CNSC and AECL Announce Findings from Independent “Lessons Learned” Review of NRU Reactor Events
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2008
Ottawa - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) today announce that Talisman International, LLC has concluded its “lessons learned” report related to the circumstances that led up to the extended outage of AECL's National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ontario in November and December 2007.
The independent review consisted of document reviews and interviews, and was focused on renewal of the NRU licence in 2005 and 2006 and the extended outage in late 2007. As part of its mandate, Talisman was asked to identify the underlying causes of the extended outage and to make recommendations for improvements in both organizations that would prevent a repeat occurrence or similar situation.
The report outlines 15 specific recommendations, which CNSC and AECL have fully accepted. The report also includes responses by both organizations to these recommendations and outlines the actions that will be taken to address each recommendation.
CNSC and AECL have examined the lessons learned report carefully, and recognize the need to clarify licence requirements and improve the implementation, tracking and completion of licensing commitments. Both organizations have already taken action to improve communications at all levels, including a process to allow for senior management oversight and resolution when warranted.
Commenting on the review, CNSC President Michael Binder stated, “To address the review team’s findings and recommendations, CNSC has put a corrective action plan in place with aggressive timelines. We are working to ensure a constructive relationship with AECL and to ensure that the NRU licence conditions and outstanding commitments are clearly defined and understood.”
“We accept the lessons learned report and are committed to taking the actions required to ensure our operational processes and communications practices are adjusted in accordance with the recommendations,” said AECL’s President and CEO Hugh MacDiarmid. “I will be personally overseeing the implementation of these improvements to ensure they are in place as quickly as possible and we are confident that the actions we are taking to address the recommendations will prevent any similar situations in the future.”
English or French versions of the lessons learned report can be viewed and downloaded from both CNSC and AECL websites.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is an independent quasi-judicial agency that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources. The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment, and to respect Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is a full service nuclear technology company providing services to nuclear utilities around the world. Established in 1952, AECL is the designer and builder of CANDU technology including the CANDU 6, one of the world's top-performing reactors. AECL's 4,800 employees deliver cutting edge nuclear services, R&D support, design, and engineering, construction management, specialized technology, refurbishment, waste management and decommissioning in support of CANDU reactor products. More information on AECL and CANDU technology can be found at www.aecl.ca.
About Talisman International
Talisman International is an international consulting firm based in Washington D.C. whose personnel have conducted evaluations of the operational and regulatory performance of nuclear facilities since the mid-1980s.
For additional information, please contact:
CNSC Media Relations
Manager, External Communications