Regulatory action – Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd.

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and associated regulations, various levels of regulatory action can be taken by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment.


June 12, 2019

Order issued to Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd.

Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced that it had issued an order on March 22, 2019, to Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd., a company based in Port Alice, British Columbia. The company holds a CNSC licence authorizing the possession, transfer, use and storage of fixed nuclear gauges containing nuclear substances for the purpose of controlling industrial processes.

The basis of the order includes:

  • the notification received by the CNSC on February 28, 2019, indicating that the licensee had informed all of its Port Alice facility workers to cease all activities
  • the licensee’s response to the CNSC on March 16, 2019, in which the licensee had failed to identify any immediate actions it had taken or intended to take to meet its regulatory obligations
  • the CNSC inspection conducted on March 20, 2019, at the licensee’s Port Alice facility confirming that the licensee’s fixed nuclear gauges had been left at the facility unsecured, without management oversight and without a sufficient number of qualified workers to care for the fixed nuclear gauges

The order required Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd. to immediately put in place measures to reinstate management oversight of its licensed activities, so that it could take one of the following two actions:

  • implement reasonable precautions, satisfactory to the CNSC, to protect the environment and the health and safety of persons, and to maintain the security of its fixed nuclear gauges
  • transfer all of the fixed nuclear gauges in its possession to another person or company authorized by the CNSC to possess such gauges

Pursuant to subsection 37(6) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the order was referred to the Commission for review. The order was upheld on May 6, 2019.

Additional regulatory actions taken by the CNSC

Following the issuance of the March 22, 2019, order, the licensee failed to comply with it within the specified time frame. As a result, on May 30, 2019, the CNSC seized the fixed nuclear gauges at Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd.'s Port Alice facility and had them placed into safe and secure storage at another location. On June 25, 2019, the Commission revoked Neucel’s licence.

The CNSC was required to take these measures to ensure the protection of the environment, the security of the fixed nuclear gauges, and the health and safety of the public.

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