ARCHIVED - Michael Binder (2008 - present)
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Binder is appointed CNSC President
Dr. Michael Binder is appointed as CNSC President. Dr. Binder has a Ph.D. in physics and previously held senior positions at Industry Canada, the Department of Communications, the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs, and the Defence Research Board.
The CNSC resumes regulatory control of the NRU reactor
The CNSC resumes full regulatory oversight of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s National Research Universal reactor. The reactor had been exempted from regulatory control for 120 days after royal assent was granted for Bill C-38 on December 12, 2007.
Amendments are made to the Nuclear Safety and Control Act
Various regulations under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act are amended to correct regulatory deficiencies and inconsistencies, to increase protection of workers, the public and the environment, and to adopt the latest international standards for exemption values and clearance levels.
Michael Binder is confirmed as President
Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn announces the appointment of Dr. Michael Binder as President of the CNSC. Dr. Binder was appointed interim President in January and will serve a five-year term as President.
The MAPLE isotope project is abandoned
The MAPLE isotope project is abandoned. The project was a new research-reactor technology developed by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., capable of fuels and materials testing, isotope production, and neutron experimentation. The MAPLE concept featured an H2O-cooled and D2O-reflected core, and would have operated with a thermal power of 5 to 40 MW(th). It offered a high thermal neutron flux, small core volume, and accommodation for multiple beam-tubes and in-core experimental sites, as well as driven spectrum-specific facilities in the reflector (cold-neutron source, fast-neutron flux trap, etc.). Two MAPLE reactors were constructed for isotope production at AECL's Chalk River laboratories, for MDS Nordion, a radiopharmaceutical supplier. These 10-MW(th) reactors were intended to replace the isotope-production capability of AECL's NRU reactor. For a variety of reasons (technical, financial, managerial, political, regulatory), the MAPLE Medical Isotope Reactor (MMIR) project was abandoned on May 16, 2008. The NRU remains in operation as both a research reactor and supplier of medical radioisotopes.
Linda J. Keen receives Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global Award
Linda J. Keen is presented with the 2008 Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global Award in Marseilles, France. She receives special recognition for excellence in communications, education, leadership and mentoring in the nuclear sector. Ms. Keen is the first Canadian to receive this award.
Tolgyesi is appointed to the Commission Tribunall
Mr. Dan D. Tolgyesi is appointed as a member of the CNSC's Tribunal for a term ending May 30, 2011.
A lessons learned report is submitted following the outage of an NRU isotopes producer
The CNSC and AECL announce that Talisman International, LLC has concluded its “lessons learned” report about the circumstances leading to the extended outage of AECL's National Research Universal reactor in late 2007. The report outlines specific recommendations that the CNSC and AECL commit to implement, and the CNSC takes immediate corrective action.
A protocol is developed for licensing activities of an NRU isotopes producer
The CNSC announces a joint protocol with AECL for licensing activities related to the National Research Universal reactor. The protocol establishes a framework to prepare information that the CNSC will need in order to assess the continued operation of the reactor, whose licence expires October 31, 2011.
The Government of British Columbia bans mining exploration in BC for uranium and thorium
The Government of British Columbia bans mining exploration for uranium and thorium.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister responsible for nuclear matters, October 2008 – January 2010
A mishap occurs during the Point Lepreau refurbishment
Two generator rotors, which each weigh about 115 tonnes and measure 7.8 x 4.1 metres, are on their way by barge from Saint John to Point Lepreau as part of the nuclear plant's $1.4-billion refurbishment. As a result of an unstable load, they both fall to the bottom of the ocean in the Bay of Fundy. It takes a team of engineers, divers and two cranes four days to recover both of the rotors from what Siemens describes as the "chemically aggressive salt water environment of the harbour".
The CNSC signs an agreement with the MPMO for the Bruce project
The CNSC signs the first-ever project agreement with the Major Projects Management Office (MPMO). The agreement, for the Bruce New Nuclear Power Plant project, becomes the blueprint for future MPMO project agreements, key tools that coordinate the work of federal partners throughout a project's lifecycle, and that state clear milestones and ensure accountability.
Strateco proposes a project for advanced exploration
The CNSC receives an application and a project proposal from Strateco Resources Inc., for excavating an underground exploration ramp. Strateco would use the ramp for advanced exploration in developing its uranium mining project on the Matoush claim, located in the Chibougamau Mining District in Quebec.
The CNSC receives an award for regulatory excellence
The Community of Federal Regulators presents the CNSC with a Regulatory Excellence Award in Innovation in recognition of the National Sealed Source Registry and Sealed Source Tracking System. This prestigious award recognizes significant achievements and successful initiatives within Canada's regulatory community.
