Apr 26th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionOn April 26, 1986, steam and hydrogen explosions at the Chernobyl plant's Unit 4 led to a rupture in the reactor vessel and a fire that lasted 10 days. The explosions and fire caused the release of large amounts of radioactive iodine and cesium into the air, mostly near the plant; the wind carried some material over Belarus, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and other parts of Europe. The accident was the product of a flawed reactor design and serious mistakes made by the plant operators. It was a direct consequence of Cold War isolation and the resulting lack of safety culture. Learn more about the Chernobyl accident and the CNSC’s commitment to safety: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/health/health-effects-chernobyl-accident.cfm At the CNSC, we will never compromise safety.

Apr 22nd

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionHappy Earth Day! Did you know that under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), each nuclear facility is required to develop, implement and maintain an environmental monitoring program? This is to demonstrate to Canadians that the public and the environment are thoroughly protected from emissions related to nuclear activities. At the CNSC, we review the results of licensees’ environmental monitoring programs to ensure compliance. We conduct extensive verification activities ranging from assessing environmental protection programs to regular inspections to confirm that these programs are adequately designed and implemented. The CNSC also has its own Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP). We collect samples and do our own tests around licensed facilities to further confirm that the public and the environment are safe. This program is not a replacement for compliance verification, but rather a complement to it. It is an extra layer of rigorous activities that helps ensure safety during all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle. To learn more about the IEMP and the CNSC’s commitments to public and environmental safety, check out the links below. Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/maps-of-nuclear-facilities/iemp/index-iemp.cfm Environmental Assessments: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/environmental-assessments/index.cfm

Apr 20th

Apr 18th

Apr 15th

Apr 14th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionCanadian women have been trail blazing in their fields for more than a century, and the Bank of Canada has recently launched a campaign to celebrate our country’s iconic women. In the field of nuclear science, Harriet Brooks (1876-1933) was among these pioneers. She studied at a time when women were not welcome or taken seriously in male-dominated universities, but despite these challenges, she made invaluable contributions to science. She became the first female nuclear physicist in Canada, the first graduate student of Ernest Rutherford to work under him immediately after graduation, and the first woman to receive a master’s degree at McGill University. Brooks was one of the first scientists to discover radon and the first in her field to attempt to determine its atomic mass. For a time, she even worked under the supervision of another famous female scientist: Marie Curie. All in all, Brooks was instrumental in developing the foundation of nuclear science as we understand it today, and is regarded as one of the most iconic Canadian women in science. Recently, Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Finance Morneau announced that a new bank note will be issued in 2018 featuring a historically significant Canadian woman. Since then, the Bank of Canada has asked for input on who should appear on the note, and one of the potential candidates is Harriet Brooks for her contributions to science. If you’re interested in nominating a Canadian woman like Harriet Brooks, check out the Bank of Canada website for more information. Nominations close on April 15! A Bank NOTE-able Canadian Woman: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/banknoteable/?page_moved=1 Remembering Harriet Brooks: Canada’s first female nuclear physicist: http://publications.mcgill.ca/reporter/2011/03/women%E2%80%99s-day-profile-remembering-harriet-brooks-canada%E2%80%99s-first-woman-nuclear-physicist/
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Apr 12th

Apr 11th

Apr 8th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionCNSC publishes Regulatory Oversight Report on the Use of Nuclear Substances in Canada: 2014. Findings presented to the Commission in October 2015 concluded that the use of nuclear substances in Canada was safe in 2014. Highlights: • Occupational exposure to radiation continued to be low, with over 99.9% of workers receiving doses below their respective regulatory dose limits. • Over 1,450 inspections were performed by CNSC staff. • Generally satisfactory compliance ratings for operating performance, radiation protection and security safety and control areas. • 19 enforcement actions were taken against licensees to protect the health and safety of workers, the Canadian public and the environment; satisfactory corrective measures were implemented by all licensees. • 147 reported events were assessed by CNSC staff. Read the Regulatory Oversight Report on the Use of Nuclear Substances in Canada: 2014 http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/publications/reports/use-of-nuclear-substances/index.cfm

