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NRC seeks public comment on draft safety culture policy for nuclear facilities and nuclear material users

Nov 12, 2009 -- NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION DOCUMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS/ContentWorks

> The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued for public comment a
> draft policy statement on "safety culture," including the Commission's
> expectation that any NRC-regulated organization will establish and
> maintain a positive safety culture.
>
> The Commission addressed the safe conduct of nuclear power plant
> operations in a 1989 policy statement and a safety-conscious work
> environment in a 1996 policy statement. After years of work in this
> area, and after the experience of incorporating aspects of safety
> culture into the Reactor Oversight Process effort, the Commission has
> approved issuing a draft policy statement that sets forth its
> expectation that all licensees and certificate holders establish and
> maintain a safety culture that protects public health and safety and
> the common defense and security. The draft policy defines safety
> culture as: "That assembly of characteristics, attitudes and behaviors
> in organizations and individuals which establishes that as an
> overriding priority, nuclear safety and security issues receive the
> attention warranted by their significance."
>
> A safety culture should include a work environment where
> personnel feel free to raise safety and security concerns without
> fearing retaliation, as well as prompt and thorough identification,
> evaluation and resolution of those concerns. The NRC is strongly
> committed to promoting a positive safety culture among the
> organizations it regulates.
>
> The NRC is interested in the public's comments in several areas,
> including:
>
> * Does the draft policy's safety culture definition need further
> clarification? * What specific safety culture characteristics relevant
> to particular types of NRC licensees should the draft policy address?
> * What characteristics in the draft policy do not contribute to safety
> culture? * How can the NRC better involve stakeholders in addressing
> safety culture?
>
> Comments on the changes will be accepted until Feb. 4, 2010,
> following publication of the draft safety culture policy statement in
> the Federal Register,
> (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-26816.pdf).
> Comments
> may be mailed to: Alexander Sapountzis, Office of Enforcement, Mail
> Stop O4 A15A, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC
> 20555-0001, or e-mailed to: alexander.sapountzis@nrc.gov.