Employed by a French company, based in the UK and working in a global industry, Steve Milton is the embodiment of the philosophy behind WANO and, having been the WANO Interface Officer (WIO) for EDF Energy since 2007, he recognises the significance of his role; "I see myself as much a part of WANO as the secondees and support staff. There is no 'them and us'. We are WANO."
Milton was introduced to WANO in 1989, its inaugural year, when he represented the Central Electricity Generating Board at a WANO exchange visit on the subject of emergency preparedness.By this time he was four years into his career at Bradwell Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), first starting as a health physicist before working in various support functions.
"It wasn't until May 2000 that I undertook my first WANO peer review, at Gravelines NPP in France, reviewing Operating Experience (OE). It was very rewarding, not least because my fellow OE peer was very experienced". Milton went on to work as a secondee within the WANO Paris Centre (PC) from 2002 until 2005, firstly in the OE central team (now based in London), before moving to the PC Peer Review team.
Since returning to EDF from his secondment, Milton has championed WANO within the organisation and jumped at the chance to be a WIO when the opportunity arose; "Since then I have held several fleet positions whilst continuing to be the EDF Energy WIO.
"Today, with the EDF Energy's commitment to WANO, following Fukushima, combined with the growth of WANO itself, the WIO role has become the largest part of my job."
Day-to-day duties include working with the PC leadership team to maintain and improve the quality of service and interactions with EDF; preparing and monitoring delivery of EDF's annual WANO interaction plan and scheduling peer reviews, technical support missions, exit meetings etc.; promoting WANO tools and products such as websites, SOERs and indicators; and supporting WANO improvement projects.
Knowing that he contributed to the smooth running of WANO missions, interacting with WANO staff and identifying new secondees, witnessing the positive change in them when they return from secondment, are some of the best things about being a WIO, yet one thing in particular stands out; "When EDF and WANO staff say 'thank you'. Thank you for helping me make contact with another utility, thank you for helping me find the information on the WANO website, thank you for your support."
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