CNSC Overview Safety First - CNSC Online

CNSC Overview: Safety First

cnsc logo - 1

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Table of Contents

cnsc logo - 2

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Our Mission

Canada's nuclear watchdog

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment, and to implement Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

cnsc logo - 4

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Our Marching Orders

Acts of Parliament - Parliament of Canada

Several laws and regulations define what the CNSC is and how we operate.

Nuclear Safety and Control Act

In 2000, the Atomic Energy Control Act and the Atomic Energy Control Board were no longer enough to meet the needs of a large, complex nuclear industry. It was time to create a new Act and a new organization. Parliament passed the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, which created the CNSC and which sets out its work. The Act puts the CNSC in charge of supervising anyone who makes, uses, handles or stores nuclear substances.
Nuclear Safety and Control Act

Directive to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Regarding the Health of Canadians

This Directive tells the CNSC that it must consider the health of Canadians as it regulates the production, possession and use of nuclear substances. This is important because many Canadians depend on nuclear substances for medical treatments.
Directive to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Regarding the Health of Canadians

Nuclear Liability Act

This Act makes the operators of nuclear installations legally responsible for any damage their operations do to the public. The CNSC administers the Act.
Nuclear Liability Act

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

This Act puts the CNSC in charge of overseeing enviornmental assessments for all nuclear projects. It tells the CNSC that, in our work, we must consider how nuclear projects could affect the environment.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

Module icon

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Fast Fact

The largest nuclear generating plant in North America is located in Ontario. The Bruce Power nuclear generating station located in Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron is North America's largest nuclear generating plant with capacity to produce 4,660 megawatts of electricity.

cnsc logo - 5

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We grant licences: Applicants

Anyone who wants to use nuclear technology for any reason must first get a licence from the CNSC. A person or company that asks the CNSC for a licence is called an applicant.

Licensing applicants is one of our most important functions.

cnsc logo - 6

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We grant licences: Requirements

The CNSC has a regulatory framework that sets very strict requirements for who can get a nuclear licence -and how they go about getting it.

We will not issue a licence to anyone who does not meet all the requirements.

cnsc logo - 7

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We grant licences: Process

Numbered licensing stages

Licence applications go through a strict process.

  1. Application
  2. Environmental Assessment
  3. Technical Assessment
  4. Decision

Aboriginal Peoples and other Canadians who may be affected by the application are involved throughout the process.

cnsc logo - 9

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

License Application

First, the applicant sends an application to the CNSC.

The applicant has to convince CNSC staff that the proposed activity will be conducted in a way that adequately protects workers, the public and the environment.

CNSC staff then begin their review and, if necessary, begin broader consultations with affected groups, including Aboriginal peoples.
The CNSC may hold public hearings. The public can comment on the application and on plans for the next stages of licensing.

cnsc logo - 9

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Environmental Assessment

All projects go through a review of the potential environmental impacts. These assessments determine how nuclear projects could affect the environment and how these impacts could be lessened.

CNSC experts review applications to determine if there are likely to be environmental impacts and ensure measures will be taken to protect the environment.

cnsc logo - 9

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Technical Assessment

Once an applicant has demonstrated that it will adequately protect the environment, CNSC staff complete a technical review.

Staff verify that an application meets or exceeds the requirements listed in applicable acts and regulations, and that it is consistent with Canada's international obligations. CNSC staff may ask the applicant to improve the application. Once staff are satisfied with the application, a public hearing can take place.

cnsc logo - 9

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Tribunal Decision

Once CNSC staff have completed a technical assessment they write a report to the Commission recommending that an application either be accepted or rejected.

A Commission hearing is held, and the public can participate and provide comments. The Commission makes the ultimate decision as to whether a licence will be granted. The Commission may also grant licensing powers to certain CNSC staff, called Designated Officers (DOs). All other licensing decisions are made by these DOs.

cnsc logo - 13

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

The CNSC Helps

The CNSC helps successful applicants (called licensees) follow the rules, acts and regulations that apply to them.

