Available at http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=94f17a8e-bf47-43f0-5627-96a1508794b7. LA.8 b. 6. • As noted in Chapters 2 and 4, Japanese regulatory agencies did not inform utilities of the USNRC’s B.5.b requirements for responding to beyond-design-basis events even after the USNRC made them public. 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. As an “independent agency” [US]NRC is independent from the Executive Branch—not Congressional oversight. with nuclear safety culture monitoring, please contact James Slider, NEI senior project manager for this document, via e-mail to jes@nei.org, or via phone number (202) 739-8015. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO; see Sidebar 7.2) has published guidance on the nuclear safety culture for the U.S. power industry (INPO, 2013). The committee sees opportunities to improve the transparency of U.S. industry and regulator efforts to assess and improve their nuclear safety cultures. NUCLEAR SAFETY CULTURE ..... 3 THE TRAITS AND THEIR ATTRIBUTES..... 5 Personal Accountability ..... 5. In choosing such language, Congress endeavored to balance the benefits of nuclear energy with protection of public health and safety. TEPCO has acknowledged that it was ill-prepared for the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami-induced flooding that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini plants2: Top management of [the] nuclear division did not show strong willingness in enhancing plant safety against external events even in a step-by-step manner…. Nevertheless, past history suggests that Japan’s new regulatory organizations are unlikely to be effective unless they establish and closely adhere to good safety culture practices. It also requires onsite intelligence, learning, and decision making by plant operating staff. Safety Culture requires all duties important to safety to be carried out correctly, with alertness, due thought and full knowledge, sound judgement and a proper sense of accountability. ties and regulatory agencies whereby when a senior-level person retires, his junior would take his place (Wang and Chen, 2012). Both of these situations can weaken the industry and the regulator’s responsibilities to protect the public interest. Other organizations also contribute to nuclear plant safety. Committee members have a range of views about the current status of the nuclear safety culture in the United States. and Barnes (2012) evaluated the survey results to assess how the safety culture factors identified from the INPO survey relate to safety performance at nuclear plants. The shared responsibilities for nuclear plant safety are described in Sidebar 7.1. Continuing public support for nuclear power depends on the safe operation of nuclear plants. [US]NRC appears to have informally established an unreasonably high burden of requiring absolute proof of a safety problem, versus lack of reasonable assurance of maintaining public health and safety, before it will act to shut down a power plant. (Order, p. 7). 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. You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Leadership safety values and actions: Leaders demonstrate a commitment to safety in their decisions and behaviors. These are all manifestations of the culture, but none is the culture at the level that culture matters. Ready to take your reading offline? In Tennessee and Arizona, child welfare leaders are building a safety culture aimed at improving systems and, ultimately, outcomes for children and families This report by the IAEA’s International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group INSAG describes the concept of ‘Safety Culture’ in connection with nuclear plant safety in relation to both organi- zations and individuals engaged in nuclear power activities. UCS has been issuing annual reports on the performance of the USNRC (UCS, 2011b, 2012, 2013b; Lochbaum, 2014). The “do as I say, not as I do” approach is not an effective method of leading, particularly when working to improve an organization’s safety culture. 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 principle of “effective independence,” as explained by the IAEA, defines the international nuclear communities’ commitment to strong and effective regulation: The government shall ensure that the regulatory body is effectively independent in its safety related decision making and that it has functional separation from entities having responsibilities or interests that could unduly influence its decision making. Plant operators will be more willing to disclose small problems—which can be caught and corrected before they become significant—when they understand that regulators will exercise their regulatory authority fairly. The results of INPO’s inspection program are shared among INPO members, but such information is not made available to the public. make nuclear safety the overriding priority. 11 Available at http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/nrc-should-reject-calls-to.html. 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). In fact, the development and maintenance of a strong nuclear safety culture requires a focused and sustained commitment from all involved parties: • Nuclear regulators—both staff and leadership, and. This means, for example, the regulatory body should be technically competent, set high safety standards for itself, conduct its dealings with operators in a professional manner and show good judgment in its regulatory decisions. In promoting safety culture, a regulatory body should set a good example in its own performance. Those standards call upon nuclear organisations to promote and maintain what the IAEA calls a rigorous safety culture. Everyone is personally responsible for nuclear safety. However, safety can be compromised if plant owners/operators adopt a compliance-only operating philosophy. 7 The Department and in particular the Office of Environmental Management strives to continuously improve safety culture and nuclear safety. 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. 