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Daniel Chanson

Crisis exercises by Daniel Chanson

Who am I?

I have been the AREVA group’s Crisis Management Director for the past 5 years. I started working in the nuclear industry 35 years ago now, as a graduate of the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon – INSA Lyon) and of the business school, IAE Aix-en-Provence (Institut d’Administration des Entreprises d’Aix en Provence). I started out at Framatome by taking part, first as a test manager and then as a site manager, in the construction and startup of around twenty reactors across France’s entire fleet of reactors. I then joined the MELOX project on which I was responsible for all of the plant construction. I went on to manage several sites and divisions of AREVA responsible for core instrumentation, high-technology connectors, fuel storage, transport of nuclear materials, containers, etc. My most recent position was as Director of Production and Maintenance at the EURODIF enrichment plant from 2008 to 2012.

I have thus had the chance to work on a wide range of different aspects of the nuclear industry. This gives me an invaluable overall view of my current responsibilities in crisis management.

I have thus had the chance to work on a wide range of different aspects of the nuclear industry. This gives me an invaluable overall view of my current responsibilities in crisis management

What does crisis management at AREVA involve?

It’s starting the obvious, but in the nuclear industry, the first issue is to prevent all risks of incident. And we know that every event can have serious consequences. Crisis management is thus of crucial importance. Managing a crisis cannot be limited to reacting after the fact. The handling of an incident can only be effective if it is planned for and prepared.

This means having to have a coordinated and consistent approach on each of our industrial sites where we have to be capable of deploying all of the Group’s expertise. We have thus drawn up “standards” and “doctrines” involving different entities which allow us to know immediately what actions have to be taken and which provide us with the guarantee that all the people we need will be mobilized.

Photo

Our crisis management organization is based on three pillars. The first of these is a repository of guidance comprising all useful documents: emergency plans, procedures, first response sheets, etc. The second is the training delivered to the AREVA teams, adapted to their scopes of intervention. And, last but not least, training in the form of exercises that serve to measure the effectiveness of the first two pillars and the robustness of the human and material resources made available.

Managing a crisis cannot be limited to reacting after the fact. The handling of an incident can only be effective if it is planned for and prepared.

Why is it important to conduct crisis exercises on a regular basis?

There is only one way to acquire a sufficient level of maturity in crisis management and that is to always go by the following three watchwords: forward planning, prevention, and training! So to try out our crisis organizations and verify their effectiveness, we organize about a hundred local and national exercises each year, around ten of which involve the Headquarters Crisis Management Team (H-CMT). These exercises are necessary for the training of the teams, to put to the test the operational resources that can be mobilized, and to check the quality of the interfaces with the various parties involved, both internally and externally, including at international level.

These exercises should be as close as possible to a real situation. They may vary widely in scale. It can be anything ranging from a “sandbox”, mobilizing a team for two hours, to a national exercise which may involve the AREVA National Response Force (Force d’Intervention Nationale AREVA – FINA) and over 350 employees from all our units over a period of two days. But the aim is always the same: to check that all the resources and tools available have been fully mastered, and to transform procedures into reflex responses.

Photo

Lastly, it is important to conduct regular crisis exercises to take new parameters or new risks into account. For example, we will soon be testing our capacities to respond to a malicious act or a cyber-attack.

There is only one way to acquire a sufficient level of maturity in crisis management: training!

How important are the lessons learned from such crisis exercises?

Lessons Learned, otherwise known as LL, point to the existence of a large number of internal and external factors that come onto play before, during and after a crisis, at all levels.

After each exercise, the Lessons Learned process is conducted and consolidated internally, and shared at the national level with the ASN and the authorities. The aim is to progress individually, collectively and enrich our crisis management mechanisms; and, when it comes to such points, these exercises constitute a veritable laboratory for observation and continuous improvement.

What we have learned from experience is that all the personnel regularly involved in the exercises not only fully master all the resources and the tools at their disposal, but also form more tightly-knit teams, with more efficient relays within pair teams, and very good integration of the scopes of responsibility between team members. For us, this was never something that was ever in doubt, but it’s still good news all the same!

This also allows us to identify areas for improvement and to envisage new scenarios to work on. For example, we continually work to progress in post-accident management and to coordinate our actions with Government Authorities. The main principles are in place, but we have to test our capacity to respond to the demands of the State to be even more effective.

The exercises constitute a veritable laboratory for observation and continuous improvement.

