Canadian nuclear regulator releases task force criteria for safety review

A task force established under the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will examine operational and technical implications of the nuclear event in Japan in relation to Canadian nuclear power plants.

The task force is in response to a request on March 17 from the CNSC that all nuclear power plants in Canada re-examine their safety cases, underlying defense-in-depth against external hazards, severe accident scenarios and emergency preparedness procedures and guidelines. It comprises of senior CNSC subject matter experts in reactor design, safety assessment and emergency preparedness and response.

In addition to the potential lessons learned, the task force will review the CNSC’s regulatory framework to identify any additional requirements or guidance that may be necessary and evaluate licensees’ responses to the request. Detailed nuclear power plant safety review criteria have been developed, which the task force will use in their assessment of the safety cases and emergency preparedness of nuclear power plants in Canada.

There will be an update at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission on August 10 and a final report on the task force’s findings and recommendations will be issued at the end of September 2011.

The Canadian approach is consistent with the review activities currently underway by nuclear regulators around the world.

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