The Bruce nuclear power station in Canada. Photo courtesy OPG. Canada is committed to strengthening its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety, but the government should improve the policy and strategy for radioactive waste management, an International Atomic Energy Agency team said.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team also said the regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, should consider better aligning its radiation protection requirements with IAEA safety standards.

The team said the CNSC is highly transparent about its regulatory activities and decisions.

“Canada has a comprehensive framework for nuclear and radiation safety covering current facilities and activities,” said team leader Marta Ziakova, chairperson of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Slovakia.

“Moreover, CNSC strives to continuously upgrade its regulatory framework to address new challenges in relation to upcoming technologies, such as small modular reactors.”

Nuclear power generates about 15% of Canada’s electricity. The country has 19 operating nuclear power reactors at four sites and develops and exports reactor technology.

Canada also operates uranium mines and mills, processing and fuel fabrication facilities, and waste storage sites. It uses radiation sources in medical and industrial applications and in science and research and operates five research reactors.

In 2017 Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organisation said it would focus efforts on fewer areas in the site selection process for a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel.

The site selection process began in 2010 and NWMO expects to choose a preferred site by about 2023.

Date: Tuesday, 17 September 2019
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