3 Formerly the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A well established national safety culture depends not only on nuclear operators to meet the highest standards, but also on a nuclear authority to keep the national requirements updated and to require modernization of plants when necessary. Some nuclear plants have had difficulties in meeting these regulations and have sought exemptions (USGAO, 2008). (IAEA, 2002, p. 3), There is international acceptance by the nuclear power community that a strong nuclear safety culture needs to be adopted universally: by senior management of organizations operating nuclear power plants, by individuals who work in those plants, and by regulatory bodies and other organizations that set nuclear power policies. INPO has taken the lead in promoting a strong nuclear safety culture in the U.S. nuclear industry through training and evaluation programs (Sidebar 7.2). It also refers to the practice of maintaining a rigid hierarchy in nuclear utili-. A system that encourages problem identification, reporting, and correction will operate most effectively when regulatory agencies use sound judgment to prioritize reported problems according to their safety significance. Key Messages Safety culture is a subset of the culture of the whole organization, comprising the mix of shared values, attitudes and patterns of behaviour that. This chapter is organized into four sections: Section 7.1 describes the nuclear safety culture concept. RECOMMENDATION 7.2B: The U.S. nuclear industry and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should examine opportunities to increase the transparency of and communication about their efforts to assess and improve their nuclear safety cultures. 151-152) note that because these inspection results are not made public, the public cannot determine how serious the identified problems are or whether, or to what extent, the identified problems have been addressed. • Executive and legislative branches of government. Some committee members point to specific incidents as evidence for the possible capture of the USNRC by industry. 23-24), the Chernobyl accident was caused by a “deficient safety culture at Chernobyl and throughout the Soviet design, operating and regulatory organizations.”, The use of the term by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) developed from a 1989 policy statement issued in response to unprofessional conduct and operator inattentiveness in nuclear plant control rooms (USNRC, 1989). Questioning Attitude ..... 8. The plant owner’s/operator’s first, foremost, and overriding responsibility is to ensure the safe operation of its plants. 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. 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. It has instituted several important efforts to foster and improve a safety culture at U.S. nuclear power plants. • Plant owners/operators are responsible for operating their plants so that safety and environmental protection goals are achieved. 7.3 NUCLEAR SAFETY CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES. The USNRC is currently involved in a rulemaking to determine whether filtered vents should be added to nuclear plants with Mark I and Mark II containments (see Sidebar 5.5, Appendix F, and Appendix L). It is also essential that the USNRC balance the interests of those outside parties with those of the broader public. 7.2.2 Changes Following the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. 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. (p. 49). Explosion of the released hydrogen damaged three reactor buildings and impeded onsite emergency response efforts. (OIG, 2002, p. 14), An investigation of the incident by the USNRC’s Office of the Inspector General noted that. On paper, TEPCO and its nuclear regulator were committed to a nuclear safety culture prior to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. America’s nuclear power plants have an excellent track record and are among the safest and most secure industrial facilities in the country. These members also note that industry, including the Electric Power Research Institute and vendor organizations such as BWR and PWR owners’ groups have been active participants in the regulatory process and the development of voluntary initiatives since before the late 1990s.13 Industry is well organized and has a deep resource base to support a high level of participation in the regulatory process. The agency has documented its expectations for the nuclear safety culture in a series of policy pronouncements, including a 1989 Policy Statement on the Conduct of Nuclear Power Plant Operation. 15 Available at http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1314/ML13143A321.pdf. Discussions involving the new Japanese regulatory structure and its effectiveness continue as Japan considers the restart of some of its nuclear reactors (Geller, 2014). They were responsible for more than 15,900 deaths and 2,600 missing persons as well as physical infrastructure damages exceeding $200 billion. Nuclear Safe Culture, defined by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2104) established in 1975, is 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 in … Nuclear plant safety begins with a plant’s design and construction and extends through its full life cycle including operation, maintenance, and, inevitably, decommissioning. In 2011, after a public input process, the USNRC published a Final Safety Culture Policy Statement (USNRC, 2011b) that establishes nine traits of a positive safety culture: 1. That guidance notes that, nuclear safety is a collective responsibility. 6 Lessons Learned: Offsite Emergency Management, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/inf449.shtml, http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=94f17a8e-bf47-43f0-5627-96a1508794b7, http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/letters/20130115NRC, http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=a79c7514-cf71-9bab-769a-0f4d16587726&Region_id=&Issue_id=, http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/letters/20130115NRC.pdf, http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/nrc-should-reject-calls-to.html, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/speeches/2014/s-14-002.pdf, http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1314/ML13143A321.pdf, http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal/applications.html, 2 Background on Japanese and U.S. Nuclear Plants, 3 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and Impacts on Japanese Nuclear Plants, 5 Lessons Learned: Plant Operations and Safety Regulations, 7 Lessons Learned: Nuclear Safety Culture, Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee, Technical Advisor, and Staff, Appendix B: Presentations, Breakout Sessions, and Visits, Appendix D: Operation and Support Organizations, Appendix E: Recommendations from Other Organizations, Appendix F: Regulator and Industry Actions in the United States, Appendix G: Hydrogen Control in Severe Accidents, Appendix H: Nuclear Plant Emergency Procedures and Guidelines, Appendix I: Probabilistic Risk Assessment, Appendix K: Tsunami Hazards in the Atlantic Ocean Basin, Appendix L: Factoring the Costs of Severe Nuclear Accidents into Backfit Decisions, Appendix M: Access to Timely and Reliable Information to Support Decision Making During a Nuclear Power Plant Accident. 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