CNSC publishes amended regulations

05 October 2017

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has amended three regulations covering nuclear facilities and uranium mines to apply the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident of 2011. The amendments include updates to radiation protection requirements during emergencies, and programs to ensure workers are prepared to respond effectively in emergency situations.

The amendments to the Class I Nuclear Facilities Regulations, the Uranium Mines and Mills Regulations and the Radiation Protection Regulations are now in force, after publication in Canada's official gazette yesterday. An updated Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, which does not form part of the regulations, was published alongside them.

Class I nuclear facilities include nuclear reactors, large particle accelerators, isotope processing plants, fuel fabrication plants and waste disposal facilities.

The amendments update and clarify existing requirements for radiation protection during an emergency, in line with current international standards and practices. They ensure that Class I facility licensees address human performance and fitness for duty, to support workers in carrying out their daily tasks and to be prepared to respond effectively to emergencies. They also ensure that nuclear power plant licensees undertake regular reviews against modern codes and standards to identify safety improvements to their facilities to ensure their continued safe operation.

The Class I Nuclear Facilities Regulations and the Uranium Mines and Mills Regulations have been "modernised to reflect the nuclear industry's best practice of placing paramount focus on safety through the implementation of a management system."

The CNSC, following the events of 11 March 2011, reviewed the capability of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities to withstand conditions comparable to those that triggered the Fukushima accident. The accident followed a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan and the resulting tsunami, which caused the loss of thousands of lives and destroyed half a million homes.

In the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, the CNSC said its review confirmed the Canadian regulatory framework to be "strong and comprehensive" but also identified and outlined a series of recommendations, including the regulatory changes that have now been published.

"The Regulations will contribute to the continued safe operation of nuclear facilities and strengthen their ability to adequately deal with potential emergencies, and to protect the health and safety of nuclear workers, emergency responders and the general public," the regulator said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News