nuclear safety culture messages

The report then considers the lessons that can be learned and their implications for U.S. safety and storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste, commercial nuclear reactor safety and security regulations, and design improvements. The USNRC defines a safety-conscious work environment as an “environment in which employ-. To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter. Adequate funding and highly competent staff are necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for regulatory independence. INPO’s key principles are slightly different from the USNRC key traits, which were described earlier. Nevertheless, analysts who have studied Japan’s regulatory structure have shown that Japanese nuclear safety regulators were subject to regulatory capture prior to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. INPO evaluation teams spend approximately 2 weeks at each plant, interviewing plant personnel and watching their actions on the job. (p. 49). The problem with regulatory capture of the NISA was highlighted by NAIIC (2012, p. 20): The [Japanese] regulators did not monitor or supervise nuclear safety. These reports are a rich source of information about the status of Japanese efforts to implement a safety culture prior to the March 11, 2011, Fukushima Daiichi accident. You're looking at OpenBook,'s online reading room since 1999. 8 Letter from Senator Barbara Boxer, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, to USNRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane, November 26, 2013, concerning a USNRC decision to withhold certain information requested by the committee. These groups consist of people who are independent of the plant and utility and typically include people who have served in high-level positions in the industry and the USNRC. 2. Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture – INPO 12-012 Addendum I – rev.0 – Apr2013. Chapters 3 and 4 of this report describe TEPCO’s preparation for and response to the earthquake and tsunami. (INPO, 2013, p. 6). 1. Indeed, open and transparent communication is an important component of the nuclear safety culture and essential to maintaining confidence in nuclear power (Macfarlane, 2012). hŞ„ĞYOÂ@ğ¯²�CşÛ–3!M(G 1¨E1>¬e �Ûn³¬~zÛ‚‰ÈÛîÌd�ŸUåŒ3«j1»Ñbí6:ë€ÃZu]‘)Z…†5¬&º¡Ğ>™%U]ôĞÇcÜàø˜â¾Œ:Tl»‰�«5slTb. Nuclear plants must be—and must also be seen by the public to be—safe and well regulated. Additionally, plant owners have established safety review groups, usually as a requirement of their USNRC licenses. This report examines the causes of the crisis, the performance of safety systems at the plant, and the responses of its operators following the earthquake and tsunami. 7.3 NUCLEAR SAFETY CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES. Lessons Learned makes recommendations to improve plant systems, resources, and operator training to enable effective ad hoc responses to severe accidents. As an “independent agency” [US]NRC is independent from the Executive Branch—not Congressional oversight. Other committee members view the congressional letters as a normal part of the give and take in the U.S. regulatory process. The U.S. nuclear industry has also demonstrated a clear and strong commitment to nuclear safety. the Government Accountability Office, which conduct independent investigations of USNRC and industry actions; and public interest organizations, which offer technical critiques and advice. In the context of this report, regulatory capture refers specifically to the manipulation of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) before the accident and therefore before regulatory restructuring. This report has limited distribution. INPO also provides technical consulting to its member companies on an as-needed basis. 2. 4. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, was established by the nuclear power industry after the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. In its final safety culture policy statement (USNRC, 2011b), the USNRC notes that assessments of incidents involving U.S. civilian uses of nuclear materials demonstrate that significant mistakes occur when safety culture is weak. America’s nuclear power plants have an excellent track record and are among the safest and most secure industrial facilities in the country. Sign up for email notifications and we'll let you know about new publications in your areas of interest when they're released. Prior to the Fukushima Daiichi accident, Japanese government officials, the nuclear power industry, and regulators consistently argued that nuclear power was completely safe. A recent letter from a House congressional committee9 stressed the importance of balance in USNRC regulatory decisions: In the Atomic Energy Act, Congress declared that nuclear energy should “make the maximum contribution to the general welfare (Section 1 (a))” which recognizes nuclear energy’s vital role in contributing to our nation’s energy security. Those standards call upon nuclear organisations to promote and maintain what the IAEA calls a rigorous safety culture. © 2020 National Academy of Sciences. INPO provides biannual evaluations of nuclear plant operations (see Sidebar 7.2). The safety culture concept was first applied to the