Every one of the world's commercial nuclear power plants has now been peer reviewed by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). But the organisation must adapt with the changing nuclear landscape to ensure continued international safety cooperation, according to its chairman.
Speaking at the association's tenth biennial general meeting held in Delhi, India, WANO chairman Laurent Stricker told nuclear energy leaders that although the nuclear industry had collectively made great progress in safety and reliability over the past two decades, WANO must also be prepared to adapt to remain effective. "Our major programs are being widely used as a resource by our members. With the nuclear revival underway we need to maintain this momentum and safety record," he said.
New WANO president
Qian Zhimin, chairman of the board of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co, was elected to succeed Shreyans Kumar Jain as WANO president at the Delhi meeting. The presidency is an honorary position with a nominal two-year term.
WANO was formed in 1989, in response to the Chernobyl accident, to improve safety at every nuclear power plant in the world. Its mission is to maximise the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide by working together to assess, benchmark and improve performance through mutual support, exchange of information, and emulation of best practices. Although its work goes largely unpublicised, WANO is nevertheless widely respected as providing an essential cornerstone for nuclear industry safety.
All the operators of the world's 447 nuclear plants in over 30 countries are represented in WANO's membership. Members share operational experience using an online database and contribute experts towards peer reviews of one another's plants. WANO also holds technical courses and workshops, as well as conducting support missions to solve specific issues at its members' facilities. All of these programs take place under a strict code of confidentiality that WANO considers essential to information exchange that is fully open and honest.
The peer review program was formally adopted by WANO in 1993 and provides plant operators with an opportunity to share and learn from worldwide experience on safe and reliable plant operation. Carried out at the request of an operator, a typical peer review involves in-depth observation of all aspects of plant operation during a two-week visit by a team of experts from other WANO members, culminating in a frank - and confidential - report identifying strengths and areas for improvement.
By the end of 2009, WANO had achieved its goal of completing peer reviews at every single operating nuclear power plant in the world, with many plants having been reviewed more than once. WANO aims to conduct a review of each nuclear unit at least once every six years, and encourages each power station to host an outside review (not necessarily by WANO) at least once every three years.
The "outstanding" contribution of eight nuclear professionals to the promotion of excellence in the safe operation of commercial nuclear power has been recognised by WANO in its biennial Nuclear Excellence Awards.
The recipients are: Shashi Bhattacharjee (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd); Bill Coley (formerly of British Energy Group Plc); Rafael Férnandez de la Garza (Comisión Federal de Electricidad); Rhonda Lightfoot (Bruce Power); Alexander Lokshin (Rosatom State Corporation); Amir Shahkarami (Exelon Generation Corporation); Viktor Shevaldin (Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania); and Zan Yunlong (China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co Ltd).
The awards were established in 2003 and recognise individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to excellence in the operation of nuclear power plants, or the infrastructure that supports the nuclear power enterprise, or through WANO.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News