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The formation of the Systems Reliability Service (SRS) is discussed against a background of historical reliability development. This background extends to nearly twenty years ago when various methods of carrying out safety assessments of nuclear plant and systems were being formulated. The early deterministic methods relying to a great extent on subjective judgement have been developed into more generalised techniques involving probabilistic concepts. Subsequently, reliability assessments were extended to cover not just safety but also availability aspects. Earlier developed theoretical foundation gave rise to reliability technology. In order to apply this technology successfully, it has been found necessary to organise under one management multi-disciplinary groups covering computation and analysis, project assessment, research and development, and a wide ranging reliability data bank. The basic operation of the data bank is discussed as well as general applications of SRS techniques. These techniques, although developed primarily for nuclear plants, have also been found useful in their applications to non-nuclear plants and to systems in general.