Canada and Argentina Sign Arrangement on Import and Export of Radioactive Sources
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2009
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the Autoridad Regulatoria Nuclear (ARN) of Argentina have signed an Administrative Arrangement on harmonization of regulatory controls on the import and export of radioactive sources. The Arrangement establishes measures that ensure that imports and exports of Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources between Argentina and Canada are conducted in a manner consistent with requirements under the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources (the Code) and the IAEA Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources (the Guidance) (PDF).
Canada is a global leader in the manufacture and export of Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources that are subject to the provisions of the IAEA Code and Guidance. As such, the Canadian Government is a strong proponent of the establishment and maintenance of an effective, efficient and harmonized international regime for ensuring the safety and security of such sources.This view is equally shared by the Government of Argentina, as demonstrated by their contribution to the development of the IAEA Code and Guidance and their continued efforts to promote best practices related to the transfer and control of Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources.
“I am pleased that we have concluded this Arrangement with our Argentinean counterparts”, said CNSC President Michael Binder. “Establishing such Arrangements is an important and instrumental step in the implementation of the IAEA Code and Guidance, further ensuring the safety and security of Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources.”
“The Arrangement signed by the CNSC and ARN demonstrates the continued efforts towards international commitments and the working relationship our countries share regarding nuclear safety and security and reinforces the excellent quality of our bilateral relationship in nuclear cooperation,” said ARN Chairman Raúl Racana.
The establishment of this Administrative Arrangement between the CNSC and ARN contributes to the efforts and commitments of both agencies and Governments toward the establishment of a harmonized international regime for ensuring the security and safety of Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources aligned with the IAEA Code and Guidance.
For additional information:
CNSC Media Relations
Autoridad Regulatoria Nuclear
Nuclear Affairs and Institutional Communications Department
About administrative arrangements for import and export of radioactive sources
Canada is a global leader in the export of risk-significant radioactive sources that are subject to the provisions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources (the Code) and the IAEA Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources (the Guidance) (PDF).As such, the Government of Canada is a strong proponent of the establishment and maintenance of an effective, efficient and harmonized international regime to ensure the safety and security of such sources.In support of such action, the Government of Canada made a political commitment to the IAEA on the implementation of the import and export control provisions of the Code and Guidance.The CNSC is responsible for implementing the requisite import and export control measures under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.
The CNSC is pursuing bilateral Administrative Arrangements with international counterpart organizations in various countries to establish measures to ensure that imports and exports of radioactive sources between Canada and these countries are conducted in a manner consistent with the IAEA Code and Guidance.These Arrangements will assist in harmonizing regulatory approaches for the authorization of imports and exports and will facilitate the sharing of regulatory information related to such imports and exports.
Radioactive sealed sources are used around the world in medicine, industry, agriculture, research and education, and vary widely in radiological risk.In 2005, the IAEA published a risk-based ranking of radioactive sources and practice, which uses five categories.The category assigned to each radioactive substance that makes up a sealed source takes into consideration factors such as the radiological risk associated with the source, the nature of the work or application, the mobility of the source, experience from reported accidents, and typical versus unique activities within an application.These factors are used to assign sources to one of the five categories.Category 1 and 2 sources are considered to pose the greatest risk to human health if not managed safely and securely, while Category 5 sources pose the lowest risk. Category 1 sources are used in self shielded irradiators for experimental purposes or as a means of sterilization.They are also used in gamma knife radiosurgery and teletherapy as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells. Category 2 sources are used in industrial radiography to detect internal imperfections (voids, cracks, flaws, etc.) in pressure vessels, pipelines, ships and reactor components.
Since the implementation of the enhanced CNSC import and export control program for radioactive sources in April 2007, the CNSC has authorized transfers of risk-significant sources to 74 countries.The CNSC’s regulatory control program is regarded as a “benchmark” program by other IAEA member states, given the measures it has introduced to allow for effective and efficient authorizations.
The establishment of bilateral Administrative Agreements, pursuant to section 21(1) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, with regulatory authorities in countries with which Canada has substantial trade in risk-significant radioactive sources, and with countries that share Canada’s commitments to international controls on transfers of radioactive sources, is a key element of Canada’s regulatory control program. The objective of the Arrangements is to establish efficient and harmonized bilateral procedures for the implementation of import and export controls, thus reducing the risk of undue delays in authorizing transfers of such sources.The CNSC’s work in developing a model bilateral Arrangement and its practical application is highly regarded internationally.
The CNSC consulted with Canadian industry and analyzed import/export data to identify key trading countries with which establishment of bilateral Arrangements would be a priority for both the CNSC and Canadian exporters.The first of these Arrangements was signed with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and recently, arrangements have come into effect with the Ministerio de Minas y Energía of Colombia and the Comisión National de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias of Mexico.CNSC staff has recently concluded negotiations and agreed texts of Arrangements with the regulatory authorities of Brazil, Argentina, and Italy.Negotiations are ongoing with Australia, Belgium, India, Thailand, United Kingdom and Japan.