Maintaining Nuclear Safety during a Pandemic
How is nuclear safety maintained during a pandemic?
For some duty-holders, nuclear operations can be put into a quiescent safe state, whereas for others it is more complex. In 1987 Karl Weick, writing in the California Management Review, proposed that “reliability is a dynamic non-event”: safety does not necessarily result from stability but rather from successfully managing continuous change. 33 years later this notion is well understood by Sellafield Ltd who have operations which must continue for hazard and risk reduction to be sustained. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) also considers hazard and risk reduction at the Sellafield site to be one of its strategic priorities. In March 2020 as the lockdown was imposed and it became increasingly clear that the crisis was unprecedented in our lifetimes, how did these organisations respond?
The presentations will explore these challenges from the perspectives of both Sellafield Ltd, the duty-holder responsible for ensuring nuclear safety and the health and wellbeing of their workforce at the Sellafield site, and the ONR, the regulator whose mission it is to hold the nuclear industry to account on behalf of the public.
We will explore questions such as: How did Sellafield Ltd decide what could be safely shut down and what must continue? How did it balance nuclear safety with protecting the health and wellbeing of its workforce? How did it ensure its decisions were robust and subject to appropriate scrutiny? How did ONR wrestle with the notion of being able to effectively regulate the nuclear industry during a lockdown? How can regulatory activities be carried out remotely and are these effective? How does ONR balance its public duty to the hold industry to account with its duty to protect the health and wellbeing of its staff?
As the sense of the timescales that we’ll be living with Covid-19 are now becoming clearer the presentations will also consider what the ‘new normal’ will look like and how each organisation is adapting and shaping itself in response.
Presentation by Mr Phil Hallington
Head of Policy, Sellafield Ltd
12pm – 12:20pm
Mr Hallington has over 45 years’ experience in the Nuclear Industry. During this time, he has constructed, commissioned and operated fuel storage, reprocessing and waste management facilities. He has 30 years’ experience in a wide range of senior management roles within the company.
Presentation by Dr Mina Golshan
Deputy Chief Nuclear Inspector
12:20pm – 12:40pm
Dr Mina Golshan, obtained her PhD in Experimental Physics from the University of London and has 20 years’ experience in nuclear and high-hazard industries, as well as Research and Development in public and private sectors.
She is Deputy Chief Inspector and Director responsible for regulation of Sellafield, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste sites in UK’s independent nuclear safety and security regulator, Office for Nuclear regulation (ONR). She leads a division that regulates 21 out of the 36 licensed nuclear sites in Great Britain, which overall have a budget of 3.5 billion GBP. Her team has regulated some of the world’s most complex decommissioning and remediation projects including retrieval of radioactive waste from UK’s legacy facilities at Sellafield and export and transportation of several tonnes of special nuclear material. Under her leadership, ONR established a framework for licensing and regulation of a future deep repository in the UK.
Dr Golshan has an extensive international experience. She is currently serving as the Chair of the IAEA Waste Safety Standards Committee. She also works with other international bodies and currently represents ONR at the Board of the Heads of European Radiological Protection Competent Authorities, HERCA.
In 2017, Dr Golshan was appointed as Senior Responsible Officer to deliver the UK’s State system of accountancy and control of nuclear material within ONR which will fulfil UK’s international safeguards obligations. ONR will take-on this responsibility at the end of 2020.
Discussion forum (Q&A) chaired by Mr Nick Shaw
Chair of Board of Trustees, Hazards Forum
12:40pm – 1pm
Wednesday, 15th July 2020 at 12:00pm
Wednesday, 15th July 2020 at 1:00pm