On June 1, 2000, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) replaced the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) of Canada. The creation of the Commission followed the coming into force of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act on May 31, 2000. The new act replaced the Atomic Energy Control Act adopted in 1946.
The revamped law, strengthened regulations and increased enforcement powers represented a major overhaul of Canada's nuclear regulatory regime. The new legislation now has more focus on the fields of health, safety, security and environmental protection.
The modernized regulatory regime includes the following:
- Lower radiation dose limits
- Clearly defined powers for inspectors
- Clear appeal provisions
- Strengthened security requirements at reactor sites
- Authority to order remedial actions
- Increased penalties for non-compliance
- Power to demand financial guarantees for decommissioning & waste management
- Enhanced protection for nuclear energy workers, industrial radiographers and carriers of nuclear materials
- Measures requiring hospitals to provide radiation protection information to patients who undergo nuclear medicine therapy
AECB licenses and approvals continued to apply until they expired or were amended. Temporary exemptions from some requirements were in effect for a period of 6 months to 2 years. The exemptions should not have posed a risk to the environment, public health and safety, or national security.
For additional information on the CNSC, contact the McGill RSO at local 1538.