  • International
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Acts
  • Regulations
International, Safety, Security, Environment, Health, Acts, Regulations
cnsc logo - 15

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

The CNSC Monitors

Licensees are responsible for protecting the health, safety and security of people and the environment. They have to file regular reports to prove they are meeting all the conditions.

The CNSC vigilantly monitors licensees by checking their reports and doing on-site inspections to make sure they follow the requirements of their licences.

cnsc logo - 16

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

The CNSC Acts

If a licensee is not following the rules, the CNSC finds them to be "non compliant." We take quick action to correct the situation.

If the licensee does not fix the problem, we take strict compliance measures.

Module icon

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Fast Fact

Licensees must file regular mandatory reports according to the terms of their licences.

cnsc logo - 17

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We communicate with Canadians

CNSC Staff travel from coast to coast to coast, visiting Canadians in their communities, and answering their questions on how we regulate the nuclear industry safely.

To participate, check our Web site at nuclearsafety.gc.ca to find out when we will be in your area.

cnsc logo - 18

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We consult with Aboriginal Peoples

The CNSC consults with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples about some of its decisions - especially if a decision could negatively affect Aboriginal people’s rights. In such cases, CNSC staff make a point of getting Aboriginal peoples involved early in the decision-making process.

cnsc logo - 19

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We work with our partners

Only the CNSC can allow the use of nuclear energy and substances in Canada, but other organizations also play a role in the Canadian nuclear regime.

The CNSC cooperates with many federal, provincial and territorial partners in its work.

Federal Partners include
The Canadian Environmental
Assessment Agency
Natural Resources Canada
Health Canada
Environment Canada
The Community of Federal Requlators
Canadian Standards Association

Our provincial and territorial partners include
The Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour
Emergency Management Onatrio
Nunavut Department of Environment
New Brunswich Emergency Measures
Organization
Quebec Ministry of Environment

 
Module icon

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Fast Fact

Nuclear power stations in Ontario and New Brunswick provide approximately 15% of Canada's electricity supply.

cnsc logo - 20

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Major Projects Management Office

The federal government set up the Major Projects Management Office (MPMO) to make sure all major resource projects in Canada get a thorough review. Some nuclear projects are considered MPMO projects.

The CNSC works closely with the MPMO, which helps make our work as transparent and efficient as possible.

cnsc logo - 21

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We employ expert staff

Almost half of our technical staff have doctorate or master’s degrees in fields such as nuclear engineering, chemistry, physics, environmental and radiation sciences, and epidemiology.

  • 840 Staff across Canada
  • 2000 Inspections annually
  • 3300 Licences managed
cnsc logo - 22

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Available 24/7

Map of CNSC duty offices

Our staff work at our Ottawa headquarters, at each of Canada's five power reactor sites, at a site office at Chalk River Laboratories, and in four regional offices across Canada.

In an emergency involving a nuclear facility or radioactive materials, the public or licensees can phone a CNSC duty officer-day or night.

  • Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station Site Office
  • Saskatoon Uranium Mines and Mills Division Regional Office
  • Calgary Western-Regional office
  • Gentilly-2 Nuclear Generating Station Site Office
  • Laval Eastern Regional Office
  • Ottawa Headquarters
  • Chalk River Laboratories site Office
  • Bruce Nuclear generating station A and B site office
  • Mississauga Southern Onatio Regional Office
  • Pickering Nuclear Generating Station A and B Site Office
  • Darlington Nuclear Generating Station Site Office
Module icon

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Fast Fact

CNSC inspectors are located across the country at headquarter, regional offices and site offices.

The CNSC has four regional offices- in Calgary, Saskatoon, Laval and Mississauga-a and site offices at Canada's five nuclear power sites and Chalk River Laboratories.

cnsc logo - 23

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We protect people and the environment

Protecting the environment today and for future generations is a major part of what we do.

