2017:09 Evaluation of the Swedish participation in the Nordic Nuclear Safety Research (NKS) collaboration


NKS is a Nordic collaboration promoting cooperation on nuclear safety and emergency preparedness research. The research program is primarily funded by Nordic radiation safety authorities and responsible ministries. The main purpose of NKS is to finance joint Nordic activities and initiatives, including seminars and workshops, technical reports, exercises and scientific articles. Both radiation safety authorities, industries and research actors are engaged in NKS projects.


This is a report on the evaluation of the Swedish participation in the Nordic Nuclear Safety Research (NKS) collaboration during 2008-2015. The study has been com-missioned by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and completed by a team of evaluation consultants from Oxford Research. The evaluation has focused on the added value from Swedish participation in NKS and investigated the results and impacts of NKS and effects realised in Sweden.


This study concludes that the relative value of NKS for Sweden, as com-pared to funding of national research programs or activities, lies in NKS’ function as a co-ordination program which supports collaboration of mul-tiple Nordic actors in smaller R&D projects and pilot projects, rather than in its performance in terms of basic indicators of scientific output. Further-more, the added value of NKS is greater with-in the NKS-B programme as compared to the NKS-R programme, partially due to the wider engagement in the NKS-B programme from multiple Nordic countries. The evaluation further concludes that NKS integrates Nordic knowledge systems, especially within areas covered by NKS-B, and strengthens the capacity for re-search and development within the Nordic emergency preparedness system. The programme promotes a Nordic knowledge base and enables and realises continuity of Nordic cooperation within nuclear safety, which is important for gathering critical mass and continued development in small specialised research groups and environments in Sweden.

The added value of participation in NKS can be strengthened further by promoting thematic focus on topics which relate to common Nordic questions where a broad representation of Nordic actors is possible and by clarifying the purpose and objec-tives of NKS within the owners group. Furthermore, we recommend investigating and working towards synergies with other Nordic research programmes. Promoting the inclusion of Swedish PhD-students could strengthen the impacts of the programme in Sweden.