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Project summary

Nuclear Safety Culture is a topic of paramount importance for all nuclear operators as well as for all operators of installations dedicated to radiology and radiotherapy. Besides the operators, it concerns also the regulators and related support organisations. Its efficient practice is an absolute must in Europe and in the world for the Long Term Operation and possible redeployment of the nuclear power plants, for the production and transport of fissile materials and radioisotopes, and for research activities related to the above and to fusion.

Safety culture is a complex target that can only be implemented through continuous and multilateral efforts involving not only technical but also human and social aspects. It has some universal rules as well as some particular aspects that need to be disseminated on a large scale through seminars on best practices, case studies, feedback studies, pilot sessions, etc. Such dissemination would contribute to harmonisation according to high standards, and promote the mutual recognition of training throughout Europe, the so-called “European passport”. A clear step has been made in this direction by the adoption by the Council of the Nuclear Safety Directive of 25 June 2009, in particular its article 7[1]. The EU is becoming the first major regional nuclear actor to provide binding legal force to the main international nuclear safety standards, namely the Safety Fundamentals established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the obligations resulting from the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

The objective of this project is to design, develop and test two relevant training schemes on Nuclear Safety Culture with a European environment, based on a specific evaluation of the training needs. The general objective includes the four following specific objectives:

i)                    An analysis of the training needs will be carried out across Europe through data collection and seminars organised in different regional locations; the results will be available at month 12;

ii)                  The links between the ALARA principle currently used in the radiation protection community and the safety culture of the nuclear industry will be clarified to reach a common approach making the attendance of managers from both groups to a basic training module possible; The conclusions will be available at month 10;

iii)                Based on the results of the analysis of the training needs, the two training schemes will be designed and developed with a common generic basic module, and four specialised modules; the end of the development coincides with the end of the project (month 48);

iv)                The training schemes will be validated by testing the new teaching modules by means of pilot sessions and by making corrections where they appear to be necessary; the report on the pilot sessions will be available at month 45.

Through this coordination action, involving training providers, industry, regulators and universities, the two new training schemes will benefit from a multi-cultural approach, diversified resources, and the search for high quality and attractiveness. Two user groups will follow the entire process, provide their advices and participate to the validation of the training modules.

The central objective being the mutual recognition of good practices and behaviours related to the safety culture management of the nuclear installations in Europe, the safety managers should be the first beneficiaries of this coordination action. The managers, who are, according to IAEA, the key players in the successful enhancement of safety culture, should also benefit from this coordination action.

[1]"Expertise and skills in nuclear safety. Member States shall ensure that the national framework in place requires arrangements for education and training to be made by all parties for their staff having responsibilities relating to the nuclear safety of nuclear installations in order to maintain and to further develop expertise and skills in nuclear safety."