Nuclear Safety Leadership Development (NSLD) Program

The Nuclear Safety Leadership Development (NSLD) Program will include online presentations on the following broad topics:


  • What we all want
  • What choices we make and decisions we take
  • Why is nuclear energy special and unique
  • What we love about our jobs
  • What is our purpose
  • What defines us
  • Excellence as a habit

1. Management and Leadership:

  • Concepts of management and leadership; why do we need leaders; what motivates us; insights from psychology and sociology
  • Leadership traits; types of leaders; compatibility with organizations, teams and situations
  • Myths and realities about leadership and management
  • Management functions
  • Competences necessary for leadership and management
  • Self-awareness
  • Setting standards and expectations
  • Role models and authority figures
  • Formal and informal leaders
  • Employee engagement
  • Teamwork
  • Setting priorities
  • Actions for changing behaviors, attitudes and basic assumptions
  • Notable leadership examples from the nuclear industry
  • Leadership failures; lessons learned from major accidents
  • Verification and Validation of management and leadership approaches

2. Nuclear Safety Culture

  • Organizational culture and nuclear safety culture; Artefacts, Espoused Values and Basic Assumptions
  • Nuclear Professionalism
  • Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture
  • High-Reliability Organizations
  • Factors that influence organizational culture; the influence of national culture
  • Introjection, internalization, identification
  • Signs of declining safety performance / “Red flags”
  • Organizational pathologies, organizational drift, normalization of deviance
  • Safety Culture and Safety Climate; Surveys
  • Safety Conscious Work environment
  • Trust in the context of nuclear safety culture
  • Employee incentives, rewards and sanctions
  • How do leaders create and influence culture

3. Nuclear safety

  • Basic concepts
  • Fundamental safety principles
  • Reactor safety
  • Types of nuclear reactors
  • Essential safety functions
  • General design principles
  • Defence in Depth
  • Technical and organizational measures that contribute to nuclear safety; the interactions between people, technology and organizations

4. Safety analyses and evaluations

  • How safe is safe enough
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Safety Goals; Dose-frequency criteria; Technical safety criteria
  • Deterministic Safety Analysis
  • Probabilistic Safety Assessment / Probabilistic Risk Assessment
  • Initiating Events; Plant states; Grouping of events
  • Verification and Validation of computer codes
  • Hazard Analyses
  • Failure Modes and Effects Analyses
  • Other types of technical analyses and evaluations
  • Periodic Safety Reviews

5. Design

  • Design bases
  • Systems, structures, components and equipment important for safety and reliability
  • Design features
  • Protection against internal and external events
  • Environmental qualification
  • Seismic qualification
  • Safety classification
  • Design documentation
  • Design specifications
  • Standardization
  • Society and technology; Design and nuclear safety culture; how design requirements and design features reflect basic assumptions; how design requirements and design features reflect operating experience
  • The interaction between a nuclear power plant (NPP) and the national or regional electric power grid system

6. Siting

  • Siting requirements and evaluations
  • The concept of site envelope
  • Site selection
  • Site preparation
  • Site reassessment
  • Dealing with climate change issues

7. Construction

  • Main phases
  • Configuration management

8. Commissioning

  • Main phases
  • Testing objectives and acceptance criteria

9. Operations

  • Operational activities
  • Plant states and modes of operation
  • Limits and conditions for operation
  • Operating procedures; technical bases for operating procedures; verification and validation of procedures;
  • Operator fundamentals
  • Reactivity management
  • Post-trip reviews
  • Shift staffing

10. Maintenance

  • Types of maintenance
  • Maintenance procedures; technical bases for maintenance procedures; verification and validation of procedures;
  • Foreign Material Exclusion
  • Plant upgrades / Refurbishment
  • Taking good care of your nuclear power plant

11. Surveillance, Testing, In-Service Inspections

  • Mandatory tests
  • Types of in-service inspections

12. Technical Support

  • Areas of technical support
  • Maintaining in-house expertise

13. Chemistry

14. Ageing Management

  • Age-Related Degradation Mechanisms
  • Time-Limited Ageing Analyses
  • Obsolescence management
  • Long-term operation

15. Configuration Management

  • Factors to consider and analyze when making design changes
  • Necessary competences for successful configuration management
  • Temporary and permanent plant modifications
  • Operational configurations

16. Radiological Protection

  • Justification of facilities and activities
  • Optimization of protection
  • Limitation of risks to individuals
  • Planned exposures and potential exposures
  • Specific aspects of radiological protection in NPPs

17. Industrial Safety

  • Types of hazards; specific considerations for work in NPPs and on nuclear sites
  • Protective measures
  • Internalizing the purpose for protection

18. Fire Protection

  • Fire Hazard Analysis
  • Fire Safety Shutdown Analysis
  • Fire detection
  • Fire suppression
  • Response to fire events

19. Response to transients and accident management

  • Types of events; event progression
  • Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs)
  • Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMGs)
  • Time Critical Operator Actions
  • Verification and validation of EOPs and SAMGs

20. Emergency Planning and Preparedness

  • Emergency control centers and facilities
  • Emergency plans and procedures
  • Exercises and drills
  • Interfaces with external organizations
  • Initial and long-term emergency response and management
  • Business continuity
  • Recovery

21. Nuclear Security / physical protection

22. Nuclear safeguards / non-proliferation

23. Cyber Security

24. Work Planning and Control;

  • Considerations and tools for work planning
  • Management of planned and unplanned outages

25. Supply Chain Management

  • What we need to have in-house and what we can outsource
  • Intelligent customer capabilities
  • Technical specifications for procurement
  • Auditing, qualification and continuous evaluation of suppliers
  • Diversity in the supply chain, opportunities and limitations

26. Training and Qualification

  • Competences: knowledge, skills and attitudes; practical examples for specific nuclear jobs
  • Systematic Approach to Training
  • Job and Task Analyses
  • Types of training
  • Simulators
  • Teaching and Learning

27. Quality Assurance, Quality Management Systems and Integrated Management Systems

28. Independent Nuclear Safety Oversight

29. Staffing / Human Resources

30. Knowledge Management; interface with training and qualification and other relevant processes; identification of critical knowledge; capturing knowledge; transferring knowledge

31. Development and implementation of strategies; project management

32. Risk assessment

  • Risk assessment for work activities
  • Risk monitors (e.g. for equipment out of service)
  • Integrated risk assessment for the organization
  • Qualitative and quantitative risk assessment
  • Residual risk
  • Risk aversion and tolerability of risk

33. Communication

  • Internal communication, what, why and how we communicate internally
  • External communication, what, why and how we communicate externally
  • Content and style of communication, communication as an artefact of safety culture, how do basic assumptions influence communication
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Public communication and information
  • Ethical influence
  • Taking and providing feedback
  • Crisis communication
  • Use of the phonetic alphabet, three-way communication and other human performance tools important for effective communication
  • Glossaries of nuclear terms

34. Critical thinking; awareness of cognitive biases; avoiding manipulation

35. Decision-making

  • Types of decisions; who decides
  • Factors taken into account when making decisions; what influences decisions
  • Individual and collective decision-making
  • Communication of the decisions and of their bases
  • Validation of decisions
  • Priority to nuclear safety over other considerations

36. Operational Focus

37. Technical Rigor; types of technical reports; writing technical reports

38. Problem identification and resolution

39. Human Factors Engineering and Human Performance

  • Design for Operability and Maintainability
  • Human Reliability Analyses
  • Habitability Analyses
  • Human Performance Improvement
  • Error Prevention Tools
  • Fitness for Duty
  • Human factors considerations in emergency preparedness and response

40. Management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel

41. Operational limits and conditions

42. Codes and standards

43. Materials (including insulation)

44. International organizations; international cooperation (technical support, peer reviews, experience exchange, guidelines, databases); international relations; doing business in a different culture

45. Nuclear legislation and regulatory framework and processes; regulation, licensing, review and assessment, inspection, enforcement; effective regulatory oversight; regulatory independence; the risks of regulatory capture

46. Walkdowns, inspections, observation and coaching; Observation and Learning

47. Performance improvement

48. Organizational design; organizational functions and structures; corporate governance; interactions between corporate organizations and the nuclear sites; management of organizational change

49. Use of operational experience feedback

  • Sources operational experience
  • Reporting of abnormal conditions
  • Event investigation and analysis
  • Root cause analysis
  • Reportable events
  • Examples of frequent abnormal conditions and events; examples of anticipated operational occurrences / anticipated transients; precursors
  • Low-level events
  • Trending
  • Learning from other industries

50. Interfaces between nuclear safety, nuclear security and nuclear safeguards

51. Nuclear fuel cycle

52. Decommissioning

53. Environmental protection

54. Organizational resilience

55. Civil liability for nuclear damage

56. Performance indicators; leading and lagging indicators; emphasize the correct use of indicators for monitoring performance and not as objectives

57. Innovation, research and development

58. Financial Resources

59. Learning Organization

60. Social impact and public perception of benefits and risks associated with nuclear power; promotion strategies; the role of public relations; building and maintaining trust

61. Lessons learned from major industrial accidents; case studies

62. Collections of good practices relevant for different areas of activity; lessons learned from successful projects

+ Other topics of interest that are relevant for nuclear safety

+ Practical exercises / Dynamic Learning Activities

+ Recommended reading

+ Coaching and mentoring

This curriculum will be further detailed and developed as the implementation of the program progresses. The order of the topics in the above list is not necessarily indicative of the order in which the presentations will be delivered.

This development program is designed mainly for professionals working in organizations operating nuclear power plants or preparing for operating such nuclear installations, as well as for regulators involved the licensing, review and assessment and inspection of nuclear power plants.

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