Nuclear Cycle and Facilities
The licensing and compliance oversight of fuel facilities operating in Canada includes:
- uranium mines and mills
- nuclear fuel processing facilities
- research reactors
- waste facilities
- all activities and facilities specifically categorized as Class IB under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its regulations.
Risk-informed Regulatory Program
CNSC has established a risk-informed regulatory program based on transparency, integration of effort, and a more comprehensive risk-informed approach to licensing and compliance. The overall objective was that all facilities would be ranked relative to the risk they posed. The regulatory effort from a licensing and compliance perspective would then be based on the ranking.
To strengthen this risk-based assessment, CNSCalso implemented a lifecycle approach to regulating nuclear substances, recognizing that every stage in the lifecycle of nuclear fuel - from production, distribution, use, possession and disposition - has its own unique needs for regulatory control and security.
Risk ranking of facilities was determined by an assessment of both technical risks and relative risks.
CNSC considers five technical risk areas:
- operational organization
- facility design and condition
- emergency preparedness
- on-site personnel protection
- environmental protection
The relative risk posed by each facility is determined through:
- a qualitative determination of the hazards posed by the facility to its workers, the public and the environment, performed by the designated compliance officer
- categorizing and ranking the technical risk areas for each Class IB facility
- developing standardized risk and performance criteria
- determining a ranking system from low to medium and high risk
- three additional levels of risk ranking (High 1, High 2 and High 3)
- validation of risk ranking by facility experts
With a comprehensive risk ranking now involving nine categories, a numeric value is calculated for all the facilities, which are then ranked from highest risk to lowest.
As part of the risk ranking exercise, compliance expectations were developed to form the basis of the regulatory plan for each facility, which has a unique risk profile. CNSC’s key compliance activities result in an overall compliance program for a nuclear facility, which include:
- routine inspections (Type II)
- audits and program evaluations (Type I)
- annual reports
- incident reports
- licence-specific reports
Each CNSC project officer identified as single point of contact for a facility is involved in assembling a Facility Assessment and Compliance Team (FACT). The FACT team is involved in the annual regulatory plan, as well as the review of the facility’s Annual Report, and the evaluation of proposed changes and new initiatives.
New Web site content
CNSC is currently updating its regulatory framework to draw upon international standards and best practices and to meet the growing demand for nuclear technologies. New Web content will be added to provide convenient access to information intended to assist you with your regulatory information needs.
If you have suggestions for specific content that would be helpful to you and other licensees, send your comments to email@example.com.
Need more information?
If you need more information, please contact CNSC:
Telephone: 613-995-5894 or 1-800-668-5284 (Canada only)