Focusing on leadership and safety culture

WGLSC meeting at HAEA in Budapest, Hungary. April 2024

Understanding and characterising a healthy nuclear safety culture is of ongoing importance, and human aspects, including leadership at all levels and organisational factors, are essential to every aspect of effective regulatory activities. In addition, the relationships and interactions of the regulator with licensees, governmental entities and other stakeholders have a mutual impact on the safety culture of the regulatory body and others, as they are all part of a wider interconnected system.

In this context, the NEA Working Group on Leadership and Safety Culture (WGLSC) fosters discussion and the exchange of information among the NEA member countries, and considers various practical approaches to developing and sustaining effective leadership and a healthy safety culture within the wider interconnected system to ensure safety.

The group held its third meeting in Budapest, Hungary, from 8-11 April 2024. Hosted by the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA), the meeting focused on the ongoing activities, the safety culture related updates in member countries, and the next steps for the group’s programme of work following the launch of two WGLSC reports at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 36th Annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) in Maryland, where safety culture and leadership were key topics discussed amongst more than 3000 participants from more than 40 countries.

The first report, The Mutual Impact of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies and License Holders from a Safety Culture Perspective (2024), examines the factors and mechanisms by which nuclear regulatory bodies and site license holders influence the safety culture of the other.

The second report, Practices for Enhancing Leadership for Safety in Nuclear Regulatory Bodies (2024), presents extensive data that support a range of important findings and recommendations that will aid nuclear regulatory agencies in all countries identify and develop nuclear regulatory leaders and strengthen their safety mission.

The WGLSC meeting also featured a visit to the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, the first and only operating nuclear power station in Hungary.

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See also