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Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA)
The NSCA came into force on May 31, 2000 when it replaced the Atomic Energy Control Act. It established the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and set out the CNSC's mandate, responsibilities and powers. This Act provided the CNSC with the authority to regulate the development, production and use of nuclear energy and the production, possession and use of nuclear substances, prescribed equipment and prescribed information in Canada.

The CNSC also:

In addition to the NSCA, other federal acts may apply to the nuclear facilities and activities in Canada. Some of the more important pieces of legislation include:

Nuclear security

Nuclear Terrorism Act
Administered by Department of Justice
Scope: The Nuclear Terrorism Act will help combat nuclear terrorism by enhancing the domestic legal framework available to respond to the threat posed by acts of nuclear terrorism and by fulfilling key international commitments Canada has made in the area of nuclear security.

The CNSC has been on the leading edge of implementing safety and security of our nuclear material inventory here in Canada. Its work is meant to be preventive so that nuclear terrorism efforts will be detected and thwarted as early as possible.

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Impact Assessment Act
Administered by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (formerly the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency).
Scope: Broadens the scope of assessments of proposed projects to include environmental, health, social and economic effects – both positive and negative – of a proposed project.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (replaced by the Impact Assessment Act)
Administered by Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Scope: Ensures proposed Government of Canada projects are safe for the environment. Environmental assessments are used to predict the environmental effects of proposed initiatives before they are carried out. In order for a project to proceed, it may need to undergo an environmental assessment, which may require permits or licences administered by these various acts depending on the proposed project. The CNSC is designated as one of three Responsible Authorities (RAs), specifically for nuclear projects.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act
Administered by Environment Canada
Scope: Provides requirements for pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development.

Fisheries Act
Administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Scope: Prevents Canada's fisheries resources from becoming threatened or polluted by proposed or existing projects.

Migratory Birds Convention Act
Administered by Environment Canada
Scope: Protects migratory birds – as populations and individual birds – and their nests in Canada and the United States from being threatened by proposed or existing projects.

Species at Risk Act
Administered by Environment Canada
Scope: Prevents all wildlife species from becoming endangered, extinct or threatened by a proposed or existing project.

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Navigation Protection Act
Administered by Transport Canada
Scope: Provides requirements for the protection of navigable waters, including canals and any other body of water created or altered as a result of the construction of any man-made structure or device.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act
Administered by Transport Canada
Scope: Promotes public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods.

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Occupational health and safety

Canada Labour Code
Administered by Employment and Social Development Canada
Scope: Applies to all industries over which the federal government has jurisdiction – including the nuclear industry. This Act aims to consolidate certain statutes respecting labour.

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Nuclear energy and substances

Nuclear Energy Act
Administered by Natural Resources Canada
Scope: Relates to the development and utilization of nuclear energy. It provides the legislative framework allowing creation of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

Nuclear Fuel Waste Act
Administered by Natural Resources Canada
Scope: Provides a framework for the Governor in Council – from whom the CNSC must seek approval when creating or amending regulations – to make a decision on the management of nuclear fuel waste based on a comprehensive, integrated and economically-sound approach for Canada.

Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act
Administered by Natural Resources Canada
Scope: Provides requirements for civil liability for nuclear damage, special measures for compensation, and general provisions following a nuclear incident resulting in injury or damage. For more information visit the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act.

Radiation Emitting Devices Act
Administered by Health Canada
Scope: Provides requirements for the sale and importation of certain radiation-emitting devices.

Please note: Most of the links on this page are to documents found on the Department of Justice website. The Department of Justice is responsible for maintaining the Consolidated Acts and Regulations for the Government of Canada. Please read the notices and disclaimers provided by the Department of Justice.

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For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and the Government of Canada’s Open Government website under the "Find a Consultation" option.

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