Bruce Power sets the wheels in motion for a new plant
The CNSC receives a project description and an application for a site preparation licence from Bruce Power Erie Inc. for a new nuclear power plant in southern Ontario's Haldimand–Norfolk region. The submission proposes two nuclear reactors that would generate 2,200 to 3,200 MW of electricity for Ontario.
The 1,000th NSERC-supported neutron beam line allocation is completed
The 1,000th neutron beam time allocation at the NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre is completed since support through a multi-year NSERC Major Facilties Access grant was first secured on April 1, 2001.
The Throne Speech addresses the government’s commitment to secure Canada's energy future
In the Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada reinforces an existing commitment to secure Canada's energy future. “… Nuclear energy is a proven technology, capable of reliable, large-scale output.” The speech also commits the Government to “ensure that Canada’s regulatory framework is ready to respond should the provinces choose to advance new nuclear projects.”
More than half of Ontario's power comes from nuclear energy
Nuclear energy generates over 55% of Ontario's total electricity. (Source: Canadian Nuclear Association)
Site preparation applications are withdrawn in Alberta
The application to the CNSC to prepare a site for the potential construction of new reactors near Peace River, Alberta is withdrawn.
The Kiggavik Project is started
AREVA submits an application for a licence to construct and operate a uranium mining and milling operation located in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut approximately 80 kilometres west of the community of Baker Lake.
The Throne Speech commits Canada to ensuring a regulatory framework will be ready for new projects
In the Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada commits to ensuring Canada's regulatory framework will be ready to respond if the provinces choose to advance new nuclear projects. The CNSC is investing much effort to ensure its work is effective and efficient in meeting this demand.
The CNSC is a ”breath of fresh air”, says Saskatchewan Premier
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall praises the federal nuclear regulator as a "breath of fresh air" that will help speed project licensing. "It is time to be audacious," Wall says to the annual trade show of Canada's nuclear industry. Wall says there are strong signals – starting with Michael Binder at the head of the CNSC – that Ottawa is onside with an emerging global nuclear renaissance. Binder, in an earlier presentation to the trade show, said he's looking at ways of making the approvals process more efficient without undermining any safety or environmental protections.
Five decommissioned Saskatchewan mines are exempted from licensing
The CNSC exempts five decommissioned satellite mine sites at the Beaverlodge Mine and Mill Site from licensing and releases them into Saskatchewan's Institutional Control Program. This program oversees long-term management of decommissioned mine and mill sites on provincial Crown land to ensure health and safety and protect the environment.
All action items are closed in the NRU lessons learned exercise
The CNSC closes all National Research Universal-specific action items, as recommended in the Talisman lessons learned report issued in July 2008.
McMaster's nuclear reactor turns 50
The McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR) first started up on April 4, 1959, and, with today's strong interest and demand in the nuclear energy and medical isotope industries, is more relevant than ever. Over the last half century, MNR established itself as a vital and necessary partner in research circles. Today, the reactor tests the engine turbine blades of the world's commercial aircraft fleet, it analyzes core samples for the mining sector, produces over 60,000 treatments-worth of iodine-125 each year (used in treatment for prostate cancer) and provides students considering careers in nuclear engineering, medical and health physics and other applied radiation sciences a hands-on experience unavailable anywhere else in Canada.
A study finds Port Hope residents as healthy as the general population
The CNSC releases a report, Understanding Health Studies and Risk Assessments Conducted in the Port Hope Community from the 1950s to the Present , indicating that nuclear industry has not affected the health of Port Hope residents and that they are as healthy as the general population of Ontario and Canada.
CNSC lab funding is announced
The Treasury Board announces $250 million over the next two years to upgrade federal laboratories across the country. The CNSC-related funding sets aside $2 million dollars in 2009–2010, and an additional $1 million dollars in 2010–2011, which will be used to renovate and refit existing vacant laboratory space at the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Limebank Road site in Ottawa. The CNSC Lab was established in 1978 as an independent lab to validate the quality of measurements of levels of radiation taken by licensees as well as to calibrate instruments that CNSC inspectors use to detect contamination. The CNSC had been working on plans to upgrade its lab facilities and, after an exhaustive review of the existing laboratory’s deficiencies, it became clear that additional laboratory space would be needed in order to fulfill CNSC’s regulatory duties. The availability of the NRCan space and the announcement of government funding provided the solution. (Source: CNSC)
A small heavy water leak is reported at the NRU in Chalk River
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) notifies the CNSC of a small heavy water leak at the National Research Universal reactor, which had been shut down the day before due to electrical power loss. AECL keeps the reactor shut down to identify the source of the leak and investigate repair options, and the CNSC agrees with this decision.
The NRU reactor heavy water leak has no health or safety impact
The CNSC issues a public statement that preliminary findings show the National Research Universal reactor’s heavy water leak has no impact on health or safety. The CNSC continues to oversee the Chalk River facilities and AECL will regularly update the CNSC about the event, according to communications protocol.
