Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum (CSSCF)
Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum (CSSCF) Canada participants take part in a role playing exercise, 7 September 2022


Throughout the history of nuclear technology, one of the common objectives of both nuclear operators and the nuclear safety organisations that regulate them has been to strive to achieve and maintain high levels of nuclear safety as an absolute priority. For several decades now, a healthy safety culture has been considered as essential to the overall safety performance of any organisation. Although the goals towards achieving safety in countries with nuclear power programmes are similar, the operational realities vary due to a range of factors including national cultural contexts. Those national cultural characteristics can have a positive impact on a healthy safety culture within nuclear organisations or present notable challenges. For this reason, it is essential for the nuclear community to identify what influences are present within their individual cultural contexts and reflect on how these influences may have an impact on their overall nuclear safety culture. A clear understanding of these impacts can lead to the strengthening of safety culture dimensions, such as safety being the focus of an open and transparent communication, having explicit responsibility and accountability for safety, or ensuring that safety is being considered as a priority in all decision-making.

The Country-Specific Safety Culture Forum (CSSCF) is a programme established by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) to provide host countries and their principal nuclear institutions and organisations an opportunity to reflect on national characteristics and engage in exercises to assess the influence those characteristics could have on the overarching nuclear safety culture. This process does not strive to make a comparative analysis of national contexts. Instead, it offers an opportunity for a given country to reflect and assess the influence of its national culture on the nuclear safety culture and consider, within the national context, methods (where applicable) for sustainable improvements to its safety culture. 

In this regard, across a range of nuclear activities in a given country, the CSSCF analyses the cultural traits of a country’s nuclear sector and identifies how they might influence assumptions, values, beliefs and behaviours within nuclear organisations. To achieve this, the CSSCF comprises a series of steps: data gathering and analysis, development of a scenario script, the conduct of a two-day Forum, detailed analysis, and development of the final report containing findings and most importantly country-specific recommendations for continuous improvement in enhancing a healthy safety culture across the nuclear community.

Previous CSSCF

The CSSCF convenes annually by a national two-day Forum: 

The first CSSCF held in Sweden in 2018 was co-organised with WANO in collaboration with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM). The event brought together over 60 participants from the Swedish nuclear community and international observers from France, Finland, Japan, Korea, South Africa and the United States, representing the industry and regulatory organisations. 

The second CSSCF held in Finland in 2019 was co-organised with WANO in collaboration with the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK). Approximately 50 individuals from the Finnish nuclear sector participated, including staff and management from license holders and license applicants in Finland, as well as staff and leaders from the regulator.

The third CSSCF held in Canada in 2022 was co-organised with WANO in collaboration with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Over 80 participants attended and proactively engaged in the deliberations of the Forum, which were fruitful and delivered positive outcomes. International experts from France, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom participated as observers during the event.

The fourth CSSCF held in Japan in 2023 was co-organised with WANO in collaboration with the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) and the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC). The Forum was attended by a large and diverse group of representatives (more than 100 participants) representing very senior to more junior levels of the Japanese national nuclear organisations, including international guests from the People’s Republic of China, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The fifth CSSCF will be held in Switzerland in 2024 and will be co-organised with WANO and in collaboration with the Swiss Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ENSI).

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