The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has joined the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), which unites the world's commercial nuclear power plants to achieve the highest possible safety standards.
"Nuclear safety is the foundation upon which our entire programme has been built and we are honoured to become part of the WANO community," said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC's Chief Executive Officer. "Through WANO, we will have access to companies with decades of safe operating experience who freely share their experience and expertise for the benefit of every member. This is another important milestone in our journey to introduce safe, nuclear energy to the United Arab Emirates."
Earlier this year, ENEC began the licensing and environmental assessment processes to build a four-unit facility at Braka on the Arabian Gulf. The first unit is expected to be online by 2017. ENEC's membership in WANO was unanimously approved by the association's Governing Board, which met this week in Shenzhen, China.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Mr. Al Hammadi and his team to WANO," said WANO Chairman Laurent Stricker. "In a time of growth in the nuclear industry, safety remains the top priority for all of our members, whether they have operated reactors for many years or are just entering the industry like ENEC. By working together, we can learn from each other in a culture of cooperation that is truly unique among industries worldwide."
Created in 1989, WANO is based in London with regional centres in Moscow, Atlanta, Tokyo and Paris. Its mission is to maximise the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide by working together to assess, benchmark and improve performance through mutual support, exchange of information and emulation of best practices.
Prior to filing a membership application, Mr. Al Hammadi had met with WANO officials several times to learn more about the association, whose members operate about 440 nuclear units in more than 30 countries or geographic regions. In February, he was among the guest speakers at WANO's Biennial General Meeting (BGM), which attracted more than 400 international nuclear executives to New Delhi, India. WANO's next BGM will be held in Shenzhen in October 2011.