The IAEA gives the CNSC the nod for regulatory practices
The International Atomic Energy Agency's Integrated Regulatory Review Service concludes its Canadian mission to evaluate the CNSC's regulatory practices and compare them to international standards and best practices. The team affirms that the CNSC effectively fulfills its mandate and that Canada has a well-established nuclear regulatory framework. (Source: International Atomic Energy Agency)
IAEA Press Release on IRRS Report on the CNSC
Canada and Argentina harmonize regulatory controls
The CNSC signs an Administrative Arrangement with its Argentinian counterpart on harmonizing regulatory controls for importing and exporting Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources to ensure safety, security and consistency with International Atomic Energy Agency requirements.
Bruce Power withdraws siting applications for new construction
Bruce Power withdraws its application to the CNSC for a licence to prepare a site for the potential construction of up to two new nuclear reactors in Nanticoke. The proposed site was to be located on the north shore of Lake Erie in the Haldimand–Norfolk region of southern Ontario.
Bruce Power pulls its application to construct up to four reactors at the Bruce site
Bruce Power withdraws its application to the CNSC for a licence to prepare a site for the potential construction of up to four new nuclear reactors at the existing Bruce nuclear site.
A protocol is established to restart the NRU after repairs
The CNSC and AECL establish a joint protocol for restarting the National Research Universal reactor after the containment vessel is repaired. The protocol establishes the administrative framework, milestones and service standards for licensing activities related to the restart of the NRU reactor.
Cameco submits a plan for a licence to construct a mine in Athabasca
The CNSC receives a project description from Cameco Corp. for a licence to construct and operate a uranium mine in Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin – the Millennium Project. A comprehensive environmental assessment must be completed before the CNSC considers granting a licence to this project.
TRIUMF celebrates its 40th anniversary
TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, celebrates its 40th anniversary
Beaudet is appointed as a temporary member of the Commission Tribunal
Ms. Jocelyne Beaudet is appointed as a temporary member of the CNSC's Tribunal to serve on the Joint Review Panel for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project in Clarington, Ontario.
Pereira is appointed as a temporary member of the Commission Tribunal
Mr. Ken Pereira is appointed as a temporary member of the CNSC's Tribunal to serve on a Joint Review Panel for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project in Clarington, Ontario.
A review panel is formed for a new power plant at Darlington
The CNSC and Ontario's Ministry of Environment announce the establishment of a Joint Review Panel for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project in Clarington, Ontario. The panel will consider the Environmental Assessment and the licence application to prepare a site for the proposed project.
A chair is appointed for the Joint Review Panel for a new nuclear power plant
Mr. Allan Graham, a Commission Tribunal member, is appointed chair of the Joint Review Panel for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project in Clarington, Ontario.
The CNSC responds
The CNSC issues a response to the Sierra Club of Canada report "Tritium on Tap". In its response, the CNSC informs the public that tritium levels in drinking water and the releases of Canada’s nuclear industry pose no risk to health, and explains that the CNSC would not licence a facility unless it was operating safely.
A bill to respect liability and compensation for damage dies on the Order Paper
Bill C-20: An Act Respecting Civil Liability and Compensation for Damage in Case of a Nuclear Incident , was introduced in the House of Commons on March 24, 2009 by the Honourable Gordon O'Connor for the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Lisa Raitt. It progressed through first and second readings in the House and had just been amended by the Natural Resources Committee on December 10, 2009 when Parliament was prorogued. As a result, the bill died on the Order Paper. Bill C-20 establishes a specific civil liability regime with respect to nuclear incidents and repeals the Nuclear Liability Act , which previously provided for such a regime. Like that Act, it makes the operators of nuclear installations exclusively liable, but increases significantly (from $75 million to $650 million) the extent of their liability and the financial security that they are required to maintain. It also provides for the establishment of a special tribunal to hear and decide claims.
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister responsible for nuclear matters, January 2010
The Protocol for the Restart of the NRU Reactor is signed
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and the CNSC sign a protocol for the restart of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor once repairs have been completed to the reactor containment vessel. The protocol establishes the administrative framework, milestones and service standards for licensing activities related to this restart. The protocol will facilitate the AECL’s submission of the various information materials needed to support a Commission Tribunal hearing to review the safety case for restarting the reactor. It will also facilitate the CNSC’s review of these documents.
OPG invests $300 million for Pickering B
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announces a $300-million investment to ensure the continued safe and reliable performance of Pickering B Nuclear Generating Station for approximately 10 years. OPG also announces detailed plans for the mid-life refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. (Source: Canadian Nuclear Association)
The federal budget authorizes funding to increase engagement in the hearing process
In its 2010 budget, the Government of Canada announces its intent to authorize the CNSC to establish a participant funding program for engaging the public, stakeholders and Aboriginal peoples in its hearing process.
