International peer review concludes that Canada has strong regulatory practices

News release

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations agency, has released the results of a report assessing Canada’s framework for nuclear safety, following an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) requested the mission in order to benchmark its regulatory framework against international standards and best practices.

The mission took place from September 3 to 13, 2019, and included a review of existing policies and procedures related to the CNSC’s regulatory system and its framework for safety. The mission team also observed inspections at various licensee facilities. The IRRS mission team was comprised of 24 senior nuclear regulators from 17 different countries. The mission’s purpose was to review aspects of the CNSC’s regulatory system, and identify best practices, as well as recommendations for improvement.

The results of the mission confirm that the CNSC has a strong and effective regulatory framework and demonstrated leadership in multiple areas. The review team noted several best practices that go beyond the fulfillment of international requirements and expectations, and made suggestions and recommendations to further improve the CNSC’s regulatory activities and oversight.

The IRRS Report to Canada highlights 6 good practices, and provides 16 suggestions and 4 recommendations. Canada’s response to the 2019 IRRS Report has been developed to respond to all of the mission team’s findings.

“The CNSC requested this mission to Canada as a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. We’re pleased with the results of the mission, which will help us advance our leadership in nuclear safety,” stated Rumina Velshi, President and Chief Executive Officer, CNSC.

In keeping with international best practices, a follow-up mission will be held within four years to evaluate Canada’s progress against the team’s findings and recommended improvements.

Quick facts

  • This was the second full-scope IRRS mission for the CNSC; a previous mission was conducted in 2009.

  • The IRRS approach is based on a self-assessment and is designed to support continuous improvement.

  • IRRS mission team members are experts recruited from IAEA Member States.

Associated links


Isabelle Roy
Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Tel: 613-996-6860 or 1-800-668-5284

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