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Secondments help members to build a closer relationship with WANO 

Shanjun Wang, Team Leader Trainer at WANO Shanghai Office, explains the value of working for WANO

Before my current role, I had a wonderful experience working on a three year secondment at WANO from my plant in Qinshan, China. I would like to emphasize the importance of communication between WANO and its members and the secondee crucial role in facilitating this. 

In some parts of the world, the pandemic is still exacerbating the difficulties of communication. Remote working is the new normal. Even before the pandemic, miscommunication caused some misunderstanding and led to unexpected events. 

An analysis of operations related events reported by Paris Centre members in 2019 shows that 27% of the events involved verbal communication problems where important information had not been communicated, received, understood, or acted upon in an appropriate timeframe. WANO, with six working offices and members operating over 450 units worldwide, needs a more highly efficient way of communicating to achieve mutual understanding and concertedly implement the strategic plan.

Secondees play a vital role to bridge communications between the member and WANO. They know what the members’ most pressing and substantial needs in the front line of the plants. They also know what is going on in WANO. Secondees work as a ‘market middleman’ and finely adjust the ‘demand and supply’ between both organisations. 

A good example for the role I play is to participate in the enhanced Performance Monitoring pilot mission to my previous parent company, Qinshan nuclear power plant. In July 2021, I visited the site and had a productive exchange between WANO and the plant management. They appreciate the unique support from WANO and as a secondee, we are happy to see the members’ performance is continuously improving because of our work. I would like to say it is the WANO secondee that builds the communication bridge and forges the strong relationship with our members.

A key part of the secondee’s role is to oil the ‘hinges’ of WANO and its members – to help both sides to work closely and smoothly. For example, My plant general manager and I were invited to attend WANO’s Biennial General Meeting in London in 2019.  We had a fruitful trip. We met our industry counterparts and exchanged information on maximisng operational safety and reliability. 

Most importantly, my plant general engineer had a great interest in leadership development. He encouraged me to be involved in the development of our plant leadership programme. From 2017 to 2019, I facilitated the communication between WANO and my plant, we successfully conducted several member support missions, including building a strong nuclear safety culture, SOER Review. Without a secondee in the process, the communication requires more time and might cause misunderstandings.