Title: Less is more? Results from a case study on improving the safety review process at a nuclear power plant

Authors: Thomas Falk

Addresses: Department of Philosophy and the History of Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Teknikringen 78B, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper focuses on technical safety reviews of plant modifications at a Swedish nuclear power plant. The primary aims of the presented study include identifying the main areas for improvement of the existing technical safety review process, developing a new process, and evaluating whether any improvements were accomplished. It was concluded that grading of the primary safety review reports facilitates improved experience feedback by providing easier access to good examples for reviewers. However, the experience feedback process is a specific area in which the revised safety review process has not been as successful as desired. Improvements identified by implementing the revised process are primarily linked to the independent safety review function, including better planning and means for resource allocation as well as clearer and more unambiguous supporting instructions. Introduction of formalised independent review meetings provides increased exchange of knowledge and strengthened the independent safety review function in the organisation.

Keywords: technical safety reviews; nuclear energy; nuclear power plants; NPP; process improvement; action research; experience feedback; nuclear knowledge management; nuclear safety; plant modifications; Sweden; planning; resource allocation; supporting instructions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNKM.2013.054494

International Journal of Nuclear Knowledge Management, 2013 Vol.6 No.2, pp.126 - 142

Received: 06 Nov 2012
Accepted: 20 Feb 2013

Published online: 30 Sep 2014 *

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