In order to have a clear conscience, she should speak her mind. The engineering codes require that safety and welfare of public be placed supreme above all else.
The seniority of Brad over Alison pushes her to a weaker standing point. Alison is required to be careful here and be diplomatic in the way she presents her conflicting opinion. She should stick to her ethics and quote the NSPE code if she feels it is correct and necessary to do so. Most importantly, Alison should not be coerced to act in unison with other board members. Given that there has been a strong culture of unanimity, this paves way for the possibility that Alison may feel the need to act and think like the group, which is clearly wrong. This junior staff may find it necessary to abstain from voting if she feels that she should not cast a negative vote all alone.
In case subsequent calculations indicate that a single heat exchanger would be adequate, that would not be erroneous for Alison to have cast a negative vote rejecting the other member’s decision. She is not doing so to stop the report from going on to NRC, but to ensure that the committee is doing what is required of them and that it works in the appropriate manner in while making decisions. Therefore, she has an obligation, even though different from the views of other members of the committee. Also, the committee has an obligation too to make sure that the opinions of others are always taken into consideration.
Alison may be required to approach this issue from different angles. The first instance is requesting for a delay by stating that public safety is undoubtedly at risk and that the effects of a malfunction will be comparatively extensive. The tribulations and harms to the public will be instant, and the detriment to the public will be within 20 miles. The second instance is that she should
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