Request for Information on Potential Impacts of Draft REGDOC-3.3.1, Financial Guarantees for Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities and Termination of Licensed Activities

1. Preface

Acknowledging the draft nature of this document, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is seeking a preliminary assessment of the potential impacts of draft REGDOC-3.3.1, Financial Guarantees for Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities and Termination of Licensed Activities, should it receive Commission approval. The CNSC welcomes comments on this document as well as on the proposed regulatory document itself.

Comments could include additional information on potential impacts should the regulatory document be approved by the Commission and subsequently implemented. Should stakeholders decide to submit impact estimates, the CNSC encourages them to clearly state assumptions and provide enough detail to allow an independent observer to understand how the estimate was derived. Stakeholders could also propose potential alternative approaches that meet the document’s safety objectives.

The CNSC will consider comments received. Comments will be included in the main regulatory document (REGDOC) disposition table and may lead to modifications in the draft REGDOC.

In fulfilling its mandate as a federal regulator, the CNSC must also consider values and principles that are difficult to quantify with a dollar value. It must also give consideration to fulfilling its responsibility under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act to disseminate objective scientific and regulatory information. In all cases, safety is the CNSC’s top priority.

All comments received will become part of the public record.

2. Background

Under the authority of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), "the Commission may include any term or condition on the licence, including a condition that the applicant provide a financial guarantee in a form that is acceptable to the Commission". In accordance with the General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulations, section 3 (1) (l) "an application for a licence shall contain a description of any proposed financial guarantee for the activity to be licensed". This means that the applicants and licensees are required to make adequate provision for the safe decommissioning of existing or proposed operations by ensuring that sufficient financial resources are available to fund all approved decommissioning activities should the licensee is not available to fulfill its obligations.

This document supersedes G-206, Financial Guarantees for the Decommissioning of Licensed Activities, published in June 2000.

3. Objectives

Financial guarantees are a tangible commitment by a licence applicant or a licensee that there will be sufficient resources to safely terminate licensed activities. A financial guarantee does not relieve licensees of compliance with regulatory requirements for decommissioning of nuclear facilities or termination of licensed activities – the financial guarantee ensures that there are funds available to the CNSC when licensees are unable to carry out safe decommissioning or termination of activities.

This document presents information for those who have incurred, or expect to incur, obligations with respect to the decommissioning of nuclear facilities or the termination of activities licensed by the CNSC.

4. Regulatory approach

Financial guarantees must be sufficient to cover the cost of decommissioning of nuclear facilities or termination of licensed activities authorized by the current licence. This document provides requirements and guidance to applicants and licensees regarding the establishment and maintenance of funding for the decommissioning of facilities and termination of activities licensed by the CNSC.

5. Potential impacts

The CNSC welcomes stakeholder comments on potential impacts, should draft REGDOC-3.3.1 be approved. Stakeholders may consider impacts in terms of costs, operations or other impacts.

6. Feedback requested

Please submit comments or feedback to the CNSC by September 24, 2019, in one of the following ways:

  • Email: cnsc.consultation.ccsn@canada.ca
  • Mail: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
    P.O. Box 1046, Station B
    280 Slater Street
    Ottawa, ON  K1P 5S9
  • Fax: 613-995-5086
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