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Experts Conclude Meeting to Discuss "Human Factors" of Nuclear Safety

NPP Control Room

A nuclear power plant control room.

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting to strengthen human and organizational aspects of nuclear safety ended 24 May 2013 in Vienna following four days of discussion.

The International Experts' Meeting (IEM) on Human and Organizational Factors in Nuclear Safety in the Light of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant discussed ways to improve nuclear safety culture across a range of key institutions, including nuclear power plant operators and nuclear regulators. While technology and plant design are essential factors in nuclear safety, human and organizational behavior also play critical roles.

The IEM was the fifth in a series of expert meetings held in connection with the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, endorsed by the Agency's General Conference in September 2011.

The meeting was chaired by Marta Ziakova, Chairperson of the Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority, and attended by more than 150 participants representing about 40 Member States and four international Organizations.

The IEM urged its participants and the IAEA to review and develop guidance to improve nuclear safety culture in the context of human factors.

"One key is to improve the synergy between technology and human and organizational factors," said Ziakova. "And we must also acknowledge that nuclear facilities can never be 'absolutely safe', so we must prepare to manage unexpected events."

The IEM agreed to make public a set of recommendations on the meeting's website when they are formally completed. The site will also include all the presentations made during the meeting.


-- By Greg Webb, IAEA Division of Public Information


(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)