CNSC completes all actions of the 2016 audit report on nuclear power plant site inspections
March 31, 2017 – Ottawa, ON
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed its corrective action plan to respond to the auditor’s five recommendations in the Fall 2016 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development on the inspection of nuclear power plants.
The recommendations focused on improving the documentation of the nuclear power plant site inspection program. As of March 31, 2017, all five recommendations have been actioned and are complete as committed.
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 nuclearsafety.gc.ca.
“The CNSC has always applied risk-informed decision making in site inspections — from prioritizing areas to be inspected to determining the number of site inspections and the level of resources required to conduct these activities. Now our documentation is as rigorous as the inspections themselves, and we can achieve greater consistency across all nuclear power plants.”
- Michael Binder, CNSC President and Chief Executive Officer
The safety of nuclear power plants was never in question.
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 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 nuclear power plants 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 the elected President of the Seventh Review Meeting of the Convention.
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
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