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Global Communicators come together to foster collaboration across nuclear industry

On Thursday 15 and Friday 16 February, more than 50 nuclear communicators from 19 countries across the globe came together as an industry working group (I-WG) to share best practices and align as a single voice dedicated to supporting safe and reliable performance of nuclear power plants across the globe.

In June 2023, communication leaders representing nuclear power operators and facilities met in Abu Dhabi for the first-ever Global Nuclear Communications Forum. Understanding the potential gains from working together, communicators formally propositioned and gained unanimous support to establish an Industry Working Group (I-WG), under the guidance of WANO, that would provide the infrastructure needed to begin tackling opportunities.

WANO CEO, Naoki Chigusa said; "The Chief Nuclear Officers enthusiastically endorsed the establishment of this Industry Working Group in recognition of the value that communications bring in the pursuit of excellence in the nuclear industry. The diversity and depth of experience of communications leaders from across the globe will allow for some very productive discussions, as well as help establish relationships for ongoing interactions and networking opportunities”.

The first I-WG was represented by communications leaders from WANO member organisations, as well as like-minded international organisations including the Nuclear Energy Institute and the Nuclear Energy Agency. The working group hosted a series of engaging discussions aimed to support WANO members in effectively streamlining internal and external communications processes, which in turn will help improve the overall efficiency of operations in nuclear facilities around the world.

“From improving performance to helping external audiences understand and appreciate the safety and reliability of nuclear power, we’re all tackling the same challenges and opportunities,” said Southern Nuclear Communications Director, Lizzy Yates, who was elected I-WG Chair earlier this year. “Though we may not all speak the same language, our best practices are transferrable. Moreover, as communicators, we understand the power behind a unified voice.”

The I-WG on Communications will facilitate close collaboration among industry communicators, enabling the effective exchange of information, sharing of best practices and lessons learned, addressing common challenges collectively, and the development of communication products that can be utilised across the industry.

Peter Sena, President of Southern Nuclear and executive sponsor of the I-WG on Communications, said “In nearly 40 years of experience in nuclear power, the one common denominator to success has been effective communication. We must effectively communicate to influence performance and operate our plants with excellence, and we must do this before earning the right to talk about the safe and reliable nature of our product. From aligning and engaging the workforce to earning community support, I expect the outcome of this I-WG to be invaluable to our industry.”