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WANO supports 53 New Units to achieve a Safe and Reliable Start Up

WANO’s support of the safe and reliable start-up of new nuclear units worldwide enables the industry to expand in many parts of the world 

New figures published today demonstrate that WANO has delivered 159 New Unit Assistance missions to 53 new nuclear units worldwide since 2015. They underline the Association’s unique track record in supporting new nuclear units and technologies worldwide to start up safely and reliably.

WANO’s new unit assistance benefits all nuclear operators that are constructing or preparing to start up new units, whether they are in countries or regions with existing nuclear power stations, or in nations that are embarking on a nuclear programme for the first time.

WANO helps new units in a number of ways, including New Unit Assistance, Operational Readiness reviews, and Pre-startup reviews. Long before operation begins, new plant operators receive vital training on Nuclear Safety Culture, Operator Fundamentals, Organisational Effectiveness and Oversight, and Operational Decision-making – areas that match typical nuclear project milestones. This training is tailored to members’ specific needs, and includes the sharing of industry best practices, benchmarking, use of operating experience, and targeted support missions. 

Dr Naoki Chigusa, WANO CEO, recently revealed the latest figures and WANO’s new unit track record and expertise in a speech to delegates of the WNA Symposium 2023. He stated: “By receiving support from WANO, our members have demonstrated higher levels of operational readiness - ensuring safe and reliable start-up and strong operational performance. We encourage those organisations that are constructing and preparing to operate new units – whether they are using traditional reactor technologies or innovations such as Small Modular Reactors – to join WANO early. This will ensure that they can benefit from our expertise and experience many years before commercial start-up and enable them to start up safely and reliably.”

About 18 months before fuel load, new members can also receive a WANO Operational Readiness Assistance review to help assess progress toward completion of plant construction. Areas for improvement are identified early, in time to be addressed before they may impact the scheduled start up of the plant. Then a few months before first fuel load, WANO’s experienced teams conduct a Pre-startup Peer Review and an observation of operating crew performance to help members verify the readiness of both equipment and crew to safely startup and operate the new unit. 

These hands-on, face to face interactions help new operators prepare for the crucial transition from plant construction into plant operations, and the initial years of commercial operation. 

All WANO members can rely on the full-scale support of experienced nuclear operators with decades of nuclear plant experience, lessons learned and best practices from all phases of the operating cycle. Our members share their experience freely to help all plants achieve and sustain excellence in nuclear safety and performance.

After a plant enters commercial operation WANO supports members throughout the operating lifetime of plants. WANO’s work transcends geographical, economic, technological, and political differences. It supports a community of nuclear operators dedicated to collectively maintaining and improving the safe and reliable performance of every station and facility in the world.