As an organisation focused on driving continuous improvement among the world’s nuclear power plants, WANO has been working hard to improve operations within its organisation. Among the most notable enhancements has been the increased partnership among the four regional centres and the enhanced WANO Assessment process.
The regional centres in Atlanta, Moscow, Paris and Tokyo, have been working hard over the past few years to integrate best practices and processes to become more tightly aligned. Their collaboration has been very impressive, particularly with the incorporation of post-Fukushima recommendations, which included expanding the scope of WANO activities, to improve WANO’s effectiveness.
One such recommendation was the development and implementation of a new WANO Assessment process. It provides a consistent method across all four WANO regions to evaluate a plant’s overall performance relative to excellence using consistent, defined WANO processes and practices. It also complements the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations’ (INPO’s) international strategy.
Exelon’s Nine Mile Point nuclear station was the first US plant to go through the new WANO Assessment process. As the largest nuclear operator in the US, it seems appropriate that an Exelon plant was the first to undergo the enhanced assessment process here, and we welcomed the opportunity.
The WANO evaluation adds the value of an external international perspective and further demonstrates the global commitment to continuous improvement across the industry. It allows WANO to identify strong-performing plants and share their best practices across the regions, while also focusing on improving the performance of outliers that pose higher risk to operational nuclear safety.
While the global nuclear landscape may be changing, one thing that remains constant is WANO’s focus on improving nuclear safety. The current level of teamwork and commitment in WANO is truly doing just that and making us a stronger industry worldwide.
Christopher M. Crane is an acknowledged leader in the electric utility and nuclear industries. He became a member of the WANO Atlanta Centre Governing Board in March 2011 and was elected to the WANO Governing Board in June 2014. He is Vice Chairman of the Edison Electric Institute and Vice Chairman of INPO. Mr Crane is also Chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the US nuclear industry trade association, where he has served as Chairman of the New Plant Oversight Committee and as a member of the Nuclear Strategic Issues Advisory Committee, the Nuclear Fuel Supply Committee and the Materials Initiative Group.