Members of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) have voted to establish a new branch office and support centre in Shanghai, China. The London-headquartered organisation already has regional centres in Atlanta, Moscow, Paris and Tokyo.

WANO's members voted to set up the new office on 21 February during its General Assembly in South Africa (Image: CNNC)

WANO said the "strategic move" will make it easier to provide its "full range of services to operators located in the world's fastest growing region for commercial nuclear power". It added, "With a growing demand from new units for its services, WANO will be well positioned to ensure that these units make a safe and reliable transition from construction to operation."

The organisation has defined a "high-level, three-phase deployment model" for the new Shanghai office. In the first phase, it will establish a Branch Office with around 40 staff, which will fall under the control and oversight of WANO's London office. In the second phase, the office will transition to a Support Centre, still managed by the London office, but with the depth of skill and capacity to start supporting other regional centres. In the third and final phase, WANO will convene a meeting for its members to vote on establishing the office as a fully-fledged WANO regional centre.

Peter Prozesky, CEO of WANO, said: "Over the past 30 years, China has become a key player in the commercial nuclear sector and we welcome the increased participation and expertise of our Chinese members in supporting our mission to maximise nuclear safety and reliability.

"The new office will be developed in line with our ethos - it will be international, independent, technology agnostic and capable of carrying out all WANO functions. In particular, internationality and independence are vital components of WANO - as this is where WANO draws its strength on safety by ensuring a diversity of views."

WANO Chairman Jacques R├ęgaldo said: "The proposed new WANO office in China constitutes one of the most significant changes to WANO since its inception, and it will herald a new era in the history of the association."

He added, "The decision to proceed with establishing a WANO Branch Office and Support Centre in China has the overwhelming support of the worldwide membership. This is an historic moment for our organisation, and we now have the opportunity to move forward together with a collective sense of purpose and conviction."

WANO's Chinese members said in a joint statement that the new office will be "a significant force in the continuous improvement of safety and reliability of nuclear power operations in Asia and in the global nuclear community".

They addied: "As members of the world's nuclear fleet, all Chinese members have consistently given overriding priority to safety. As members of WANO, we will, as always, firmly support WANO's decision to establish the Shanghai Branch Office and Support Centre, provide the necessary support, share our experience in nuclear power construction and operation, and contribute to maximising the safety and reliability of nuclear power operations. And we are looking forward to a stronger WANO playing a more important role for the worldwide nuclear community." 

WANO's Chinese members are China National Nuclear Corporation, China General Nuclear Power Corporation, State Power Investment Corporation and China Huaneng Group.

A not-for-profit international organisation, WANO was established in 1989 by the world's nuclear power operators to exchange safety knowledge and operating experience amongst organisations operating commercial nuclear power reactors. Its members operate some 460 nuclear units in more than 30 countries and regions.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Monday, 25 February 2019
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