WENRA Approves New Strategy

Posted April 29, 2019, 6:27 a.m.

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, WENRA has developed a new strategy and adopted it at its spring plenary meeting in Budapest. The focus remains on continuous improvement of the safety of nuclear facilities on the basis of model safety reference levels. 

In the 20 years of its existence, WENRA has developed into a widely recognized reference and an important player in the international nuclear safety community. "WENRA is committed to further strengthen this position," says WENRA Chairman Hans Wanner.

WENRA's self-understanding is expressed in its newly formulated vision:

WENRA is the independent association of European national nuclear regulators recognised for establishing, implementing, and disseminating harmonized model levels of nuclear safety.

“The central value of WENRA is its independent role as a voluntary ‘club’ of the heads of the national supervisory authorities outside the official supranational institutions," stresses WENRA Chair Hans Wanner. "As such WENRA is in a unique and influential position to provide reliable, objective, practical and technically sound advice to policy makers and others on nuclear safety issues in Europe independent of political constraints.”

With its new Nuclear Safety Directive, the EU confirmed the independence of national regulators in 2014. Objective 7 of the new WENRA strategy, however, underlines WENRA’s important role as a strategic partner of the EU and in particular of the high-level advisory body of the EU on nuclear issues, ENSREG.

“While it was important to the WENRA members to once again accentuate WENRA’s European core” says Hans Wanner, “WENRA’s new strategy had to cope with the upcoming major changes in the shifting global nuclear landscape.”

WENRA is aware that a large share of the production of new nuclear power plants is taking place outside of Europe and many of the vendors are from countries outside of the EU. Therefore, it is important for WENRA to cooperate closely with nuclear safety authorities from non-EU nuclear countries. For this reason, WENRA has introduced the category of Associated Member. This category is intended for larger non-EU nuclear countries who are interested in participating in WENRA. Associated Members participate actively in WENRA and its working groups and are expected to work towards complying with WENRA’s SRLs and other recommendations but cannot participate in the decision-making process.

Hans Wanner, WENRA Chair: "We are convinced that WENRA, by implementing the new strategy, can make a significant contribution to further strengthening the safety of nuclear facilities and thus to protecting people and the environment - in Europe and worldwide.”

The New WENRA Strategy

Vision:

WENRA is the independent association of European national nuclear regulators recognised for establishing, implementing, and disseminating harmonized model levels of nuclear safety.

Mission:

Working together as national nuclear regulators to continuously improve and harmonize nuclear safety to as high as reasonably practicable, taking into account security aspects, and so protect people and the environment.

WENRA's Strategic Objectives:

Strategic Objective 1: To maintain a common set of up to date Safety Reference Levels (SRL), covering all relevant topics and benchmark their implementation on a regular basis. The WENRA SRLs are a key driver for developing nuclear safety by a continuous improvement and harmonization of regulatory approaches in Europe.

Strategic Objective 2: To promote a broad understanding of safety by taking a holistic vision on challenges, and the actions needed to protect people and the environment and to avoid a nuclear accident. In particular to promote greater integration between safety and security.

Strategic Objective 3: To further harmonize regulatory approaches and practices and to tackle emerging significant issues, establishing common position statements and influencing their adoption.

Strategic Objective 4: To improve WENRA’s membership structure so that it remains inclusive but ensures that WENRA can work efficiently and effectively, allowing it to adapt to developments in the nuclear scene.

Strategic Objective 5: To create and maintain a funding mechanism that shares the burden and ensures that sufficient resources are available for WENRA’s operating costs.

Strategic Objective 6: To establish a framework allowing national regulators to consider the relevant experience and knowledge of other WENRA Members in national regulatory processes and promote practical cooperation and support.

Strategic Objective 7: To reinforce WENRA’s role as the strategic partner for nuclear safety to ENSREG, providing a consistent independent view on European nuclear regulatory issues and working together to continuously improve nuclear safety in Europe.

Strategic Objective 8: To establish an effective stakeholder engagement and communication promoting greater understanding of WENRA’s products, which also informs WENRA’s own decision-making.

Strategic Objective 9: To establish an effective framework to utilize the experience and knowledge vested in TSOs to support the activities of WENRA.

Strategic Objective 10: To increase WENRA’s visibility in the nuclear scene in and outside of Europe.

To overview