While the earthquake and tsunami leading up to what happened at Fukushima Daiichi could not have been avoided, certain culture-based measures could have been implemented before, during, and immediately after the accident to help prevent the accident or mitigate the consequences. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, The Fukushima Daiichi Accident, identified complacency among the management and workforce as one of its major root causes: “Because of the basic assumption that nuclear power plants in Japan were safe, there was a tendency for organizations and their staff not to challenge the level of safety.” Now that some time has passed and we are able to look back dispassionately upon the events of that frantic time, what have we learned about nuclear safety culture and nuclear security culture? (I use the word culture here to mean people’s beliefs and attitudes.) Safety and security may sound more or less identical to the uninitiated, but are really two entirely separate features. What are their roles as motivators for the individuals who are tasked to upgrade and maintain safety and security? What really is nuclear safety and what is nuclear security? Can the respective cultures around each of them be harmonized so they collaborate more efficiently?
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 6th July 2018 read more »