CNSC regulates the nuclear sector in Canada
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment; and to implement Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
CNSC was established in 2000 under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources. CNSC was created to replace the former Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), which was founded in 1946. Learn more about Canada’s Nuclear History and the AECB.
CNSC's Commission has up to seven appointed permanent members whose decisions are supported by more than 800 employees. These employees review applications for licences according to regulatory requirements, make recommendations to the Commission, and enforce compliance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, regulations, and any licence conditions imposed by the Commission.
Making decisions about the nuclear sector
Licensees and organizations applying for licences are subject to many rules and regulations that make nuclear energy and materials safe. At the Commission, we hold public hearings about licensing decisions and have meetings about the nuclear regulatory process. Find out more about how you can participate and be heard at CNSC in our Get Involved pages. You may also watch a public hearing or meeting online.
Protecting the environment
Protecting the environment is an important part of CNSC's work. During the licence application review process, CNSC determines whether an Environmental Assessment (EA) is required for the applicant's proposed project. EAs are used to predict the environmental effects of proposed initiatives before they are carried out.
CNSC then works with applicants throughout their EA process. For a project to proceed, CNSC must be satisfied that a project will not unduly harm the environment on which all life depends, taking into consideration the needs of both current and future generations.
For more information, please see Environmental Assessments.
Licensees across Canada
We issue licences for various aspects of nuclear energy and materials. Once a licence is issued, the company or corporation becomes a CNSC licensee.
CNSC's best-known licensees are those who operate nuclear power plants, but most of our licensees deal with nuclear substances. Our licensees can be found across Canada - see if there's one near you in the My Community section.