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Strengthening CEO Involvement at WANO Tokyo Centre

Dedication of the Japanese Nuclear Operators (JNO) to nuclear safety
Makoto Yagi, CEO of the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO) & Chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan

Makoto Yagi speaks at the 2013 WANO BGMAs a member of the Japanese Nuclear Operators (JNO), I would first like to apologise for the great deal of concern caused by the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) in March 2011.

In light of the aforementioned accident, WANO has been intensifying many of its activities. The WANO Assessments in 2012 revealed that more needed to be done to increase staffing levels in the WANO Tokyo Centre (TC) and improve the training of our team leaders and reviewers so more frequent peer reviews could be implemented.

Participants at the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) meeting of the Biennial General Meeting (BGM) held in Moscow in May 2013 commented that additional CEO involvement of TC members was needed to resolve this issue. In this regard, I committed myself to helping to work towards a resolution.

A small CEO meeting hosted by KEPCO in Japan in September 2013 was a turning point for us to step up efforts. I called for strong participation and all JNO CEOs attended. All participants, along with Jacques Regaldo and Ken Ellis, WANO Chairman and Managing Director respectively, discussed WANO activities and the issues that WANO TC was facing. We actively exchanged opinions and shared common perceptions. It served as a good opportunity to raise the awareness of JNO CEOs toward WANO activities.

I felt a good response from the outcome of the meeting and encouraged JNO CEOs to take up the post of WANO TC governor. As a result, by January 2014 all of the CEOs had assumed that post. Furthermore, at a meeting of the WANO TC regional governing board held in April 2014, I urged all governors to provide cooperation in securing personnel at WANO TC. At the same time, I decided that JNO would look into dispatching two new capable persons to solve the lack of team leaders.

In Japan, NPPs are currently being checked for compliance with new regulatory standards enforced in July 2013; thus, we still can’t say exactly when we will resume NPP operation. JNO is striving not only to work toward the restart of reactors but also to promote continuous measures in order to attain the world’s highest level of safety beyond the regulatory framework.

Taking into account the reflections and lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, JNO is dedicated to proactively participating in WANO activities, thereby continuously contributing to the improvement in nuclear plant safety around the world.