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Each station’s WANO Representative is key to achieving better performance

The Armenian plant’s Unit 2 commenced operations in 1980 and, following its modernisation, is in long-term operation until 2026. Furthermore, we plan to extend the lifetime of Unit 2 until 2036.

Sergey Kenjetsyan is our WANO Representative (WANO Rep) and he works at the plant. This enables him to have constant access to the station and the management team. Although he reports directly to managers at WANO Moscow Centre, the senior managers at the plant also request and receive significant support from him.

Can such a representative be independent of the station? This is certainly the case - our representative has the opportunity and always expresses his independent opinion. And the station may accept it or may not agree. One thing is certain. The representative is not an inspector but a partner who, in a spirit of cooperation, helps the plant achieve the WANO mission.

What has changed at the station with the appointment of a WANO Rep? Firstly, the interaction between the plant and WANO has become more frequent. These activities included peer reviews, support missions, seminars and workshops held at the plant. 

Now let us move on to the work of WANO Rep for the station, this includes:

•    Analysis of the results of interaction between the station and WANO for all WANO activities. Analysis of WANO performance indicators is of particular interest to us. Compared to other stations, it helps to understand where our station is, to find the causes and ways to correct existing gaps to excellence.

•    Conducting targeted observations brings many benefits. The representative presents to the plant management an analysis of an identified problem with its description, supported by facts, causes and contributors. In addition, he provides recommendations for resolving the problem.

•    The representative often directly participates or analyses the results of plant self-assessments and audits.

•    All the results of plant performance monitoring are documented in a quarterly interaction report and submitted to the plant management.

Every year, the plant goes through a categorisation process of data which is carried out by the WANO Representative. Based on the results of the categorisation, the level of interaction and support is determined, and he develops a two-year interaction plan indicating activities aimed at continuous improvement of plant safety and reliability.

The Representative participates in the preparation and coordination of all WANO events that are held at the plant. He also facilitates the dissemination of WANO Operating Experience materials, guidelines and good practices from other nuclear power plants, as well as participating in the plant training process and preparing experts for peer reviews.

Finally, when the Action for Excellence global industry improvement initiative started, our plant took part in pilot testing enhanced Performance Monitoring and Organisational Diagnosis. It was then that the advantage of the constant presence of the WANO Rep at the station became clear - as he coordinated the implementation of the entire pilot process with the Moscow Centre and the station. 

After the pilot, the WANO Rep also took on role of the ePM team leader as monitoring was fully implemented. He is now the single point of contact for the entire ePM team in assessing the plant's performance and in providing the plant with WANO support. His role at the plant was appreciated. This year he was recognised as the best Moscow Centre employee based on the results of his work and he received an award. 

In conclusion, the path to excellence is a long and continuous road. It is hard work. A key success factor is the presence of a close team of nuclear professionals at the plant and the support of WANO globally. And the key role that connects WANO and the plant to drive towards excellence is that of the WANO Rep.

Article is based on speech by Artur Grigoryan, Chief Engineer at Armenia nuclear power plant, at the 2023 Site Vice Presidents' and Plant Managers' Conference in Kyoto