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Yrkeskunnande som säkerhetsmetod: En studie kring svåra driftsituationer vid svenska kärnkraftverk
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Existing safety methods for nuclear power predict known and conceivable but not unexpected events. The methods can prevent and limit consequences of incidents. Professional skills, however, can contribute with more than robustness. The operators practise their skills in everyday work in a way beyond formal instructions. This unnoticed practice is of great value for the safety as well as operation economy. In this doctoral thesis the operators’ professional skills at Swedish nuclear power plants have been investigated for the purpose of studying skill as a safety method for unexpected events.

In order to study professional skills, adequate momentary actions in every day work have been looked for. These actions manifest in the flow of frequent unpredicted events occurring in ordinary work as a part of managing the continuous process. This dissertation comprises seven examples from Forsmark and Ringhals nuclear power plants. These examples are explored through the epistemology of skill, derived from a wittgensteinian concept of practice. The investigation has its main focus on exploring skill as a safety method for unexpected events. One result is that efforts have to be made in order to maintain practical obtained professional skills.

The research has ended in the following conclusions:

• Professional skill is important at unexpected events and thus for safety.

• Professional skill is built over time in concrete actions in a working practice.

• Earlier solutions of problem and successfully management of extraordinary operational situations should be kept alive.

• The first criterion of selection at recruiting technicians should be practical persons.

• Continuous recruitment is needed in order to avoid a loose generation curve where the professional skill is of different development phases in the different age groups.

• For retaining personnel until they have good professional skills, prioritizing applicants from the local community is suggested.

• Guidance by formalized requirements and measurable goals don’t reach professional skill and can moreover hide it.

• Personnel and other stakeholders in nuclear power not having skills from operation at nuclear power plants need to be conscious about professional skill’s importance for safety.

• Understanding the importance of professional skills should be disseminated to those groups influencing the conditions for moulding of it at the nuclear power plants.

 The knowledge contribution of this thesis points out the value of experienced skilled labour and human proper actions as the base for a sustainable operation and nuclear safety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , 218 p.
TRITA-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; 2014:01
Keyword [en]
Professional skills, practice, nuclear power operation, safety methods, unexpected events, wittgensteinian concept.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144180ISBN: 978-91-7595-084-6OAI: diva2:711676
Public defence
2014-05-08, Sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)

QC 20140411

Available from: 2014-04-11 Created: 2014-04-11 Last updated: 2014-04-11Bibliographically approved

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