CORDIS - Resultados de investigaciones de la UE

Learning organisations for nuclear safety

Resultado final

The main objective of the LearnSafe project was to create methods and tools for supporting processes of organisational learning at the nuclear power plants. The results of LearnSafe project include an inventory of organisational challenges at nuclear power plants and facilitators and hindrances of organisational learning. These results support the creation of an understanding of crucial components of safety management at the nuclear power plants. An understanding of systemic issues connected to human errors and organisational deficiencies can have a large influence on safety and economic competitiveness of nuclear power on a broad scale. These issues will be crucial in achieving a successful lifetime management of existing nuclear installations. The involvement of nuclear power plants in five European countries has made it possible to address similarities and differences in organisational structures and work practices. The LearnSafe project has demonstrated the need for additional research on issues connected to organisation and management, because they are the most important remaining factors, which contribute to events and incidents at the nuclear power plants. New research is suggested to be carried out under the heading of safety management, because it is an overriding area for activities by which safety of nuclear installations is maintained and improved. The LearnSafe project has shown that a combination of empirical and theoretical research can help in establishing scientific and technical platform by which safety requirements and proposed organisational designs can be assessed. Present understanding of human and organisational factors unfortunately gives a poor scientific platform to decide on what can be considered as sound requirements for activities within safety management. There is a gap between theory and practices in understanding how people and organisations influence safety. Ongoing research in human and organisational factors in the nuclear industry is fragmented with minor interactions between research groups. Academic research has been quite theoretical, whereas practical guidance in the field has a poorly grounded scientific base. A stimulation of multi-disciplinary research in nuclear safety has a large potential of improvements in the prevention of minor events that may develop to incidents. The LearnSafe project has developed and used several models connected to management and organisations. These models can prove useful in structuring managerial activities that aim at ensuring continued safety at the nuclear power plants. An open final seminar was held 28-29 April 2004 to disseminate project results. The proceedings of the seminar have been made available at the LearnSafe web-site A Network of Excellence "Strategies and Practices of Safety Management (SafeMan)" has been proposed with research activities in the following broad areas: - Leadership and management. - Communication. - Processes for decision making. - Experience. - Competency.

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