Hosted by the UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate
Chester, England 26-28 September 2011
The principal aim of the workshop is to share experience and learning about the methods and approaches used by regulators to maintain oversight of, and influence nuclear licensee leadership and management for safety, including safety culture. The workshop will examine methods that are currently in use or being developed, and will seek to identify both good practices and knowledge gaps. The workshop offers an opportunity to share experience in this rapidly developing area and to inform the future work of the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA).
It is expected that the results will aid participants to understand the advantages and challenges of different methods and approaches that regulatory bodies may use to gather and interpret information about licensee leadership, management for safety and safety culture. This, in turn, should help to inform the way in which the regulator engages with its licensees to influence effective leadership and management for safety.
Nuclear industry incidents such as TEPCO, Sellafield MOx, Tokai Mura and Davis-Besse have increased awareness of the contribution to nuclear safety performance that is made by a licensee’s leadership and the way in which it manages for safety. This position has been strongly reinforced by reports into events in other sectors such as Texas City, Deepwater Horizon, the RAF Nimrod air crash and the Challenger/Columbia shuttle accidents.
Both regulators and the nuclear industry recognise the need for licensees to develop a strong safety culture to support successful and sustainable nuclear safety performance. There has been less clarity on how this should be achieved – in particular, the role of the regulator in maintaining oversight of, and influencing, those facets of licensee leadership and management which have a profound influence on safety culture. IAEA’s Technical Meeting on “The Role of Governments and Regulators in Fostering a Strong Nuclear Safety Culture” in September 2003 identified the need for guidance to regulators on how to monitor a licensee’s safety culture, and work to develop criteria and indicators for safety culture evaluation. The need for technical guidance was further supported by a CNRA Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP) workshop in May 2006 which acknowledged the need to involve human and organisational factors specialists in the design and implementation of inspection oversight programmes.
In recognition of this, CSNI’s Working Group on Human & Organisational Factors (WGHOF) organized a workshop in Chester, UK, in May 2007 to provide a forum for gathering and sharing international experience in this area with a view to drawing out the bases of the approaches used by different regulatory bodies to maintain oversight of licensee leadership and managing for safety, and to identify good practice and learning points. That event was organised in collaboration with CNRA/WGIP and IAEA. The workshop confirmed that a number of regulators were in the process of developing or refining their approaches. It identified some widely shared principles and provided useful practical guidance to help regulators formulate their views and debate with their peers.
Workshop participants agreed that, in view of the rapidly developing approaches in this area, it would be sensible to hold “Chester 2” in 3-5 years in order to discuss how regulatory approaches have moved on and to share lessons learned from their application.
The OECD/NEA/CSNI Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF) is tasked to improve the understanding and treatment of human and organisational factors within the nuclear industry in order to support the continued safety of nuclear installations, and improve the effectiveness of regulatory practices. One means by which this is achieved is through providing a forum for exchange of information and experience about safety-relevant human and organisational issues in Member countries, thereby promoting co-operation and maintaining an effective and efficient network of experts. This workshop is one such means for exchanging experience and is intended to contribute towards furthering the WGHOF objectives.
The Workshop will open with a presentation by Charles Haddon-Cave QC. Mr Haddon-Cave is the author of The Nimrod Review - an independent review into the broader issues surrounding the loss of an RAF Nimrod aircraft in Afghanistan in 2006. The report drew some powerful conclusions about the contribution to the crash that was made by ineffective leadership and management for safety. The findings are highly relevant to the nuclear and other high hazard sectors and should resonate with regulators and licensees. Attendees should be familiar with the report, which can be accessed at: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc0809/hc10/1025/1025.pdf.
Last reviewed: 21 April 2011