WANO's thirteenth Biennial General Meeting (BGM) took place from 4 to 7 October 2015 at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel & Conference Centre in Toronto, Canada. The BGM is a great opportunity for WANO's members to come together and reaffirm their commitment to nuclear safety.
Outgoing WANO President, and President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bruce Power, Duncan Hawthorne, welcomed over 450 delegates to the conference which this year focused on Shaping the Future of the Nuclear Industry.
Colonel Chris Hadfield, Astronaut and first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station opened the BGM with a captivating keynote presentation. The inspirational talk gave delegates a fascinating insight into the worldwide space industry and drew on parallels with the nuclear industry, including the importance of risk awareness, establishing strong emergency preparedness and having complete trust in your team. These are challenges and topics which must remain a top priority for our industry.
Following a welcome from WANO Chairman Jacques Régaldo (see Editorial), WANO CEO, Ken Ellis, presented WANO's key performance indicators, an update on the WANO Post-Fukushima Commission (PFC) projects, as well as a further introduction to WANO's new long-term plan, Compass. A copy of WANO Review 2015, including a summary of the 12 PFC projects and Compass, was handed to delegates following the presentation and was published on the WANO website.
The first panel session explored WANO's Role in New Build, and was moderated by Thomas Mitchell, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Power Generation (OPG). This session discussed nuclear growth worldwide and new entrants to the industry, as well as exploring the challenges seen by WANO's members as part of large fleets and the perspective of smaller organisations.
An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was held at the end of the first day in order for members to vote for a new WANO President – a position with a nominal two-year term. Dr Seok Cho, President & CEO of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company now succeeds Duncan Hawthorne as WANO President.
Day two of the BGM began with a Regulator Panel on Current and Future Issues, moderated by Naoki Chigusa, WANO Tokyo Centre Director. This session focused on the regulators' perspective of the industry and looked at the challenges they are facing in the future.
The third panel session, Integrating Young Professionals into our Industry, discussed the challenges seen by young professionals, how utilities are attracting and developing the young generation and WANO's role in this area. The session was moderated by Ladislav Štěpánek, Chief Operating Officer of CÊZ, and Acting Chairman of Moscow Regional Centre Governing Board, and was followed by the announcement of WANO's inaugural Nuclear Safety Scholarship winners. Read more about the winners in this issue's People Story.
The final panel session, Future of Existing Units, was moderated by Pedro Figueiredo, Chairman of WANO Paris Centre Governing Board, and Operation Director and Chief Nuclear Officer of Eletronuclear. This session looked at plant upgrades, plant life extensions, and maintaining safety in the last years of operation.
Jacques Régaldo provided a closing address as WANO Chairman, in which he observed, "In 26 years, we have been able to demonstrate our ability to work together and make progress by involving numerous organisations from various countries and cultures. We have been able to show our independence, our commitment and our will to enhance nuclear safety above any other consideration."
In his outgoing WANO President remarks, Duncan Hawthorne compared WANO to a family, with the elder family members providing support to the younger – much like the constant sharing of experience and best practice within the membership. Duncan observed "There are no barriers in a family and no one ever gets left behind. We always want the best for our family and family members".
Newly-elected WANO President, Dr Seok Cho, closed the BGM with his incoming address, which you can read more of in this issue's From the Top story. He spoke of his vision for the future of WANO and the nuclear industry, asking for the continued support of WANO members across the world. Dr Cho also invited WANO members to the next BGM, which will be hosted in October 2017 by KHNP and the WANO Tokyo Centre in Gyeongju, South Korea.
To view a copy of the BGM Guide, which includes the full agendas and speaker biographies, please visit the WANO member website. Here, you can also find presentations and speeches from the 2015 BGM.
On the WANO public website you can find a copy of the WANO Review 2015 which summarises the 12 PFC projects and also includes information about WANO's new long-term plan, Compass, translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.