Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) Annual Report 2006-2007
- Regulatory Framework
- Licensing and Certification
- Cooperative Undertakings
- Stakeholder Relations
- Management and Enabling Infrastructure
This section of the report discusses key results achieved by the CNSC under its five program activity areas (Regulatory Framework, Licensing and Certification, Compliance, Cooperative Undertakings, and Stakeholder Relations) as well as its enabling infrastructure.
The CNSC's regulatory framework is composed of:
- The Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), regulations and regulatory documents
- The Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol between Canada and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Canada's bilateral and multilateral nuclear cooperation agreements
- The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
- The Nuclear Liability Act
The activity area encompasses development of a modern, evergreen Canadian regulatory regime that considers all available science as well as operating experience and input of Canadian operators, other stakeholders and the international community to develop new and amend existing CNSC regulations and to create regulatory policies, standards and guides that set out the CNSC's regulatory criteria and expectations of staff.
The expected result is a clear and pragmatic regulatory framework for Canadians. The following are currently the CNSC's performance measures for this objective:
- percentage of regulations under review/revision in each year (target of 20% per year will ensure a complete rolling review over a 5-year period)
- number of regulations published in Canada Gazette, Part I (for consultation)
- number of regulatory documents finalized and published
- Number of new or amended regulations finalized and published in Part II of the Canada Gazette
2006-07 Regulatory Program
During 2006-07, the CNSC made progress in strengthening its regulatory framework under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. Over the last year, the government approved new security regulations and three more regulations were drafted and are to be submitted for amendments. The CNSC also established a new Regulatory Policy Committee to provide improved consistency to the regulatory process from concept to the approval process for the Commission.
The regulatory program consists of regulations and regulatory documents - standards, guides and policies.
- Nuclear Security Regulations
The updated Nuclear Security Regulations, which introduced heightened safety measures for nuclear facilities, came into force in November 2006.
- Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations
- Class II Nuclear Facilities and Prescribed Equipment Regulations
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Import and Export Control Regulations
Amendments for these three sets of regulations have been prepared and will be published in the Canada Gazette in 2007–08.
- Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Rules of Procedure
- Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission By-laws The CNSC Secretariat continued work to amend the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Rules of Procedure and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission By-laws.
- New Nuclear Safeguards Regulations
The CNSC staff continued to work on new Nuclear Safeguards Regulations to clarify and consolidate measures to be undertaken by licensees to meet the requirements of the NSCA and the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol between Canada and the IAEA.
- S-337 Design Requirements for Nuclear Power Plants
This document provides new design categorization information based on years of regulatory experience and international information. The contents of this document were a priority in 2006–07 and the document will be released for consultation in the first quarter of 2007–08.
- S-336 CNSC Safeguards and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Reporting Requirements
This document describes the reporting requirements to attain uniformity of licensee accounting records and reports of controlled nuclear substances, including special fissionable and source material, equipment and information. This draft regulatory standard was issued in September 2006 for public comment, and the comment period closed in December 2006. Issuance is planned for early 2008.
- G-320 Assessing the Long-Term Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
This document was issued in 2006 and assists applicants for new licences and for licence renewals in assessing the long-term safety of radioactive waste management on the environment and on the health and safety of people. The document addresses long-term care and maintenance considerations, post-decommissioning objectives, assessment criteria, assessment strategies and level of detail, the selection of time frames and definition of assessment scenarios, and identification of receptors and critical groups.
- G-144 Trip Parameter Acceptance Criteria for Safety Analysis of CANDU Nuclear Power Plants
This document was issued in May 2006. It provides guidance to licensees who operate CANDU nuclear power plants regarding reactor trip parameters to preclude direct or consequential failures of reactor fuel or reactor pressure tubes.
- G-306 Severe Accident Management Program for Nuclear Reactors
This document was issued in May 2006 and provides guidance to licensees on the development and implementation of a severe accident management program.
The following other documents were in development during 2006–07:
- G-360 Life Extension of Nuclear Power Plants
This document informs licensees about the steps and phases to consider when undertaking a project to extend the life of a nuclear power plant. The document addresses key considerations for establishing project scope, as well as managing and executing the project. It was issued for public comment in May 2006 and the comment period closed in July 2006. The document is scheduled for issuance in early 2008.
- G–341 Control Of The Export And Import Of Risk-Significant Sealed Sources
The CNSC implemented an enhanced export and import control program for risk-significant sealed sources at the end of 2006–07. The CNSC issued this regulatory document in February 2007 for consultation and will accept comments until December 2007. The document is scheduled for publication by the end of 2007–08.
- P-325 Nuclear Emergency Management
This regulatory policy was issued in May 2006. It provides guiding principles and direction for CNSC staff activities relating to nuclear emergency management.