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Daniel Chanson

Crisis exercises by Daniel Chanson

Who am I?

I have been the AREVA group’s Crisis Management Director for the past 5 years. I started working in the nuclear industry 35 years ago now, as a graduate of the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon – INSA Lyon) and of the business school, IAE Aix-en-Provence (Institut d’Administration des Entreprises d’Aix en Provence). I started out at Framatome by taking part, first as a test manager and then as a site manager, in the construction and startup of around twenty reactors across France’s entire fleet of reactors. I then joined the MELOX project on which I was responsible for all of the plant construction. I went on to manage several sites and divisions of AREVA responsible for core instrumentation, high-technology connectors, fuel storage, transport of nuclear materials, containers, etc. My most recent position was as Director of Production and Maintenance at the EURODIF enrichment plant from 2008 to 2012.

I have thus had the chance to work on a wide range of different aspects of the nuclear industry. This gives me an invaluable overall view of my current responsibilities in crisis management.

I have thus had the chance to work on a wide range of different aspects of the nuclear industry. This gives me an invaluable overall view of my current responsibilities in crisis management

What does crisis management at AREVA involve?

It’s starting the obvious, but in the nuclear industry, the first issue is to prevent all risks of incident. And we know that every event can have serious consequences. Crisis management is thus of crucial importance. Managing a crisis cannot be limited to reacting after the fact. The handling of an incident can only be effective if it is planned for and prepared.

This means having to have a coordinated and consistent approach on each of our industrial sites where we have to be capable of deploying all of the Group’s expertise. We have thus drawn up “standards” and “doctrines” involving different entities which allow us to know immediately what actions have to be taken and which provide us with the guarantee that all the people we need will be mobilized.

Photo

Our crisis management organization is based on three pillars. The first of these is a repository of guidance comprising all useful documents: emergency plans, procedures, first response sheets, etc. The second is the training delivered to the AREVA teams, adapted to their scopes of intervention. And, last but not least, training in the form of exercises that serve to measure the effectiveness of the first two pillars and the robustness of the human and material resources made available.

Managing a crisis cannot be limited to reacting after the fact. The handling of an incident can only be effective if it is planned for and prepared.

Why is it important to conduct crisis exercises on a regular basis?

There is only one way to acquire a sufficient level of maturity in crisis management and that is to always go by the following three watchwords: forward planning, prevention, and training! So to try out our crisis organizations and verify their effectiveness, we organize about a hundred local and national exercises each year, around ten of which involve the Headquarters Crisis Management Team (H-CMT). These exercises are necessary for the training of the teams, to put to the test the operational resources that can be mobilized, and to check the quality of the interfaces with the various parties involved, both internally and externally, including at international level.

These exercises should be as close as possible to a real situation. They may vary widely in scale. It can be anything ranging from a “sandbox”, mobilizing a team for two hours, to a national exercise which may involve the AREVA National Response Force (Force d’Intervention Nationale AREVA – FINA) and over 350 employees from all our units over a period of two days. But the aim is always the same: to check that all the resources and tools available have been fully mastered, and to transform procedures into reflex responses.

Photo

Lastly, it is important to conduct regular crisis exercises to take new parameters or new risks into account. For example, we will soon be testing our capacities to respond to a malicious act or a cyber-attack.

There is only one way to acquire a sufficient level of maturity in crisis management: training!

How important are the lessons learned from such crisis exercises?

Lessons Learned, otherwise known as LL, point to the existence of a large number of internal and external factors that come onto play before, during and after a crisis, at all levels.

After each exercise, the Lessons Learned process is conducted and consolidated internally, and shared at the national level with the ASN and the authorities. The aim is to progress individually, collectively and enrich our crisis management mechanisms; and, when it comes to such points, these exercises constitute a veritable laboratory for observation and continuous improvement.

What we have learned from experience is that all the personnel regularly involved in the exercises not only fully master all the resources and the tools at their disposal, but also form more tightly-knit teams, with more efficient relays within pair teams, and very good integration of the scopes of responsibility between team members. For us, this was never something that was ever in doubt, but it’s still good news all the same!

This also allows us to identify areas for improvement and to envisage new scenarios to work on. For example, we continually work to progress in post-accident management and to coordinate our actions with Government Authorities. The main principles are in place, but we have to test our capacity to respond to the demands of the State to be even more effective.

The exercises constitute a veritable laboratory for observation and continuous improvement.

You may be interested in
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