WANO warns export controls are impacting its work

28 March 2019

The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) announced today it is encouraging governments worldwide to ensure that national export control laws do not adversely affect its ability to maximise the safe operation of commercial nuclear power plants.

Peter Prozesky (Image: WANO)

Export controls ensure that goods, equipment and technical information exported from a country or area do not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and also protect national and international security by restricting access to sensitive nuclear technologies, materials and capabilities. However, WANO says some nations' export control arrangements are impacting its ability to conduct activities focused on the safe operation of existing commercial nuclear power plants.

Peter Prozesky, CEO of the London-headquartered organisation said: "For each nation or region, the scope and depth of governmental supervision on export controls over organisations should be proportionate to what type of organisation it is, its track record, and the risk to proliferation it poses. WANO is not a commercial entity; it has no political affiliation and has worked effectively with nuclear operators to improve safety and reliability of power plants for almost 30 years. Restrictions resulting from export controls can hamper WANO’s ability to conduct its important safety mission. We are keen to continue to engage and work with national governments to develop an appropriate, risk based approach to export controls laws."

WANO said its policy is to avoid exchanging information that is subject to export controls, adding it is primarily focussed on assessing management processes and behaviours relating to safety - and not technology transfer. In recent years, there have been "increasing instances", it said, where some WANO employees are unable to participate in WANO peer reviews and member support missions at other member plants.

The situation has become more challenging since the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) revised its Guidelines in 2013, WANO said, adding that it is engaging with the NSG and national governments to explain its position.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News