the unit status, control room operators, must stay at their work places. It is prohibited for them to perform activities which do not relate directly to processes occurring at the unit. Access to the control room is restricted and entrance is permitted only with permission of the deputy plant shift supervisor. The list of persons having the right to enter control room under normal operation and of persons having the right to stay in control room during abnormal conditions must be approved by the plant technical director. When the alarm actuates, the operator must:
All operations at the unit such as preparation of equipment to be placed in operation, the placement of equipment into a maintenance status, re-activation of equipment after maintenance, testing and switching on of standby equipment, must be recorded on the equipment check list attached to the operational instructions. Operations must be performed by a control room operator and documented with signature. A control room operator must record the following references of equipment operation and status:
Operating procedures are used to guide control room operator activities under normal conditions, incidents and accidents. Operating procedures are designated to cover all aspects of operation and ensure reliable, efficient and safe operation of the plant. Four types of operating procedures are employed:
1. Normal Operating Procedures.
2. Abnormal Operating Procedures.
3. Operator Response Procedures.
4. Emergency Operating Procedures.
Normal Operating Procedures describe the actions required during normal operation of the plant systems and its components, they specify tests, configuration control, removal and restoration of equipment. Abnormal Operating Procedures have been developed for coping with deviations from normal operating modes. Operator Response Procedures specify main control room operator actions in response to small deviations. The Emergency Operating Procedures currently used at the plant make use of an event-based approach to accident management. The new symptom-based emergency operating procedures are being developed at the plant in 1998.