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WANO announces safety actions in response to Japan events

31/03/2011

The Governing Board of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) met in Paris yesterday, to assess and plan the association's future role in strengthening nuclear power safety worldwide, following the events at Fukushima Daiichi plants in Japan.

The Association's Board, which includes chief executives from the world's largest nuclear power station operators, announced the association will maintain a 'safety first' focus by strengthening international cooperation, transparency and engagement amongst WANO members.

The natural disaster – a tsunami that exceeded the design basis for the nuclear facility – and the impact it had on the Fukushima site, has prompted an immediate response from within the industry.

"As a member association that links every company and country in the world with an operating commercial nuclear power plant in safety dialogue, WANO can and will play a leading role in industry safety review and analysis work and application of lessons. The findings of this work need to be applied in a timely, accurate and transparent manner," Mr Stricker said.

"The Board urges the Fukushima Daiichi plant operator, TEPCO, to make full use of WANO support to ensure the full capability of our international organisation can be brought to bear in delivering stability at this plant. TEPCO must ensure that timely and accurate plant status reports are delivered.

"All chief executives officers of nuclear companies will be called to a WANO meeting later this year to discuss lessons learned from this event and to address any necessary changes to WANO's structure and mandate," Mr Stricker said.

The WANO Governing Board has established a high level commission that has been tasked with recommending changes to the WANO organisation and approach that this event has highlighted.  This commission will complete its work and their recommendations will be presented to nuclear company chief executives at the WANO meeting later this year.

"The events in Japan will provide many important lessons for the commercial nuclear industry.  WANO is committed to aggressively applying these important lessons to strengthen its nuclear safety mission," Mr Stricker said.

WANO Chairman, Mr Laurent Stricker added the Board's thoughts remain with the people of Japan.

"As a Board we offer our condolences to the people of Japan who have experienced a devastating natural disaster and we acknowledge the strength of character being exhibited by the Japanese people", Mr Stricker said.


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For further information, please contact:

Michelle Wilson, WANO London Communications: wilson@wanocc.org, +44 20 7478 9200
 George Felgate, WANO Managing Director, mobile:  +44 7796 144 311
 Laurent Stricker, WANO Chairman, mobile: +33 674 652 772

•WANO spokesmen available for interview include: WANO's Chairman Mr Laurent Stricker, Managing Director, Mr George Felgate, Atlanta Centre Chairman Mr Duncan Hawthorne, Paris Centre Chairman, Mr Jos Bongers and Moscow Centre Chairman, Mr Arvo Vuorenmaa. Their biographies are availablehere. Interviews can be arranged by contacting Michelle Wilson.
•WANO is a non-profit member association established in 1989 by the world's nuclear power operators to exchange safety knowledge and operating experience amongst organisations operating commercial nuclear power reactors.
•WANO members operate some 440 nuclear units in more than 30 countries around the world.
•WANO works with members in pursuit of its mission: 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.