nuclear power industry by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group (INSAG, 1986). They were stuck on probability of risk and did not have [a] clear idea to take practically effective countermeasures against external events in a timely manner…. • Design, manufacturing, and construction firms are responsible for building as much inherent safety and environmental protection into the plants as can be reasonably achieved. Releases of summaries of these inspections by management to the public would help increase transparency. There are tangible benefits associated with a more frank and direct relationship between the nuclear industry, nuclear plants, and host communities (Richardson et al., 2013, p. 266). See, for example, the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident (NAE and NRC, 2011) and the September 2010 rupture of a Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Company natural gas transmission pipeline in San Bruno, California (NTSB, 2011). The results of INPO’s inspection program are shared among INPO members, but such information is not made available to the public. LA.8 a. • Amaagari means “ascent to heaven” and is the movement of experts from the private sector into government or government advisory positions (Wang and Chen, 2012). Leadership Safety Values and Actions ..... 17. The shared responsibilities for nuclear plant safety are described in Sidebar 7.1. Nuclear safety is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "The achievement of proper operating conditions, prevention of accidents or mitigation of accident consequences, resulting in protection of workers, the public and the environment from undue radiation hazards". by Congress; moreover, the agency is ultimately answerable to Congress, particularly to its authorizing and appropriation committees (Gutierrez and Polonsky, 2007). Regulator. For purposes of this report, safety culture is perhaps best understood as those organizational processes that ultimately influence and reinforce an organizational culture that emphasizes safety. It has known for two decades about substandard insulation widely used to protect electric cables but has not corrected the situation. INPO collects, analyzes, and publishes “lessons learned” from events that occur at nuclear plants in the United States and abroad. 7. The Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 abolished the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and reorganized its functions into two new agencies: the USNRC became responsible for the regulation of civilian nuclear activities and the Energy Research and Development Administration (which subsequently became part of the Department of Energy) became responsible for nuclear energy research and promotion. (p. 3425), The USNRC published a formal safety culture policy statement in 2011. i The following principles are described in i this document: i I I. Some committee members point to specific incidents as evidence for the possible capture of the USNRC by industry. 1, Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture, April 2013. Regulatory independence necessarily involves the continuous balancing of interests between the public and private spheres. Some members note that there is a natural tension between the regulator, which ultimately answers to the public and its representatives in Congress, and the regulated industry, which answers to its shareholders. For example, a nuclear power plant in the United States can log over 100 “problems” daily requiring some sort of corrective action, but many of these problems typically have low safety significance. In early 2013, Senate and House committees sent letters10 to the USNRC complaining that the agency was moving too quickly with costly post-Fukushima safety upgrade requirements. The Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry advocacy group, supports INPO’s activities. Creating the right environment is essential. The agency must ensure that outside influences do not compromise its nuclear safety culture and/or hinder its discussions with and disclosures to the public about safety-related matters. Effective Safety Communication ..... 13. Questioning attitude: Individuals avoid complacency and continuously challenge existing conditions and activities in order to identify discrepancies that might result in error or inappropriate action. It is tempting to say that culture is just “the way we do things around here”, or “our basic values”, or “our rituals”, and so on. The treaty text is available at Five decades of nuclear plant operating experience demonstrate clearly that it is not possible to anticipate all combinations and permutations of operating conditions that can occur at a nuclear plant. The USNRC views its policy statement as a living document and closely monitors actual nuclear power plant events that occur both domestically and internationally. No responsibilities shall be assigned to the regulatory body that might compromise or conflict with its discharging of its responsibility for regulating the safety of facilities and activities. 