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Only Excellence Will Do

Departing message from WANO CEO, Ken Ellis
Ken Ellis, Chief Executive Officer, WANO

Ken Ellis, WANO CEOAs my tenure as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) comes to a close, I'd like to first take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone at WANO. Our success has been achieved through the unrelenting dedication and commitment that WANO staff personnel demonstrate every day to the work of WANO and the invaluable commitment and support of our members.

I have had the pleasure of experiencing some significant changes during my term as CEO. At this year's Biennial General Meeting (BGM) in Toronto, Canada, I reported on the status of the 12 Post-Fukushima Commission (PFC) projects which provided the framework for much of our work since the events at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. It was a privilege to be able to report the completion of ten of these projects, which is the result of extensive hard work by the association.

With the PFC projects coming to a close, it was time for a fresh approach, and so earlier this year we introduced Compass, WANO's long-term plan for the years 2015 to 2019. This plan has been well received and is in the process of being fully implemented into our current and new programmes, projects and initiatives. It is the strategic framework that will guide the work of WANO over the coming years.

In 2014, I was fortunate to see WANO celebrate its 25-year anniversary.It was a great opportunity to briefly pause and reflect on how far we have come and how much has been achieved since the 1989 inaugural meeting. It really struck me, once again, how unique our association is; we overcome geographical and political barriers, our members open their doors to international evaluations, we share operating experience, and we unite in our pursuit of the same objective: superior standards of nuclear safety. For all of us in the nuclear industry, only excellence will do.

I am reminded of some parallels that Astronaut and first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station, Colonel Chris Hadfield, drew between the space and nuclear industries when he spoke at this year's 2015 BGM. Like the space industry, we must at all times be aware of the risks that surround us, we must be prepared for all emergency situations, and we must foster the strongest safety culture possible in our facilities; one that allows for sharing experience, challenging poor performance and emulating best practices to ensure those standards of excellence are engrained into our daily lives. Complacency is never an option.

I am immensely proud to work in this industry and to have had the opportunity to further progress and improve upon the great work and foundations laid by my predecessors. I thank you for your support and I hope to see many of you again in the future.