After 10 years at the head of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), Hans Wanner will retire at the end of June 2020. Naturally, people are happy for him and wish him all the best in his retirement.
In his capacity as Director of Ensi and as President of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) from 2011 to 2019, Wanner has certainly earned special merits. For, no director of a regulatory body has so openly represented and supported the spirit of the institution as he has. One recalls his statements in August 2012, when he described the modalities of his soft, nuclear-friendly nuclear supervision and defended the authority’s Abnick mode: “You may call this felt when the Ensi is in a discretionary position, we call it professionalism” (see Infosperber of August 9, 2012, https://www.infosperber.ch/Politik/ENSI-Chef-nennt-Atom-Filz-Professionalitat).
To conclude his work, Wanner now gives another example of his understanding of “independent supervision”. On his resignation as president of the Western European nuclear regulators, he stated that in his view, “the greatest advantage of WENRA is its club character.” A club, in other words, should provide “independent” oversight in the high-risk nuclear energy sector: closed and uncontrolled, serving the intentions of the nuclear industry, still based on club interests. Copinage in the “service-club of the atomic supervision” as a confidence-building basis?