What Does WANO Do? Interview with Chairman Jacques Régaldo.

Recently, Jacques Régaldo, Chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), arrived in Ukraine with a working visit. Uatom.org editorial board had a chance to talk to Mr. Régaldo and learn many details about WANO mission, its structure and daily activities.

Jacques Régaldo has been WANO Chairman for more than four years. Before that, he worked for a French Company “Électricité de France”, which as of 2010 was the largest electricity producer in the world. Jacques Régaldo has 36 years of experience in the nuclear field. Read an exclusive interview for Uatom.org website to find out why work in WANO is so important.


The Chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) Jacques Régaldo

Jacques, what is the purpose of creation the World Association of Nuclear Operators?

– WANO was created following the Chernobyl accident. The mission of WANO is to enhance nuclear safety in every country and every nuclear operator company by sharing the operating experience and best practices.

– What is the structure of WANO? How many offices and regional centers do you have?

– Every nuclear operator in the world is the member of our organisation. We are unbelievably proud because of that. The head-office of WANO is located in London (United Kingdom), also we have regional centers in Atlanta (USA), Moscow (Russian Federation), Paris (France) and Tokyo (Japan). In addition, we have a branch office in Hong Kong (China).

– How many employees do you have in WANO?

– The total staff of WANO is 400 people, working the full time for the organisation.

– What are the main programs of WANO?

– The main programmes of WANO are Peer Review, Performance Analysis, Member Support, Training & Development, and Corporate Communications.

The most well-known programme is Peer Review. Peer reviews help members compare themselves against standards of excellence through an in-depth, objective review of their operations by an independent team from outside their organisation. The result is a frank report that highlights strengths and areas for improvement in nuclear safety and plant reliability. Every nuclear power plant in the world, including Ukraine, is receiving a peer review every four years.

Through peer reviews, members learn and share worldwide insights on safe and reliable plant operation and thereby improve their own performance. The same principles extend to companies, as well as stations, in the form of corporate peer reviews.

Post-Fukushima, WANO has moved towards a four-year frequency for peer reviews, with a follow-up at the two-year point. WANO is also working with other organisations such as Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI) to determine what other reviews can be judged as equivalent to WANO peer reviews.

Since 1992, WANO has conducted more than 500 operating station peer reviews in 31 countries and areas, including at least one at every WANO member station.

– What about the other programs?

The Performance Analysis Programme informs our members about incidents at other plants so they can take corrective actions to prevent similar occurrences at their own plants. Its success stems from the willingness of WANO members to openly share their operating experience for the benefit of other operators throughout the world.

An event is defined as any significant deviation from the normal expected functioning of a plant. When an event occurs, the affected plant management and staff analyse it and complete a WANO Event Report (WER), which is then sent to their WANO regional center and posted on the members’ website. Recognition of the importance of this activity is growing and, as a result, the total number of events reported by WANO members continues to increase.

WANO goes a step further than merely collecting data. The Performance Analysis Programme offers a unique service by analysing events from across the world. The results are communicated to members and WANO upper management ​in several types of reports.

Moreover, we have the Member Support Programme, working with members to improve safety and reliability. Member Support Missions are one of the key activities. They are carried out at the request of a plant or utility and provide a means for WANO members to assist each other in ad​dressing identified issues or problems. A team of peers is selected on the basis of their expertise in the applicable area. The team reviews issues identified during peer reviews or other problems, and helps to identify potential solutions.

Recent missions have covered areas as diverse as work management, human performance, equipment reliability, radiation protection, operations, outage management and organisational effectiveness.

The Training & Development Programme provides a forum for WANO members to enhance their professional knowledge and skills. Specific activities include workshops, seminars, training and leadership courses.

These activities enable members from all regions to compare their operations and emulate best practices. Importantly, they also provide the ideal opportunity to establish relationships with colleagues from around the world.

Each activity focuses on improving plant performance in areas such as operations, maintenance and engineering. Specific topics are chosen on the basis of members’ requests, specific gaps or needs identified by WANO staff or industry trends.

Recent topics addressed by the programme include task observation and managers in the field, human performance, organisational effectiveness, operating experience, equipment reliability and work management.

The Corporate Communications programme uses a variety of channels to promote access to WANO’s products and services amongst its members, and to manage relationships with our stakeholders. These channels include the WANO public and member websites, publications such as Inside WANO and the WANO Review, social media, and events and conferences.

Embracing WANO’s belief that improvement is a journey without end, we continuously seek new and better ways to tell the WANO story.

– Does WANO develop the communication strategy?

– Yeah, sure we do. Our Corporate Communications team ensures WANO’s mission and activities are shared with all internal and external audiences. This includes WANO members, the media, industry vendors, new entrants and nations considering adding nuclear to their energy mix.

Guided by our Director in London and supported by Communication Specialists in Atlanta, London, Paris, Moscow and Tokyo, the Corporate Communications team is often the first point of contact for those wanting to learn more about WANO and its role as the global leader in nuclear safety.

Uatom.org editorial board