Towards a Modernized Safeguards Framework
The CNSC, in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has been actively preparing for the implementation of a state-level integrated safeguards program to meet Canada's strengthened international safeguards obligations, with the purpose of enhancing the efficiency of IAEA safeguards implementation. In 2006–07, agreement was reached with the IAEA on the implementation of the State-level Integrated Safeguards Approach (SLA) for Canada, based upon agreed priorities and available resources. On January 1, 2007, implementation of the SLA was achieved for that sector of the nuclear program, which includes research reactors and static dry storage facilities. Following this, the SLA was applied to the transfer of spent fuel to dry storage facilities at multi-unit CANDU reactors on March 1, 2007. The latter achievement was the culmination of over two years of intensive effort on the part of the IAEA, the CNSC, and affected licensees to address an issue that was consuming a significant portion of the IAEA safeguards resources under the traditional approach.
In addition, the CNSC continued to work towards developing an effective national safeguards program focused on regulatory compliance with domestic requirements for nuclear material control. The program will also complement the CNSC's efforts to discharge its responsibilities for implementing the safeguards agreements between Canada and the IAEA. To that end, the CNSC initiated interdepartmental discussions on the rationale for this initiative and began work on defining the requirements for a National Safeguards Authority.
This activity area covers issuance of licences or certification of persons to conduct nuclear-related activities in Canada and the certification of prescribed equipment. To issue a licence or a certificate, the CNSC must obtain evidence of the applicant's ability to operate safely and conform to safeguards and non-proliferation obligations.
The result is that licences or certificates will be issued only to individuals and organizations that operate safely and conform to safeguards and nonproliferation requirements, or that prescribed equipment will be safe for use.
Achievement of this result is determined based upon delays in implementing effective regulatory control (licensing action) pursuant to the NSCA or if Significant Development Reports require regulatory oversight.
The CNSC continued its initiative to improve the certification process for radiation devices. The result will be to have better policy direction regarding certification of radiation devices, documented and streamlined process functions, sound assessment criteria, consistency throughout process implementation and clear expectations.
In July 2006, the Commission granted a five-year licence renewal to New Brunswick Power Nuclear's Point Lepreau Generating Station.
The operating licence for Hydro-Québec's Gentilly-2 reactor in Bécancour, Québec, was renewed in December 2006.
In July 2006, the CNSC announced its decision to renew the nuclear research and test establishment operating licence for Chalk River Laboratories until October 31, 2011.
The CNSC has begun the regulatory work associated with oversight of the renewal of the operating licences for the reactors at Pickering and Darlington, which will expire in 2008.
Licensing of New Build Reactors
The CNSC published Licensing Process for New Nuclear Power Plants in Canada (INFO-0756) in February 2006. This document represented a step forward by setting the stage for work on a series of regulatory documents related to the licensing of proposed new reactors. In March 2007, the CNSC also released an additional document, Supplementary Information on the Design Review Process for New Build, which elaborated on new build licensing. In 2006, the CNSC received two applications, one from Bruce Power and one from Ontario Power Generation, to prepare sites for new reactors.
Licensing of Uranium Mines and Mills
The CNSC issued Licensing Process for New Uranium Mines and Mills in Canada (INFO-0759) in March 2007. The document provides an overview of the licensing process for new uranium mines and mills in Canada based on requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its regulations, and it refers to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Examination Transfer Project
The CNSC currently reviews and approves examination packages that licensees prepare pursuant to the certification of nuclear power plant operators, but is planning to transfer the responsibility of examination preparation and conduct entirely to licensees. In the future, the CNSC will continue to certify individuals in designated nuclear power plant operations positions but will no longer be involved in approving the written and simulator based examinations. Consequently, the CNSC is in the process of developing an effective compliance program to support an effective regulatory regime post-exam transfer.
In licensing and personnel certification, CNSC staff analyzed licensing submissions from applicants and prepared licensing recommendations for Commission hearings or for consideration by Designated Officers. During the year, a number of licence renewals or amendments were completed. In certification of prescribed equipment, CNSC staff evaluated submissions from applicants and prepared recommendations for consideration by Designated Officers, and several certificates for prescribed equipment were issued during the year. Licensing analysis has increased considerably in the face of expansions in all sectors of the use of nuclear materials and processes. In the health care industry, licensee facilities are expanding and new facilities are being licensed. Rapidly changing cancer treatment technologies are also increasing the CNSC's workload in both licensing and compliance work.
Certification of Radiation Safety Officers and Exposure Device Operators
Amendments were introduced to the Class II Nuclear Facilities and Prescribed Equipment Regulations, which will impose certification requirements for radiation safety officers in Class II nuclear facilities. The majority of these facilities are cancer clinics that use a wide variety of radioactive nuclear substances, together with particle accelerators, to treat cancer.
The CNSC staff initiated a comprehensive review of the processes for certification of exposure device operators. Following meetings with the radiography industry and Natural Resources Canada, a CNSC working group prepared a report containing numerous recommendations to improve the certification process for these operators, who had previously been granted lifetime certification.
New Export Licences for Sealed Sources
As of April 1, 2007, those wishing to export Category 1 or Category 2 sealed sources need to obtain transaction-specific export licences from the CNSC. These sources are listed in Table I of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. Canada is one of 88 countries to sign on to this Code.
These new licence requirements stem from an enhanced export and import control program for risk-significant sealed sources, which the CNSC implemented at the end of 2006–07. With this step, the CNSC completed the second of two initiatives to adopt the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources. The implementation of the new control program, together with an enhanced National Sealed Source Registry will assure Canadians and the international community that international transfers of risk-significant sealed sources are conducted solely for beneficial and peaceful purposes.
Achieving high levels of compliance with the nuclear regulatory framework is critical to the CNSC's work and assuring the safety of nuclear installations and processes. The CNSC's compliance work also involves making sure that Canada complies with its international commitments.
The expected result is a high level of compliance with the regulatory framework, assessed through the following measures:
- level of licensee performance ratings assessed by the CNSC on each of the power reactors, as per the CNSC Report Card on Nuclear Power Plant Performance.
- levels of performance of non-power reactor licensees as measured by the CNSC through inspections, events, assessments, and evaluations of compliance with licence requirements. Performance ratings are recorded in formal licensing documents.
- annual IAEA statement indicating Canada's compliance with international standards with respect to safeguards.
- 100% provision by the CNSC of nuclear transfer notifications and reports pursuant to bilateral administrative arrangements.
CNSC staff report on licensee operations via numerous reporting documents (mid-term performance reports, status reports, significant development reports and annual industry reports) along with performance information given in licensing hearings.
The CNSC strictly enforces its regulatory requirements through a variety of measures, including staff inspections, reviews, audits and assessments, and will take action to rectify any discovered non-compliance among licensees by a specified deadline.
Chalk River Laboratories
During the year, licensing staff at the CNSC head office reviewed and prepared recommendations to the Commission on matters that included the handling of legacy waste and the decommissioning of certain facilities. In addition, CNSC staff presented its midterm report on AECL's MAPLE (Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment) reactors to the Commission. The presentation included a summary of activities since the licence was issued, the status of improvements to regulatory programs that had not fully met regulatory requirements when the licence was renewed, other relevant information, and staff conclusions regarding AECL's operating performance for the MAPLE reactors. CNSC staff had paid specific attention to two areas: monitoring licensee progress in addressing weaknesses in the implementation of programs concerning operational performance, performance assurance and environmental protection; and evaluating progress in commissioning and resolving issues outstanding at the time of licence renewal. CNSC staff concluded that AECL had operated the MAPLE reactors according to regulatory requirements.
The Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) Chalk River Laboratories site is Canada's oldest and most complex nuclear faciity, which delivers a range of nuclear services - from research and development support, construction management and design and engineering to specialized technology, waste management and decommissioning to support CANDU reactor products. To effectively monitor these activities, the CNSC established an on-site office at Chalk River with four CNSC staff to oversee licensee compliance and to communicate with licensee staff to improve their understanding of regulatory requirements. A full-time Safeguards Officer has also been assigned to this site office to assist in the implementation of safeguards at this facility.
New Environmental Assessment and Protection Directorate
To better address the growing workload in its mandate in the area of environmental assessments, the CNSC created an Environmental Assessment and Protection Directorate - the first of its kind among nuclear regulatory agencies and a major step toward maintaining effective oversight of a complete approach to licensing and compliance.
The CNSC implemented a new standard regarding inspections, whereby an inspector will produce a report, send it to the licensee and resolve it within 60 business days of an inspection. This condition was met in 90% of Type II4 inspections of high-risk licensees during 2006–07.
Type I inspections have presented a challenge because of rapid expansion at nuclear medicine facilities at Canadian hospitals and an associated increase in regulatory work. Some provinces have seen a consolidation of cancer clinics that used to be managed by individual licensees and are now being controlled by central boards or provincial agencies. Although the number of licensees has slightly decreased, the rapid expansion of nuclear medicine facilities and cancer clinics has increased the overall workload for CNSC staff.
Mitigating strategies have been put in place, enabling the CNSC to identify potential risks early in the process and to ensure the safety of the Canadian public despite limited resources. As cancer clinics go through construction, commissioning and operation stages, regulatory verifications are made to identify potential risks. Once a discrepancy is identified, an inspection is automatically triggered to ensure compliance.
