In Brief


Conference papers

Working papers

Final Seminar

Other Papers




Project full name: Learning organisations for nuclear safety
Research program: NUC (Euratom)
Contract number:  FIKS-CT-2001-00162
Duration:  1 Nov 2001- 30 Apr 2004
Partners: VTT (Co-ordinator), TUB, ULANC, CIEMAT, SWP, UNESA, WANO, TVO, FKA, KKG, KKK, BNFL, OKG, Ringhals and European Commission.



Project Brochure 

Final Seminar, Proceedings 

Final Publishable Report


Final Technical Report

Project Summary

The main objective of the LearnSafe project was to create methods and tools for supporting processes of organisational learning at the nuclear power plants (NPP). Organisational learning has become increasingly important for the nuclear industry in its adaptation to changes in the political and economic environment, changing regulatory requirements, a changing work force, changing technology in the plants, and the changing organisation of NPPs and power utilities. The danger during a rapid process of change is that minor problems may trigger a chain of events leading to actual degrading of safety and/or diminishing political and public trust in the safety standards of the particular NPP, utility or corporation.

The focus of the project was senior managers at NPPs and power utilities who are responsible for strategic choice and resource allocation. This focus was selected with the understanding that their decisions, approaches and attitudes have an important influence both on safety and economy of the NPPs. The LearnSafe project will develop methods and tools, which can be used in the management of change, and in ensuring an efficient organisational learning. Project results will include recommendations and inventories of good practices. The project builds on and extends results of an earlier EU-project "Organisational factors; their definition and influence on nuclear safety" (ORFA).

The project was set up in two major phases, which covered both theoretical considerations and empirical investigations. The first phase places an emphasis on management of change and the second on components of organisational learning. Both phases start with the creation of data collection instruments to be used in the empirical part of the work. The second theoretical and empirical phase took a major step towards developing methods and tools, which can be applied by the NPPs themselves in creating maintaining efficient processes of organisational learning.

One important feature of the project was a continuous interaction between the researchers and managers at the NPPs in addressing issues connected to organisation and management, which are important for safety and efficiency. Preliminary results of the project were presented and discussed in small workshops at the NPPs during the project. Several small spin-off projects were carried out together with the participating NPPs.

Five milestones were identified. The research model included a framework of concepts and phenomena, which were considered in the project. Tools for describing organisations and data collection instruments for the first empirical phase were also a part of the first milestone. The second milestone marked the completion of the first major theoretical and empirical phase of the project. The third milestone and the mid-project evaluation was based on the finalised analysis of NPP approaches to change and the data collection methods and tools to be used in the second phase of the project. A mid-project seminar was held to present preliminary project results and to collect additional views from the participants. The fourth milestone marked the completion of the second major theoretical and empirical phase of the project. A set of criteria for efficient learning organisations was established and the preparation of the final report was been started. The fifth milestone marked the completion of the project. A final seminar was held to collect comments to project results. A final report is under preparation and will be placed in the public domain.


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