SDF Safety Case Forum (SCF)

About Us

  • The Objectives of the Forum are to: Improve the standardisation of approach to, and the cost-effective delivery of, fit for purpose safety cases, delivered to time, quality and cost, at all stages of a facility’s life cycle, and for all processes within that life cycle including any interim, continuous and periodic safety reviews, allowing for the safe and efficient operation of nuclear facilities.
  • Facilitate benchmarking between Nuclear Operators, Licensees, Authorisees and appropriate groupings of these organisations; to standardise as far as possible the analysis and improve the quality of the safety case and any periodic review while developing the simplicity of their presentation.

The Objectives will be achieved by:

  • Sharing lessons learnt on safety case production and continual, interim or periodic review quality (successes and failures) and dissemination of lessons learnt into the member organisations.
  • Identifying, developing, sharing and promulgating good practice on methods for the production and implementation of modern standards safety cases and periodic reviews.
  • Securing regulatory input and feedback into process improvements.
  • Exploring and defining common systems and SQEP processes for safety case authors and other production specialists.
  • Secure a tangible and agreed knowledge base in safety case methodologies.
  • Provide cross organisation support in capability and resource development.

The outputs from the Safety Case Forum and any of its associated Working Streams are provided in good faith as industry good practice and as such are advisory and not mandatory, to ensure the integrity of the Intelligent Customer status within individual companies.  It is nevertheless an aspiration that all companies associated with the Safety Case Forum will, over time, adopt the processes and methodologies proportionately within their organisations.

The Safety Case Forum shall produce outputs which include, but are not limited to:

  • Improvement opportunities; lessons learned from both sucesses and failures that raise the standard and quality of the safety cases and periodic reviews that are being produced.
  • Strategies, recommendations and specific deliverables against identified and agreed Problem Statements.

Significant advantage can be realised from the sharing, discussion, analysis and assessment of common problems. The resultant outcome is a common approach to avoid the recognised pitfalls, prevent rework, overlap and duplication.

The production of any guidance shall recognise the range of hazards, the complexity and concurrent hazards that are present in the full range of operations and capabilities across the nuclear industry in the United Kingdom, which includes manufacturing, power generation, defence, processing and waste management activities.

Within the Forum an opportunity exists to realise this potential advantage and distribute, disseminate and share that information across the nuclear industry and through all the member organisations.

Benefits of the SCF

Although difficult to quantify, a tangible value has been gained by members of the Safety Case Sub-Group through an network for exchange of information between SCF members on technical queries, such as:

Radiological/chemotoxic assessment methodology.

Derivation of SILs.

Flood guards.

External hazards methodology.

HAZOP software.

Seismic criteria.

Mortality risk factors.

Categorisation of safety cases.

Administrative safeguards.

Substantial work has taken place on the potentially significant change to the Periodic Review of Safety from a 10-yearly event to a continual monitoring, data capture, normal day-to-day business approach, with regular reviews, continual assessments and robust justification of risk reduction and compliant operation. Should this approach be adopted across the industry there is the potential to fundamentally change the way in which PRS is implemented with an accompanying step-change in real-time safety monitoring and understanding, with the benefits that this would bring.

Interactions with other Sub-Groups:

 Radiological Protection – Code of Practice on decontamination factors for respirators.

 Working Party on Criticality – SCF presentation at WPC during November 2016, followed by a reciprocal attendance to present to the SCF members at the last meeting in February 2017.

Programme of Work

Recent activity

The Sub-Group convenes for two-day meetings, three times each year attended by up to 30 personnel and carries out the following activities in relation to the assessment and production of Safety Cases and the Periodic Review of Safety:

  • Representatives have undertaken a number of exchange visits to other Sub-Groups, notably the Criticality working group and the OELG sub-group.
  • The SCF has been actively liaising with the Young Nuclear Safety Professionals’ Forum (YNSPF) and it has formulated three tasking proposals for the YNSPF which have been accepted for incorporation into their work programme.
  • The SCF was privileged to be given a very early briefing and presentation on the "Risk Informed Decision Making Framework" by the ONR which was very well received.

Key achievements

Over the life of the Forum, several guidance documents have been published, these include:

  • Right First Time Safety Cases – How to write a usable Safety Case.
  • Conservative Exposure Durations for Unmitigated Worker Doses in Design Basis Analysis.
  • Appropriate Conservatism in Safety Cases.

Within the Periodic Review work stream the following guide is about to be published:
•  Periodic Review of Leadership and Management for Safety.

The Periodic Review Work Stream recently undertook a period of reassessment of its goals and direction resulting in a reinvigorated programme of work.

It is considered a key achievement that the Forum attracts ONR representation to every meeting.

The commitment and enthusiasm of members of Work Streams is further evidenced by the arrangement of interim meetings and video conferences.

Future Programme

The forward work plan within the Safety Case Forum identifies the progression of current work streams, which include:

  • Design Basis Analysis and SSC Categorisation and Classification.
  • Review of guidance for aspects of the ALARP Process.
  • Identification and development of a framework for the Presentation of the ALARP Argument.
  • Identification, review and prioritisation of priority problem areas for Licensees and Authorisees.
  • REPPIR and Security.

The forward work plan within the Periodic Review work stream identifies the progression of current work packages, which include:

  • Work Package A – Shortfalls and Achievable Improvements.
  • Work Package B – LMfS and Corporate Periodic Review.
  • Work Package E – Interim Review and Continual Improvement strategy.
  • Work Package G - Keeping Safety Cases “Live”.

More Information

Useful Documents

Documents published by the Safety Case Forum are now available through the Nuclear Institute website:

 UK Nuclear Industry Guide To Design Basis Analysis, Issue 1 (Sep 2018)

Good Practice Guide - Worker exposure durations for Design Basis Analysis (Jan 2014) 

Right First Time Safety Cases: How to write a usable safety case, Issue 1 (March 2014)

Appropriate Conservatism in Safety Cases, Issue 1 (July 2015)

The Periodic Review of Leadership & Management for Safety, Issue 1 (July 2017)

Links to other sites

The SDF identified “communities” within which associated subject sub-groups could operate. The Safety Case Forum is part of a wider community identified as GROUP 5 – Assurance, which comprises:
•     Nuclear Safety Capability WG.
•     Safety Case Forum.
•     Peer Review Forum.
•     Internal Regulation WG.
•     Nuclear Emergency Arrangements Forum.

Contact Us

For more information regarding this group please contact either of the joint chairs for this Forum:

  • Sally Forbes, Joint Chair 
  • Stuart Bowers, Joint Chair

SDF Sponsor: Paul Rees, AWE

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