Regulatory framework

In Canada, the management of used nuclear fuel, radioactive waste (RAW) management and uranium mines and mills associated facilities are regu­lated in a similar fashion. Safety and licensing issues are regulated according to Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) requirements and associated regulations to ensure that facilities and activities with respect to health, safety, security and the environment are safe and that Canada meets its international obligations.


The NSCA was passed by Parliament on 20 March 1997, and became law in May 2000. This was the first major overhaul of Canada’s nuclear regime since the Atomic Energy Control Act (AECA) and the creation of the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) in 1946. The NSCA incorporates stringent regulations to ensure that public health and safety are protected and is the key piece of legislation that ensures the safety of the nuclear industry and RAW management in Canada. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), established under the NSCA, is Canada’s independ­ent nuclear regulatory body. The CNSC comprises the Commission Tribu­nal, which makes licensing decisions, and the CNSC’ s staff organization, which prepares recommendations to the Commission Tribunal, exercises delegated licensing and authorization powers and assesses licensee compli­ance with the NSCA, the Act’ s associated regulations and licence condi­tions. The NSCA gives the CNSC the power to make regulations. Its mission is to regulate the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment, and to implement Canada’s interna­tional commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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