Apr 7th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionLast week, leaders from across the world went to Washington, D.C. to attend the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). This Summit, the fourth and last of these conferences, provided a forum for heads of state to engage with each other and reinforce their commitments to securing nuclear materials. Themes discussed this year included a renewed focus on preventing nuclear terrorism, collaboration to improve nuclear security culture, sharing of best practices, and an overall increase in global nuclear security standards. These topics helped leaders focus on advancing the goals of improving nuclear security behavior and strengthening the global nuclear security architecture. Just like the past summits, last week’s meeting is a significant step towards a globally secure nuclear future. Canada also made commitments to tangibly advance the NSS goals. Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada would be jointly leading efforts to pursue universal implementation of UNSCR 1540 to help prevent the proliferation of WMDs, as well as supporting certified training for nuclear security management. Canada will also be co-sponsoring several other measures, ranging from cyber security to preparedness and response capabilities. To learn more about Canada’s commitments to nuclear security or to dig deeper into how the NSS will improve global nuclear security, check out the links below. Canada’s NSS 2016 Commitments: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/04/01/canadas-commitments-2016-nuclear-security-summit-gift-baskets NSS website: http://www.nss2016.org/ Emergency Management and Nuclear Security in Canada: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/emergency-management-and-safety/index.cfm 2016 NSS Action Plans: http://www.nss2016.org/2016-action-plans/

Apr 6th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionFrom 9 am this morning, watch the live webcast of the hearing for Chalk River Laboratories at cnsc.canadacast.ca. Today's agenda ow.ly/10lRCN
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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionOver 80% of Canadians own a mobile device and 66% own a smartphone. Given the broad ownership of wireless devices by the Canadian public, the wireless industry’s participation in the alerting system could further enhance its effectiveness in safeguarding and warning Canadians about potential emergencies, including nuclear accidents and natural disasters. Mobile alerts could be an effective way to alert citizens in such a situation. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is currently inviting comments on the participation of wireless service providers in Canada’s National Public Alerting System. http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1043179 Wireless public alerting has already been successfully implemented in other jurisdictions, such as the United States and Australia. In the US, for example, emergency alerts are automatically sent to all mobile devices to warn the public about emergencies within the affected cellular tower coverage area. The alerts are designed to get attention with a vibration and unique sound, including the type and time of the alert, as well as any action that should be taken. Read more about the pilot test taking place in Durham Region https://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/ontariowarnings/wirelsspublicalertingservice/wpas.html Learn more about public alerting systems in case of nuclear emergency http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/emergency-management-and-safety/public-alerting-systems.cfm

Apr 5th

Apr 4th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionCNSC President Michael Binder met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General (DG) Mr. Yukiya Amano during his visit to Ottawa on March 29, 2016. During the meeting, President Binder and DG Amano discussed a wide range of topics including the status of nuclear safety post-Fukushima, the need for greater global accountability for nuclear safety, and the integral nature of peer reviews. They also discussed the importance of the upcoming 7th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, to be held in early 2017 and chaired by CNSC Executive Vice-President Ramzi Jammal.

Mar 30th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionLong read: Over the past few decades, Canadian nuclear power plants (NPPs) have relied increasingly on digital technologies within their control and monitoring systems – making these systems both more efficient and easier to maintain. At the same time, this has introduced the possibility of cyber threats that could have adverse safety or security impacts. With this understanding, the CNSC sought in 2008 to engage NPP licensees in a comprehensive review of their cyber-security measures for their control and monitoring systems. To identify opportunities for improvement, licensees analyzed existing measures against current best international practices. They produced updated, even more comprehensive programs, encompassing digital assets and systems for safety, security and emergency preparedness. CNSC staff reviewed these programs and deemed them to meet regulatory expectations. To further strengthen the CNSC’s regulatory framework around cyber security for the nuclear industry, CNSC staff participated extensively in drafting new CSA standard N290.7, Cyber security for nuclear power plants and small reactor facilities, which was published in December 2014. This document – which will form the cornerstone of the CNSC’s regulation of cyber security in Canada – clearly outlines expectations for protecting systems that are important to safety, security and emergency preparedness, as well as international safeguards against cyber threats at nuclear facilities. The CNSC has also introduced new cyber-security compliance verification criteria to licence conditions handbooks, and has produced a first-of-its-kind inspection guide for conducting cyber-security inspections. A successful pilot inspection was conducted at an NPP at the beginning of 2015, and further cyber-security inspections are planned at other Canadian NPPs over the next few years. Working both nationally with licensees and internationally with its counterparts, the CNSC ensures that Canadian NPPs maintain a strong cyber-security posture. NPP licensees’ programs for cyber security are designed, implemented and maintained based upon administrative, operational and technical controls. These programs are robust to counter the persistent, increasingly sophisticated nature of existing cyber threats that are targeting energy sectors around the world.
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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionThe CNSC will hold a public hearing on November 9 and 10, 2016, in Port Hope, ON, to consider an application from Cameco Corporation to renew, for a period of 10 years, its nuclear fuel facility operating licence for the Port Hope Conversion Facility. Cameco presently operates this facility under a licence issued by the CNSC and valid until February 28, 2017. The Commission will be accepting both written and oral interventions for the hearing. Requests to intervene must be filed with the Commission Secretary by October 3, 2016. Through its Participant Funding Program, the CNSC is offering up to $50,000 in funding to assist members of the public, Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders in reviewing Cameco’s licence renewal application and associated documents and participating in the Commission hearing process. The deadline for submitting a completed participant funding application form tothe CNSC is June 30, 2016. Continue reading http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1043409