2006-07 Performance Standard Report
Baseline compliance program
Progress was made in documenting a consistent baseline compliance program for major nuclear facilities, which articulates minimum standards of compliance verification for a facilities that represent normal risk. The CNSC increases its compliance oversight above the baseline depending upon licensee performance and other factors informed by risk.
The Commission issued or confirmed orders to licensees that included Enviropac, ESI Resources Limited, and SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc.
Compliance among industrial radiography licensees
The CNSC is working with the industrial radiography community to educate licensees about the impact of radioactive materials. Staff has noted improved licensee compliance in the safe use of radiography equipment.
Maintaining a positive IAEA conclusion
In its Safeguards Implementation Report for 2006, the IAEA again concluded that all nuclear material in Canada remained in peaceful activities. It is based on the provision of credible assurance that all declared nuclear material in the country is for peaceful, non-explosive uses, and that there is no undeclared nuclear material or activity. Canada is one of only 24 states (of 162 countries) that has received and maintained this conclusion.
The Canada-Agency Safeguards Implementation Consultation (CASIC) mechanism is an essential element for ensuring compliance with the CanadaIAEA safeguards agreements.
As the designated authority for implementing these agreements the CNSC is the lead participant for Canada. A CASIC meeting was held in November 2006, and several working-level meetings were held with the IAEA to discuss specific implementation issues.
The CNSC participates in many domestic and international fora to advance nuclear safety and security both at home and abroad. Its participation also provides opportunities to share best practices and benchmarks with counterparts and other agencies. The expected result of this area is that the CNSC cooperates and integrates its activities in national/international nuclear fora.
International Commitments to Advance Nuclear Safety
- Implementation of the IAEA Code of Conduct on
the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources
In January 2004, Canada had committed to implementing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s new Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. In 2006, Canada was among the first countries to announce its commitment to full implementation of the Code.
The Code of Conduct was created to address growing international concern over the safety of radiation sources, including the potential that sources could be used as radioactive dispersal devices or “dirty bombs”. It outlines the need for participating countries to address five basic and mutually agreed upon requirements: a legislative framework, an independent regulator, a regulatory system for authorizations, trained and qualified personnel, and controls on the import and export of risk significant radioactive sources.
Two major regulatory improvements initiatives were needed in order to have the Canadian regulatory framework meet the provisions of the Code in full. These were a sealed source tracking system (SSTS) conceived as part of an updated national registry for all radioactive sources; and enhanced import and export controls on risk-significant sources. The SSTS has enabled the CNSC to create a full inventory listing of high-risk radioactive sealed sources in Canada and to track possession of a source, its movements and any related developments (theft, damage, etc.) within strict reporting timeframes. These regulatory improvements have now been fully implemented by the CNSC: the introduction of the tracking system on January 1, 2006 was followed by the launch of the new import/export control program at the end of 2006–07.
- Convention on Nuclear Safety
At the third review meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), held in Vienna, April 2005, Canada presented its report to an audience of more than 34 participants representing 18 countries. Canada committed to numerous follow-up actions:
- development of the regulatory approach for refurbishment and life extension of nuclear power plants
- modernization of the regulatory framework for licensing new reactor projects
- maintaining safety competence in the nuclear industry and regulatory body
- completing the quality management pro gram implementation in regulatory body
- improving the rating system used to evaluate licensees' performance
- finalizing the Power Reactor Regulation Improvement Project
- evaluating the use of periodic safety review in Canada
- enhancement of a risk-informed performance-based regulatory approach
- continuing the program to improve safety margin for large loss of coolant accidents
- continuing the project on Safe Operating Envelope
- consideration of hosting an International Regulatory Review Team mission
The CNSC provided a status update on each of these elements in the first anniversary report on the CNS, which it issued in April 2006. Canada has instituted these reports to monitor progress over the three years in a public manner. CNSC President Linda Keen continued her role as President of the third review meeting of the CNS, which will continue to the naming of the President for the Fourth Review Meeting to be held in 2008.
- Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention) aims to ensure worldwide safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management, including the use of protective measures and mitigation. These objectives are achieved through the peer review of the contracting parties' national programs for spent fuel and radioactive waste management. The Government of Canada has delegated the responsibility for the Joint Convention to the CNSC.
