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IAEA−FORATOM Workshop Calls on Member States to Strengthen Leadership Competencies in Nuclear Energy Programmes

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Working group discussions during the 14th IAEA-FORATOM Management Systems Workshop in Vienna, 12 December (Photo: M. Kaczmarek/IAEA)

Over 110 experts from 42 countries participating at an IAEA−FORATOM workshop emphasized the importance of leadership and good management in ensuring nuclear safety.

The 14th IAEA−FORATOM Management Systems Workshop, held from 12 to 15 December in Vienna, focused on Leadership and Management: From Standards to Practices. Providing a forum to share experiences and lessons learned on leadership, organizational culture, and quality and management systems, the workshop addressed needs of Member States not only from Europe but also from other regions, especially those with new build projects.

“The economics of nuclear energy and the risks related to the management of construction and operation are key challenges for many countries,” said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, in his opening address.

“Safety is the cornerstone of sustainability in nuclear sector, along with nuclear security, safeguards and the environment,” he added. “All these elements depend on management and appropriate working culture, since, at the end of the day, it is the people who make the business successful.”

The four-day workshop involved discussions on various standards dealing with management systems, the role of leadership for the success of a nuclear power programme, managing risks, and nuclear applications. Interactive group sessions enabled exchanging experiences in management systems, leadership, organizational culture and risk management.

“This forum offered a unique opportunity for the senior level experts to build a dialogue and share experiences with a wide range of industry professionals,” said Emilia Janisz, an Institutional Affairs Manager at FORATOM. “They came from Governments, supply chain companies, power plant operators and regulators, including those from less experienced countries such as Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan.”

Rasif Bin Mohd Zain, a participant from Malaysia, found the workshop very relevant to his work: “Learning from case studies dealing with practices in European countries, especially approaches on auditing and ensuring nuclear safety, was the biggest take away for me.”

The IAEA-FORATOM workshops promote the application of IAEA Safety Standards. This year, the Agency presented its newly published General Safety Requirement on Leadership and Management for Safety (GSR Part 2), and a guidance document on Procurement Engineering and Supply Chain Guidelines in Support of Operation and Maintenance of Nuclear Facilities (No. NP-T-3.21) under its Nuclear Energy Series. Many other IAEA publications and guidance documents also address a wide range of issues raised by various stakeholders.

Participants stressed the need for continued joint work in the area of nuclear leadership and engagement with different industries to share experiences among both advanced and newcomer countries to nuclear power. This resulted in recommendations on strengthening management systems in Member States, encouraging all stakeholders to enhance efforts on risk management, as well as foster cooperation and communication between the operator organization and supply chains in the nuclear sector.

The workshop discussions were based on the feedback received from IAEA Member States and from participants of the 13th IAEA-FORATOM Management System Workshop in 2015. The next workshop will be held in Canada in 2018.

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