Nuclear regulator response to COVID-19 pandemic is instrumental in strengthening nuclear safety globally

News release

June 5, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario

On June 4, Rumina Velshi, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), in her new role as Chair of the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS) created by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), led the 47th meeting of the CSS virtually, joined by more than 20 Member States and key observers from specialized international organizations and relevant non-governmental bodies.

In her role as Chair, Ms. Velshi asked members to share their response to the COVID‑19 pandemic in order to identify and assess potential implications for the IAEA’s safety standards. She emphasized the importance of international collaboration and experience-sharing to stay ahead of the curve.

In his presentation, Ramzi Jammal, CNSC Executive Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Operations Officer, and the Canadian representative on the CSS, explained how the CNSC has adapted its work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Smart, timely and durable adaptive measures and standards have proven very successful at helping to overcome obstacles and has allowed the CNSC to continue maintaining strong and effective regulatory oversight.


“I strongly believe that Canada and the CNSC have a significant role to play in ensuring that we have robust guidance to prepare for future pandemics that can impact the safety of Canadians. I am pleased that the IAEA recognizes the value of reviewing the existing standards and mapping out a plan to address shortfalls or gaps. This work will be conducted through open collaboration among Member States and will continue to strengthen nuclear safety and regulatory effectiveness in the future.”

- Rumina Velshi, CNSC President and CEO, and Chair of the IAEA’s Commission on Safety Standards

Quick facts

  • The IAEA’s CSS is an international standing body of senior government officials that is responsible for establishing standards relevant to nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety, and emergency preparedness and response.

  •  Ms. Velshi was named Chair of the CSS in February 2020.

  • The CNSC participates in several international nuclear organizations in order to strengthen nuclear safety at home and abroad, and it has been representing Canada on the CSS for more than five years.


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

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