CNSC invites comments on new discussion paper DIS-16-04, Small Modular Reactors: Regulatory Strategy, Approaches and Challenges

News Release

May 31, 2016 – Ottawa, ON

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is asking the public to comment on discussion paper DIS-16-04, Small Modular Reactors: Regulatory Strategy, Approaches and Challenges. The comment period will be 120 days, ending, September 28, 2016. The CNSC would like to hear from all interested stakeholders on the topics addressed in this paper, as well as any other topics they consider relevant to the discussion on small modular reactors (SMRs).

Over the past several years, many technology developers have expressed interest in the construction and operation of SMRs in Canada. Consequently, the CNSC has been looking into the nuclear regulatory and licensing implications challenges for SMR-related activities. The CNSC has met with technology developers and conducted outreach with the public and academic institutions at conferences.

Based in part on these interactions, the CNSC was able to confirm that existing regulatory requirements for nuclear power plants remain valid and useful. It was also determined that the CNSC should examine the level of applicability of existing nuclear regulatory requirements and guidance to the innovative approaches of SMRs.

As a result of the CNSC’s examination, a discussion paper has been developed to provide an overview of potential regulatory issues associated with SMRs and how they could be addressed. In summary, the paper explains:

  • issues at a high level, along with a short description of specific items to be addressed in future work
  • how the CNSC plans to address these issues using existing regulatory tools and processes
  • the implications of the innovative approaches being considered by SMR proponents that need to be examined to a greater degree to confirm if additional supporting regulatory requirements or guidance are needed

To review and comment on the document, visit the DIS-16-04 webpage. Comments submitted, including names and affiliations, are intended to be made public.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

Quick facts

  • The purpose of this discussion paper is to engage interested stakeholders on the regulatory framework as it may apply to SMRs.
  • The paper presents a series of questions for the reader’s consideration, but comments and feedback should not be limited to these; any comments on SMR technology are encouraged.

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Aurèle Gervais
Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

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