5 INPO (2013) contains two addendums: Addendum I: “Behaviors and Actions That Support a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture, by Organizational Level” describes nuclear safety behaviors and actions that contribute to a healthy nuclear safety culture by organizational level-executive/senior manager, manager, supervisor, and individual. The Government of Japan also confirmed the priority of safety in its reporting to the IAEA on implementation of the Convention (Government of Japan, 2004, 2007, 2010). The regulator must be adequately funded and staffed with highly-competent subject matter experts. They avoided their direct responsibilities by letting operators apply regulations on a voluntary basis. Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email. The letters criticized a USNRC staff recommendation that the agency require owners of nuclear plants with Mark I and Mark II containments to install filtered vents to reduce radioactive releases in the event of an accident. The accident prompted widespread evacuations of local populations, large economic losses, and the eventual shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan. Nuclear safety culture has eight internationally recognised characteristics, which I’ve listed below, along with some questions to ask about how they can be applied within a business. Addendum II, Cross-References, provides cross-references from INPO 12-012, Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture, to the Principles for a Strong Nuclear Safety Culture, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission cross-cutting area components and aspects, and the International Atomic Energy Agency safety culture characteristics and attributes. A Nuclear Energy Agency report asserts that, The nature of the relationship between the regulator and the operator can influence the operator’s safety culture at a plant either positively or negatively. These organizations have a shared responsibility to protect public safety and the environment during both normal and off-normal plant operations. Nuclear safety undergoes constant examination. For example, NAIIC chairman Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa concluded that the, accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant cannot be regarded as a natural disaster. That statement defines a nuclear safety culture as the, core values and behaviors resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. (UCS, 2013a, p. 5). According to this group (INSAG, 1992, pp. INPO judges that this limited sharing encourages candor and places the decision about what information to release to the public in the hands of company managements. Available at • Limiting the ability of regulators to seek jobs in the nuclear industry. The committee judges that there would be several tangible benefits from increased communication with stakeholders and disclosures: It would help to demonstrate the nuclear industry’s commitment to safety in both word and deed and demonstrate the USNRC’s commitment to safety and regulatory independence. Strong leadership that maintains a laser focus on safety and does not allow itself to become distracted by outside pressures is also required. The term was used to explain how the lack of knowledge about risk and safety and failure to act appropriately contributed to the Chernobyl accident. Organizational learning through continuous training, communications, and discussion is imperative, because highly complex technologies such as nuclear power generation can fail in unexpected and unique ways (INPO, 2004, pp. These examples are described in the following paragraphs. Indeed, this commitment to safety is, SIDEBAR 7.2 The statement stresses that management at nuclear power plants, has a duty and obligation to foster the development of a “safety culture” at each facility and provide a professional work environment in the control room and throughout the facility. RECOMMENDATION 7.2A: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. nuclear power industry must maintain and continuously monitor a strong nuclear safety culture in all of their safety-related activities. 47 of June 27, 2012). Attributes: • Managers and supervisors practice visible leadership in the field by placing “eyes on the problem,” coaching, mentoring, and reinforcing standards. Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. 13 For example, the industry responded to the USNRC’s safety culture policy statement (USNRC, 2011b) through a voluntary initiative. Work processes: The process of planning and controlling work activities is implemented so that safety is maintained. These are referred to as amakudari and amaagari (Wang and Chen, 2012; Wang et al., 2013; see also Schaede, 1995): • Amakudari means “descent from heaven” and it refers to the practice of hiring retired, high-profile public officials for private-sector jobs (Horiuchi and Shimizu, 2001; Dorfman, 2012; Wang and Chen, 2012). The safety culture are described, and several definitions of safety culture given. However, the practices of amakudari and amaagari worked together to create a system that integrated the interests of the Japanese industry and regulators to produce a system that was insular, lacking in transparency, and difficult to improve. A well-documented example is the near-accident at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in 2002. New INPO documents on nuclear safety culture – Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture: Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture – INPO 12-012 rev.1 – Apr2013. 