QIAN Zhimin became the 12th WANO President at the recent Biennial General Meeting in New Delhi, India.
It is a great honour to be elected the new WANO President and I thank you for your confidence and support. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Dr Shreyans Kumar Jain for his hard work and significant contribution to WANO during his presidency.
It goes without saying that we all recognize WANO's pivotal role in the global nuclear industry and applaud the significant safety improvements it has brought about during its 20 year history.
While WANO can bring added value to the international nuclear industry, the real value that WANO delivers to each of us depends primarily on the extent of our participation and contribution to WANO and its programmes.
Although WANO programmes have served the industry well there is room for improvement; not all plants use peer reviews effectively as a tool to improve performance, and there are still plants failing to report events on a regular basis.
As a priority, we must address the urgent and ongoing need to improve the performance of plants that continuously operate at lower levels than the rest of their peers. Our performance indicators reveal gaps between the best quartile and the median plants, and chasms between lowest quartile and median plants. This lack of improvement between quartiles over many years is a problem our industry can and must confront.
At a time of expansion, with more than 50 reactors either under construction or being planned worldwide, it is becoming ever more important that WANO be more proactive in reaching out to the nuclear community to encourage and communicate the potential benefits of membership.
Through WANO, we have the opportunity to access and take full advantage of the existing industry experience and pass on vital knowledge to the next generation of nuclear operators. We must not underestimate the challenges facing companies developing new nuclear projects. Nothing will jeopardise the rebirth of nuclear power more quickly than a major incident. We cannot afford to repeat past mistakes and rob future generations of the benefits of nuclear power.
As the incoming President, I will actively promote and support WANO's mission. I will work tirelessly with members to ensure that the nuclear revival fulfils its great potential and encourage all nuclear operators to unite and work together toward the common goal of nuclear excellence.
QIAN Zhimin is Chairman of the Board of the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG). The company is currently the world No.1 in terms of nuclear power generating capacity under construction.