The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires contractor support to provide: support for the agency’s continuous learning and improvement initiatives in the safety culture area both internally for itself as well as externally for its regulated community.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses inspects nuclear reactors, materials, and waste facilities to ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards during all phases of construction, testing, operation, and decommissioning to protect the public health, safety, and the environment and to promote the common defense and security.
As part of its mission, the NRC recognizes the importance of licensees establishing and maintaining a strong safety culture -- a work environment where management and employees are dedicated to putting safety first. In alignment with its mission, the staff has been working on developing an expanded safety culture policy statement, in response to direction from the Commission. The staff published a proposed draft safety culture policy statement in the fall of 2009 and a revised draft in the fall of 2010 in the Federal Register for public comment. The draft policy statement states that it is each licensee’s and certificate holder’s responsibility to develop and maintain a positive safety culture in their organizations and among individuals who are overseeing or performing regulated activities. The NRC, as a regulator, has an independent oversight role. The staff will be providing a final proposed policy statement to the Commission in early 2011.
Complementary to the agency’s external safety culture activities, the NRC has a longstanding history of promoting a positive safety culture internally to ensure the agency achieves its mission. The agency has undertaken many initiatives to hold, to focus on the same underlying tenets, and principles as to what has been communicated externally. In response to recent Commission direction to identify potential initiatives to improve the agency’s own safety culture, the staff formed the internal safety culture task force from October 2008 to May 2009, composed of employees and managers from across the agency. In focusing on areas for enhancement, the task force made a set of recommendations for continuous improvement, which are all under implementation or completed. As part of these efforts, the staff has been working to further increase knowledge and awareness of safety culture throughout the agency. This focus includes looking broadly across other industries, evaluating insights and lessons learned from recent events, and considering how to disseminate this information throughout the agency and potentially also to the agency’s regulated community.
Nuclear safety culture is defined by the NRC as the core values and behaviors resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment.
An important element of safety culture is a safety conscious work environment (SCWE).
SCWE is described as a work environment where employees are encouraged to raise safety concerns and where concerns are promptly reviewed, given the proper priority based on their potential safety significance, and appropriately resolved with timely feedback to the originator and to other employees of the concerns.
Open collaborative work environment is a term applied specifically to the NRC that evolved from SCWE and is an important part of the agency’s internal safety culture. It is an environment where:
1. Employees are comfortable speaking up by sharing concerns and differing views without fear of negative consequences.
2. Diverse views, alternative approaches, critical thinking, unbiased evaluations, and honest feedback on how decisions are made, which are all valued.
3. Trust, respect, and open communication are valued.
4. All employees, including technical, administrative, corporate support and legal work together for mutual benefit to achieve a common goal.
5. Collaborative problem solving and decision-making are encouraged.
For additional information on the NRC’s safety culture activities, see:
The Contractor shall provide necessary personnel, management, materials, administrative and technical services required to support the agency’s continuous learning and improvement initiatives in the safety culture area both internally for itself as well as externally for its regulated community as outlined in the statement of work.
3.0 GENERAL INFORMATION
3.1 SCOPE OF WORK
The contractor shall conduct the following safety culture continuous learning and improvement services as outlined below: communication activities such as speakers and seminars; benchmarking activities; operational experience reviews; and design of communications tools for disseminating information related to safety culture to the agency and its regulated community.
These services may be provided at the NRC Headquarters locations; one of its regional offices: the Technical Training Center (TTC) located in Chattanooga, TN; Region I located in King of Prussia, PA; Region II located in Atlanta, GA; Region III located in Lisle, IL; and Region IV located in Arlington, TX; and/or at other sites as identified by the NRC.
The range of specific activities and services are outlined in this Statement of Work (SOW), including the following:
1. Seminars and speakers for the purpose of increasing the NRC staff’s awareness and understanding of relevant safety culture topics, as well as the behaviors and interpersonal skills important to creating, sustaining, and improving a healthy safety culture.
2. Benchmarking activities, including evaluating the NRC’s safety culture activities and practices with other government, commercial, private, and academic institutions as appropriate to determine areas of potential improvement and to identify innovative practices.
3. Conducting operational experience reviews related to safety culture across various industries and agencies, and consolidating this information for dissemination to different types of audiences both within the agency and to its regulated community.
4. Developing and drafting communication tools such as case studies, websites, newsletters, webinars, videos, etc., to communicate on various safety culture topics, including the results of the activities listed above, throughout the agency as well as to the regulated community.
Claudia G. Melgar
The solicitation number is NRC-HQ-11R-20-0018 and is issued as a Request for Proposal (RFP). This solicitation is a small business owned set aside. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission intends to award an indefinite deliver indefinite quantity contract. The price section of this solicitation is intended to be used to negotiate individual task orders on a firm fixed price basis. The contract estimated period of performance is a base period of one year with an additional 4 one-year options. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code for this procurement is 541690.
This combined synopsis/solicitation is 100 percent set aside for small business.
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