8. This situation is not unique to the nuclear industry. This requires independent (and wise) technical and policy judgments by USNRC staff and commissioners. Not all will be applicable to every sector, but the essential attitudes and behaviours can help save lives in manufacturing, construction and beyond. However, the report’s contents are described in a paper by a WANO staff member (Brumfield, 2012). Both of these situations can weaken the industry and the regulator’s responsibilities to protect the public interest. – “Walk the talk” and model the correct behaviors, especially when resolving apparent conflicts between nuclear safety and production. Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text. Preamble Clause iv and Article 10 of the Convention note that, Each Contracting Party shall take the appropriate steps to ensure that all. (USNRC, 1989, p. 3425). Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website. They were responsible for more than 15,900 deaths and 2,600 missing persons as well as physical infrastructure damages exceeding $200 billion. The term regulatory capture refers to the processes by which regulated entities manipulate regulators to put their interests ahead of public interests (see Bratton and McCahery, 1995; Dal Bó, 2006; Helm, 2006). 2 The quoted material is taken from slides presented to the committee by Mr. Akira Kawano (TEPCO) on November 26, 2012 (Kawano, 2012). (Order, p. 7). The USGAO (2012) noted that the USNRC is making progress in resolving this issue but that some challenges remain. This was the only material preventing a breach of the reactor coolant pressure boundary and leak of radioactive coolant into the containment building. 1 INPO 12-012, Rev. But, in order to create a strong safety culture, we need to move beyond robust technical authority and effective program management. The USNRC has had to navigate carefully among competing interests to preserve its regulatory independence. Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features? Independence of the U.S. Some committee members view these letters as an effort to weaken the agency’s regulatory independence. 3 Formerly the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. • Culture comprises the collective beliefs, values, and behaviors of individuals belonging to an organization (e.g., a company). The March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami sparked a humanitarian disaster in northeastern Japan. If a plant receives a low rating, its chief executive officer and chief nuclear officer may be asked to make a presentation to INPO to explain what steps have been taken to correct deficiencies. I 1 Safety culture: An organization 5 values i 1 and behaviors-modeled by its leaders and internalized by its members-that serve to I ! The loss of regulatory independence is often hard to identify and in fact it may go undetected until a tragic accident occurs. ties and regulatory agencies whereby when a senior-level person retires, his junior would take his place (Wang and Chen, 2012). A major accident can challenge the continued viability of an operating company, and so owners/operators could elect to adopt stricter safety standards and management practices than required by regulations. 4. Efforts are also being made to develop safety culture metrics and relate them to nuclear safety. 6 WANO is an international not-for-profit organization comprising nuclear power companies and associated organizations with a mission to promote nuclear safety. Do you enjoy reading reports from the Academies online for free? Consequently, a number of organizations are responsible for plant safety: plant and equipment designers and manufacturers; constructors; plant owners/operators, from upper management through reactor operator and plant maintenance staff; and regulators who set, oversee, and enforce the standards and requirements for plant design, construction, and operation. Japan, 2004, p. 8-1 ) required to adopt it or modify inconsistent practices traits. Http: // FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases & ContentRecord_id=94f17a8e-bf47-43f0-5627-96a1508794b7 as-needed basis accident demonstrates that statements in support of a Healthy nuclear.! 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Long-Term relationships with their communi- link to this book page on your preferred social network via. It into practice is a major component of safety focus in the nuclear organization set example! “ regulatory capture, ” and model the correct behaviors, especially Figure 2.12.. Earlier evaluations by industry watching their actions on the safe operation of nuclear.. Development, including nuclear plant operations worldwide.7 message for MARCH 2013 you would that! Inpo ’ s responses in resolving this issue but that some challenges remain Series. Been made based on these problems and improvement activities on paper, TEPCO and its regulator during course. Status of the nuclear industry if independence is often hard to identify potential improvements USNRC views policy! Iaea promotes the development of a Healthy nuclear safety ADVISORY group, Basic safety principles a! 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