The second review meeting of the Joint Convention took place at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, from May 15 to 24, 2006. Forty-one contracting parties participated in the peer review process. Canada was recognized as having the following good practices:
- safe management of a very wide variety of wastes types
- excellent stakeholder consultation supported by policies that promote openness and transparency
- competent regulatory system with clear responsibilities
- mechanisms in place to secure funding for long term liabilities
- implementation of Sealed Source Tracking System
Canada was highly praised for its inclusive, balanced approach to field a delegation comprising the regulator, government and industry and was seen to be a demonstration that the approach to waste management in Canada is integrated. The feedback Canada received also pointed out some opportunities for improvement, including continued attention to regulatory documents and demonstration of progress on major initiatives.
Bilateral relations with nuclear regulatory counterparts
The CNSC maintains a network of memoranda of understanding with nuclear regulatory counterparts around the world with the objective of strengthening nuclear safety standards with respect to nuclear facilities and activities through technical cooperation and information exchanges in nuclear regulatory matters. An important milestone was achieved in 2006–2007, in this regard, when the CNSC renewed its memorandum of understanding with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), for implementation in April 2007. The renewal of this umbrella agreement with the USNRC creates a foundation that enables the two organizations to engage in a host of regulatory cooperation initiatives, including nuclear safety of existing and new nuclear facilities, nuclear security and emergency preparedness. A second agreement between the CNSC and USNRC will allow exchange of information on the import and export of radioactive sources and will also permit USNRC inspectors to accompany CNSC staff on Canadian inspections (and vice versa) in order to enable the two regulating bodies to promote and share best practices.
In August 2006, CNSC President Keen hosted an official delegation from the Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN), the CNSC's nuclear regulatory counterpart agency in France. The delegation was visiting the CNSC to learn about the implementation of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) as part of their preparations to implement their new legislation, “Transparency and Security in the Nuclear Field,” which was enacted on June 13, 2006. The new legislation, which considered the NSCA in its drafting, modernizes France's nuclear regulatory framework. The exchange of information between the CNSC and the ASN focused on regulating nuclear power plants and other nuclear fuel cycle facilities as well as the implementation of Commission and public hearing processes.
The CNSC also routinely met with regulatory counterparts to exchange information. In 2006–07, meetings with regulatory counterparts from the Republic of Korea on the management of aging nuclear reactors. The CNSC also conducted workshops involving regulatory counterparts from the United States and Sweden regarding robustness of nuclear facilities and loss of coolant accident scenarios.
Multilateral relations and international cooperation
The CNSC continued to closely manage its engagement with international organizations and in multilateral environments to advance nuclear safety and security as well as safeguards and nonproliferation objectives.
International Nuclear Regulators Association
The CNSC continued its involvement in the International Nuclear Regulators Association (INRA) in 2006–2007. The focus of the 2006–07 meetings included the exchange of best practices on waste management and improvement strategies for the Convention on Nuclear Safety. The INRA, established to influence and enhance nuclear safety from a regulatory perspective among its members, is comprised of the most senior regulatory authorities from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2006–2007, The association expanded its membership to include the Republic of Korea, a move which was orchestrated and strongly supported by the CNSC.
- CANDU Senior Regulators meeting
Canada continued to play a key role in the CANDU Senior Nuclear Regulators organization, which is organized under the umbrella of the IAEA. The CNSC participated in the meeting of the CANDU Senior Regulators held in Karachi, Pakistan, in November 2006. This group is comprised of regulatory authorities from countries operating CANDU reactors including Argentina, Canada, China, India, Pakistan, Romania, and South Korea. The CNSC is making arrangements to host the next meeting in late 2007.
- International Commission on Radiological Protection
Over the past several years, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has been conducting worldwide public consultations on its new fundamental recommendations. In August 2006, the CNSC held a workshop to discuss the draft ICRP recommendations, recognizing the need to bring together the views of various Canadian stakeholders. The objective was to to develop an overall Canadian statement on key sections of the draft recommendations. The results influenced regional and international discussions on the ICRP recommendations, allowing the collective Canadian viewpoint to be represented, rather than just that of a single individual or organization. The Canadian position covered many detailed technical issues. One significant focus was the concept of dose and risk constraints, both with respect to clearly defining their role in the system of radiation protection and on how to implement them.
The ICRP Main Commission approved its 2007 Fundamental Recommendations on Radiological Protection on March 21, 2007, and expects to publish them in the Fall 2007 issue of the Annals of the ICRP. This will mark the first publication of ICRP fundamental recommendations since 1990. The new recommendations take account of new biological and physical information and trends in setting radiation standards. They also feature an improved and streamlined presentation, give more emphasis to environmental protection, and provide a platform for developing an updated strategy to handle emergencies and situations of pre-existing radiation exposure. The CNSC will be analyzing the Final Recommendations for their applicability in the Canadian regulatory framework.
- OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
The CNSC continued its involvement in 2006-2007 with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Committee's on the Safety of Nuclear Installations and the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities. It also provided representation to the Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health, an international forum to address issues related to enhancing radiation protection regulation and implementation. The CNSC also participated in the Multinational Design Evaluation Program under the NEA. In May 2006, the CNSC hosted the NEA's Eighth Nuclear Regulatory inspection Workshop in Toronto. The workshop enabled exchange of information of current inspection issues and best practices among the world's nuclear regulatory bodies.
- International Atomic Energy Agency
The CNSC continued supporting the IAEA, which will mark its fiftieth anniversary in 2007. In 2006-2007, the CNSC provided expertise to Canada's Permanent Mission in Vienna and assisted in Canadian delegations to IAEA Board of Governors meetings and the agency's general conference, held in September 2006. The CNSC also provides expertise to three important advisory committees under the IAEA, namely the Commission on Safety Standards and its sub-committees, the Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation and the Advisory Committee on Security.
Commission on Safety Standards
The CNSC provides Canada's representative to the IAEA Director General's Commission on Safety Standards (CSS), which has a special overview role with regard to the Agency's safety standards and provides advice to the Director General on the overall program on regulatory aspects of safety. The CSS provides guidance on the approach and strategy for establishing the Agency's safety standards, particularly in order to ensure coherence and consistency between standards. It also endeavours to provide general advice and guidance on safety standards issues, relevant regulatory issues and the Agency's safety standards activities and related programs, including those to promote worldwide application of the standards. As discussed in Part III, the CSS achieved a major milestone in September 2006 with the approval of its Safety Fundamentals Principles. With its commitment to adopt and adapt international standards, where applicable, in developing the necessary modern regulatory framework for Canada, the CNSC attaches great importance to the Commission on Safety Standards and its sub-committees, covering safety standards, radiation safety, transport safety and waste safety.
IAEA Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation
The CNSC provides Canada's representative to the IAEA Director General's Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation (SAGSI), which provides advice on the technical objectives and implementation parameters of IAEA safeguards and on the effectiveness and efficiency of specific implementation practices. A particular focus for SAGSI is further development of the state-level approach to safeguards implementation and evaluation. SAGSI also examined issued that included the evaluation of safeguards effectiveness and performance, guidelines for state systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material, and the safeguards research and development program. The Canadian representative to this group was appointed by the Director General as SAGSI chair as of January 1, 2007.
IAEA Advisory Committee on Security
The CNSC provides Canada's representative to the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Security (AdSec), which advises the Agency on its role regarding nuclear security, nuclear security priorities, and the Agency's nuclear security program.
Over the past year, the AdSec has provided recommendations on the balance of devoting resources to technical support to improve nuclear security in developing countries, versus investing in technical development, versus development of the international legal framework. The Committee also reviewed the need for updated guidelines from the Agency in areas such as physical security, security fundamentals and security culture, and it discussed the Agency's role in security information sharing, particularly with respect to illegal trade and cross-border movement of nuclear substances. It also reviewed the Agency's current security program and associated priorities.
- Canadian Safeguards Support Program
The Canadians Safeguards Support Program, managed and funded by the CNSC, provides assistance to the IAEA to enhance its safeguards regime. During the year, the program assisted the IAEA in developing a secure electronic mailbox building on the public key infrastructure activities that the CSSP had initiated with the IAEA in the previous year. The mailbox process is one that the IAEA can use with other countries and that will play a role in the safeguards state-level approach for Canada.
The program has also continued its subprogram of equipment development for the IAEA and has made several advances. The software for irradiated fuel monitoring equipment, (for example, core discharge monitors and bundle counters used in safeguarding CANDU reactors) has been upgraded to include remote monitoring, whereby data is transmitted securely to the IAEA from facilities. This system offers increased efficiency for the IAEA and more timely evaluation of data. At the request of the IAEA, the Canadian Safeguards Support Program made numerous improvements to the Digital Cerenkov Viewing Device - a device is used to verify spent nuclear fuel - that will increase its usability. The program also assisted the IAEA with the installing the core discharge monitor for Unit 2 at the Bruce A Nuclear Generating Station, as a result of the decision to restart this reactor.
This area focuses on the commitment to develop and maintain public confidence in Canada's nuclear regulatory regime through working openly and transparently with stakeholders to achieve this goal. The expected outcome of stakeholder understanding of the regulatory program is measured through the level of stakeholder confidence in the CNSC's ability to regulate the use of nuclear energy and materials and the level of stakeholder participation in the CNSC's decision-making process.
Strategic communications plan
The CNSC strategic communication plan provides a detailed approach of how to communicate and consult with stakeholders on the CNSC regulatory polices and program.
