Notice: On January 1, 2022, the Commission Secretariat and Secretary became the Commission Registry and Registrar. As a result of this name change, references on the website and in CNSC documentation have been or are in the process of being updated. Please note that historical references will not be modified.
Commission proceedings have not been affected by this name change. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any Commission-related questions.
Guided by its important mandate, the Commission makes independent, fair and transparent decisions on licensing nuclear related activities.
The CNSC was established in 2000 under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act to replace the former Atomic Energy Control Board and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources on the Commission's activities under the Act. Neither the Minister nor the Governor in Council has a role in the Commission’s decision making or the power of appeal. Its decisions are reviewable only by the Federal Court of Canada.
The CNSC’s regulatory framework consists of laws passed by Parliament that govern the regulation of Canada's nuclear industry, and regulations, licences and documents the CNSC uses to regulate the nuclear industry.
The Commission Registrar is responsible for the management and administration of the Commission Registry. The Commission is a court of record, and as such must capture and preserve a record of its proceedings, which are quasi-judicial and subject to the rules of procedural fairness; the record of the Commission is accurate and must be carefully maintained.
The Commission Registrar and the Registry staff are responsible for the processing, recording and directing of all documents filed with the Commission by parties/participants, as well as recording all steps and events during the life of a quasi-judicial proceeding before the Commission. The Registrar also administers the Commission’s meetings and the minutes and decisions that result from meetings. The Registrar is responsible for scheduling and logistics of all Commission hearings and meetings, providing support during Commission proceedings, and preparing documentation for all matters before the Commission – reflecting its status as a court of record.
Learn more about the CNSC’s Commission Registrar, Denis Saumure.
The Commission is an independent administrative tribunal set up at arm's length from government, with no ties to the nuclear industry.
The Commission makes its decisions transparently, guided by clear rules of procedure. Interested parties and members of the public are able to participate in public Commission hearings, which are webcast live and often held in facility host communities to make them as accessible as possible to local residents.
The Commission provides extensive reasons for its decisions, which are based on information and evidence that includes public input as well as the recommendations of expert CNSC staff. Decisions, hearing transcripts, webcast archives and other documentation are publicly available on the CNSC website. In some instances, before making a decision, the Commission will offer a party an opportunity to be heard before making a decision.
The Commission is supported by more than 800 scientific, technical and professional staff. These employees review applications for licences according to regulatory requirements, make recommendations to the Commission, and enforce compliance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, regulations and any licence conditions imposed by the Commission.
The Nuclear Safety and Control Act allows the Commission to designate certain CNSC staff to carry out specific licensing and regulatory actions. Staff who are granted this decision-making authority are referred to as designated officers (DOs).
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