CNSC and United Kingdom Office for Nuclear Regulation to boost cooperation
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the United Kingdom (UK) Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) recently signed two agreements to explore further collaboration and to more effectively regulate an ever-changing nuclear sector.
The two agreements, a testament to the strong relationship and ties between the two regulators, are built on years of collaboration in nuclear safety and security. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) and a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) were signed during a virtual ceremony by CNSC President Rumina Velshi and ONR Chief Nuclear Inspector Mark Foy on October 8, 2020.
The MOU was updated and modernized to reflect the current governance structure in the UK. It provides a framework for enhanced collaboration, allowing for opportunities to share information and experience between the CNSC and ONR.
The MOC, which was established to supplement and strengthen the existing MOU, will provide a framework for sharing information, expertise and best practices to support more efficient technical reviews of small modular reactors and advanced nuclear technologies. It also allows for more effective communication between the two regulators.
CNSC President Velshi is satisfied with the agreements, stating, “I am so pleased with the progress that we are making through increased collaboration with the ONR. Collaborative efforts benefit the work we are each leading in our own countries,” she said.
“Further, these agreements help to expand our mutual cooperation as regulatory leaders to ensure our oversight of the safe development and deployment of innovative technologies without imposing an unnecessary or unreasonable barrier to innovation and advancement,” she added.
Chief Nuclear Inspector Mark Foy said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to put in place the MOU with the CNSC. The MOU makes a formal commitment to cooperation and collaboration that will provide a foundation for us to work together to achieve the very best outcomes in the regulation of advanced reactor and SMR technologies.
“We are both independent regulators and there are clear benefits to working collaboratively on front line regulatory activities that will enable us to become even more effective regulators.”
In recent years, there has been growing interest in new advanced reactor concepts, both in Canada and internationally. The CNSC has therefore made it a top priority to adopt a modern approach to nuclear regulation, and it continues to focus on readiness to regulate new and emerging technologies. Collaborative agreements allow the CNSC to leverage the experience and expertise of other regulators when conducting technical reviews of these emerging technologies and novel designs for small modular reactors.
The CNSC’s Strategy for Readiness to Regulate Advanced Reactor Technologies demonstrates the organization’s preparedness to address regulatory challenges like those presented by new technological advances in reactor designs, as well as new deployment and operational models.
The CNSC is committed to engaging with its international counterparts and fostering collaborative relationships, to strengthening frameworks and to sharing best practices to improve nuclear safety in Canada and abroad.
Learn more about small modular reactors.
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