Issues Related To Safety Culture

  • George E. Apostolakis
  • Mario V. Bonaca
Conference paper


The concept of safety culture has received significant attention ever since the accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) highlighted the importance of management and organizational factors to the safety of nuclear power operation. The concept of safety culture encompasses a broad spectrum of characteristics that include personnel attitudes, the control of work activities, and organizational structures. Although safety culture means different things to different people, a working definition of the term has been provided by the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group (INSAG) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (Reference 1). In INSAG’s view, safety culture is “that assembly of characteristics and attitudes in organizations and individuals which establishes that, as an overriding priority, nuclear plant safety issues receive the attention warranted by their significance.” In a Policy Statement on the Conduct of Nuclear Power Plant Operations (Reference 2), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) proposed a similar definition.


Nuclear Power Plant International Atomic Energy Agency Safety Culture Safety Performance Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group, Safety Culture, Safety Series 75-INSAG-4, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1991.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, “Policy Statement on the Conduct of Nuclear Power Plant Operations,” Federal Register, 54FR 3424, January 24, 1989.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG-1756, Safety Culture: A Survey of the State of the Art, Prepared for the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards by J.N. Sorensen, Senior Fellow, ACRS (see also Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Vol. 76, pp. 189-204, 2002).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Recommendations for Reactor Oversight Process Improvements, SECY-99-007, 1999.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Presentations at ACRS Workshop on Safety Culture, June 12-13, 2003: a) Ashok Thadani, Director, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, NRC, Safety Culture, June 12, 2003. b) Chuck Dugger, Vice President, Nuclear Energy Institute, Collective Understanding of Safety Culture, June 12, 2003. c) Thomas E. Murley, Nuclear Energy Agency, Early Signs of Deteriorating Safety Performance, June 12, 2003. d) Howard Whitcomb, III, Esq, Comments on Collective Understanding of Safety Culture, and William N. Keisler, Nuclear Maintenance Integration Consultants, Organization Half-Life, The Un-Monitored Disintegration in Reactor and Public Safety, June 12, 2003. e) David Collins, Engineering Analyst, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Managing Safety Culture, June 12, 2003. f) Alan Price, Vice President, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Safety Culture, June 12, 2003. g) David Trimble, Clare Goodman, Lisamarie Jarriel, and J.J. Persensky, NRC, Attributes of Safety Culture, June 12, 2003. h) George Felgate, Director, Analysis Division, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, Safety Culture Attributes, June 12, 2003. i) Lew Myers, Chief Operating Officer, First Energy Nuclear Operating Company, Organizational Safety Culture, June 12, 2003. j) Jack Grobe, Chairman, Davis-Besse Oversight Panel and Geoff Wright, Inspection Team Leader, NRC, Management and Human Performance Inspection at Davis-Besse, June 12, 2003. k) William O’Connor, Chairman of the Board, Utility Service Alliance and Vice President, Nuclear Generation, Detroit Edison, Nuclear Safety Culture Assessment, June 12, 2003. l) Sonja B. Haber, Human Performance Analysis Corporation, Attributes of Safety Culture, June 12, 2003.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Report dated July 16, 2003 from M.V. Bonaca, Chairman, ACRS, to N.J. Diaz, Chairman, USNRC. Subject: Safety Culture.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Degradation of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station Reactor Pressure Vessel Head. Lessons-Learned Report, September 30, 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • George E. Apostolakis
    • 1
  • Mario V. Bonaca
    • 1
  1. 1.Advisory Committee on Reactor SafeguardsUS Nuclear Regulatory CommissionUSA

Personalised recommendations