Keywords: nuclear knowledge management, knowledge process, organisational performance, nuclear power plants, knowledge systems, quality management, nuclear energy
The role of knowledge management in NPP organisational performance
Various Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) around the globe have begun to recognise the strategic importance of Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives in achieving sustained high levels of operational performance. Although these organisations have been involved in KM-related activities for some time, they typically have not viewed and managed these activities from a KM perspective. Several NPPs have been early adopters of KM practices in the nuclear industry and have been proactive in implementing company-wide KM programmes. However, at most NPPs, the concepts and benefits of KM are only beginning to be understood and have yet to be applied. Effective KM enhances a firm's capability to assimilate, create and exploit knowledge. KM is widely recognised in both the management literature and in practice as an important enabler of long-term organisational performance. Its role is particularly important in technology-intensive industries such as the nuclear power industry. This paper summarises the preliminary findings of research being done at Atomic Energy Canada Ltd. (AECL) to explore the link between KM practices and NPP organisational performance. These initial findings are based on a review of the literature and meetings with NPP managers during several nuclear power station visits. The research is being conducted in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency.