World nuclear industry gathers in London to share nuclear safety expertise
Delegates representing 78 organisations from around the world are gathered today in London to share their expertise and experience in nuclear safety. They are attending the second Nuclear Safety Symposium hosted by EDF Energy and EDF with the support of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). The event was opened by EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz and follows the success of the first symposium held in Paris in 2014.
The symposium is a demonstration of WANO’s aim of maximising 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.
Leaders from across the global nuclear industry are participating, representing electricity generators, regulators, government, stakeholders and supply chain partners involved in the designing, building, operating, maintaining and decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
The issues being covered at the symposium include the growing importance of nuclear energy to meet the demand for reliable low carbon electricity, the worldwide new build renaissance, and the safe life extension of existing plants.
The agenda includes panel sessions on:
• Safety by design and licensing for new nuclear
• Safely extending the lives of existing nuclear power stations
• The economics of nuclear safety
• Maintaining public acceptance through openness and transparency
Opening the event, EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “Safety and security are our overriding and enduring priorities as an industry. Together we show how the nuclear industry shares experience across borders and companies to ensure lessons are learned and acted upon and WANO clearly plays a critical role.
“Nuclear operators need to anticipate new safety concerns such as terrorism and cyber security. The digital revolution has also changed the way that people talk and debate with one another, which has impacts for openness and transparency. Cooperation across our industry, companies and borders continues to be paramount in addressing and anticipating risks and opportunities.
“We have turned the performance of our fleet around and we have achieved that while dramatically improving their nuclear safety, industrial safety and environmental safety – demonstrating that the age of our nuclear power stations is no barrier to outstanding safety performance.”
Jacques Regaldo, Chairman of WANO, said:
“Many important topics have been discussed and it is essential, in a time of great change and debate about nuclear energy, to take this opportunity for an open exchange of views. The topics discussed reflect the challenges facing the nuclear world today; new projects aimed at newcomers to the industry, the challenges facing ageing plants, a growing need for information and transparency, and the difficult economic conditions faced by many countries.
“In this global context, WANO’s role is not to promote nuclear energy but to stay focused on nuclear safety fundamentals. Relying on a strong, united and vigilant community, WANO’s mission is to raise safety standards in operation all over the world. The global community of operators remains untiringly committed to this mission, and to our role in building the nuclear industry of the future.”
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EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.
EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.
These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.
Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.
In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.
EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 14,000 people at locations across the UK.
To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/