WANO officials visit Fukushima Daiichi

Laurent Stricker, chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), on Jan. 20 visited the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its immediate surroundings. Also taking part in the visit were George Felgate, WANO managing director, Harunobu Shirayanagi, WANO Tokyo Center regional director, Takao Fujie, president and CEO of JANTI and Ichiro Takekuro, technical advisor to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).

“It is incredibly humbling to visit Fukushima Daiichi. The past year has been an extraordinary one, as the global nuclear industry has endeavoured to learn from the disaster," Stricker said. "Stress tests have been carried out, plants and procedures have been closely examined and organisations such as WANO have sought to strengthen their programmes. This is all vital work, which will ensure that nuclear safety is strengthened, not diminished by what happened here on 11 March 2011.

“However, while all this work must go on, this visit to Fukushima has been a powerful reminder of the very human cost of the accidents here almost a year ago. My thoughts and those of WANO staff and members worldwide go out to the people caught up in the events of that day," Stricker continued. "As WANO was created following the disaster at Chernobyl, so WANO is changing after Fukushima to enable all global nuclear operators to learn the lessons from this disaster, and to strengthen their focus on nuclear safety and accident mitigation."

WANO, modeled after the U.S. organization, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), is a non-profit member association established in 1989 by the world’s nuclear power operators to exchange safety knowledge and operating experience amongst organizations operating commercial nuclear power reactors. WANO members operate some 440 nuclear units in more than 30 countries around the world.

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