Nuclear safety culture in Finland and Sweden: Developments and challenges

Teemu Reiman, U. Kahlbom, Elina Pietikäinen, C. Rollenhagen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    The project aimed at studying the concept of nuclear safety culture and the Nordic nuclear branch safety culture. The project also aimed at looking how the power companies and the regulators view the current responsibilities and role of subcontractors in the Nordic nuclear safety culture as well as to inspect the special demands for safety culture in subcontracting chains. Interview data was collected in Sweden (n = 14) and Finland (n = 16) during 2009. Interviewees represented the major actors in the nuclear field (regulators, power companies, expert organizations, waste management organizations). Results gave insight into the nature and evaluation of safety culture in the nuclear industry. Results illustrated that there is a wide variety of views on matters that are considered important for nuclear safety within the Nordic nuclear community. However, the interviewees considered quite uniformly such psychological states as motivation, mindfulness, sense of control, understanding of hazards and sense of responsibility as important for nuclear safety. Results also gave insight into the characteristics of Nordic nuclear culture. Various differences in safety cultures in Finland and Sweden were uncovered. In addition to the differences, historical reasons for the development of the nuclear safety cultures in Finland and Sweden were pointed out. Finally, results gave implications that on the one hand subcontractors can bring new ideas and improvements to the plants’ practices, but on the other hand the assurance of necessary safety attitudes and competence of the subcontracting companies and their employees is considered as a challenge. The report concludes that a good safety culture requires a deep and wide understanding of nuclear safety including the various accident mechanisms of the power plants as well as a willingness to continuously develop one’s competence and understanding. An effective and resilient nuclear safety culture has to foster a constant sense of unease that prevents complacency yet at the same time it has to foster a certain professional pride and a feeling of accomplishment to maintain work motivation and healthy occupational identity. The report gives several recommendations for further developing nuclear safety culture in Finland and Sweden.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherNordic Nuclear Safety Research NKS
    ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7893-311-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesNKS Reports


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