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Vienna, Austria 2011

Technical Meeting on Safety Culture Oversight and Assessment, 15 - 18 February


In the last two decades, organizational and cultural issues have been identified as vital in achieving safe operation. Safety culture is now a commonly used term. Starting from the basic document Safety Culture (Safety Series No.75-INSAG-4, 1991) the concept of nuclear safety culture has evolved to the Safety Requirements The Management System for Facilities and Activities (Safety Standard Series No. GS-R-3, 2006) and the Safety Guides, Application of the Management System for Facilities and Activities Safety Standard Series No. GS-G-3.1, 2006) and, The Management System for Nuclear Installations (Safety Standard Series No. GS-G-3.5, 2009).

Regional Conference on Safe Nuclear Energy in Romania and BulgariaDuring this time, there were several attempts to establish practical approaches for regulatory oversight in the area of safety culture on an international level, for example: the joint American Nuclear Society (ANS)/Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) International Topical Meeting on Safety Culture in Nuclear Installations (April 1995, Vienna, Austria), the IAEA’s International Conference on Safety Culture in Nuclear Installations (December 2002, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), the IAEA’s Technical Meeting on the Role of Governments and Regulators in Fostering a Strong Nuclear Safety Culture (September 2003, Vienna, Austria), the OECD/NEA Workshop on How regulatory inspections can promote, or not promote, good safety culture (May 2006, Toronto, Canada), the joint NEA/IAEA Workshop on Maintaining Oversight of Licensee Safety Culture-Methods and Approaches (May 2007, Chester, United Kingdom) and, recently, the 10th OECD/NEA International Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Workshop (May 2010, Amsterdam, Netherlands) addressing experience from inspecting safety culture.

A major outcome of these international efforts is the recommendation for the development of a common understanding on how oversight of a licensee’s safety culture should be performed and how safety culture elements should be evaluated.

In parallel, several national initiatives were undertaken to develop different practical approaches for inspection, assessment and oversight of safety culture and safety management. On the licensee side, various nuclear installations implemented their own approaches for safety culture self-assessment and improvement.

Furthermore, in the 2008 Fourth Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety it was recognized that “safety culture assessments will continue to mature and become common place”.


The general objective of the meeting is to establish a common opinion on how regulatory oversight of safety culture can be developed to foster safety culture.

In order to reach this objective, the primary purpose of the meeting will be to facilitate a broad exchange of good practices and issues among Member States in the area of oversight of a licensee’s safety culture.

Further, the meeting should suggest ways as to how regulators and licensees may use the results of the oversight in order to create an environment that supports a continual improvement of safety culture.

It is intended that the output of the meeting will form the basis for a Safety Report Series document providing guidance on how regulators and licensees can deal with the safety culture components in order to continuously foster a positive safety culture.


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| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.