The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has overseen the nation’s nuclear power base for over 40 years. An agile and flexible organization, the CNSC is always ready to respond to the changes and needs of the country’s nuclear sector — without compromising safety.

An evolving focus

The CNSC is continually looking for ways to improve how it regulates the nuclear industry in Canada. It recently implemented license reforms for major nuclear facilities to make sure that licensees clearly understand their regulatory requirements. This improves regulatory effectiveness and efficiency and reduces administrative efforts, without impacting nuclear safety.

Through the Government of Canada’s Responsible Resource Development Initiative, the CNSC has also implemented changes to regulate more efficiently. By streamlining the timeframe for major energy projects and strengthening environmental protection, the CNSC enforces clear deadlines for project reviews and decisions, and established Administrative Monetary Penalties for instances of non-compliance.

Ensuring the latest scientific findings are reflected in its work, the CNSC constantly conducts new research, and collaborates with universities in Canada and abroad, as well as international organizations. Supported by its own state-of-the-art laboratory, the CNSC can conduct independent analysis and verify findings to support both its research and compliance activities.

"Recently, Canadian cyclotrons were used in novel research that promises to lead to a more plentiful, diversified supply of medical isotopes...which benefits Canadians’ health while protecting the environment for current and future generations."

Vast expertise

Looking ahead, the CNSC is preparing for major activities in the industry while staying on top of emerging technology. To ensure the safe refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear power plant, CNSC staff have a broad range of expertise and the necessary knowledge and skills to oversee the work. In support of a stronger isotope supply, the CNSC is involved in licensing innovative technology, such as particle accelerators and cyclotrons, to ensure their safe operation.

Recently, Canadian cyclotrons were used in novel research that promises to lead to a more plentiful, diversified supply of medical isotopes. The CNSC is monitoring closely this type of work — which benefits Canadians’ health while protecting the environment for current and future generations.

"The CNSC remains committed to its goal of continuous improvement in regulating the nuclear industry, and to its mandate of protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment."

Looking ahead

The CNSC’s pre-licensing vendor design reviews — an assessment of a nuclear power plant design based on a vendor’s reactor technology — are an example of how the CNSC looks forward, both in meeting its safety mandate and preparing for potential nuclear project applications. These optional reviews allow the applicant to better understand the regulatory requirements and to identify potential design issues early. With talk of small modular reactors (SMR), the CNSC is well-situated to engage in design reviews or licensing discussions with industry proponents.

In addition to our regulatory activities, the CNSC carries out various innovative outreach programs, such as CNSC Online, which uses interactive technology to educate and explain nuclear safety to the public; the Participant Funding Program, which provides funding for participation in the regulatory process; and CNSC 101, information sessions describing how the CNSC regulates.

The CNSC remains committed to its goal of continuous improvement in regulating the nuclear industry, and to its mandate of protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment.