About us

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation, representing 55 science journalists’ associations of science and technology journalists from Africa, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The Federation encourages strong, critical coverage of issues in science and technology, environment, health and medicine, agriculture and related fields.

The WFSJ seeks to further science journalism as a bridge between science, scientists and the public. It promotes the role of science journalists as key players in civil society and democracy. The Federation’s goals are to improve the quality of science reporting, promote standards and support science and technology journalists worldwide.

European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) is an International non-profit organization established on 22 September 2003 under the French Law. ENEN’s mission is the preservation and further development of expertise in the nuclear fields by higher Education and Training.

Key actors

//Key actors

Ionising radiation has many industrial, military, and medical uses.

Two categories of actors

Jean-Luc Rehel, medical radioprotection expert (IRSN/PRP-HOM/SER/UEM) in intervention radiology room. IRSN.

Internal stakeholders for culture for safety

Ionising radiation sources are used in the following industries: nuclear; manufacturing; construction; engineering; oil and gas production; non-destructive testing; agriculture/food; medical and dental sectors; education and research establishments (e.g. universities and colleges). They are the “internal” stakeholders as regards culture for safety.

As safety culture relies on values and behaviours of the given organisation, its leaders – CEO/CFO, board of directors, managers, team-leaders – must display model behavior.

And as it has to be internalised by the organisation’s members, staff, safety officers, contractors and experts are involved too.

External stakeholders for culture for safety

The nuclear industry is not the only stakeholder active in the field of culture for safety. Other actors are governments/politicians, regulatory bodies – both control authorities and technical safety organisations that advise them – electricity market actors, media and NGOs (both as public opinion leaders) and pressure groups.

Industrial uses

There are many industrial uses of radioactive materials, including material density evaluation, product sterilisation, quality control, static elimination, and, obviously, electricity generation.

Neutron radiation is essential to the working of nuclear reactors – as well as of nuclear weapons.

The penetrating power of X-ray, gamma, beta, and positron radiation is used for :

e.g. radiology, mammography, computerized tomography, etc.

medical imaging

e.g. X-rays at the airports for luggage

non-destructive testing

e.g. sensors, etc.

different industrial gauges
Cobalt 60 irradiator ""ICO 4000"". IRSN.

Radioactive tracers are used in medicine (when radioactive material is injected into the patient) and industrial applications, as well as in biological and radiation chemistry.

Alpha radiation is used in static eliminators and smoke detectors (some smoke detectors contain a small amount of a radioactive source – americium-241 – within a metal chamber).

The sterilising effects of ionising radiation are useful for cleaning medical instruments, food irradiation (to destroy food-borne bacteria and parasites and extend the shelf life of some foods), and sterilising harmful insects to prevent their reproduction .

Measurements of the radioisotope carbon-14 can be used to date the remains of long-dead organisms (such as wood that is thousands of years old).

Note: Some foods become radioactive by absorbing naturally occurring radionuclides from surrounding soils as they grow, or some of the ingredients used to make them may be naturally radioactive. Fertilizers used for gardens, lawns, etc., might contain radioactive potassium or even uranium in small amounts.

Responsabilities of Stakeholders for Culture of Safety

Who is responsible ?

Manfred Haferburg Consultant

When a situation is fully under control (a business as usual situation), a fundamental principle of nuclear power plant operation worldwide is that the operator is responsible for safety. The national regulator (NRO, in France ASN, in the USA NRC, etc.) is responsible for ensuring nuclear power plants are operated safely by the licensee, and that design is approved. Another important concept is that a regulator’s mission is to protect people and the environment.

In an “abnormal” situation (an emergency), other actors enter the field.

Emergency planning responsibilities for nuclear power plants fall into two categories: onsite (responding to the accident within the nuclear facility itself) and offsite (dealing with the consequences to the surrounding area and population).

Generally, responsibilities follow a pattern similar to the one used in the USA. There, according to guidelines prepared by a joint NRC/FEMA (Nuclear Regulatory Commission/ Federal Emergency Management Agency) task force after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, power plant owners are responsible for onsite emergency planning, while state and local governments are responsible for offsite emergency planning. The NRC (the US TSO) has overall authority for final review in both cases.

Source: Union of Concern Scientists



The systemic approach to safety

Work to comprehend the whole systems of interplay between humans, technology and organization (HTO)

As the whole system is far too complex for one individual to comprehend, an integrated approach is needed, which invites different competencies and thinking

Understanding the dynamics of the HTO interactions helps us to evaluate their ability to produce safety outcomes more effectively

A systemic approach to safety offers a complementary safety perspective to Defence in Depth

  Link to PDF for more information