The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) takes seriously its commitment to achieve excellence in safe and reliable plant operations; and they are not just talking the talk, but are walking the walk. Evidence of this rests in WANO pursing the implementation of leadership development, similar to that currently offered by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), in the next few years.
In the past three years more than 160 shift managers from 42 WANO member plants have participated in a shift manager leadership development seminar conducted by INPO – a WANO Atlanta Centre member. The seminar is designed to enhance leadership knowledge and skills of both newly qualified and seasoned shift managers.
Many shift managers who participate in the seminar return to their plants with renewed enthusiasm in pursuing excellence in performance using the tools they gained through the seminar. Because the shift manager is ultimately responsible for the safety of the public, plant personnel and plant equipment by ensuring reactor safety, helping to provide the right leadership tools to do so is vitally important.
"The impact this seminar makes on its participants is very positive", says Paul DiRito, Senior Programme Manager at INPO International. As an example, upon completing the leadership seminar Pascal Lipko, EDF Shift Manager at Bugey nuclear power plant, wrote a letter to his station director outlining his commitment to excellence. He received positive feedback and was encouraged to share his convictions with his peers. He did just that by using every team briefing as an opportunity to demonstrate strong leadership.
Because of his strong convictions, he is now involved in helping to develop strong leadership and commitment to excellence among his peers. "There are countless others just like Lipko who leave the seminar very energised and compelled to make improvements in plant performance through enhanced leadership", added DiRito.
Dave Adams, Principle Programme Manager of the INPO International Division attributes the seminar's success to having a diverse number of WANO members participating in the seminar. By doing so, the members are able to share experiences and perspectives, and most importantly gain valuable insight on how to effectively lead site personnel. Participants develop professional relationships that include working with highly experienced industry mentors. They also leave the seminar with action plans in-hand to help facilitate positive change, both personally and professionally. "It's a win-win situation", said Adams, "and it's one we want to expand into WANO to further improve nuclear safety worldwide."