Sweden the pioneer country for a new international forum on safety culture

Safety is influenced by national contexts and culture. The international bodies World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) have, together with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), developed the Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum. On 23-24 January, this concept was tested for the first time, with Sweden as the pioneer and host country.

Following the nuclear power plant accident that took place at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, the need arose to re-examine how safety is influenced by national contexts and culture. For the purpose of supporting the work of NEA member countries based on country-specific assumptions, the NEA and WANO developed the concept, which creates a forum for discussing the area of safety culture. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has participated in developing the forum concept, whose purpose is to facilitate reflective dialogue on strengths and weaknesses on the basis of each country's cultural aspects, and discussion on potential measures to enhance the safety cultures of competent authorities and licensees.

On 23-24 January 2018, this concept was launched, with Sweden as the pioneer country and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, as host of the Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum together with the NEA and WANO. The attendees included representatives of the companies OKG Aktiebolag, Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB, Ringhals AB, Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB, Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB), Uniper AB, and Vattenfall AB.

"The safety culture of an organisation influences management of safety matters throughout all levels of the organisation. The Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum provides an opportunity for regulators, licensees and majority shareholders to conduct dialogue on the ways in which Swedish contexts and Swedish culture have an impact on our organisations' respective safety cultures," says Anne Edland, head of section at SSM.

The Forum's programme included a mix of talks, role-playing and group discussions together with an international panel and opportunities to pose questions. When the concept is deemed to be fully developed, the Forum can be offered to other member countries of the NEA.

For more information, please contact: Anne Edland, Head of Section, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), on Tel. +46 8 799 43 91, or SSM's press officer on Tel. +46 8 799 40 20.