Compliance activities for Class II nuclear facilities and prescribed equipment

Compliance activities are planned based on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC’s) Risk-informed Regulatory Program.  The program ensures that activities of higher risk will receive the greatest regulatory oversight. The following tools allow the CNSC to monitor and verify compliance with the NSCA, regulations and licence conditions:

Desktop reviews

When assessing licence applications, CNSC staff review all activities proposed by the applicant to ensure compliance with regulations. The same is true of any information submitted by current licensees who wish to make amendments to their licence(s).

In addition to completing desktop reviews during the licensing phase, inspectors also perform desktop reviews just before visiting licensees for Type I or Type II inspections. Annual compliance reports and incident reports (if applicable) that have been submitted since the last inspection are reviewed, as well as copies of the licensee’s most recent documentation. This helps ensure that inspectors are fully up to date on relevant information and licensee operations before visiting the licensee site.

Annual compliance reports

Licensees are required to submit annual reports on safety to the CNSC. Items that licensees must report on include, but are not limited to:

  • locations of licensed activities
  • dosimetry information for licensee staff
  • workload
  • nuclear substance inventory

Annual compliance reports allow licensees to self-report and allow the CNSC to monitor routine compliance indicators. Blank ACR forms for your usetype can be downloaded for submission.

Type I inspections

Type I inspections are in-depth examinations of a licensee’s processes and operations, and typically occur at the licensee’s operational site(s). Inspectors check licensee compliance through directly observing operations, reviewing records and interviewing licensee staff. These inspections usually last several days and in most cases allow inspectors to gain an appreciation of the licensee’s safety culture (i.e., its view on safety in general). Licensees receive daily updates during inspections on inspectors’ findings up to that point. At the end of an inspection, a licensee must provide timelines for addressing the findings that have been made and a preliminary report is issued by the inspector(s). Should something be found during the inspection that is an imminent threat to health, safety or the environment, the NSCA provides inspectors with the power of law to immediately order cessation of these activities.

Type II inspections

Whereas Type I inspections examine the processes that a licensee uses in their operations, a Type II inspection typically examines the outcomes of those processes. Type II inspections are typically shorter, since extensive interviews are not performed, and data is collected mainly through direct observations, measurements and reviews of on-site records. Should inspectors find issues that cannot be resolved through a Type II inspection, it may be followed up with a more in-depth Type I inspection. Type II inspections are usually scheduled ahead of time but can be performed unannounced if necessary. At the end of the inspection, licensees must provide timelines for addressing findings and a preliminary report is issued by the inspector(s). Should something be found during the inspection that is an imminent threat to health, safety or the environment, the NSCA provides inspectors with the power of law to immediately order cessation of these activities.