Thursday, July 23, 2009

Foreign Nuclear Plant Problems Cast a Long Shadow

Recent news items refer to the Swedish power company Vattenfall and problems that have occurred at two of their plants: Ringhals in Sweden and Krummel in Germany.  In both cases the underlying causes of the problems and/or reactions to the events revealed safety culture issues.  These are just two recent examples of the ongoing prevalence of safety culture issues in the global nuclear industry.  Part of the larger picture is the impact on the debate in Germany about any continuing role for nuclear power, even for the existing plants.  The performance of Vattenfall has created political problems for German Chancellor Merkel and the other principals in Germany's nuclear industry.  This highlights the threat of a safety culture failure in one organization to cast a large shadow over the future of the industry.

The situation at Ringhals is discussed here.

There is a lengthy discussion of Krummel on Spiegel Online

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