Regulatory Oversight Report for Canadian Nuclear Power Plants: 2016

Executive Summary

Each year, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) produces a report on the safety performance of Canada’s nuclear power plants (NPPs). This Regulatory Oversight Report for Canadian Nuclear Power Plants: 2016 provides the CNSC staff’s assessment of the Canadian nuclear power industry’s safety performance during 2016 and details the progress of regulatory issues and initiatives up to April 30, 2017.

In 2016:

  • Four NPPs had operating licences.
  • Nineteen reactor units were operational.
  • Pickering Unit 2 and Pickering Unit 3 remained in safe storage.

As reported in the Regulatory Oversight Report for Canadian Nuclear Power Plants: 2015, future regulatory oversight reporting on Gentilly-2, including for the 2016 calendar year, will not be included in this report.

Documents referenced in this regulatory oversight report are available to the public on request.

Overall performance highlights

Through compliance verification inspections, reviews and assessments, CNSC staff concluded that the NPPs operated safely during 2016. The evaluations of all findings for the safety and control areas (SCAs) show that, overall, NPP licensees made adequate provisions for the protection of the health, safety and security of persons and the environment from the use of nuclear energy, and took the measures required to implement Canada’s international obligations on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The following observations support the conclusion of safe operation:

  • There were no serious process failures at the NPPs.
  • Radiation doses to the public were well below the regulatory limit.
  • Radiation doses to workers at the NPPs were below the regulatory limits.
  • The frequency and severity of non-radiological injuries to workers were very low.
  • No radiological releases to the environment from the NPPs exceeded the regulatory limits.
  • Licensees met applicable requirements related to Canada’s international obligations.
  • No NPP events above Level 0 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) were reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Table 1 summarizes the 2016 safety performance of Canada’s NPPs, presenting the SCA ratings for each NPP, the industry average ratings for each SCA and the integrated plant ratings that summarize overall safety performance. The SCA rating categories are “fully satisfactory” (FS), “satisfactory” (SA), “below expectations” (BE) and “unacceptable” (UA). A “satisfactory” rating indicates the licensee’s safety and control measures are effective, while a “fully satisfactory” rating indicates they are highly effective. A “below expectations” rating indicates the safety and control measures are marginally ineffective, while an “unacceptable” rating indicates the safety and control measures are significantly ineffective.

Table 1: Canadian NPP safety performance ratings for 2016
Safety and control area Bruce
A
Bruce
B
Darlington Pickering Point Lepreau Industry average*
*The industry average of all operating NPPs in Canada
Management system SA SA SA SA SA SA
Human performance management SA SA SA SA SA SA
Operating performance FS FS FS FS SA FS
Safety analysis FS FS FS FS FS FS
Physical design SA SA SA SA SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA SA SA SA SA
Radiation protection FS FS FS SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety FS SA SA FS FS FS
Environmental protection SA SA SA SA SA SA
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA SA SA SA SA
Waste management FS FS FS FS SA FS
Security SA SA SA SA SA SA
Safeguards and non-proliferation SA SA SA SA SA SA
Packaging and transport SA SA SA SA SA SA
Integrated plant rating FS SA FS FS SA SA

All NPPs in Canada received SCA ratings of either “fully satisfactory” or “satisfactory” in 2016. There were 19 “fully satisfactory” SCA ratings across the NPPs, the same number reported in 2015.

The industry average in 2016 was “satisfactory” for ten SCAs and “fully satisfactory” for four SCAs. The industry average increased by one “fully satisfactory” SCA from 2015 to 2016.

None of the NPPs received an integrated plant rating of “below expectations” or “unacceptable”.

Performance highlights of each NPP

Table 2 summarizes the safety performance highlights of Canada’s NPPs from 2015 to 2016. The presented SCAs have either remained “fully satisfactory”, decreased from “fully satisfactory” in 2015 to “satisfactory” in 2016, or increased from “satisfactory” in 2015 to “fully satisfactory” in 2016. SCA ratings that have remained “satisfactory” from 2015 to 2016 are not included in this table.

Table 2: Canadian NPP safety performance highlights from 2015 to 2016
Safety and control area Bruce A Bruce B Darlington Pickering Point Lepreau
Year 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016
Operating performance FS FS FS FS FS FS FS FS    
Safety analysis SA FS SA FS FS FS FS FS SA FS
Radiation protection SA FS SA FS FS FS FS SA    
Conventional health and safety FS FS FS SA FS SA FS FS FS FS
Waste management FS FS FS FS FS FS FS FS    
Security FS SA FS SA            
Integrated plant rating FS FS FS SA FS FS FS FS    
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