The Canadian nuclear industry works with Canada’s “nuclear watchdog,” the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), which is responsible for setting uncompromising standards for safety, and for ensuring compliance through regular inspections.These regulations reflect and influence international standards as well.
Safety inspections by the CNSC apply at all steps of the nuclear fuel cycle, to ensure that the materials are safeguarded and that workers in mines, mills, and power plants are kept safe from radiation exposure.
All organizations that work with or near nuclear substances must have CNSC licences, which can be revoked at any time; regular inspections ensure that the industry is complying with all safety regulations.
The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan raised international concerns about the safety of nuclear power. Canada’s nuclear industry and CNSC responded with a thorough investigation of its own facilities and operations.
Though Canada’s nuclear facilities have been shown to be both safe and reliable, the industry cooperates with the CNSC to limit the effects of any potential accident on the public and the environment.
The Canadian nuclear industry takes comprehensive measures to safeguard nuclear facilities against the possibility of infiltration or attack, and to ensure that nuclear material stays in the right hands.These measures are in keeping with both Canadian regulations and international best practices.
About 160 kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU), which is the grade of uranium used in nuclear weapons, remains at the Chalk River nuclear facility in Ontario. Under an agreement between Canada and the United States, this material is being sent to the US to remove its potential as a security risk.
Canada abides by international agreements aimed at ensuring that nuclear materials do not contribute to expanding weapons programs. The Canadian nuclear industry respects both the spirit and the letter of these agreements, recognizing the responsibility of working with Canada’s considerable nuclear resources.