Following the Chernobyl accident in 1986, I took part in the accident mitigation management team. This experience left me with an overwhelming sense of my responsibility for nuclear safety and encouraged me to assume a leadership post at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP), which I held for the next 10 years.
In 1989, when WANO was founded, Zaporozhye had four units in operation, with another two units under construction. At this time, training of operating and maintenance personnel to meet requirements, and time for developing and implementing performance improvement plans, was limited.
Following WANO’s foundation, William Lee, Duke Power CEO and one of the active founders of WANO, visited Zaporozhye and suggested direct partnership relations with annual exchange visits between the plants. The WANO Moscow Centre (MC) actively supported this idea which gave Zaporozhye staff direct access to all departments of the US plants and their performance standards
We have built trust-based business relations with Duke Power over the years, and Duke Engineering & Services even developed a dry fuel storage facility for our plant, which is still a one-of-a-kind facility in Ukraine and Russia.
With the support of WANO MC, Zaporozhye has also been actively sharing experience and knowledge with the similarly designed Balakovo, Kozloduy and Rostov NPPs. This global sharing of good practices has had a positive effect on Zaporozhye, driving up results across all performance indicators.
WANO MC also assisted in arranging visits to plant service organisations for training our maintenance staff and gaining experience in maintenance campaigns. We have utilised the expertise of renowned nuclear companies such as Westinghouse, Framatome-Areva and Mitsubishi, and embedded this experience into the project launched by the National Center for Maintenance Staff Training, which Zaporozhye is currently implementing.
WANO has enormously contributed to the safety culture of our plant, which has been highly commended by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
When WANO site representative positions were set up in WANO MC, following the recommendation of the WANO Post-Fukushima Commission, I took the onsite representative post at Zaporozhye to monitor safety culture and staff readiness for managing severe accidents.
Being a site representative gives me the chance to impart my 48-year experience in the nuclear industry along with the advanced experience our peers have accumulated through WANO MC activities.
An essential duty of a WANO site representative is to help sustain an unwavering commitment to safety within the NPP and across the nuclear industry as a whole. We are striving for healthy emulation of best practices among nuclear power plants worldwide, for the sake of safety.