Nuclear safety culture forum puts the spotlight on national context
Friday, Jan 26, 2018

The influence of national context on nuclear safety culture was the focus of the country‑specific forum held on 23‑24 January 2018 by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in Stockholm, Sweden, in co‑operation with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM).

The purpose of this forum was to create awareness on potential safety culture challenges related to national context, with the objective of helping organisations maintain a healthy safety culture for safe operations of nuclear installations and for effective regulatory activities. The event brought together over 60 experts from the Swedish nuclear community and international observers from France, Finland, Japan, Korea, South Africa and the United States, representing the industry and regulatory organisations.

Opening remarks were delivered by NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, SSM Director General Mats Persson and WANO Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Prozesky. Participants, then, spent one and a half days self‑reflecting upon their national cultural attributes in relation to safety culture. They held focus group discussions, analysed data and identified traits relevant to their national context that may strengthen or jeopardise safety. Through interactive roleplay, they explored how their national context may affect nuclear safety‑relevant behaviours. In plenary sessions, the participants shared ways and approaches to work with the national context in order to improve or maintain healthy safety culture.

"The fundamental objective of all nuclear regulatory bodies is to ensure that nuclear licensees conduct their activities related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in a safe manner within their respective countries," said NEA Director‑General Magwood. "National influences on nuclear power plant operations and safety culture should also be considered in fostering and enhancing nuclear safety. Every country has to find how best to leverage its national context in order to build and maintain a healthy safety culture."

"We have to consider the national context, as it has good impacts on nuclear safety culture while also presenting some challenges," added SSM Deputy Director General Fredrik Hassel.

WANO CEO Prozesky said, "We are pleased to work together with the NEA to explore different ways to enhance global nuclear safety, particularly in the area of nuclear safety culture."

"The NEA has worked in recent years to advance the human aspects of nuclear safety," said Mr Magwood. "We have been working with our membership, other international organisations and partners like WANO to make sure that we're taking the right actions to enhance nuclear safety worldwide."

A summary report of the forum and its outcomes is in preparation and will be provided online to serve as reference point and training tool on safety culture. It will analyse national influences on safety culture, identify country‑specific traits and practical methods to address challenges, and propose a roadmap to solutions.

For more information, please visit: https://www.oecd-nea.org/
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