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WANO adapts to changing nuclear landscape

02/02/2010

​The nuclear industry has made great strides since WANO was formed twenty years ago. Nuclear safety is strong and international cooperation is better than ever. But the industry today is very different than it was two decades ago. The nuclear landscape is changing. For WANO to remain effective, it too must change, nuclear energy leaders were told today.

The message from Laurent Stricker, WANO Chairman, to an audience of some 400 international nuclear executives gathered in Delhi for the tenth WANO Biennial General Meeting was: 'Collectively the industry has made great progress in safety and reliability. Our major programmes are being widely used as a resource by our members. With the nuclear revival underway we need to maintain this momentum and safety record.'

During the meeting members voted to restructure WANO to provide greater involvement in WANO activities by member chief executives. 'This positions WANO for continued success in the coming years. These important changes mean WANO can better support the unprecedented international growth in our industry,' Mr Stricker said. 'In this way we will maintain our overriding focus on and commitment to nuclear safety.'

Attendees were informed that WANO has now met one of its key milestones: every commercial operating nuclear plant in the world has received a WANO peer review. In addition, the use of technical support missions, seminars, and workshops to address plant performance issues remains strong, as does the exchange of information among stations.

The attendees also heard from Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He underlined the environmental imperative to mitigate harmful emissions to help combat the effects of global warming, and discussed the potential for an expanded role for nuclear energy. Pierre Gadonneix, Chairman of the World Energy Council, emphasised the importance of nuclear safety in ensuring nuclear's place in the future energy mix.

'Nuclear power has an important role to play in our planet's future as more and more countries turn to nuclear energy as a sustainable source of electricity.' said Mr Stricker. 'And WANO has an important role to play to ensure safe nuclear power.'

Mr Stricker concluded by urging nuclear operators to renew their commitment to nuclear safety and a strong WANO. 'A nuclear renaissance is underway. It is time for change, for a WANO renaissance, for a re-commitment to the principles that underpin this vital organisation.'

For more information please contact George Felgate, WANO Managing Director on: mobile: +44 7796 144 311; email: felgate@wanocc.org

WANO Biennial General Meeting

The WANO Biennial General Meeting (BGM) is attended by senior nuclear executives and decision-makers from across the world. The meeting adopts a different theme each time. The theme of the 2010 BGM was 'Moving Forward Safely in a Changing World'.

The BGM also acts as WANO's general assembly. At the meeting a new president is elected for a nominal two-year term. QIAN Zhimin, Chairman of the Board of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd. (CGNPC) was voted to succeed Dr Shreyans Kumar Jain as President of WANO.

This is the tenth BGM. The first one was held in Atlanta.​