‘Raising safety standards in n-power plants top priority’

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Moscow, May 30 (IANS) Raising the safety standards in nuclear power plants remains a top priority for all operators, says the director of World Association of Nuclear Power Plants, an organisation formed after the Chernobyl disaster.

“Raising the safety standards at the nuclear power plants is a top priority. We are taking steps to ensure that, including adoption of best practices from across the world and increasing transparency in operations of the nuclear power plants,” Jacques Regaldo told IANS on the sidelines of Atomexpo, an ongoing global conference on nuclear power here.

Regaldo also said that steps have been taken to improve the designs of nuclear power plants after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, which was triggered primarily by the tsunami following the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011.

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“After the two very big accidents — at Chernobyl and Fukushima — we will have to strengthen cooperation and transparency and improve,” he said.

“Post Fukushima, all vendors are improving on the design part, and changes have been made. We share and emulate the best practices across the world and all members are united on improving the nuclear power plants safety,” Regaldo said.

Asked about the processing of the spent fuel, he said experiments are going on across the world on finding long- and short-term solutions to the problem.

“Many nations are working on finding long- and short-term solutions for disposing radioactive waste. It is not a problem that cannot be solved, so I am not anxious about it,” he said.

The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) was formed in 1989 after the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, which was blamed on faulty design, wrong use of procedures and poor management.

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WANO has as its members every company and country that has an operational commercial nuclear power plant to achieve the highest possible standards of nuclear safety.

In Fukushima, equipment failures led to three nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive material, following which the association announced a plan to guide nuclear power companies on enhancing safety.



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