Nuclear licensees are increasingly required to adapt to a more challenging commercial environment as electricity markets are liberalised. One of the costs that is often perceived as being amenable to control is staffing, and hence there is significant exploration of new strategies for managing this cost - for example, by reducing staffing levels, changing organisational structures, adopting new shift strategies, introducing new technology or increasing the proportion of work carried out by external contractors. However, if changes to staffing levels or organisational structures and systems are inadequately conceived or executed they have the potential to affect the way in which safety is managed.
In this context, the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and its Special Expert Group on Human and Organisational Factors (SEGHOF) organised an international workshop to discuss the management and regulation of organisational change in 2001. This technical opinion paper distils the findings of that workshop and sets out the factors that regulatory bodies might reasonably expect to be addressed within licensees' arrangements to manage organisational change. The paper should be of particular interest to both regulators and managers of nuclear utilities.