CNSC Moves to Modernize Regulations on Nuclear Substances

Canada, a country rich in geological resources, has long been involved in the production and transport of radioactive materials. This summer the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) began an in-depth review and overhaul of its regulations on such substances. Its goal is to ensure that Canada has an “effective, efficient and modern regulatory system that is both science-based and risk-informed.”

The CNSC, a part of Natural Resources Canada, regulates radioactive substances under the Atomic Energy Control Act (AECA). The Act covers thirteen regulations, including the General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulations and the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations (PTNSR). These regulations are, in turn, referenced by other regulations such as the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, which refer most of the classification and packaging requirements for radioactive materials to the PTNSR.

Regulations on radioactive substances must be updated frequently to keep abreast of international standards, such as safety standard from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This standard, the Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, is the foundation for harmonizing radioactive regulations on a worldwide basis. But CNSC must also ensure that its regulations reflect current Canadian concerns, from wastes from fracking, to the results of the Fukushima plant incident in Japan.

Therefore, the CNSC is turning to Canadian stakeholders for early feedback on the current state of the regulations. These opinions will be used to create Discussion paper DIS-14-02, Modernizing the CNSC’s Regulations.

A series of discussion questions can be found on the CNSC website.

Discussion Topics

  1. Do stakeholders see certain sections of its regulations as unclear, inconsistent or otherwise in need of improvement?
  2. Is the CNSC striking the right balance between performance-based regulation and prescriptive requirements? Are there specific regulatory requirements that do not seem to have the correct approach?
  3. Are there opportunities for the CNSC to reduce red tape and bureaucratic burden, without compromising safety?
  4. Is the CNSC making effective use of outside standards, such as the IATA regulations or the CSA (Canadian Standards Association)?
  5. Are there improvements that can be made to the current licensing procedures?
  6. Are there areas where the CNSC can provide additional assistance to people applying for or holding licenses?

The CNSC is looking for feedback by January 15, 2014.

Do you have any questions regarding transport of radioactives? Contact ICC Compliance Center online or over the phone 888-442-9628 (U.S.) or 888-977-4834 (Canada), and ask for one of our regulatory specialists.




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