Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives

L. Macchi, Nadezhda Gotcheva, H. Alm, A-L. Osvalder, Elina Pietikäinen, Pia Oedewald, Mikael Wahlström, Marja Liinasuo, Paula Savioja

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    Abstract

    Design flaws have been contributing to major industrial accidents. However, design activities are understudied in human and organisational factors studies. In the nuclear power domain, both pre-operational design and design of modifications depend on a network of organizations, and aim at developing solutions which meet different criteria. Nuclear power companies often outsource the design work to organisations, which might not be hitherto familiar with the safety requirements of nuclear industry. The final phase of SADE project focused on testing and evaluating the results of the first two phases through in depth analysis of case studies conducted in Finland and Sweden. The study aimed at providing insights on the inter-organizational challenges related to design activities, which could potentially affect safety of the Nordic nuclear power plants. In 2013 we carried out 14 semi-structured interviews with representatives of power plant organisations, design organisations and regulators. Interviews of the Finnish case studies were complemented by one group interview each. The study indicated that design-related challenges in the nuclear domain are mainly inter-organizational. This implies that safety management and safety culture approaches should take better into account the inter-organisational nature of work processes. For some of the challenges (e.g. coordination) many coping practices exist throughout the network, whereas for others (e.g. shared understanding) just a few were mentioned. This signifies that design organisations have learned the consequences of insufficient coordination in previous projects, while reaching a shared understanding proves to be challenging. The design process involves both rational and creative approaches to deal with real-life problems. In nuclear industry, designers face the need to balance between fulfilling requirements and doing an extensive amount of paperwork, and creating new, safe and functional solutions. To better manage safety culture in design activities in a networked context, nuclear power companies and design supply chains need to reach a shared understanding on achieving this balance. Finally, the study provides a set of recommendations to support and improve the design process and to help anticipate emerging risks in the nuclear industry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages40
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesNKS Nordic nuclear safety research
    VolumeNKS-301

    Fingerprint

    Nuclear industry
    Nuclear energy
    Supply chains
    Nuclear power plants
    Industry
    Accidents
    Power plants
    Defects
    Testing

    Keywords

    • safety culture
    • design
    • nuclear power industry
    • organizational challenges
    • networks

    Cite this

    Macchi, L., Gotcheva, N., Alm, H., Osvalder, A-L., Pietikäinen, E., Oedewald, P., ... Savioja, P. (2014). Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives. NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol.. NKS-301
    Macchi, L. ; Gotcheva, Nadezhda ; Alm, H. ; Osvalder, A-L. ; Pietikäinen, Elina ; Oedewald, Pia ; Wahlström, Mikael ; Liinasuo, Marja ; Savioja, Paula. / Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives. 2014. 40 p. (NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol. NKS-301).
    @book{9d0feaca9592446ab651ca021aa5d64e,
    title = "Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives",
    abstract = "Design flaws have been contributing to major industrial accidents. However, design activities are understudied in human and organisational factors studies. In the nuclear power domain, both pre-operational design and design of modifications depend on a network of organizations, and aim at developing solutions which meet different criteria. Nuclear power companies often outsource the design work to organisations, which might not be hitherto familiar with the safety requirements of nuclear industry. The final phase of SADE project focused on testing and evaluating the results of the first two phases through in depth analysis of case studies conducted in Finland and Sweden. The study aimed at providing insights on the inter-organizational challenges related to design activities, which could potentially affect safety of the Nordic nuclear power plants. In 2013 we carried out 14 semi-structured interviews with representatives of power plant organisations, design organisations and regulators. Interviews of the Finnish case studies were complemented by one group interview each. The study indicated that design-related challenges in the nuclear domain are mainly inter-organizational. This implies that safety management and safety culture approaches should take better into account the inter-organisational nature of work processes. For some of the challenges (e.g. coordination) many coping practices exist throughout the network, whereas for others (e.g. shared understanding) just a few were mentioned. This signifies that design organisations have learned the consequences of insufficient coordination in previous projects, while reaching a shared understanding proves to be challenging. The design process involves both rational and creative approaches to deal with real-life problems. In nuclear industry, designers face the need to balance between fulfilling requirements and doing an extensive amount of paperwork, and creating new, safe and functional solutions. To better manage safety culture in design activities in a networked context, nuclear power companies and design supply chains need to reach a shared understanding on achieving this balance. Finally, the study provides a set of recommendations to support and improve the design process and to help anticipate emerging risks in the nuclear industry.",
    keywords = "safety culture, design, nuclear power industry, organizational challenges, networks",
    author = "L. Macchi and Nadezhda Gotcheva and H. Alm and A-L. Osvalder and Elina Pietik{\"a}inen and Pia Oedewald and Mikael Wahlstr{\"o}m and Marja Liinasuo and Paula Savioja",
    note = "Project code: 85478",
    year = "2014",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "978-87-7893-377-5",
    series = "NKS Nordic nuclear safety research",

    }

    Macchi, L, Gotcheva, N, Alm, H, Osvalder, A-L, Pietikäinen, E, Oedewald, P, Wahlström, M, Liinasuo, M & Savioja, P 2014, Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives. NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, vol. NKS-301.

    Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives. / Macchi, L.; Gotcheva, Nadezhda; Alm, H.; Osvalder, A-L.; Pietikäinen, Elina; Oedewald, Pia; Wahlström, Mikael; Liinasuo, Marja; Savioja, Paula.

    2014. 40 p. (NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol. NKS-301).

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    TY - BOOK

    T1 - Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives

    AU - Macchi, L.

    AU - Gotcheva, Nadezhda

    AU - Alm, H.

    AU - Osvalder, A-L.

    AU - Pietikäinen, Elina

    AU - Oedewald, Pia

    AU - Wahlström, Mikael

    AU - Liinasuo, Marja

    AU - Savioja, Paula

    N1 - Project code: 85478

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - Design flaws have been contributing to major industrial accidents. However, design activities are understudied in human and organisational factors studies. In the nuclear power domain, both pre-operational design and design of modifications depend on a network of organizations, and aim at developing solutions which meet different criteria. Nuclear power companies often outsource the design work to organisations, which might not be hitherto familiar with the safety requirements of nuclear industry. The final phase of SADE project focused on testing and evaluating the results of the first two phases through in depth analysis of case studies conducted in Finland and Sweden. The study aimed at providing insights on the inter-organizational challenges related to design activities, which could potentially affect safety of the Nordic nuclear power plants. In 2013 we carried out 14 semi-structured interviews with representatives of power plant organisations, design organisations and regulators. Interviews of the Finnish case studies were complemented by one group interview each. The study indicated that design-related challenges in the nuclear domain are mainly inter-organizational. This implies that safety management and safety culture approaches should take better into account the inter-organisational nature of work processes. For some of the challenges (e.g. coordination) many coping practices exist throughout the network, whereas for others (e.g. shared understanding) just a few were mentioned. This signifies that design organisations have learned the consequences of insufficient coordination in previous projects, while reaching a shared understanding proves to be challenging. The design process involves both rational and creative approaches to deal with real-life problems. In nuclear industry, designers face the need to balance between fulfilling requirements and doing an extensive amount of paperwork, and creating new, safe and functional solutions. To better manage safety culture in design activities in a networked context, nuclear power companies and design supply chains need to reach a shared understanding on achieving this balance. Finally, the study provides a set of recommendations to support and improve the design process and to help anticipate emerging risks in the nuclear industry.

    AB - Design flaws have been contributing to major industrial accidents. However, design activities are understudied in human and organisational factors studies. In the nuclear power domain, both pre-operational design and design of modifications depend on a network of organizations, and aim at developing solutions which meet different criteria. Nuclear power companies often outsource the design work to organisations, which might not be hitherto familiar with the safety requirements of nuclear industry. The final phase of SADE project focused on testing and evaluating the results of the first two phases through in depth analysis of case studies conducted in Finland and Sweden. The study aimed at providing insights on the inter-organizational challenges related to design activities, which could potentially affect safety of the Nordic nuclear power plants. In 2013 we carried out 14 semi-structured interviews with representatives of power plant organisations, design organisations and regulators. Interviews of the Finnish case studies were complemented by one group interview each. The study indicated that design-related challenges in the nuclear domain are mainly inter-organizational. This implies that safety management and safety culture approaches should take better into account the inter-organisational nature of work processes. For some of the challenges (e.g. coordination) many coping practices exist throughout the network, whereas for others (e.g. shared understanding) just a few were mentioned. This signifies that design organisations have learned the consequences of insufficient coordination in previous projects, while reaching a shared understanding proves to be challenging. The design process involves both rational and creative approaches to deal with real-life problems. In nuclear industry, designers face the need to balance between fulfilling requirements and doing an extensive amount of paperwork, and creating new, safe and functional solutions. To better manage safety culture in design activities in a networked context, nuclear power companies and design supply chains need to reach a shared understanding on achieving this balance. Finally, the study provides a set of recommendations to support and improve the design process and to help anticipate emerging risks in the nuclear industry.

    KW - safety culture

    KW - design

    KW - nuclear power industry

    KW - organizational challenges

    KW - networks

    M3 - Report

    SN - 978-87-7893-377-5

    T3 - NKS Nordic nuclear safety research

    BT - Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives

    ER -

    Macchi L, Gotcheva N, Alm H, Osvalder A-L, Pietikäinen E, Oedewald P et al. Improving design processes in the nuclear domain. Insights on organisational challenges from safety culture and resilience engineering perspectives. 2014. 40 p. (NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol. NKS-301).