Organizational processes and nuclear power plant safety

Rick Jacobs, Sonja Haber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


This paper describes an integrated effort to define and measure organizational factors related to nuclear power plant safety. The research began by reviewing previously conducted studies looking at nuclear power operations and operations in other high reliability industries for indications of common safety-related, performance dimensions. Having established a list of 20 common dimensions, the project went on to fully define these dimensions and develop methods for their assessment. The methods of assessment developed for this application were employee survey-a series of self report questions answered by employees, behavioral checklist-sets of statements about the plant and its operations that observers respond to by answering yes or no, structured interview-a set of questions and interviewer asks of an employee and built around the 20 dimensions identified, and behaviorally anchored rating scales-an extension of the methodology used for assessing the performance of individuals to the process of assessing a nuclear power plant. Each of the methodologies is described as it applies to the assessment within the nuclear power environment and examples of each method are presented. Pilot tests of the feasibility of using these assessment methods were conducted in two nuclear power plants and the results are encouraging both in terms of the immediate identification of potential safety issues and as valuable additions to probabilistic risk assessment. Implications of this work for the future assessment of organizational factors related to nuclear power safety are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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