The plan involves a three-year phased approach. During 2006–07, the CNSC focused its outreach activities in 2006–2007 on heightening public awareness and understanding of its role and in regulating nuclear activities. The last year saw enhanced engagement with diverse stakeholders, including municipal governments in the region of major facilities, media, provincial officials, professional associations and non-government organizations (NGOs).
The CNSC meets periodically with representatives from the Canadian Nuclear Association through the Canadian Nuclear Association Regulatory Affairs Committee, which enables industry representatives to provide input and advice to the CNSC on broader issues relating to nuclear regulation in Canada. The committee also provides a forum for the industry association and the CNSC to indicate priorities, directions being taken, or factors that are influencing their respective operations.
In November 2006, CNSC staff established a Non-Governmental Organization Regulatory Affairs Committee to serve as a mechanism for the
CNSC to communicate and consult with NGOs on nuclear regulatory and policy matters within the mandate of the CNSC. Co-chaired by a member of the NGO community, the committee is a forum for exchanging and clarifying information to promote common understanding of issues, allowing the CNSC to better respond to the information needs of the NGO community. It also enables NGO members to provide input and advice to the CNSC on broader issues relating to nuclear regulation in Canada.
The CNSC understands that Canadians are concerned by nuclear activities in their regions and it therefore focused on outreach over the past year and held numerous hearings in communities most affected by the Commission's work. The Commission conducted hearings in Port Hope for the renewal of licences held by Cameco and Zircatec Precision Industries. It also held hearings in Kincardine regarding Ontario Power Generation's proposed deep geological repository, as well as in Bécancour, Québec, with respect to the Gentilly-II generating station licensees.
The CNSC has been consulting extensively with First Nations peoples in northern Saskatchewan and with host communities of mines and legacy waste facilities.
The CNSC has also been working with the Government of Nunavut pending development of an energy policy. Staff has been commenting on draft policy documents.
As part of licensing and compliance monitoring of closed uranium mines in the Northwest Territories, CNSC staff maintains regular communications with government, aboriginal and community representatives. CNSC staff also meet periodically with communities potentially affected by the historic transportation of uranium ore from the northern mines to processing facilities in the south.
In February 2007, CNSC representatives engaged representatives from approximately 13 regulatory boards and agencies of the Northwest Territories by participating in a workshop on “Uranium and the North.” The CNSC used this opportunity to share information on what environmental assessment and regulatory reviews might be expected if uranium development activities occurred, and to provide information on the CNSC's role in regulating uranium mines in Canada. Workshop attendees agreed on the importance of learning more about and establishing better connections with the CNSC. The CNSC will follow up with participants to maintain open, transparent and effective relationships with representatives from the Northwest Territories.
Baseline compliance program
In September 2005, the CNSC committed to the implementation of a management system that would conform to Government of Canada requirements and is modeled on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) management system standards for nuclear regulatory bodies.
The management system, when fully implemented, will assure that integrated, standardized and consistent practices, principles and processes are in place to support the CNSC in achieving its regulatory mandate and objectives.
In May 2006, the CNSC completed a self-assessment of the organization against the IAEA standard. This resulted in a number of recommendations and suggestions for possible improvement.
In response to this and in line with the recommendations from earlier Auditor General's reports, the organization broadened the scope of existing projects and initiated new projects to drive further improvements in our key regulatory processes and to implement integrated information technology to support these processes.
These projects were integrated in November 2006 under the umbrella of the Integrated Improvement Initiatives Program, an overriding program comprising improvement initiatives/projects in five key areas:
- Management system implementation
- Integrated planning and performance management
- Leadership development
In November 2006, the Integrated Improvement Initiative Program (I3P) was created to enhance integration between these initiatives, and the management system was established as the lead initiative to provide the overall framework.
The I3P made progress during 2006–07. As of the end of the fiscal year, program preparation activities and objectives were complete. Among these were the creation of a formal program to manage the projects in an integrated fashion; the hiring of a program director and Project Manager for the Integrated Systems Project; approval of the I3P Integrated Program Charter, which included a revised governance structure; approval of a change management strategy; and the development of level 1 and 2 process maps for the re-engineering of the licensing and compliance processes within the CNSC. Stage 2 (business blueprint) work commenced in April 2007, with objectives of developing the detailed Level 3 process maps and identifying the business and integration requirements for licensing and compliance; integrating the project management of the planning and performance measurement modules of the Integrated Planning and Performance Management initiative under the I3P; and securing long-term professional services support by December 2007. Key to success of stage 2 will be a comprehensive and continuous change management and communications effort to engage stakeholders and keep them informed.