Mar 29th

Mar 24th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionWhat do uranium tailings look like when you look really, really close? Two of our scientists travel to Chicago to learn more about uranium tailings and brought back some good images. Last fall, the CNSC’s Drs. Karina Lange and Steve Mihok visited the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago to get conduct state-of-the-art synchrotron X-ray micro-spectroscopy studies at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). This independent CNSC research is being done under the auspices of a Research and Support Program project being conducted with Dr. Tony Lanzirotti, an APS beamline scientist with the University of Chicago. The APS is the brightest storage ring-generated X-ray source in North America, only three of these extremely bright, third-generation synchrotron facilities exist worldwide. The objective of this work is to characterize the exact forms of key radionuclides in uranium mine tailings of different ages to support more realistic geochemical and mineralogical models of the evolution of various contaminants in tailings management facilities. The results are expected to have practical implications towards strategies for managing tailings over the long term, and will directly support regulatory licensing decisions related to the decommissioning and remediation of operating and legacy uranium mines in Canada. Learn more about uranium mine tailings http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/waste/uranium-mines-and-millswaste/index.cfm#Tailings Learn more abour the CNSC's research program http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/research/research-and-support-program/index.cfm

Mar 23rd

Mar 21st

Mar 17th

Mar 16th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionRadiation can be a challenging concept to fully comprehend. So, as part of an effort to make it more understandable, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden created the Radioactive Orchestra. This fun and interactive program helps users learn more about the fascinating science of radioactivity. To find out how they did it, or how to make your own "radioactive music," check out the links below! The Radioactive Orchestra: Making Music With Radiation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7sNjIDWsWg#t=13 Try it for yourself: http://www.nuclear.kth.se/radioactiveorchestra/

Mar 15th

Mar 14th

Mar 11th

Mar 10th

Mar 8th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionOn this International Women’s Day, here is the inspiring profile of Dr. Patsy Thompson, a scientist who has been working at the CNSC since 1993. When Dr. Thompson (Ph.D. in Aquatic Sciences, Toxicology) started her career at the CNSC, she initially focused on the development of approaches for, as well as conducting, assessments and research on environmental impacts and effects on biota of radioactive discharges from nuclear facilities. More recently, her work has included research and assessments of the health risks of exposure to ionizing radiation. Dr. Thompson has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. At the International level, Dr. Thompson has participated in technical committees, coordinated research projects and technical cooperation missions at the IAEA, was chair of the subcommittee on genotoxicity of the Inter-Governmental Aquatic Toxicity Group, and was a member of the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s Task Group on Environmental Protection. She has also acted as an expert advisor to various governments on the environment and effects of radioactivity on the environment. Dr. Thompson was appointed as scientific advisor for the Conseil Scientifique at the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (France) in 2009. She has been the Canadian representative on the IAEA’s Radiation Safety Standards Committee since 2009, and the Canadian representative on the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation since 2014. Dr. Thompson’s work just goes to show that women are accomplishing great things in many inspiring ways. Her contributions to science, the environment, and radiation safety are demonstrative of the fact that when women are given the opportunity, they can accomplish anything. Happy International Women’s Day! To see a few other profiles of amazing women at the CNSC, click here: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/cnsconline/women-in-nuclear/eng/index.cfm

