Japanese supervisory authority, NRA, visits ENSI

A delegation from the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority, NRA, learned more about the activities of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) during a visit between 21 and 25 August 2017. Key topics were the supervisory and safety cultures.

During the week of 21 August 2017, an intensive exchange took place with the Japanese supervisory authority, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, NRA. Alongside regulatory supervisory tasks, safety research for organisations with high safety requirements was also discussed. For this purpose, consultations took place in Brugg at the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The Delegation was offered an insight into the training and concepts of Swiss nuclear power plant operators that are aimed at promoting safety-focussed behaviour amongst its staff.

The NRA is interested in learning from the experience of ENSI in connection with HOF issues (HOF: Human and Organisational Factors). Amongst the key topics were not only safety culture, but also the oversight culture and the use of error prevention techniques (human performance optimisation tools).

In addition, the lessons learned from the accident in the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima Daiichi are of great interest to both sides. As a result of the accident in Fukushima, there have been organisational and structural changes in Japan concerning the supervision of nuclear installations. In this respect HOF topics must be subject to increased supervision. The NRA representatives received valuable input from ENSI for the ongoing development of their supervisory role.

This is the third visit to Switzerland by the NRA since Fukushima. At the start of 2016, Japanese waste management experts were interested in Swiss experience in the nuclear waste field, while in 2015 the interest of the representatives of the Japanese supervisory authority was primarily focussed on the Swiss system with periodic safety reviews and mandatory backfitting.