Bill C-9 proposes giving study assessment powers to the CNSC and NEB
Bill C-9 proposes amendments to the environmental assessment process outlined in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act , whereby the National Energy Board and the CNSC would take over comprehensive study assessments for large energy projects.
Bruce Power applies for a licence to ship used steam generators
Bruce Power applies for a licence to transport 16 used steam generators for recycling. The company plans to truck the generators to Owen Sound and then transport them on a ship qualified to carry this waste. The ship will travel through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway and on to the plant in Sweden that recycles contaminated metal. It is estimated that 90% of the metal can be recycled and sold as scrap. The remaining 10% will be sent back to Bruce for long-term storage. The unusual "packaging" of the steam generators will require a special arrangement to meet safety needs for transport. (Source: CNSC)
Canada and the U.S. cooperate to return spent enriched uranium from Chalk River to the U.S.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces that Canada and the U.S. will cooperate in returning spent inventories of highly enriched uranium, currently at Chalk River Laboratories, to the U.S., where the uranium will be converted into a form that cannot be used in nuclear weapons.
A multilateral agreement is signed on strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and security
Canada agrees to cooperate with Mexico, the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency to convert the highly enriched uranium fuel in Mexico's research reactor to low-enriched uranium fuel, in order to strengthen non-proliferation and nuclear security.
Canada and Japan sign an agreement to harmonize regulatory controls
The CNSC signs an Administrative Arrangement with its Japanese counterpart on harmonizing regulatory controls for importing and exporting Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources in order to ensure safety, security and consistency with International Atomic Energy Agency requirements.
RMC SLOWPOKE celebrates 25 years
The Royal Military College celebrates the 25th anniversary of its SLOWPOKE reactor. CNSC President Binder attends.
A man receives a jail sentence for attempting to export nuclear devices to Iran
Mahmoud Yadegari is sentenced in the Ontario Court of Justice to 20 months in jail in addition to just over 15 months of pre-sentence custody for attempting to export nuclear-related dual-use devices to Iran; these devices could be used to enrich uranium and make nuclear weapons. Yadegari's arrest took place on April 16, 2009, following a joint investigation led by the RCMP and its U.S. counterparts. This is the first conviction under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act .
Bruce A Unit 2 is outfitted with its last calandria tube
The final calandria tube is installed in Unit 2 of Bruce A Nuclear Generating Station.
The IEEE recognizes TRIUMF's main cyclotron
The IEEE, the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology with more than 395,000 members in more than 160 countries, recognizes the extraction of the first high-energy proton beams from the TRIUMF main cyclotron on December 15, 1974 as a historic engineering milestone. The designation was approved by the IEEE Board of Directors following a careful evaluation of the historical significance and global uniqueness of the accomplishment. A dedication ceremony would be held at TRIUMF on the 36th anniversary of the event later in 2010.
The CNSC holds public hearings on the shipment of 16 used steam generators
The CNSC holds a public hearing on Bruce Power’s application to package and transport 16 steam generators through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to Sweden for recycling. Initially non-radioactive, the bus-sized steam generators become contaminated on the inside with low levels of radioactivity during their service life. Through the licensed Swedish facility, the generators would be recycled such that 90% of the metal could be decontaminated and sold as scrap, leaving 10% of the original volume returned to the licensee for storage. The CNSC conducts a thorough environmental review under the NSCA and concludes the shipment to be low risk. However, in light of public concern about the potential impact on health and the environment, the CNSC decides to hold a public hearing to allow the public to be heard before the Commission Tribunal, and to facilitate the presentation of accurate information relating to the health and safety risks of the proposed shipment. Seventy-seven intervenors take part at the hearing. (Source: CNSC)
The NRU reactor returns to service
The 15-month shutdown of the NRU reactor not only resulted in a global shortage of medical isotopes, but it also interrupted access to neutron beams in Canada. Isotope production and neutron beam experiments begin again.
Timeline of Recent Events in Neutron Beam History , National Research Council
The CNSC hosts a soil–structure interaction workshop
From October 6 to 8, 2010, experts from around the world gather in Ottawa to discuss earthquake soil–structure interaction issues with respect to nuclear power plant design and assessment. The CNSC hosts this international workshop, entitled "Soil–Structure Interaction (SSI) Knowledge and Effect on the Seismic Assessment of Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Structures and Components". The workshop is a joint activity of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency’s Working Group on Integrity and Ageing of Components and Structures (IAGE WG) and the IAEA International Seismic Safety Center (ISSC). At the workshop, CNSC President Binder points out that it is the joint responsibility of industry and regulators to further develop these topics and to ensure the continued safe, reliable and cost-effective operation of nuclear power plants. The CNSC is taking an active role in this realm, he says, by chairing the NEA IAGE WG and participating in the IAEA ISSC, as well as by organizing and hosting this workshop.
