Steve Meng, Technical Programme Manager, WANO, World Association of Nuclear Operators, London

US-born Steve Meng started his career as Technical Programme Manager at WANO, the global organisation for the nuclear industry, in May 2008. He graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy of New York and he is a specialist in both fossil-based power generation and the navy nuclear programme. In Växjö Steve presented a report (WANO Significant Operating Experience Report (SOER) 2008-1) on crane and lifting incidents that have happened in nuclear power plants and which have been investigated by the WANO specialists.

“I was invited to the KIKA seminar by Kjell Andersson, who had received a request from the attending representatives of the nuclear industry. The latest report from WANO is a result of the international co-operation between operators and WANO. This is my first visit to Sweden and I think it is a good initiative, which hopefully will continue and expand.”
Steve also says that meeting crane specialists gives a good perspective. “It is nice to get different angles to crane safety and I think it was valuable for me to come here.”
The analysis covers all events reported to WANO between 2004 and 2007. WANO specialists have in some cases visited the plant and spoken to persons involved. Although the details of the events are confidential, Steve explained that the main reason for WANO issuing a report is that there has been a worsening trend over the last six years.

“NPP operators have to be trained to identify risks. Many events show fundamental weaknesses in use of lifting, rigging and material handling practices.”

“We have found a number of reasons for the incidents – weak policies and procedures, insufficient training, weaknesses in inspection and maintenance, inappropriate work practices, ineffective management and poor supervision, and WANO has presented a number of recommendations to be implemented at nuclear power plants.