PFP frequently asked questions

Interested in finding out more about the CNSC’s Participant Funding Program (PFP)? The CNSC just launched a video that explains how we provide financial assistance through our PFP program to help get the public involved in our regulatory activities. Find out how the PFP works, who can apply, what are eligible expenses, and more. View the video.

Q1. Why does the CNSC have a Participant Funding Program?
Q2. When will participant funding be offered by the CNSC?
Q3. Who is eligible for funding under the CNSC's PFP?
Q4. What is “value-added” information?
Q5. What types of expenses can be reimbursed through the CNSC's PFP?
Q6. Where do PFP funds come from?
Q7. How much funding could be available for one project annually?
Q8. Who makes the funding decisions?
Q9. What is expected from PFP recipients?
Q10. How do I apply for participant funding?


Q1. Why does CNSC have a Participant Funding Program?

A1.  The CNSC values public and Aboriginal input into its regulatory processes. The Participant Funding Program (PFP) aims to further enhance the avenues available for public input into matters that are addressed through the Commission's public hearing process.

Members of the public and past CNSC intervenors have often requested that funding be made available to them for the provision of valuable information to the Commission. The CNSC's PFP demonstrates our continued commitment to meaningful participation in nuclear review processes.

Top of page

Q2. When will participant funding be offered by the CNSC?

A2. Participant funding will be available, on a case-by-case basis, for matters related to aspects of environmental assessments (EA) and/or a licensing action for major nuclear facilities (e.g., uranium mines, nuclear power plants and nuclear waste facilities). Funding may also be available for CNSC proceedings that are of significant interest to the public or to Aboriginal groups.

The CNSC will determine whether to offer participant funding as well as the maximum amount for a specific matter.

Top of page

Q3. Who is eligible for funding under the CNSC's PFP?

A3.  Eligible applicants to the CNSC's PFP include individuals, Aboriginal groups, community members, not-for-profit organizations and other stakeholders who can demonstrate that they have:

  • a direct, local interest in the project, such as living or owning property near the project area
  • Aboriginal traditional knowledge and/or local community insight relevant to the proposed project
  • interest in potential project impacts on treaty lands, settlement lands or traditional territories and/or related claims and rights
  • plans to provide value-added information relevant to the mandate of the CNSC and to the specific matter before the Commission
To be considered for participant funding, applicants must submit a funding application form demonstrating how their proposal will bring value-added information to the CSNC.

Top of page

Q4. What is “value-added” information?

A4.  Value-added information is new, distinctive and relevant information that improves understanding of the anticipated effects of a project.

When applying to the PFP, the applicant must explain how their proposal (activities and deliverables) will bring value-added information to the CNSC.

Top of page

Q5. What types of expenses can be reimbursed though the CNSC's PFP?

A5. Participant funding covers only some costs incurred by an eligible stakeholder related to professional fees, travel and other expenditures. 

  • Professional fees relate to the costs of hiring a professional – such as an engineer, biologist or translator – to help understand the issue or to research the project under consideration (e.g., how deep geologic storage of nuclear waste is handled in other countries).
  • Travel expenses may include travel to a meeting or a CNSC hearing from your community, if necessary. In some cases, travel costs may only be considered to facilitate attendance at the nearest videoconferencing centre.
  • Other costs could include photocopying, meeting room rentals or meeting supplies.
All proposed costs or expenditures must be reasonable and adequately justified and will be considered in detail by an independent funding review committee. Therefore it is important to specify in the funding application form why these costs are necessary to bring value-added information to the CNSC. 

Top of page

Q6. Where do the PFP funds come from?

A6. PFP funds were authorized through the Jobs and Economic Growth Act 2010.  Program funding for the CNSC was set at a maximum of $925,000 per fiscal year until 2014-15. At the end of the fiscal year, any unspent funds are returned to the government and the difference is cost-recovered from CNSC licensees. 

Top of page

Q7. How much funding could be available for one project annually?

A7. Generally, the maximum amount of funding for a single matter is $250,000 per year.

Funding levels will be determined by the CNSC on a case-by-case basis and depend on the project's potential direct impacts and on public interest, along with a number of other factors:

  • potential effects of the project
  • project size and location
  • Aboriginal groups in the area
  • diversity of issues likely to be raised in the hearing
  • technical complexity of the project
  • participant funding levels that may have been established for similar projects in the past
  • available resources

Participant funding is modest and is not intended to cover all costs of participant engagement. As such, no applicant is likely to receive the entire amount available for each matter. Available funding will be distributed amongst successful applicants based on the merit of their proposals.

Top of page

Q8. Who makes the funding decisions?

A8. An independent funding review committee composed of three highly respected experts in fields relevant to the matter (environmental science, engineering, etc.) will be selected from a roster to review funding applications. The CNSC's participant funding decisions are independent of industry influence and do not involve active members of the CNSC's Commission.

Applicants will be notified of the funding review committee's decision concerning their request. Participant funding decisions at the CNSC are final.

Top of page

Q9. What is expected from PFP?

A9. PFP funding recipients must agree to and abide by all terms and conditions of the program, including the terms of their contribution agreement.  The CNSC will only release funds to an approved PFP recipient upon receipt of a signed contribution agreement, the final financial report and the agreed-upon deliverable(s).

Upon the recipient's request and discussion with the PFP Administrator, an advance payment may be issued to the recipient in some circumstances. However, an advance payment can only be issued after funding has been approved and once the CNSC has received a signed contribution agreement from the recipient.

Top of page

Q10. How do I apply for participant funding?

A10. The PFP notices and latest updates section of this website will tell you if funding is available for a project. If an opportunity interests you, complete the application form (PDF) and follow the Participant Funding Program Guide (PDF) for more information. If your application is approved for funding, you will receive a contribution agreement (PDF). 

Top of page

For more information on the PFP, visit How PFP works or contact the PFP administrator.

Top of page

Participant Funding Program