George C. Laurence is inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame
George C. Laurence was a key figure in the development of Canada's nuclear industry. He spent his career studying nuclear physics and developing techniques both to harness nuclear power and to ensure safety standards. Born in Charlottetown in 1905, Laurence studied and worked with Sir Ernest Rutherford in the late 1920s. As Chair of the Reactor Safety Advisory Committee, and subsequently as President of the Atomic Energy Control Board, Laurence's work was fundamental in setting the procedures and practices for safety control at nuclear power plants.
A reactor is designated as a nuclear historical landmark during its 50th anniversary
AECL's Zero Energy Deuterium 2 (ZED-2) research reactor is named a historical landmark by the American Nuclear Society. ZED-2 has significantly contributed to Canada's nuclear sector, including to the development of CANDU reactors by providing AECL with the capability to develop and test fuel bundle designs and fuel arrangements, and to simulate various incident scenarios.
The CNSC wins an award at an International Atomic Energy Agency symposium
At the closing of the IAEA’s International Safeguards Symposium in Vienna, the CNSC submission in the Safeguards-by-Design session is named Best Poster. The CNSC poster is chosen over 11 other submissions from Japan, the United States, Sweden, India and Belgium. Note: The poster is available only in English, as it was developed for an international symposium which was conducted in that language. (Source: CNSC)
An antihydrogen atom is trapped
Canadian scientists form part of a team to capture antimatter for the first time using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) facilities in Geneva, Switzerland.
CNSC staff lead international activities for improving safety of nuclear installations
CNSC employees and staff from France’s nuclear regulator co-organize an international workshop to improve the assessment of nuclear facilities’ structural robustness against aircraft crashes and other missile impacts. The CNSC is actively involved in a broad range of international activities related to improving the structural robustness of nuclear facilities. Some of these activities include staff involvement in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and specifically on the OECD NEA’s Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations’ Working Group on Integrity and Aging. CNSC staff are also preparing several papers on IRIS 2010 results. Findings will be presented at the 21st International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT 21), which will take place in November 2011 in New Delhi, India.
New cyclotron construction
Sherbrooke, Quebec. New construction of TR-24 cyclotron. This is a premiere in the world. This machine will be the first to produce TC-99m outside a reactor.
The CNSC responds
The CNSC responds to the editorial “Wind power is healthy”, published in the Windsor Star on January 6, 2011.
The CNSC responds
The CNSC responds to an op-ed published in the Chronicle Herald on January 8, 2011
A ship carrying uranium concentrate encounters rough seas
Cameco informs the CNSC that a ship carrying uranium concentrate, en route to Zhanjiang, China, has encountered extremely rough seas, resulting in damage to some of the containers. To allow for further inspection, the ship is en route back to Canada and expected to arrive in Canadian waters on January 15
The Government of Canada invests in isotope innovation
The Government of Canada finalizes agreements to invest $35 million in four projects to develop new ways of producing the key medical isotope technetium-99m. This isotope is widely used for medical imaging and accounts for approximately 80 percent of nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures. The projects will result in a more diverse and secure supply of medical isotopes.
The CNSC participates in an IAEA mission to Romania
The CNSC leads a team of 15 international experts from 12 countries in a peer review of the Romanian nuclear safety regulatory framework and the country’s regulatory authority, the National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control.
The CNSC releases the Tritium Studies Project Synthesis Report
In January 2007, the Commission Tribunal directed CNSC staff to initiate research studies on tritium releases in Canada, and to study and evaluate tritium processing facilities exercising the best practices around the globe. In response, the CNSC undertook several research projects under the banner of the Tritium Studies Project. The research would expand the body of knowledge on tritium and further enhance regulatory oversight of tritium-related activities in Canada. The Tritium Studies Project Synthesis Report, released on January 31, 2011, summarizes these studies and provides overall conclusions and recommendations. The report updates an earlier version, following a Commission Tribunal request to reflect intervenor comments from a June 2010 Commission Meeting and to expand the explanation for the recommended limit for tritium in groundwater.
The CNSC responds
The CNSC responds to the op-ed entitled “Nuclear radiation is forever” published in the Ottawa Citizen on February 8, 2011.
The CNSC implements a Participant Funding Program
The CNSC establishes the Participant Funding Program (PFP) to give members of the public, Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders the opportunity to request funding in support of their participation in the CNSC’s regulatory decision-making process.
The CNSC co-hosts a workshop on CANDU Systems Fatigue Management
From February 16 to 17, CNSC staff co-host a two-day workshop in Ottawa on CANDU Fatigue Management Program Development. The workshop presents concepts to manage fatigue for extended operating periods of Canadian CANDU nuclear power plants.
