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Nuclear Fundamentals


" xperience keeps a dear school,"said Benjamin Franklin. " fool can learn in no other."
Learning from experience is often very costly to a facility in terms of injured personnel, damaged
equipment, and wasted time. Learning from the experience gained at the facility and from
industry can prevent repeating costly mistakes. This guide contains a method for learning from
experience to prevent mistakes from occurring; that method is the case study. This guide
describes how to develop and present case studies. This guide provides the instructional
developer insight on the best kind of case study to use and includes examples of the various
types of case studies.
The DOE Guide to Good Practices for Developing and Conducting Case Studies was developed
on the basis of experience from the nuclear industry and incorporates information from various
resources that include: reports prepared for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the
Department Of Energy; information gathered from training manuals and training handbooks; and
methods successfully implemented by DOE and commercial nuclear facilities.
Case studies have been used for many years as an alternative to the lecture method. The first
case studies were developed on the Harvard University campus. The Harvard Method has been
used to report actual situations and analyze case reports since the 1880s. This nondirective way
of helping students to think for themselves has won acceptance in law, medicine, business
administration, and social work.
One of the lessons learned from the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident was that personnel in the
nuclear industry did not have a means to share information learned from events at other plants.
As training programs and methods have improved since the TMI accident, the nuclear industry
has relied more and more on the case study to teach the lessons learned from industry events.
By reviewing actual facility events in detail, trainees are challenged with analyzing actual
situations and problems.
Case studies can be used in training programs for managers and supervisors, control room
teams, maintenance personnel, process operators, and other disciplines at DOE facilities. This
method works well in initial and continuing training programs. Case studies can be developed for
various issues that include technical problems, plant events, management concerns, or a
combination of these. Commercial utilities and other organizations have developed case studies
on a variety of subjects.
DOE facilities subject to DOE Order 5480.20A, " ersonnel Selection, Qualification, and Training
Requirements for DOE Nuclear Facilities,"can use this guide to assist them in meeting the

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