News release NEA/COM(2017)5
Paris, 4 October 2017

Joint news release: MOU between WANO and NEA to strengthen global nuclear safety

The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co‑operate on the further development of approaches, practices and methods in order to proactively strengthen global nuclear safety. A ceremony was held on 4 October 2017 at the NEA Headquarters in the presence of WANO Chairman Jacques Régaldo and NEA Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer Daniel Iracane.

The MOU serves to set out a transparent framework for co‑operation between WANO and NEA in areas related to the safe operation of nuclear power plants and the human aspects of nuclear safety. It will facilitate information exchange between the stakeholders in NEA member countries and nuclear power plant operators, enhance the common understanding of nuclear safety culture challenges and support general efforts to further enhance nuclear safety worldwide.

"Global nuclear safety is the responsibility of all stakeholders, including the public, governments, independent regulators and the industry. The signature of this MOU constitutes a further step forward for the NEA to ensure that decision‑makers in our member countries have access to relevant and comprehensive information derived from industry experiences," said NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV. "Interactions with the global industry sector through WANO would increase opportunities for NEA committees to share best practices with, and recommendations to the industry. It would, therefore, contribute to the successful accomplishment of the NEA mission to assist its membership in achieving excellence in nuclear safety."

WANO and NEA have already identified safety culture as a fundamental subject of common interest and are currently collaborating to launch in 2018 a series of country‑specific discussions to explore the influence of national culture on the safety culture.

"Both WANO and the NEA share common goals regarding the safety and reliability of nuclear power worldwide, and our collaboration will bring mutual benefit for both organisations and their memberships," said WANO Chairman Régaldo.

Background notes for editors

WANO is a not for profit member association established in 1989 by the world's nuclear power operators to exchange safety knowledge and operating experience amongst organisations operating commercial nuclear power reactors. WANO members operate some 440 nuclear units in more than 30 countries and areas around the world. WANO works with members in pursuit of its mission: to maximise 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 practices. For more information on WANO, visit

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is an intergovernmental agency which operates under the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD). It facilitates co‑operation among countries with advanced nuclear technology infrastructures to seek excellence in nuclear safety, technology, science, related environmental and economic matters and law. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co‑operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear technology policies. NEA membership includes 33 countries that co‑operate through joint research, consensus‑building among experts and development of best practices.

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