Olivier Gupta is elected Chair of WENRA
Olivier Gupta, ASN Director General, has just been elected Chair of WENRA (Western European Nuclear Regulators’ Association ), by his European peers. He will be assisted by two Vice-Chairs, Petteri Tiippana, Director General of the Finnish nuclear regulator, and Mark Foy, Chief Inspector of the United Kingdom's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).
Involved in the work of this association since the early 2000's, Olivier Gupta chaired from 2007 to 2011 the WENRA working group responsible for harmonising reactor safety, and whose work included the development of the post-Fukushima stress test specifications. He helped to define the "safety reference levels" inspired by the IAEA standards and integrating the best European practices, which serve as a reference for the harmonisation of national nuclear safety regulations.
"WENRA is quite a unique forum on the international scene: the technical and informal nature of the discussions, combined with each member's commitment to harmonise safety requirements, has resulted in significant progress over the last few years. The value of WENRA's work is reflected by the fact that several nuclear regulators from non-European countries such as Canada, Russia and Japan follow it closely. I want WENRA to remain at the cutting edge with regard to the new safety challenges in the years to come", declared Olivier Gupta.
His ambition for the three years of his mandate will be to implement the new strategy adopted by the association, and in particular:
- to pursue the development and updating of the "reference levels" with a broader vision of safety that takes account more specifically of the interfaces between safety and security;
- beyond the "reference levels", to develop new tools to harmonise the positions of the nuclear safety regulators on high-stake issues;
- to open up WENRA to the large non-European nuclear countries, by creating a status of associate member.
At the last plenary meeting of WENRA, Olivier Gupta warmly thanked his predecessor Hans Wanner, General Director of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), for the work he accomplished as Chair of the association since 2011.
 WENRA was created in February 1999 on the initiative of André-Claude Lacoste, who at the time was head of the ASN. He was the first chair of this association. The members of WENRA are the heads of the nuclear safety regulators of the 18 European countries equipped with nuclear power reactors, namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and United Kingdom.