Values and ethics
During 2005-06, the CNSC began implementing a values and ethics strategy that provides standards for ethical expectations and guidance for ethical decision-making, leadership and conduct for all CNSC staff. Continuing implementation of the strategy is focused on promoting opportunities for all leaders and staff to discuss values and ethics. A process has also been put in place to allow staff to disclose wrongdoing in a manner that is safe and free from reprisals. With the passage of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, the CNSC is in the process of aligning its existing processes with new legislative requirements.
Leadership and learning
Current and expected growth at the CNSC and the need for excellence in leadership capabilities necessitate a strategic, cohesive approach to leadership development. The CNSC has established a number of elements that support the development of leadership skills and provides management and staff with information on a variety of courses, symposia, tests and other means. During the 2006–07 fiscal year, the CNSC began updating its Leadership Development Program, which will ensure that current and future CNSC leaders have competencies, behaviours and attitudes consistent with the organization's values and commitment to excellence.
Sustained proactive recruitment
In 2006, the CNSC identified actions that will promote successful recruitment. These actions were sorted into five pillars that have become the foundation for the Recruitment and Retention Initiative, including internal assessment, general recruitment, international recruitment, university partnerships and employee retention.
a) Internal assessment
It is essential for the CNSC to examine its organizational design and remuneration as part of its recruitment initiatives. This internal assessment and corresponding needs identification will assist the organization in competing effectively for talent.
Accomplishments to date:
- Task force met through May and June 2006 to review and provide feedback on elements of the Recruitment and Retention Initiative
- Information meetings with Directors General have been completed by the CNSC's Client Services and Operations Division
- CSNC compensation research is ongoing
- Headlines and advertisement text developed for general and university campaigns
- New hire questionnaire launched in Fall 2006
b) General recruitment
The CNSC's general recruitment efforts will continue throughout this recruitment and retention initiative. Along with day-to-day advertising, these include targeted advertising strategies for hard-to-fill positions, proactive communications with employment equity groups, and investigating the potential for an employee referral program.
Accomplishments to date:
- Hard-to-fill positions identified and reviewed on an on-going basis
- Applicant tracking system media list updated
- Employment equity action plan in development
- Day-to-day recruitment efforts continue
c) International recruitment
As the Canadian labour pool becomes smaller, the CNSC will turn its attention to overseas markets for qualified and bilingual candidates.
Accomplishments to date:
- The CNCS's first international campaign targeting the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden launched in Fall 2006
- Positions were posted to careers Web sites in selected countries
- A campaign targeting the United States also took place in early 2007
d) University partnerships
By strengthening existing university partnerships, and establishing new ones, the CNSC will connect with an important source of new candidates and play a role in their training.
Accomplishments to date:
- Contacted 80 universities across Canada to discuss opportunities for partnerships
- Held information sessions at 13 universities in Ontario, Québec and the Maritimes during the fall of 2006, to promote the CNSC to new and recent grads and better brand the organization; a second campaign was done in early 2007
- Sponsored the 2007 Jeux de Génie du Québec held at Université du Sherbrooke
e) Employee retention
Employee retention begins the moment a candidate accepts an offer of employment from the CNSC. It should be approached as an ongoing process to ensure employee engagement and satisfaction with the organization.
Moreover, the CNSC faces a workforce approaching retirement age and therefore has a responsibility to train the next generation of managers. It must ensure that current managerial knowledge managers is not lost to retirement.
Accomplishments to date:
- Completed an assessment of the existing employee orientation program and developed recommendations for revisions to the program
Implementation of the first collective agreement The CNSC is a separate employer from the Government of Canada and entered into a collective agreement with its represented employees for the period of June 14, 2006 to March 31, 2008. An arbitration award took effect November 20, 2006.
Improvement in human resources (HR) planning
A dedicated HR planning resource was added to the CNSC's Human Resources Directorate to better support organizational HR planning. The Management Accountability Framework - People Component (MAFPC) was finalized in 2006. In addition to the MAFPC, Directors General have been canvassed regarding their current vacancies, staffing actions, and demographic data to help understand future HR requirements.
Informal Conflict Management System
As a separate employer, the CNSC is not obliged under the Public Service Labour Relations Act to establish an informal conflict resolution management system. However, the CSNC views such a system as necessary for sound management and is working to implement one. The system's purpose will be to facilitate early resolution of workplace conflicts and to reduce the need for formal grievances and complaints. Development and implementation of the system, in consultation with the employees' bargaining agent, is expected to continue through 2007.
4 Type I Type I inspections are on-site audits and evaluations of a licensee's programs, processes and practices. Type II inspections are routine (item-by-item) checks and rounds that typically focus on the outputs, or performance of licensee programs, processes and practices. Findings from Type II inspections play a key role in identifying where a Type I inspection may be required to determine systemic problems in licensee programs, processes or practices.