The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
or the CNSC, regulates the nuclear sector
to protect the public, workers, and the environment.
So... how does it do this?
First, the CNSC sets requirements
for all nuclear activities. Legislation,
regulations, regulatory documents, and licences,
outline the rules for activities
like uranium mining, power generation,
nuclear medicine, and industrial applications.
And whether requirements are being developed
or reviewed, consulting with Aboriginal groups,
industry and the public is an important
part of the process.
Anyone wanting to undertake activities
in the nuclear sector, needs to apply
for a licence from the CNSC.
When the CNSC receives an application,
its engineers, geologists, radiation protection specialists,
and other experts assess it carefully.
Information on design, safety, health,
and environmental impacts is considered
when reviewing the licence application.
For large nuclear facilities like uranim mines
or nuclear power plants,
a public hearing is usually held.
An independent commission hears
from the licence applicant and people
who support, oppose,
or have questions about the project or who have
information that will help in the review.
The commission considers all information
presented at the hearing before making a decision,
which includes licence conditions
and an expiry date.
For smaller facilities, like cancer clinics,
and for certain activities
like the transportation of nuclear substances,
CNSC staff are authorized to make licensing decisions.
The CNSC certifies people who occupy key positions
such as control room operators
at nuclear power plants or those who work
with highly radioactive sources.
It also certifies the design of radiation devices
used to treat cancer, sterilize medical equipment,
and measure soil density,
as well as the design of packages
for transporting certain nuclear substances
such as bulk shipments of medical isotopes.
But the CNSC's role doesn't stop there.
Once a licence is granted,
the CNSC verifies that activities are conducted safely
and that licensing conditions are met.
Each year, it carries out
scheduled and unplanned inspections
for more than 2,500 licences.
If licence conditions are not being met,
the CNSC takes immediate action.
It can issue orders or monetary penalties,
and suspend or revoke a licence.
The CNSC also ensures public safety
through its own environmental monitoring
of water, soil, and produce surrounding nuclear facilities.
Transparency and openness are important to the CNSC.
For instance, every year, inspection results
are published and discussed
at Commission meetings
where the public can get involved,
comment, and ask questions.
It also discloses incidents on its website
to keep the public informed and publishes
extensive reports on Canada's international
commitments to nuclear safety and waste management.
And this is how the CNSC upholds its mandate
to protect the health, safety, and security
of Canadians and the environment.
For more information, visit the CNSC website.