The CNSC and Environment Canada release the 2009 Annual Report on Uranium Management Activities
The 2009 Annual Report on Uranium Management Activities is the third joint report released by the CNSC and Environment Canada. Similar to the 2008 report, it documents uranium effluent releases from uranium mines and mills and other CNSC-regulated facilities, and reviews management practices related to uranium in effluent within other sectors of the nuclear industry.
The CNSC releases a new information document, Radon and Health
The CNSC and Canadian Light Source Inc. sign a protocol
The CNSC and Canadian Light Source Inc. (CLSI) sign a protocol for the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program. The program involves efforts by the Government of Canada to diversify Canada’s supply sources of medical isotopes. Through the protocol, the CNSC has oversight of the CLSI’s proposed activities to produce, without using a nuclear reactor, molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and then process the Mo-99 to yield the daughter medical isotope technetium-99.
Memoranda of Understanding
In Budget 2010, the Government of Canada made a commitment to use the substitution provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act) as much as possible in order to reduce duplication and improve the predictability of project reviews. Substitution refers to the authorization from the Minister of the Environment to substitute an existing federal environmental assessment process for a review panel established under the Act. In light of this commitment, the CNSC and Minister of the Environment subsequently issue a Memorandum to facilitate the use of the substitution provisions for nuclear facilities within the jurisdiction of the CNSC.
Massive earthquake and tsunami lead to severe damage of Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan
An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale strikes Japan. Thousands of people lose their lives in the earthquake and resulting tsunami. At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the earthquake causes severe damage to the reactors. The 15-metre tsunami – twice the height of any previously recorded in the region – also knocks out generators powering the cooling systems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station . People are evacuated 20 kilometres from the site. Heat and pressure build up in the reactors and lead to explosions and leaks. To cool the reactors and spent fuel storage pools, nuclear energy and emergency workers drop sea water and then fresh water on the reactors, install diesel generators, and seek ways to prevent this water, now contaminated, from flowing into the sea. Japan rates the nuclear power station event as level 7 on the International Nuclear and Radialogical Events scale – the highest level and only once previously recorded at Chernobyl in 1986. While cooling efforts gradually see results, the area surrounding the plant remains highly toxic. Radioactivity levels are also monitored elsewhere in Japan and around the world. (Source: CNSC)
The CNSC responds to the nuclear crisis in Japan
Following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that strike Japan and lead to a nuclear crisis, the CNSC draws on its staff’s scientific, technical and communications expertise to report daily to Canadians on the situation and on different aspects of radiation and the safety of Canada’s nuclear power plants (NPPs). The CNSC also requests that all NPP operators in Canada review initial lessons learned from the earthquake and re-examine NPP safety cases. The operators are asked to focus on external hazards such as seismic, flooding, fire and extreme weather events; measures to prevent and mitigate severe accidents; and emergency preparedness; and to report on how they plan to address any significant gaps. Specialists from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and the CNSC also join the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fukushima Accident Coordination Team. (Source: CNSC)
Darlington Joint Review Panel begins public hearings
The Joint Review Panel, an independent body mandated by the federal Minister of Environment and the CNSC, holds a public hearing on the Environmental Impact Statement and the Licence to Prepare Site application from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant. OPG proposes having up to four Class 1 nuclear power generating facilities to produce close to 4,800 megawatts, near the current Darlington plant. If approved, it will be the first new nuclear power plant in Canada since the 1990s. A total of 263 intervenors register for the hearing and provide submissions and presentations. The Panel requests a total of 78 “undertakings” (clarification or additional information), including 29 from the CNSC. (Source: CNSC)
Protesters disrupt hearing
Greenpeace protesters are charged with mischief for temporarily disrupting the Darlington Joint Review Panel hearings.
Bruce Power delays steam generator shipments
Bruce Power decides to delay shipments of 16 used steam generators to Sweden for recycling. The CNSC had issued a transport licence to Bruce Power on February 4, 2011, which is valid for one year. The company says the delay is to allow further discussions with First Nations, Métis and others seeking additional information and does not set a date for the shipment. Just weeks earlier, on March 7, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Sierra Club of Canada had filed applications with the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision to issue the licence. The licence will remain in effect unless the Federal Court rules otherwise..
The CNSC grants a transport licence to Bruce Power for steam generator shipment
Following public hearings held in September 2010, the CNSC issues a transport licence to Bruce Power for the shipping of 16 used steam generators to Sweden for recycling. Many people and organizations had expressed concern over potential hazards to the environment and health over the shipment, to be routed through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. The Commission Tribunal considered recommendations and submissions from CNSC staff, Bruce Power and 77 intervenors that it received during and prior to the hearings and an additional 32 participant submissions afterward. In issuing its decision, the Tribunal says that the risk to health and safety of the public and the environment is negligible and that it is satisfied that Bruce Power is qualified to carry out the activities permitted under the licence and certificate and that the company will take adequate provisions to protect the environment, health and safety of persons.
Yadegari appeal is overturned
The Ontario Court of Appeal has reduced, by three months, the sentence of a Toronto man who tried to send nuclear devices to Iran. Mahmoud Yadegari, 36, was sentenced to four years and three months in jail last July. With double credit for time served, the sentence amounted to 20 more months behind bars. Yadegari was arrested in April 2009 after a joint eight-week investigation by the RCMP and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Iranian-born businessman used a small company operated out of his Toronto home to try to export devices to Iran that can be used to build nuclear weapons.
The 5th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety is held
The 5th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (the Convention) is held in Vienna from April 4 to 14. The Convention was adopted in Vienna on June 17, 1994, as the result of considerable work by governments, national nuclear safety authorities and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), following the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. The Convention aims to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety worldwide, establish and maintain effective defences in nuclear installations against potential radiological hazards, and prevent accidents with radiological consequences. The Convention entered into force on October 24, 1996, and as of June 21, 2010, there were 65 signatories to the Convention and 71 parties. All countries with operating nuclear power plants are now parties to the Convention.
The CNSC establishes a task force to learn from the Japan earthquake
Following a March 30, 2011 Commission Tribunal meeting, the CNSC announces the establishment of an operational task force to evaluate the operational, technical and regulatory implications of the March 11, 2011 nuclear event in Japan in relation to Canadian nuclear power plants. The task force comprises senior CNSC experts in reactor design, safety assessment, and emergency preparedness and response.
Chernobyl 25 years after
It is exactly 25 years since the disastrous accident at Chernobyl. It was an incident that affected not just Ukraine, Belarus and Russia but the whole world, changing not just the communities involved but attitudes to nuclear power on a global scale. International radiation standards, strategies for improving the nuclear engineering process, safety standards and procedures and processes for managing nuclear waste all came under review after the incident. Now, a quarter of a century later, the time has come to evaluate those radiation safety measures, examine what can be learned from any shortcomings and outline an action plan for the future..
The CNSC Lab opens for business
In 2009, the CNSC received $3 million in new laboratory funding as part of the Government of Canada’s stimulus package. The funding was used to renovate and refit existing vacant laboratory space at the National Resources Canada Limebank Road site in Ottawa. The first phase of the upgrade, including the laboratory design, construction and renovation and the purchase and installation of new equipment, is complete. Staff moved in at the end of December 2010. The modernized laboratory substantially enhances the CNSC’s capability to verify licensee compliance programs, such as radiation protection, environmental protection, safeguards and emergency preparedness. Being able to respond quickly and to independently assess licensee environmental and radiation protection performance means better oversight. A more rigorous radiation detection calibration program means CNSC inspectors are better equipped. Ultimately, the new laboratory means enhanced protection for nuclear energy workers, the public and the environment. The new laboratory also means the CNSC can work with universities, national and international laboratories, and other government laboratories to provide research and training opportunities for students and scientists working in areas of nuclear and radiological safety and security.
CNSC now on Facebook!
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission launched both English and French Facebook pages as part of its commitment to making sure that Canadians have access to the in-depth information they need about the safety of nuclear activities and facilities in Canada. The CNSC's Facebook page will provide the latest news, photos, events and timely special features about nuclear safety in Canada.
IAEA commends the CNSC on its response to the March 2011 events in Fukushima, Japan
On December 9, 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed its follow-up assessment of Canada’s nuclear regulatory framework. Among other observations, the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission concluded that the CNSC’s actions in response to the March 2011 events at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was prompt, robust and comprehensive, and was identified as a good practice that should be used other regulatory bodies.
Rumina Velshi is Appointed as a Member of the Commission Tribunal
The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the appointment of Ms. Rumina Velshi to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Ms. Velshi has been appointed a permanent CNSC member for a term of five years. She will serve on the seven-member Commission Tribunal, which makes decisions on nuclear regulatory matters including the licensing of major nuclear facilities.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces agreement with China on Canadian uranium exports
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the successful completion of negotiations between Canada and China on an agreement that will facilitate increased exports of Canadian uranium to China. The Protocol is a legally binding instrument to supplement the 1994 Agreement that will govern and facilitate the export of Canadian uranium to China, supporting China’s energy needs and Canada’s long-term economic interests. As the Protocol is in full accordance with Canada’s longstanding nuclear non-proliferation policies and obligations, it will ensure that Canadian supplied uranium is being used in China’s nuclear program strictly for peaceful, civilian purposes.
Canada Signs Memorandum Of Understanding with the Republic of Korea
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, to strengthen safety standards through technical co-operation and information exchange in nuclear regulatory matters. This is the first MoU with the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission. The agreement will enhance the existing nuclear co-operation between our two countries.
