Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

*The information is drawn from the website of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)


CNSC regulates the nuclear sector in Canada


The CNSC protects the health, safety and security of Canadians as well as the environment, and respects Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.


CNSC was established in 2000 under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources. The CNSC was created to replace the former Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), which was founded in 1946. Licensees and organizations applying for licences are subject to many rules and regulations that make nuclear energy and materials safe. At the Commission Tribunal, public hearings are held about licensing decisions and they have meetings about the nuclear regulatory process.


Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the CNSC’s mandate involves four major areas:

  • regulation of the development, production and use of nuclear energy in Canada to protect health, safety and the environment;
  • regulation of the production, possession, use and transport of nuclear substances, and the production, possession and use of prescribed equipment and prescribed information;
  • implementation of measures respecting international control of the development, production, transport and use of nuclear energy and substances, including measures respecting the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive devices;
  • dissemination of scientific, technical and regulatory information concerning the activities of CNSC, and the effects on the environment, on the health and safety of persons, of the development, production, possession, transport and use of nuclear substances.


Uranium Mines and Mills in Canada


All uranium mines and mills in Canada are regulated and licensed by the CNSC for the protection of Canadians and the environment.


Operating licences for uranium mines and mills are for specific periods of time, usually between two and five years, and are subject to licensing renewal decisions before the end of each licence period.


The renewal of existing licences and all proposals for new mining and milling activities require the approval of the Commission Tribunal.


CNSC's licensing process for uranium mines and mills follows the stages laid out in the Uranium Mines and Mills Regulations, proceeding progressively through site preparation and construction, operating, decommissioning, and abandonment (or release from licensing) phases.


At each licensing stage, CNSC determines whether the licence applicant is qualified and has made adequate provisions for the protection of health, safety, security and the environment. Applicants must also demonstrate the required measures to meet Canada's international obligations for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. In addition, some projects may also require an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.


CNSC will issue a licence only if it is satisfied that the applicant meets all regulatory requirements and licence conditions.


For more information, consult the Commission’s website: