World Association of Nuclear Operators

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World Association of Nuclear Operators
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Area served

The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) is an international group of nuclear power plant operators, dedicated to nuclear safety.

It was formed in 1989, following the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl (Ukraine), which was blamed on faulty design, wrong use of procedures and poor management control. As public confidence in the nuclear industry had been shaken, nuclear operators worldwide began to work together to prevent recurrences.

WANO promotes effective communication and open information sharing, via its four main programmes: Peer Reviews, Operating Experience, Technical Support and Exchange, and Professional and Technical Development. It is not a regulatory or advisory body, or a lobbyist for the industry.


"To maximize the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide by working together to assess, benchmark and improve performance through mutual support, exchange of information and emulation of best practice".[1]

WANO Programmes[edit]

  • Peer Reviews aim to help members compare their operational performance against standards of excellence through in-depth, objective operational reviews by an independent team from outside their utility.[2]
  • Operating Experience enables members to learn from the experience of other plants and alerts them to events that have occurred so they can prevent similar events.[3][4]
  • Technical Support and Exchange consists of four distinct activities: guidelines and good practices, operator exchanges, performance indicators and technical support missions. Together, they help members learn from the experiences of their peers.[5]
  • Professional and Technical Development uses various settings to provide an information exchange forum for WANO members to enhance their professional knowledge and skills. Specific activities include workshops, conferences, seminars, expert meetings and training courses.[6]


Following the Chernobyl disaster, nuclear operators worldwide began to work together to prevent recurrences. WANO formally came into being on May 15, 1989, during an inaugural meeting in Moscow.

1986 - 1989[edit]

April 1986 - At Chernobyl-4, a severe reactor leak was experienced at an RBMK-1000 reactor in Ukraine, part of the Soviet Union at that time. This disaster occurred during a turbine-generator coast-down test at reactor number four of the Chernobyl plant. Insufficient management control, inappropriate use of procedures, human error and design problems contributed to the worst disaster experienced by any nuclear power plant. Public confidence in nuclear energy was badly shaken throughout the world.

October 1987 - The International Union of Producers and Distributors of Electric Energy (UNIPEDE) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) co-sponsored the International Nuclear Utility Executive Meeting in Paris. Électricité de France (EDF) hosted the meeting, chaired by Lord Walter Marshall of Goring, Chairman of the United Kingdom’s Central Electricity Generating Board. Thirty of the world’s 32 countries that had nuclear power plants operating or under construction were represented. Steering and implementation committees planned for a worldwide association. The purpose of this non-profit association would be to exchange operating experience throughout the international nuclear community. It would not be a regulatory or advisory body, or a lobbyist for the industry.

May 1989 – WANO’s inaugural meeting was held in Moscow, hosted by Minister Nickolai Lukonin, the association's first President.

August 1989 - WANO Atlanta Centre co-ordinated its first exchange between Catawba Nuclear Station (USA) and Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (Ukraine).

November 1989 – The WANO Charter was signed by 144 companies. Lord Marshall was named Chairman of the Governing Board and William S. Lee, Duke Power Company, USA, was elected as President to serve until the first Biennial General Meeting (BGM). Minister Lukonin agreed to organize two-way exchange visits between every USSR plant and another plant within two years.

1990 - 1999[edit]

April 1990 – Governors approved the Plant Performance Indicator Programme at the 4th WANO Governing Board meeting in London.

April 1991 - Nearly 250 participants attended the 1st BGM in Atlanta. A trial period was established for peer reviews. Shoh Nasu, President of Tokyo EPC, became President.

February 1992 – The first of eight pilot peer reviews was hosted by the Paks Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary.

April 1993 - Rémy Carle of Électricité de France became Chairman of the Governing Board. More than 420 participants attended the 2nd BGM held in Tokyo. Special emphasis was placed on the Peer Review Programme, which continued beyond the pilot phase on a regional basis, and on assistance to east/central European operators. Dr. Ian McRae, Chief Executive of ESKOM, became President.

April 1995 – Rémy Carle was re-elected Chairman. Nearly 300 representatives of utilities from 30 countries participated in the 3rd BGM in Paris. Eric Pozdyshev became President.

May 1997 - Zack Pate was elected Chairman. More than 275 participants from 136 utilities in 33 countries attended the 4th BGM in Prague. Allan Kupcis, Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Hydro, became President.

January 1999 - A new Memorandum of understanding was signed between WANO and the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding cooperation and exchange of information between the two organizations.

September 1999 - The 5th BGM was held in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. More than 320 participants representing more than 430 nuclear reactors in 32 countries marked WANO’s 10th anniversary. Soo-byung Choi, president of Korea Electric Power Company, became President.

2001 - 2010[edit]

June 2001 - The WANO Governing Board re-elected Pate as WANO Chairman.

September 2001 – WANO launcheed its first public web site.

February 2002- Governors elevated the role of the Director of the London Coordinating Centre to include the role of WANO Managing Director under the supervision of the Chairman and Governing Board.

March 2002 - The 6th BGM was held in Seoul, Korea. 340 participants representing more than 429 nuclear reactors in 32 countries attend. Pierre Carlier of EDF was elected President.

May 2002 – WANO conducted its first pilot peer review at a nuclear fuel fabrication and processing facility.

July 2002 - Hajimu Maeda became Chairman. Pate became Chairman Emeritus. WANO Governors established the WANO Nuclear Excellence Awards.

October 2002 – Sig Berg succeeded Tony Capp as Managing Director.

October 2003 – The 7th BGM was held in Berlin, Germany with nearly 390 participants. Oleg Saraev of Concern Rosenergoatom became President.

April 2004 - Governors elected William Cavanaugh III as WANO Chairman.

May 2004 - 15th anniversary.

November 2004 – Lucas Mampaey from Electrabel became Managing Director.

October 2005 - The 8th BGM was held in Budapest, Hungary with approximately 400 participants. Oliver D Kingsley Jr. became President of WANO.

April 2006 - Cavanaugh was unanimously re-elected. An Extraordinary General Meeting was held to amend the WANO Articles of Association to include nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities.

September 2007 - The 9th BGM was held in Chicago, USA. Dr. Shreyans Kumar Jain from Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and BHAVINI was elected President.

June 2008 - During the 65th Governing Board meeting, Cavanaugh was again re-elected.

December 2008 - The Governors postponed the 67th Governing Board meeting planned for Delhi, India following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

January 2009 - Laurent Stricker, Electricité de France, was elected Chairman.

May 2009 - 20th anniversary.

September 2009 – George Felgate from INPO became Managing Director.

February 2010 - The 10th BGM was held in Delhi, India. QIAN Zhimin, Chairman of the Board of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) became President. By that year every commercial nuclear plant in the world had received a WANO peer review. At an Extraordinary General Meeting, WANO members approved changes to the Charter and Articles of Association, focused on the companies operating nuclear plants, instead of on countries. It strengthened governance under a restructured Governing Board. The roles of the Managing Director were defined and the Coordinating Centre was renamed the London Office to clarify its role in governance. All operating companies reapplied for membership under the restructured organization.

July 2010 – Laurent Stricker was re-elected Chairman. HE Yu of CGNPG succeeds Qian Zhimin as interim President. James O. Ellis, President and CEO of INPO, Sergey Obozov, Director General of Concern Rosenergoatom, Henri Proglio, Chairman and CEO of EDF and Masataka Shimizu, President of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), joined the WANO Governing Board.

2011 - present[edit]

11 March 2011 – A 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Honshu, Japan. The resulting tsunamis engulfed Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing core damage in three of its reactors and offsite radioactivity releases. The event was eventually classified as a level 7, the most severe level of disaster on the international nuclear event scale. Only the Chernobyl disaster was more severe. WANO commenced communicating event information to its members and marshaled resources to support TEPCO.

Six days after the event, WANO issued a Significant Operating Experience Report (SOER) 2011-2 – for members’ urgent responses.

31 March 2011, WANO established a post-Fukushima Commission to determine lessons following the disaster. The Commission was tasked with reporting its findings and recommendations to members by the Shenzhen BGM in October 2011.

30 September 2011 – The Post-Fukushima Commission issued its final report with five recommendations for consideration by the Governing Board.

October 2011 – The 11th BGM was held in Shenzhen, China. Vladimir Asmolov, First Deputy Director General, Concern Rosenergoatom OJSC, succeedsed He Yu of CGNPC as President. At an Extraordinary General Meeting, the Board and members unanimously supported the recommendations of the Fukushima Commission. The recommendations included expanding the scope of WANO activities, developing a worldwide integrated event response strategy, improving WANO’s credibility changing WANO’s peer reviews and corporate peer reviews; improving visibility; and improving the quality and consistency of WANO’s products and services worldwide.

14–16 May 2012 - At the recent WANO Governing Board meeting in Moscow, Robert F. Willard replaced Mr James O. Ellis, Jr, on the WANO Governing Board.

Five new WANO members are approved. Axpo AG, BKW-FMB Energie AG, Kernkraftwerk Gösgen-Däniken AG and Kernkraftwerk Leibstadt AG are approved as category 2 members affiliated with the Paris Centre.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority was approved as a new category 3 member affiliated with the Paris Centre.

21–26 May 2012- The second Regional Centre assessment took place at the Paris Centre.

25 July 2012- Chen Hua and He Yu were elected to the Governing Board

31 October 2012- Jacques Regaldo, Electricité de France, was elected Chairman. Vissarion Kim was elected to the Governing Board.

1 April 2013- Ken Ellis from Bruce Power succeeds George Felgate as Managing Director.

19–22 May 2013- The 12th BGM was held in Moscow, Russia. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was held during the BGM in order for members to elect a new President – a position with a nominal two-year term – and two changes to the organization’s Articles of Association were approved. As a result of the EGM, Duncan Hawthorne followed Professor Vladimir Asmolov as President of WANO; and Managing Director Ken Ellis joined the Governing Board.[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]