Safety and Security

Nuclear security in Canada is regulated by the CNSC, which sets out detailed security requirements for licensed nuclear facilities.

The security requirements are designed to safeguard nuclear facilities against infiltration or attack and ensure that nuclear material stays in the right hands.

The main security requirements include: 

  • Annual threat and risk assessments;
  • On-site armed response forces available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at high-security sites;
  • Enhanced security screenings of employees and contractors involving background, police and security checks;
  • Enhanced access controls to nuclear facilities;
  • Design basis threat analyses for nuclear facilities;
  • Uninterrupted power supplies in place for alarm monitoring and other security systems; and
  • Contingency planning, drills and exercises.


Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks and programs from digital attacks.

Every critical infrastructure, including that of a power plant, relies on effective cybersecurity measures to protect against attacks.

The CNSC requires nuclear power plant licensees to have a cyber security program that meets the requirements of CSA N290.7-14, Cyber security for nuclear power plants and small reactor facilities. The CNSC conducts inspections to confirm compliance and program adequacy. Canadian nuclear reactors’ safety and control systems and other vital plant components are not directly connected to business networks or the Internet.

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