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Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant – continuously advancing on the path to nuclear excellence

By Kenzie Freeman, Communications Specialist, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)

Control Room at Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant

"At Cernavoda, we understand that our role is to continually move forward in the journey toward nuclear excellence. Where we are today is not only the result of a clear strategy, but also of purposeful and focused actions implemented over the past ten years. When asked how these remarkable results were possible in a political and economic environment often unfavourable to operations, our answer is simple: despite these challenges, Cernavoda has a passionate and committed workforce with a clear values system and a remarkable ability to make decisions and solve problems.

"Some years ago, we understood that for Romania, with its developing economy, it was going to be a challenge to operate in a highly technical industry such as nuclear. However, no matter what happens in or around our country we are absolute in our mission to operate nuclear reactors safely and maintain our efforts toward nuclear excellence. All of our efforts on the road to nuclear excellence will increase the probability that the nuclear industry stays on the market, which ultimately means jobs for our staff and their families. By and large, Cernavoda employees have embraced this cultural approach to the challenge. Our day-to-day activities are performed in a way that strives to meet the highest standards, along with a solid nuclear safety culture, efficient maintenance programs, investments tailored to the needs of the power plant, personnel training programs, and highly specialised staff.

"Passion and energy are two essential attributes of performance, and one of our organisational leadership strengths lies in management's ability to develop these attributes in each Cernavoda employee. Of course, we still need pragmatic leadership in all levels of the organisation, and more than ever, we need the personal commitment of each of our employees.

"Our organisation is continuously advancing on the path to nuclear excellence, and our five-year strategic plan continues to be the guide. This plan includes development directions that are the basic elements to determine our activity and signify the different aspects of the collective effort given by all of us in the journey to excellence, including:

  • Management, organisation and administration

  • Operation and nuclear safety culture

  • Equipment reliability, plant maintenance and work control

  • Development of technical programmes

  • Procurement, material administration and financial management

​"Performance indicators, as well as basic programs and changing initiatives at the plant department level represent an important component of the development directions and create the tools for continuously measuring the achievement of our objectives.

"A recent WANO visit recognised our senior management's alignment on a clear vision and strategy to drive improvement, from this management level down to the level of the first-line managers. Furthermore, the workers' behaviours from almost all major plant departments were recognised for meeting high industry standards. From here, we can build and further transform our organisation. Cernavoda's journey to excellence means that we will continue to maintain and improve operating results and comply with applicable international safety standards."