Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture

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Type:  Report - Private

Publisher:  Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, Atlanta, GA

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Nuclear/Nuclear Safety, Occupational Safety and Health, Operations, Human Resources and Leadership, Performance Measurement, Management Systems, Training and Qualification, Oversight

Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture builds on the knowledge and experience gained since the publication of Principles of a Strong Nuclear Safety Culture in 2004. The change in the title reflects the commercial nuclear industry alignment of its own terminology with that used by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This document was developed through a collaborative effort by U.S. industry personnel and the staff of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), with input from representatives of various regulatory agencies, the public, and the nuclear industry worldwide. Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture reflects an alignment in two sets of terms that have been used to describe nuclear safety culture: INPO and the industry defined safety culture in leadership terms of principles and attributes, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission defined safety culture in regulatory terms of components and aspects. Whereas each set of terms served its special function, the result created confusion within operating organizations as to the essential elements of a healthy safety culture.

Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture describes the essential traits and attributes of a healthy nuclear safety culture, with the goal of creating a framework for open discussion and continuing evolution of safety culture throughout the commercial nuclear energy industry. For the purposes of this document, a trait is defined as a pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving such that safety is emphasized over competing priorities. Experience has shown that the personal and organizational traits described in this document are present in a positive safety culture and that shortfalls in these traits and attributes contribute significantly to plant events.

Rather than prescribing a specific program or implementation method, this document describes the basic traits. These traits and attributes, when embraced, will be reflected in the values, assumptions, behaviors, beliefs, and norms of an organization and its members.

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