Thursday, April 7, 2016

Safety Culture at the 2016 NRC Regulatory Information Conference

RIC program cover
The official evidence of the NRC’s interest in safety culture (SC) at the 2016 Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) consisted of a tabletop presentation on SC training initiatives and support materials.  The tabletop was available during the entire conference and the intent was to engage with participants and make them aware of the SC learning resources that the NRC published this past year.

At past RICs, SC merited a technical session slot in the program, one of thirty-to-forty such sessions at the conference.

Our Perspective

SC has never been an A-list topic at the RIC but we’ll allow that a constant human presence at a tabletop may provide greater opportunities for interacting with conference participants than a single technical session.

We believe SC should get more exposure and promotion at the RIC.  For example, the 2014 RIC had a very good SC panel with three companies that had been (or were still) on the NRC’s SC s___ list making presentations on their get-well efforts.  We reviewed that RIC on April 25, 2014.

Perhaps the NRC could dragoon a few Chief Nuclear Officers to come in and talk about their pay packages and how they are incentivized and rewarded for establishing and maintaining a strong SC.  Now that would be interesting.


  1. The NRC is in bad need of an "Office of Regulatory Hypocrisy" that informs the Commissioners and the public of what the staff is doing that conflicts with what it espouses.

  2. If you can get people to talk about safety culture you have succeeded in getting the conversation away from compliance with safety requirements.

    1. Compliance is sine quo non for a strong safety culture. If the requirements have become outdated or unnecessary then one should work to change them. We don't get to pick which red traffic lights we can ignore.


  3. Culture has its consequences. Incompetence, lack of integrity, noncompliance, and lack of transparency have ripple effects for the perpetrators and others. VW example at

  4. Any list of safety culture traits that does not clearly espouse and strongly emphasize competence, integrity, compliance, and transparency is a cruel fraud.


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