The CNSC works hard to make sure that nuclear activities will not harm people in any way.

cnsc logo - 24

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We protect people and the environment

Environmental Assessments

Our environmental assessment process, which takes place at the nuclear licensing phase, makes sure that a nuclear project will not cause undue harm to the environment.

We pay close attention to nuclear licensees to make sure they obey all environmental regulations.

cnsc logo - 25

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We protect people and the environment

Dose Limits

In areas where nuclear substances are stored or where nuclear activities take place, the CNSC keeps track of any radiation that the public is exposed to or that ends up in the environment.

cnsc logo - 26

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We protect people and the environment

Transportation

The CNSC has strict rules for making sure that nuclear materials are transported and stored in ways that will not cause harm to people or the environment.

Module icon

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Fast Fact

Radiation doses to the public and the environment from nuclear activities are consistently below the CNSC's limits for safety.

For every year that radiation doses have been measured, they have been well below CNSC limits. The CNSC enforces strict limits for how much radiation a person or the environment can be exposed to without harm.

cnsc logo - 28

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We lead internationally

international agreement

Canada is a world leader in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

To fulfill Canada's international obligations, the CNSC supports and implements our country's international agreements in the area of nuclear safety.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

This treaty aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and achieve nuclear disarmament. Canada was one of the first countries to sign this treaty. The CNSC makes sure that Canada complies with its obligations under this Treaty.

Imports/Exports

The CNSC works to ensure that Canada’s nuclear exports are not used to develop any kind of nuclear weapon or explosive device. The CNSC also works hard to promote a stronger system for the safe use of nuclear substances internationally.

Nuclear safeguards

Safeguards are systems used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to make sure that nuclear materials intended for peaceful purposes are not used instead to produce nuclear weapons. The CNSC oversees these systems to make sure anyone producing, using or storing nuclear materials in Canada has the proper safeguards in place.

The Convention on Nuclear Safety

This agreement was signed by more than 60 countries to encourage a high level of safety at nuclear power plants. The CNSC is in charge of Canada’s commitments under the agreement.

The Joint Convention on the Safetyof Spent Fuel Managementand on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management

This agreement sets out the rules for safely storing and managing radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel. The CNSC is in charge of Canada’s commitments under the agreement.

Module icon

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Fast Fact

Radiation can be used for slowing the ripening of fruits and vegetables.

Radiation is one of the most useful tools in modern science and agriculture, with a variety of uses from medical treatment to sterilizing equipment and tools to determining the age of objects.

cnsc logo - 19

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We are a committed international partner

The CNSC works with partners around the world to achieve a safe, secure and peaceful international nuclear sector.

Fast Fact

The CNSC has an aggressive,
four-year, national action
plan to address the lessons
learned from Fukushima.

cnsc logo - 19

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We collaborate with foreign nuclear regulators

We believe in a process of continuous learning and improvement. We collaborate with foreign nuclear regulators to exchange knowledge and cooperate on technical issues.

Fast Fact

The CNSC participates in the
Multinational Design Evaluation
Program. The program helps nuclear
regulators in different countries
share their standards for reviewing
new reactor power plant designs.

cnsc logo - 19

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

We are international participants

Our expert staff are important participants in the activities of many international nuclear-related bodies. These include the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Zangger Committee.

Fast Fact

Our participation in these events
is published on the CNSC Web site.

cnsc logo - 19

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

CNSC experts contribute their knowledge

The CNSC participates in many international research projects to improve the safety and security of nuclear facilities and activities around the world.

Fast Fact

Using our state-of-the-art laboratory,
we perform independent verifications.

Module icon

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Fast Fact

Gamma-radiography is a way to test metals for flaws.

Gamma-radiography is a process that uses gamma rays to test materials for flaws such as invisible cracks and defects. In the past, the only way to test some cast metal products was to randomly select items and cut them to pieces, which was slow and expensive.

cnsc logo - 39

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Part of Canadian Life

Nuclear is a part of Canadian Life.
The CNSC will Never Compromise Safety.

cnsc logo - 39

CNSC Overview:
Safety First

Find out more about Us