Bill Johnson was appointed as Chairman of the WANO Atlanta Centre Regional Governing Board at the end of 2015. Bill, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and an ardent supporter of nuclear power and a strong advocate for nuclear safety, tells Inside WANO more about his thoughts on the challenges facing nuclear industry:
"The TVA management team has worked hard over the last several years to steadily improve the performance of their entire nuclear fleet and to increase the nuclear portion of our generating portfolio to over a third of our total generation. These efforts will culminate soon with the completion of TVA's Watts Bar Unit 2 as the nation's first new nuclear generation of the 21st century.
"In all these efforts, TVA's overriding priorities are the same as WANO's: ensuring health and safety through excellence in nuclear performance. In support of these objectives, TVA and other WANO members are united in our commitment to analyse root causes, share lessons learned and best practices among ourselves. As we have seen, these steps have been essential for improving industry performance world-wide and rebuilding public trust.
"Yet the biggest challenges we face in nuclear power are not technical, they're perceptual. The people we serve need to know more about what we do and why. They need to better understand how our collaborative efforts keep nuclear power safe and reliable for everyone. And they need to be more aware of the environmental benefits nuclear provides as the world's largest source of clean energy.
"There is also a need in our industry for greater transparency among ourselves. We need to be more frank and honest with each other about specific areas of concern – more willing to trust each other with information we might prefer not to share. Transparency among ourselves helps us use our collective resources so that we can move the entire industry to a higher level of performance.
"It's an exciting time for nuclear power across the world and a challenging time in the United States. The long-term success of our industry depends upon the safety we promise, the performance we deliver and the trust we earn through honest and transparent communication.
"As members of WANO, let us embrace the opportunity to set a new standard for openness and honesty in our industry."