About AGORAS Project


The Fukushima disaster questions in depth the principles on which nuclear safety was built in Japan, but also in France, both from the point of view of the practices of the actors concerned and the knowledge they mobilize (expertise). The Complementary Safety Studies (ECS) stressed the importance of building solid scientific knowledge on the link between inter-organisational relations and safety (IRSN, p. 75, 180, 186-188, 220, 225, 372). It is precisely on this point, still little explored that the project AGORAS (Improving the Governance of Organisations and Networks of Nuclear Safety Actors) focuses. It aims to understand how institutional balances involving operators, their subcontractors and partners but also safety authorities and public institutes of expertise are constructed and evolve, in a post-Fukushima context where civil society tends to play a growing role. Emphasis will be placed on the dialogue between stakeholders, which is part of the basis for the safety level of the nuclear industry as a whole.

The AGORAS project is organised around two complementary strands: (1) the analysis and improvement of the integration of safety into inter-organisational processes for the design of reactors and nuclear sites; (2) the analysis and improvement of inter-organisational relations in nuclear crisis management situations. Working together on these two components allows for both comprehensive and in-depth consideration of nuclear risk management.


Learn more about the project: http://web.imt-atlantique.fr/x-ssg/projetagoras/


The expected benefits of the project are both scientifically based (through the acquisition of new knowledge and the development of models for socio-organisational analysis of nuclear safety governance at the level of inter-organisational relations) and in practice (helping actors to develop tools, methods and processes to improve inter-organisational practices in nuclear technology design and crisis management).

The exploitation of the research results will be achieved through publications in peer-reviewed academic journals of the various SHS scientific communities involved in this project (management, sociology, political science, ergonomics...), in the organization of colloquia and the publishing of collective works, but also in collaborations with the actors in charge of the elaboration and dissemination of safety doctrines.

 The AGORAS project, coordinated by ARMINES – DSSG, a joint research centre at ARMINES and the IMT Atlantic School, relies on the close collaboration of several partners: ARMINES – DSSG and CGS (Centre de gestion scientifique), Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN), Centre de sociologie des organisations (CSO), ORANO, Centre de recherche en gestion (CRG) de l'X (subcontractor). Each of these scientific partners has for many years developed expertise in the human and organisational factors of nuclear safety. The original collaboration between the academic world, IRSN and ORANO guarantees access to the research grounds and ensures the feasibility of the project. Focusing on the impacts of Fukushima in the French context, the detailed research program in the AGORAS PROJECT tab, also aims to develop synergies with the RESOH2 Chair supported by the IMT Atlantic School that brings together ORANO, Naval Group, ANDRA and the IRSN are involved in research projects to analyse subcontracting and co-contracting relationships in the construction, operation and dismantling of basic nuclear installations. The AGORAS project is therefore part of a long-term strategy to develop a network of SHS researchers, specialised in nuclear safety issues. 

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