British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd has today become the first operator of a nuclear reprocessing facility to join the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), an organisation dedicated to improving the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants.
WANO agreed to British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd becoming a full member following four years of cooperation between both organisations, changing their articles of association to enable the membership to take place.
The application for membership in WANO was approved by the WANO Governing Board, and Barry Snelson, Managing Director, Management Services Sellafield, formally signed the WANO Charter on the company's behalf. The certificate of membership was signed on behalf of WANO by the Chairman, Mr William Cavanaugh III and the WANO President Mr Oliver Kingsley.
Speaking after the ceremony, which took place in Edinburgh, Barry said: 'WANO's process for sharing worldwide best practise is widely recognised for its positive contribution to the safety and reliability of reactor operations.
'Membership of WANO is not just about taking from others, but also giving back. It is a unique forum for cooperation, set up purely to help members achieve the highest possible levels of operational safety by giving members access to a wealth of operating experience from the worldwide nuclear community. By working with WANO we can build an unimpeachable safety culture and an ethos of continual improvement.'
WANO Managing Director, Lucas Mampaey, who welcomed British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd to WANO, added: 'The public doesn't make any distinction between a nuclear power plant and a nuclear reprocessing plant and that is why we are happy to have Sellafield on board. To use a metaphor, we are roped together like climbers. If one is affected then we are all affected. On the other hand, if we all work together then we can climb to ever higher levels of nuclear safety.'
Mr Cavanaugh concluded, saying: 'WANO was set up to help share good practice across power plant operators. Our visits to Sellafield have shown us that operators of both reactors and non-reactor nuclear plants can learn from each other. We are very pleased to welcome British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd to our organisation, and look forward to demonstrating the value of this relationship to other similar operators.'