Training manager Riitta Hast and her team make sure that Fennovoima employees receive adequate training – from their first day at work right up to the commissioning of the power plant. According to Hast, the training system is “quite a complex whole”.
Training is part of the everyday life of all Fennovoima employees. Training is offered to everyone, regardless of their work duties. In 2017, employees spent on average 9.7 days in training.
“Our goal is eight days. The number of training days can become even greater once the plant supplier gets really going,” says Riitta Hast, who manages the training team.
The time spent in training is one of the regularly monitored indicators. The authorities also monitor training days. Ample training is part of the nuclear industry operating culture in Finland and abroad.
“Training is part of our work. Many people who have come into the industry from elsewhere have been surprised at how much training we get,” Hast says.
Plant supplier participates in offering training
At this point in the project, Fennovoima is in charge of general employee training. The company recruits dozens of new employees each year, which is why a regular introduction training program is a necessity.
When starting work at Fennovoima, each employee attends a two-week introduction training course where they receive basic information about the company and the project.
A comprehensive entity of technical training courses has been ordered from the plant supplier. It includes training programs for the control room operators and maintenance staff, for example. Basic Plant Course 1, a basic course on the VVER-1200 plant, is mandatory for all employees from engineers to economists.
Guideline from abroad
The training team is in charge of the company’s training operations in Helsinki and Pyhäjoki. The team currently consists of five specialists. Each of them is responsible for a specific area.
Development work will continue for a long time to come, as a long-term training plan is currently being prepared. Hast and her team have not started creation of the plan from scratch: the guideline for the design of the plan is the Systematic Approach to Training (SAT), an approach recommended by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) (linkki aiempaan juttuun Regaldosta) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is used in the nuclear industry in many countries.
The Fennovoima training team, from left to right: Katja Kerko, Emmi Hanhimäki, Riitta Hast, Heidi Kauppila, and Pilvikki Riipinen
“We have been able to create the training program structures from the very beginning. Now we are renewing the structures to ensure that the comprehensive entity consisting of training courses of different types will be functional also in the future. It’s great to have international networks in the industry where good practices are widely shared,” Hast says.
Everybody receives training in the basics
Arranged by the plant supplier, the Basic Plant Course 1 familiarizes employees with the VVER-1200 nuclear power plant and its components, systems, and processes. To date, more than 220 Fennovoima employees have completed the introductory course. The training lasts for one day and is mandatory for everyone. It provides the participants with basic information regarding the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant, its operation, and its safety.
“The employees being trained do not include just operators and process engineers; there are also office employees, lawyers, economists, managers, and so forth,” says Victoria Zhuravleva, Head of Rosatom’s Customer Personnel Training Division.
The introduction courses arranged by Rosatom are held at the Fennovoima head office in Salmisaari, Helsinki. The course will be available twice a year until the power plant has been commissioned.
“Successful introduction forms the basis for further training throughout the employees’ career,” says Victoria Zhuravleva, Head of Rosatom’s Customer Personnel Training Division.
The Fennovoima employees have an opportunity to talk with experts in different sectors of power plant technology during both part one and part two of the training.
Zhuravleva says that successful introduction is important, as it forms the basis for further training throughout the employees’ career. For this reason, RAOS Project Oy, which is part of the Rosatom Group and the supplier of the Fennovoima Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant, has strongly invested in the planning of the training. Detailed expertise of the nuclear power plant project’s head designer Atomproekt has also been utilized in the planning of the training.