New team for nuclear startup reviews

25 September 2012

An industry team that will review safety of new nuclear power plants before they start up has been assembled by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) at a new office in Hong Kong.

One of WANO's major programs has been to organize peer reviews of operational nuclear power plants, where a team of experts from its membership deliver frank feedback on another operator's methods.

Now, a new pre-startup peer review team will do the same thing but for reactors that have yet to reach first criticality, focusing on their "preparation and readiness... to start safely and reliably." It will be made up of seconded peer reviewers with experience gained at WANO's other offices - in Atlanta, Moscow, Paris and Tokyo, as well as the coordinating centre in London.

The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) is a non-profit member association with the mission of improving nuclear plant safety and reliability by enabling operators to work together to assess, benchmark and improve performance through mutual support, information exchange and by sharing best practices.

"One of the recommendations from the Post-Fukushima Commission is that WANO must conduct a pre-startup peer review at each new nuclear power plant before initial criticality of the reactor," said Jean-Marie Baggio, who will lead the team. WANO managing director George Felgate said: "Assembling our team of expert reviewers in one location where there is huge growth in nuclear build projects is beneficial both for WANO and our members."

In Hong Kong, the team will clearly be well located for the Chinese nuclear power program, in which 25 reactors are under construction at the moment. There are another 38 reactors under construction elsewhere in the world, but the greatest benefit from peer reviews may come in the countries introducing nuclear power for the first time, such as Belarus, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In future, nuclear power is also planned for use in Bangladesh, Jordan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam among others.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News