The safety of nuclear power transcends national borders and depends to a large extent on the ability of people to act together at the national and international levels. Therefore, a better understanding of the implicit cultural characteristics and the study of how the national context influences decision-making and work performance is an important task for comprehensive safety assurance.
In 2020, Rosatom Technical Academy together with the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/NEA) held the online Workshop on National Context in Nuclear Safety Culture on 6–8 of October. The Workshop participants were divided into groups and worked together to compile and complete a matrix reflecting relations between Russian national character attributes and working behaviour. As a result, participants identified the character traits forming the Russian national context, behavioural models aimed at ensuring safety, and the influence of national character traits on behaviour patterns.
In continuation of these activities, on 15-17 September 2021, the Workshop on Safety Culture and Exchange of Country-Specific Experience was held at the Moscow branch of the Rosatom Technical Academy. The Workshop objective was focused on the in-depth study of the national character features and how they affect the basic behavioural patterns in the implementation of safety-related activities.
The Workshop was attended by 27 representatives of ROSATOM subsidiary organizations, including personnel of international offices, as well as representatives of the regulatory body and scientific and technical support organizations. Dr Vladimir Artisyuk, Councilor, Adviser to Director General of ROSATOM opened the Workshop with a welcoming speech. The Workshop was led by Mr Eduard Volkov, an expert in the field of safety culture, director of the Obninsk Scientific and Research Centre “Prognoz”. Ms Tatiana Melnitskaia and Ms Elena Leonova, senior experts of Rosatom Technical Academy assisted the training.
The major part of the workshop programme was devoted to group work, during which participants analyzed and corrected the positive or negative influence of certain national character traits on the basic behavioural patterns, as well as presented relevant examples from their work.
The participants noted the particular importance of the topic of the workshop and expressed interest in continuing work in this area.
Since 2018 the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/NEA) conducts the Country-Specific Safety Culture Forums within its activities on radiological protection and human aspects of nuclear safety. At present, the Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum was carried out in Sweden in 2018, in Finland in 2019, and in 2021 it is planned in Canada.
Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum – examines how nuclear safety culture is affected by the national cultural context of the country operating a nuclear facility. It brings together experts representing both the nuclear industry and the regulatory authority in the host country, with the objective of helping organisations maintain a healthy safety culture for the safe operations of nuclear installations and for effective regulatory activities. The Forum was developed jointly by the OECD/NEA and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).
Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF) – is a working group established within the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) of the OECD/NEA, as a forum for facilitating the exchange of ideas and experience in the field of nuclear safety between the 33 Member States of the OECD/NEA.
In the line of cooperation with OECD/NEA, Rosatom Technical Academy regularly participates in the meetings of the Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF), established within OECD/NEA, exploring the impacts of national context on nuclear safety culture.
In 2019 in the framework of the Russia-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School for Young Professionals personnel of the Moscow branch of the International Training Center carried out a group work on safety culture issues.