A phrase used to describe a situation in which businesses, and other types of co-operative organization, lose their memory of how to do things. The condition is held, by some people, to be analogous to individual amnesia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_amnesia Wikipedia)
Corporate amnesia is very common for small businesses. As nuclear industry is a strictly regulated industry, loss of capacity happens on national level. Corporate amnesia is not common for nuclear NPP operating facilities but there have been cases where the challenge affects manufacturing and production of critical equipment for NPPs. R&D and manufacturing organizations own the most specific competences which depends on the experts employed. Losing a staff member who is heading a specific research area could automatically lead to a complete or partial corporate amnesia. In nuclear R&D the risk is very high due to the nature of the research and close links to the military non-proliferation obligations of a country.