Mar 3rd

Mar 1st

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionToday, Mr. Jammal is at the Convention on Nuclear Safety Officers’ Turnover Meeting at IAEA Headquarters to take on his role of President of the 7th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. In his opening remarks, he set out his commitments as President and the key objectives for the 7th Review Meeting to ensure global nuclear safety by maintaining the highest level of safety of nuclear power reactors around the world. He also took this opportunity to thank all Contracting Parties for his appointment. Ramzi Jammal, CNSC Executive Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Operations Officer, was elected unanimously by Contracting Parties as President of the 7th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety last October. As President, Mr. Jammal will lead discussions among participating countries on how to improve nuclear safety worldwide through a constructive exchange of views. Mr. Jammal succeeds Mr. André-Claude Lacoste, former Chairman of France’s nuclear regulator, the Autorité de sûreté nucléaire. The 7th Review Meeting of the Convention will be held in the spring of 2017 in Vienna. “It is an honour to have been elected as President of the 7th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. With the assistance of the two Vice-Presidents, Mr. Georg Schwarz and Mr. Geoffrey Emi-Reynolds, I want to make the 7th Review Meeting a successful one, and this meeting is the beginning of this process. I want to demonstrate to the world the effectiveness of the CNS at maintaining and improving global nuclear safety.” Read Mr. Jammal's opening remarks: http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/presentations/opening-remarks-by-ramzi-jammal.cfm

Feb 26th

Feb 24th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionScientific information is easiest to understand when presented in different and interesting ways. For instance, have you seen the Radiation and Health video? This video takes you beyond the tiny world of the atom to explore sources of radiation, the concept of dose, and how radiation affects the body and health. This is just one example of how the CNSC works to make reliable and accurate information available to all Canadians. http://ow.ly/YIcEc
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    Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission50 years of service – now that's what you call corporate memory! http://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2016/02/23/nrc-librarian-not-yet-closing-the-book-on-his-lengthy-career/ Congratulations to Mr. Paul Gallien, from your counterparts of the library of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission! Our technical library, like the US NRC's, provides a valuable resource for our staff in which scientific and technical information is managed and preserved. DYK? The CNSC Library in Ottawa is open to the public! The Library is a depository for all CNSC publications. It also has an extensive collection of publications produced by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Energy Agency. If you can't get to Ottawa, talk to your local library about arranging an inter-library loan.

Feb 23rd

Feb 22nd

Feb 18th

Feb 17th

Feb 16th

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    Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionIn late November 2015, the Government Operations Centre (GOC) – leading the Syrian Refugee Initiative to resettle 25,000 refugees in Canada – sent out a request to departments asking for their help to provide logistical planning and coordination to meet this massive undertaking. CNSC’s staff response was overwhelming. Within 2 days, there were over 70 volunteers from all areas of the CNSC, all very excited to be a part of the initiative. The first two individuals who were able to volunteer immediately were Marc Bergeron and Abdul Alwani. In Marc’s words, the reason for stepping forward was simple: “Having seen images of what’s been happening to the plight of Syrian refugees juxtaposed against images that I’ve seen form World War II, it was easy for me to answer the call… it was my small way of helping build a better world”. Both Marc and Abdul are now back at the CNSC, and by mid-January Adèle Bissonnette began reporting to GOC in a logistics operations role and will be there until mid-February. To sum up the experience, Abdul reflects that “It was supposed to be the month of holidays and taking time off to spend with family and friends. It turned out to be a rather productive period. Volunteering to work on this exciting mission was very dear to my heart as it was about helping 25,000 victims of war in my birth country recover their lives here in Canada. It was a feeling of joy when the first flight landed on December 10, seeing new Canadians safe and sound in what is now their country. It was a visible example of the total count of people growing to meet our goal. Perhaps it was not the holiday vacation I was thinking of, but it was certainly an exciting and wonderful experience.” If you are looking for ways you can personally contribute to helping welcome Syrian refugees to Canada, here are a few links with information on how to donate, get involved as a volunteer or sponsor a family or an individual. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/help.asp – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada http://www.international.gc.ca/humanitarian-humanitaire/canadians_help-aide_canadien.aspx?lang=eng – Global Affairs Canada (Credit: Tracey Sallie D’Crus, with contributions from Marc Bergeron and Abdul Alwani)

Feb 15th

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