Tampere University of Technology

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Safe Operation of Nuclear Power Plants - Is Safety Culture an Adequate Management Method?

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages145
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3033-3
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-2962-7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2012
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


One of the characteristics of a good safety culture is a definable commitment to the improvement of safety behaviours and attitudes at all organisational levels. A second characteristic of an organisation with excellent safety culture is free and open communication. The general understanding has been that safety culture is a part of organisation culture. In addition to safety culture thinking, proactive programmes and displays of proactive work to improve safety are required. This work needs to include, at a minimum, actions aiming at reducing human errors, the development of human error prevention tools, improvements in training, and the development of working methods and the organisation’s activities. Safety depends not only on the technical systems, but also on the people and the organisation. There is a need for better methods and tools for organisational assessment and development. Today there is universal acceptance of the significant impact that management and organisational factors have over the safety significance of complex industrial installations such as nuclear power plants. Many events with significant economic and public impact had causes that have been traced to management deficiencies. The objective of this study is development of new methods to increase safety of nuclear power plant operation. The research has been limited to commercial nuclear power plants that are intended for electrical power generation in Finland. Their production activities, especially operation and maintenance, are primarily reviewed from a safety point of view, as well as human performance and organisational factors perspective. This defines the scope and focus of the study. The research includes studies related to knowledge management and tacit knowledge in the project management context and specific studies related to transfer of tacit knowledge in the maintenance organization and transfer of tacit knowledge between workers of old generation and young generation. The empirical results of the research are presented in research papers which are enclosed in this thesis.

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