Canada Signs Arrangement with the United States
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission signed an arrangement for co-operation and the exchange of technical information in nuclear regulatory matters with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This arrangement concerns areas such as standards for health safety, security, safeguards, and the protection of the environment with respect to nuclear facilities and fissionable and radioactive substances.
CANDU Celebrates 50 years
On June 4, 1962, the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor near Rolphton, Ontario, started supplying electricity to the power grid. This marked an important milestone: that of the first distribution of electricity generated by a CANDU nuclear power station.
The CANDU reactor continues to evolve and other CANDU designs have been created. Recently, the CNSC completed phase 2 of the pre-licensing vendor design review for the EC6 (enhanced CANDU). The CNSC also examined the ACR-1000 design (advanced CANDU reactor) and completed phase 3 of the design review at the end of 2010.
CNSC Issues a Site Preparation Licence for OPG Darlington Nuclear Power Plant Project
The Joint Review Panel (JRP) of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced its decision to issue a Nuclear Power Reactor Site Preparation Licence to Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) for its new nuclear power plant project at the Darlington nuclear site for a period of 10 years.
In making its decision, the JRP considered information presented at the 17-day public hearing held March 21 to April 8, 2011, in Courtice, Ontario. During this hearing, the JRP received and considered submissions from OPG and 264 intervenors, as well as 14 government departments, including the CNSC.
Canada and the United Arab Emirates Sign an Administrative Arrangement
Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an Administrative Arrangement that will allow Canadian companies to export nuclear items for peaceful uses, in accordance with Canada's nuclear non-proliferation policy.
CNSC Issues a License to Strateco Resources Inc. for the Matoush Underground Exploration Project
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced its decision to issue a licence to Strateco Resources Inc. authorizing the excavation of an exploration ramp and construction of surface buildings and facilities to support the Matoush Underground Exploration Project located in the Otish Basin, Quebec.
CNSC Gives Point Lepreau Final Green Light
The CNSC announced its decision to allow New Brunswick Power Nuclear (NBPN) to increase reactor power at the newly-refurbished Point Lepreau Generating Station above 35% of its full capacity. This marked the last significant regulatory milestone before NBPN brings the reactor to full power and normal operation.
Michael Binder Reappointed as CNSC President
The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced the re-appointment of Dr. Michael Binder as President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Dr. Binder, who was first appointed to the position in January 2008, was re-appointed for a five-year term.
Regulated Timelines come into Force
New Regulated Timelines regulations amended the Class I Nuclear Facilities and Uranium Mines and Mills Regulations to establish 24-month timelines for projects that require the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s regulatory review and a Commission decision. The timelines provide more predictable timing of regulatory reviews of applications for licences for new nuclear projects, while continuing to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment.
Launch of the CNSC YouTube Channels
The CNSC launched English and French YouTube channels as part of its commitment to making sure that Canadians have access to more information about the safety of Canada’s nuclear activities. The channels host CNSC and other videos about the many facets of the CNSC mandate including material and facilities regulation, environmental protection, emergency preparedness and international commitments.
Government of Canada Funds Development of New Sources of Medical Isotopes
As part of the Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP), the Government of Canada has funded three projects, led by the University of Alberta, TRIUMF and Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise, to develop new sources of the key medical isotope technetium-99m (Tc-99m). This funding will support the development and application of cyclotron and linear accelerator production technologies to improve security of supply, reduce radioactive waste and meet nuclear non-proliferation goals. The ITAP was designed to bring innovative isotope production to market and support collaboration among academic, private and public sector partners.
Canada and India Sign Appropriate Arrangement for Nuclear Cooperation
The CNSC and India’s Department of Atomic Energy have finalized an Appropriate Arrangement pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and the Appropriate Arrangement will allow Canadian companies to export nuclear items for peaceful uses, in accordance with Canada’s nuclear non-proliferation policy. They will ensure Canadian exports only go to facilities in India under IAEA safeguards. The Arrangement also establishes the modalities for a Joint Committee between Canada and India that is mandated by the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement to ensure ongoing discussions and information sharing in a number of areas.
IAEA International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems
From April 8 to 12, the CNSC hosted the International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems. The conference, organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and held in Ottawa, evaluated and assessed ways of further improving the effectiveness of regulatory systems for facilities and activities, taking into account lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
Canada and Ireland Sign Arrangement on Import and Export of Radioactive Sources
The CNSC has signed an administrative arrangement on the harmonization of regulatory controls on the import and export of radioactive sources with the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII). Radioactive sealed sources are important to medical, industrial, agricultural and educational sectors around the world. Some of the large sources covered by this arrangement, such as sources of Cobalt-60, are used to treat cancer and to sterilize food, blood and medical equipment. To date, Canada has signed similar bilateral arrangements with 11 countries.