10 tips to help towards achieving a nuclear safety culture

As a trusted supplier to the nuclear sector, nuclear safety is paramount as it allows us to guarantee that associated risks are controlled in order to protect employees and customers from anything that may be harmful.

Kloeckner Metals UK continue to support the delivery of new nuclear power stations across the UK, whilst supporting the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with their decommissioning programme and existing operational nuclear sites.

The annual NDA Estate Decommissioning Event takes place at the start of November so ahead of this, we sat down with our Nuclear Business Development Manager to discuss how a nuclear safety culture can be instilled within a business.

The 10 tips towards achieving a nuclear safety culture within your business are:

Stakeholder safety

 If one of your suppliers were to breach government safety regulations, resulting in serious injury or loss of life, how would this affect your business? It’s important to observe your key suppliers behavioral safety during annual audits and incoming deliveries whilst asking yourself if they adopt the same high safety standards that you do.

 The supplier selection process

 As a company, how do you choose a supplier? Ensure that you seek evidence from any prospective suppliers to ensure all accreditations and approvals held are valid. This will help you to feel confident in their ability to meet your own nuclear safety expectations. A site audit also offers a good opportunity to see their policies, procedures and processes first hand; this will ultimately provide the controls necessary to deliver nuclear safety within the supply chain. 

Multiple supply chain sources

 If you have carried out plenty of research, including a quality, cost and delivery evaluation of several suppliers, one supply chain source will be enough. You can work with this source to develop a true supply partnership based on openness and trust. 

Ongoing supplier assessment

It’s important to continually assess any suppliers, or you may consider carrying out an annual business review which serves as an opportunity to approve the supplier for a further year. A lot can happen in a year and it’s best to avoid any unwanted surprises! 

Suitably qualified and experienced personnel (SQEP)

During the supplier selection process, and also at the point of the annual audit, it’s important to establish if your supplier has SQEP staff. Don’t be afraid to ask for evidence in the form of a CV and certifications where applicable. Your supplier should also be able to demonstrate a good level of understanding in relation to their role and the product and services they provide. 

Assumptions in the supply chain

In order to determine whether your supplier is offering the products and services that you require, ensure that your supplier has all of the information required, including any supporting documentation to allow them to provide a robust quotation that meets your exact requirements. An acceptable quotation should:

  • Clearly highlight any aspects of the quote which deviate from your requirements
  • Be supplied in the order that you provided them with
  • Demonstrate their understanding in the form of additional comments 
Protecting your business from CFSI

 Protecting your business from counterfeit, fraudulent and suspect items can be challenging, but it’s important to work with suppliers who can truly demonstrate that they have a reliable and robust supply chain in order to mitigate this risk. You could also consider independent testing to ensure the integrity of the supplier’s products.

Documentation is as important as the product or service delivery

 When working within the nuclear sector, documentation that is relevant, accurate and legible is as important as the products and services you deliver. Without a robust document pack, the material can’t progress into further processing, nor can you rely on the information trail. 

Is quality everyone’s responsibility?

 It’s imperative that everyone has an understanding of quality, but it must also be ensured that adequate SQEP are in place to hold responsibility for providing a structure to the quality that is produced by your business. Staff must also be given sufficient time to take care in their work whilst learning from experience to sustain both high standards and a quality culture. 

Right first time, on time

It is not always possible to get things right the first time, all of the time, however, if an internal mistake may have an impact on the customer, they must be advised immediately in order to minimise this impact. Be realistic with your lead time offering so that you don’t disappoint.


For more information on nuclear safety, contact us here.

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