Assessing the influence of human and organisational factors on nuclear safety

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The NEA works with its members to enhance the understanding and management of human and organisational factors within nuclear facilities and therefore support the continued safety performance in the sector. The work of the Agency in this field is co-ordinated by the NEA Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF), which held its biannual meeting via video conference on 25-26 October 2021.    

The discussion during this meeting was centred around the new activities to be conducted by the WGHOF. These include four new tasks, focusing on key areas such as the nuclear sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic from an organisational behaviour perspective, human and organisational factors (HOF) in event analysis, regulatory oversight and its effect on HOF and safety culture, and development of a HOF training collection.

During the plenary session, country updates from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom highlighted relevant activities undertaken at the national level and fostered the opportunity for constructive information sharing. The participants showed great interest in some of the topics raised, including regulations at nuclear facilities to address fatigue and challenges in change management.

The Group further engaged in an interesting discussion about developing a task on trust with the objective to  complement and add value to the work that is currently being done on trust within other NEA Working Groups such as the NEA Working Group on Public Communication of Nuclear Regulatory Organisations (WGPC).

Another highlight of the meeting was the topical session dedicated to the virtual and in-person training opportunities offered by the NEA. The NEA has developed these training opportunities with a view to supporting future capacity building endeavours in member countries in relation to HOF.

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