Though the slope ahead remains steep, WANO continues to follow a clear and straight path to post-Fukushima improvement.
That’s the message I shared with more than 200 of our most senior leaders at September’s WANO Site Vice Presidents' & Plant Managers' Conference, held in Germany and co-hosted with VGB PowerTech. Held every two years, between Biennial General Meetings (BGMs), this gathering offers a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our achievements and discuss the challenges ahead.
Personally, it was my first SVP & PM Conference since becoming WANO Chairman and I took the opportunity to share my observations on a number of fronts.
I told participants how pleased I was – having travelled the world to meet regulators, vendors and public organisations of all kinds – to see that WANO has a stronger image and is more than ever before perceived as a kind of self-regulator for the community of nuclear operators.
Our success is far more than just perceptions. Operationally, substantial progress has been made on the 12 ambitious projects launched by WANO to respond to the Post-Fukushima Commission recommendations. By next year, our commitment is to have largely completed those projects and to present the results to our member CEOs during the 2015 BGM.
From an internal WANO perspective, I shared my view that it is essential to continue integrating our processes and practices between regions. Some of our initiatives, such as the WANO Assessment*, will help on that front. However, WANO’s regions must continue to work closely together to benchmark, exchange peers and facilitate travel for peers across the regions. Safety has no borders and I strongly believe we should do everything possible to create an environment where any WANO peer can visit any member anywhere in the world. We have to be pro-active and need the full support of our members to work on this objective on a day-to-day basis.
Finally, I told participants about the fine work the WANO Moscow Centre has done to launch the basis of a Youth Movement. I consider that participating in WANO programmes in an international and multi-cultural context is a unique opportunity for the training and leadership development of young talent. It is beneficial for us and our members. I wish to encourage, recognise and formalise this commitment with all our members and would like us to take a new step on this path during the 2015 BGM.
As I have said, we have already walked a long way and there is no doubt the encouraging and concrete results we have already achieved will enable us to have a productive BGM in Toronto. We are part of a dynamic industry with wide development perspectives that will force us to go the extra mile. The challenges we may face will be fascinating and demanding which, of course, is good news as long as we remain focussed on improving nuclear safety. As always, excellence in nuclear safety is our driver and our work is never finished.
*WANO Assessment: Each WANO member will receive a numerical WANO Assessment (WA), which will capture the overall operational safety risk represented by the peer review results.