Radioactives – CNSC Follows Through on New Canadian Regulations (PTNSR)

A New Regulation

The new Canadian “Packaging and Transportation of Nuclear Substances Regulations (PTNSR) 2015”, under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), were published in the Canada Gazette II July 1, 2015.

This re-write follows through on the proposed amendment of June 2014 and follow-up discussions by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

Background is available in Barbara’s Blog from last year »


The goal of the PTNSR 2015 is to update the reference to the international (IAEA) regulations, clarify definitions/language and address some Canadian-specific issues (again, as with other regulations, “harmonized with” is not necessarily “identical to”!).

The update of the PTNSR has resulted in a re-organization of section headings and expansion to 42 sections.

The PTNSR now refer to the IAEA Regulations “as amended from time to time” rather than a specific edition. Consequently there are some changes to definitions- e.g. some are irrelevant since the detail in the IAEA contains the required definition; others are now defined within expanded sections of the PTNSR 2015.

Detailed Radiation Protection Programs

Included in the new regulation are additional obligations for consignor/carrier/consignee radiation protection programs. Criteria for workplace/individual monitoring measurements (based on a workplace assessment) have been added. Additionally, notification and documentation requirements have been incorporated into the expanded Radiation Protection Program sections (31-34). New requirements for employees to provide personal information, coupled with protection of that information, have also been added.


Licensing and certification Continue Reading…

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 Continue Reading…

HMR Aligns with 2009 International Atomic Energy Agency’s Safe Transport of Radioactive Material

PHMSA is making changes to the DOT 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations, aligning with the 2009 IAEA standards involving the safe transportation of radioactive material (Safety Requirements, No. TS-R-1). These changes are set forth to ensure public safety aligns with global regulations regarding classification, packaging and hazard communication of Class 7 material. International regulations for the transport of radioactive material have been published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1961.

These regulations have been widely adopted into national regulations, as well as into modal regulations, such as the 49 CFR, IATA and IMDG. Regulatory control of shipments of radioactive material is independent of the material’s intended application.

The objective of the regulations is to protect people and the environment from the effects of radiation during the transport of radioactive material.

Protection is achieved by:

  • containment of radioactive contents;
  • control of external radiation levels;
  • prevention of criticality; and
  • prevention of damage caused by heat.

The fundamental principle applied to the transport of radioactive material is that the protection comes from the design of the package, regardless of how the material is transported. In the USA one percent of the 300 million packages of hazardous material shipped each year contain radioactive materials. Of this, about 250,000 contain radioactive wastes from US nuclear power plants, and 25 to 100 packages contain used nuclear fuel. DOT (PHMSA) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) jointly regulate the safe transportation of Class 7 Continue Reading…