On 3 March 2021, Olivier Gupta was invited, as WENRA’s Chairperson and ASN’s Director General, to participate in a webinar organised by the OECD/NEA on the occasion of the release of « The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, Ten Years On: Progress, Lessons and Challenges » NEA report.
With the other distinguished panellists invited by the NEA, the WENRA’s Chair discussed the multi-dimensional issues related to the accident and exchanged on how to address the new challenges that had emerged.
Olivier Gupta used this opportunity to underline the role of WENRA in the European stress tests undertaken after the Fukushima accident, and explained how the WENRA safety reference levels (SRLs) were updated in 2014 to take into account the lessons learnt from the accident.
He mentioned that the Fukushima accident has highlighted the need for more resilience for facilities and organisations. He explained that the resilience of the European power plants has been improved through the European stress tests, during which existing margins in European power plants were reviewed and consequently improved. He reminded the key-role played by WENRA in this process.
He presented the status of the SRLs, as key WENRA products that have contributed to improve safety at the European level and enhance harmonisation amongst WENRA countries. He explained how they were updated in 2014 to take into account the Fukushima accident, in particular regarding spent fuel storage, multi-unit situations, extreme natural hazards, mobile equipment and training of personnel.
He also noted that this accident has accelerated openness and international exchanges. As an example, opening WENRA to large nuclear countries outside Europe has been beneficial for all parties.
During the webinar, the panellists answered numerous questions received by the audience and discussed several challenges such as the improvements in nuclear safety and operations that have been made since the accident, and the importance that local populations take an active part in their own radiation protection after an accident. The value of the report issued by the NEA 10 years after the accident, providing an excellent overview of the progress made and of remaining challenges, was underlined.
Over twelve hundred people from around the world attended this event, which undoubtedly has given WENRA a valuable opportunity to increase its visibility beyond Europe.
 Ms Claire Cousins (UK/ICRP Chair), Mr Ingemar Engkvist (Sweden/WANO CEO), Mr Richard Meserve (US), Mr Mike Weightman (UK), Mr Hajimu Yamana (JPN/NDF President) and Ms Rosa Yang (US-EPRI)