Until around 1990 Japanese nuclear power generation maintained the world’s top-level safety and high capacity factors. However, repeated accidents and troubles in the latest decade (including those experienced earlier and newly uncovered) caused the capacity factors decline, and simply the regulatory authorities reinforce their rules. Nevertheless, Japan has maintained its nuclear technologies and knowledge by continued constructions of new nuclear power plants (NPP) and the technology and knowledge were handed down and accumulated., while the construction decreased drastically worldwide after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. It should be meaningful to see how Nuclear Knowledge Management (NKM) worked over this period. All 17 nuclear power stations in Japan were visited from January to September 2007 for field survey of maintenance practices, human resources development programs and quality assurance activities. From the analyses of the collected information, the strengths and weaknesses in nuclear knowledge management have been induced. The lessons we concluded are elaborated in the following subjects. • Pluses (+) and minuses (-) of multi-layered structures of nuclear industry: its correlation with NKM (accumulation, preservation and creation of technologies and knowledge); • Technology improvement and knowledge accumulation in the new quality assurance systems; • “Olds” and “News” in transferring technologies and knowledge, and in developing human resources; • Rebuilding of on the job training (OJT) and off the job training (Off - JT): its contents of lessons and training; • Appropriate use of the manuals: to know its usefulness and limits; • Appropriate deployment of the inspection enforcement: incentives and formalities; • Motivation of active information sharing by the adequate intellectual property management; • Lateral development of best practices, and new value creation by the shared knowledge. The Japanese electric utilities and nuclear industry should further advance their information sharing of valuable experiences such as troubles and good practices, and strengthen their self-management. Thus, they will be able to contribute, with their advanced strengths of accumulated/preserved nuclear technologies and knowledge, to meeting the growing needs of new NPP construction worldwide in the Nuclear Renaissance. NKM will in turn be further advanced on the so-called spiral-up track.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Strengths and Weaknesses of Japan’s Nuclear Knowledge Management: From Field Survey of All Nuclear Power Stations in Japan
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Yamamoto, S, & Kitamura, T. "Strengths and Weaknesses of Japan’s Nuclear Knowledge Management: From Field Survey of All Nuclear Power Stations in Japan." Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 4: Structural Integrity; Next Generation Systems; Safety and Security; Low Level Waste Management and Decommissioning; Near Term Deployment: Plant Designs, Licensing, Construction, Workforce and Public Acceptance. Orlando, Florida, USA. May 11–15, 2008. pp. 869-876. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE16-48142
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