Perspectives on nuclear issues

Nuclear is a fascinating and complex topic. Countless studies, opinion pieces and news articles are frequently released. Below are a number of links of interest that represent some of the voices contributing to the debates over the use of nuclear technology in Canada, including regulatory aspects.

2018 | 2017

2018

  • On July 11 and 12, Rauli Partanen of Finland delivered a presentation at the International Nuclear Safety & Decommissioning Industry Forum 2018 in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea. His presentation focused on Finland’s approach to building public trust, acceptance near the new greenfield site, the first final repository in the world and communicating the value of nuclear.
  • Canadian science, health care and nuclear sector organizations have launched an initiative aiming to ensure the country remains a world leader in the production of medical isotopes following the final closure of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor. World Nuclear News has published an article on how the new Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council aims to raise awareness and support long-term policies at the domestic and international level.
  • The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) recently completed its review of licence applications for a national spent fuel repository. SSM recommended approval of the applications and submitted a statement of its findings to the Government of Sweden. Read SSM’s news release for more information. Additionally, World Nuclear News has published an article on the SSM decision, which offers information on the next steps in the process. Following approval of the applications by the Swedish environmental court, the final decision on the repository will be made by the Swedish government, and is expected in 2019.
  • On January 30, 2018, TVO’s The Agenda hosted two discussions that offered valuable perspectives on nuclear. The first segment was titled Is Ontario Prepared for a Nuclear Emergency? and it focused on the Government of Ontario’s updated Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP) Master Plan. The second, titled Fukushima's Canadian Implications, provided a perspective on the radiological implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster for Canada.
  • A recent Forbes article showcases how safe nuclear energy is in comparison to all other energy sources around the world; in fact, it is safer than every other energy source. Strong regulations in the nuclear industry are cited as the reason for its significant safety record.

2017

  • On November 8, 2017, the International Irradiation Association released a technical abstract jointly published with the Gamma Industry Processing Alliance, titled Whitepaper – A Comparison of Gamma, E-Beam, X-Ray and Ethylene Oxide Technologies For The Industrial Sterilization Of Medical Devices And Healthcare Products. The paper compares and contrasts major sterilization methods for the healthcare industry, and highlights the advantages of different technologies used to ensure that these methods are safe for their intended use.
  • On October 5, 2017, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources released the government response to the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, titled The Nuclear Sector at a Crossroads: Fostering Innovation and Energy Security for Canada and the World. The response outlines “federal activities, programs, and engagement mechanisms – as well as the contributions of other nuclear sector stakeholders – to foster innovation, increase coordination, and support a strategic vision for the future of nuclear energy and nuclear science and technology in Canada”.
  • On July 26, 2017, former commissioner Rumina Velshi met with Ian Burney, the Ambassador of Canada to Japan, to present The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission: Significant role at home and abroad, which gave an overview of the CNSC’s mandate, activities and the Commission.
  • On July 25, 2017, former commissioner Rumina Velshi was invited by the Nuclear Energy Agency to participate in a two-day international mentoring workshop being organized in cooperation with Japan’s National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology. During the workshop, Ms. Velshi presented We can do it! Representation matters, which focused on the Canadian context of women studying and working in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, with a goal to encourage women to pursue studies and careers in scientific fields.
  • On June 9, 2017, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources tabled the fifth report in its study of The Future of Canada’s Oil and Gas, Mining and Nuclear Sectors: Innovation, Sustainable Solutions and Economic Opportunities. The report, titled The Nuclear Sector at a Crossroads: Fostering Innovation and Energy Security for Canada and the World, provides an overview of the nuclear sector in Canada, discusses the restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s 2016 Audit of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and waste management and decommissioning. The report concludes with a list of recommendations by the Committee.
  • The University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy project released, the System Under Stress: Energy Decision-Making in Canada and the Need for Informed Reform report. The report examines core stress points in Canada’s energy landscape and suggests a way forward.
  • The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists focused its 2016 Clock Symposium on the role that nuclear can play in achieving deep de-carbonization, and produced a report outlining the symposium’s discussion and findings. The symposium’s final report provided seven key takeaways based on its discussion.
  • A recent Forbes.com article reported on small modular reactors cooled by molten lead. The article refers to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission as a capable regulator with many decades of experience in safe nuclear plant design review and operations oversight.
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