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A vibrant and growing industry

The global commercial nuclear industry is changing. Rapid expansion is occurring in nuclear fleets in China, India and other countries. Several newcomer nations are planning to build new nuclear units. Elsewhere, some plants are being decommissioned and others are having their operating lives extended.
From my perspective, the growth of the industry in many parts of the world is encouraging. In the last decade, over 50 new reactors have started up. A similar number are under construction.

So over 100 new reactors will be built over approximately 20 years.

I believe that this demonstrates that - despite our immediate focus on working together to deal with the coronavirus pandemic - it is a vibrant and growing industry. And with the world needing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear power is a reliable, low carbon source of energy that can be harnessed with other clean energy solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

This presents a huge opportunity for WANO to support its members who are building these facilities, and to help them manage a safe transition from construction to operation. WANO offers its members a range of services to support their new units, and an overview of our bespoke support can be found here.

A key part of WANO’s strategy to support new units is to collaborate with organisations like the IAEA and EPRI to reach out to new unit stakeholders globally. In 2019, WANO jointly hosted a side event and published an industry white paper for new units at the IAEA General Conference. The initiative successfully enabled us to strengthen relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders from around the world.

For new units worldwide, early and effective engagement with WANO’s New Unit Assistance (NUA) programme before construction starts, can significantly reduce the risk of a delay to achieving a safe and reliable start-up.

This issue of Inside WANO focuses on WANO’s work with new units worldwide. There are case studies of WANO members with new units at different stages of the design, construction and commissioning cycle, both in countries that have an established nuclear power infrastructure and also in newcomer nations.

I do hope you enjoy reading this special new units issue.

Tom Mitchell
WANO Chairman