CNSC actions the 2016 audit report on nuclear power plant site inspections

News Release

October 4, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) welcomes and accepts the findings of the Fall 2016 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development on the inspection of nuclear power plants.

The audit found that when CNSC inspectors identified issues during a site inspection, they followed up with the licensee 100 percent of the time to ensure compliance. However, the report provides recommendations for improving the documentation of the nuclear power plant site inspection program. On being informed of the findings, the CNSC took corrective actions and has completed work on three of the five recommendations. By March 31, 2017, the CNSC will have addressed the two remaining findings.

More information on the CNSC’s response to the report’s recommendations is included in the CNSC’s action plan and frequently asked questions.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security 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.

For more information on the CNSC and its mandate, please visit


“I have always welcomed peer reviews, international benchmarking, audits and evaluations, as part of our commitment to continuous improvement. We have already completed work on most of the recommendations, and will comprehensively address all of the report’s findings by the end of March 2017.”

Dr. Michael Binder, CNSC President and Chief Executive Officer

“The CNSC ensures compliance through regular, prioritized inspections, ongoing monitoring and annual public reporting to the Commission. The audit recommendations focus particularly on the documentation of the planning and conduct of site inspections. CNSC management took corrective actions to respond to the recommendations.”

Dr. Michael Binder, CNSC President and Chief Executive Officer

Quick Facts

  • The CNSC regulates the nuclear sector in Canada, including nuclear power plants (NPPs), through licensing, reporting, verification and enforcement. For each NPP, CNSC staff conduct risk-informed inspections, assessments, reviews and evaluations of licensee programs, processes and safety performance.
  • The CNSC also uses risk-informed regulatory approaches to plan and carry out licensing and compliance activities to establish appropriate regulatory control that is commensurate with the activities and risk involved. Its comprehensive management system contains processes and procedures that cover all steps of the compliance process, including inspection guides for use during site inspections. This management system was established in 2008 and continues to evolve.
  • The CNSC also publishes an annual regulatory oversight report for Canadian NPPs on which the public has an opportunity to comment. The report assesses and assigns a rating on how well plant operators are meeting regulatory requirements and program expectations on each of 14 safety and control areas. The report is then discussed at a public Commission meeting that is webcast live. In addition, a report that summarizes the status of Canadian power reactor facilities, including activities and events, is discussed at each public Commission meeting.
  • The Power Reactor Regulatory Program involves the direct efforts of more than 200 CNSC staff. This includes 30 site inspectors who are permanently located onsite across the operating NPPs. Their daily tasks are compliance inspections and safety monitoring.
  • The CNSC has recently undergone three international peer reviews: two Integrated Regulatory Review Service missions which confirmed the effectiveness of Canada’s nuclear regulatory framework and concluded that the CNSC’s response to the March 2011 events at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was prompt, robust and comprehensive; and an International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission which concluded that Canada conducts mature, effective, strong and sustainable nuclear safety activities and operates a well-established nuclear security regime. The CNSC is also a signatory to the legally-binding Convention on Nuclear Safety which assesses the safety performance of each contracting party through a peer review process. CNSC Executive Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Operations Officer, Ramzi Jammal, is currently serving as President of the Seventh Review Meeting of the Convention.

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Aurèle Gervais
Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Telephone: 613-996-6860
Toll free: 1-800-668-5284

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