Language selection


Timeline: HTML Version

Dr. Michael Binder

(2008 - Present)


Michael Binder is appointed CNSC President Dr. Michael Binder has a Ph.D. in physics and previously held senior positions at Industry Canada, the Department of Communications, the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs, and the Defence Research Board.


The CNSC resumes regulatory control of the National Research Universal reactor The CNSC resumes full regulatory oversight of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s National Research Universal reactor. The reactor had been exempted from regulatory control for 120 days after Royal Assent was granted for Bill C-38 on December 12, 2007.


Amendments are made to the Nuclear Safety and Control Act Various regulations are amended to correct regulatory deficiencies and inconsistencies, to increase protection of workers, the public and the environment, and to adopt the latest international standards for exemption values and clearance levels.


The CNSC receives an award for regulatory excellence The Community of Federal Regulators presents the CNSC with a Regulatory Excellence Award in Innovation in recognition of the National Sealed Source Registry and Sealed Source Tracking System. This prestigious award recognizes significant achievements and successful initiatives within Canada's regulatory community. (Source: Community of Federal Regulators)

Harmonized plan

CNSC develops a Harmonized Plan of improvement initiatives

The CNSC developed a Harmonized Plan of improvement initiatives. This plan responds to lessons learned from the Chalk River National Research Universal (NRU) reactor shutdown in December 2007 and other relevant audit findings, and harmonizes improvement initiatives under a single umbrella.


CNSC initiates an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) is one of the services offered to Member States by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The purpose of an IRRS mission is to compare the regulatory practices of a country with international standards and equivalent good practices elsewhere in the world. IRRS peer reviews are opportunities for both regulators and peer reviewers to learn about different approaches to the organization and practices of national regulatory bodies.

The 2009 IRRS mission confirmed the effectiveness of Canada’s nuclear regulatory framework.

CNSC Staff

The CNSC 101 program is launched

The CNSC 101 program strives to build public understanding of Canada’s nuclear regulatory regime. It does so by delivering information sessions to diverse and engaged public audiences in select locations. During each session, participants have an opportunity to learn and ask questions about the CNSC’s role as Canada’s nuclear regulator.


The CNSC a holds public hearing on the shipment of used steam generators The CNSC holds a public hearing on Bruce Power’s application to package and transport 16 steam generators through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to Sweden for recycling. Initially non-radioactive, the interior of the bus-sized steam generators became contaminated with low levels of radioactivity during their service lives. Through the licensed Swedish facility, the generators would be recycled such that 90 percent of the metal could be decontaminated and sold as scrap. The remainder of the original volume would be returned to the licensee for storage.

The CNSC conducts a thorough environmental review under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and concludes the shipment to be low risk. However, in light of public concern about the potential impact on health and the environment, the CNSC decides to hold a public hearing to allow the public to be heard before the Commission, and to facilitate the presentation of accurate information relating to the health and safety risks of the proposed shipment. Seventy-seven intervenors take part at the hearing.


The CNSC implements a Participant Funding Program The program gives members of the public, Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders the opportunity to request funding in support of their participation in the CNSC’s regulatory decision-making process. The PFP is available to eligible stakeholders whose proposed activities are related to aspects of Environmental Assessments (EA) and/or a licensing action for major nuclear facilities (e.g., uranium mines, nuclear power plants or nuclear waste facilities). Funding may also be available for CNSC proceedings that are of significant interest to the public or to Aboriginal groups.


The CNSC responds to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan Following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan and led to a nuclear crisis, the CNSC draws on its staff’s scientific, technical and communications expertise to report daily to Canadians on the situation and on different aspects of radiation and the safety of Canada’s nuclear power plants (NPPs). The CNSC also requests that all NPP operators in Canada review initial lessons learned from the earthquake and re-examine NPP safety cases. The operators are asked to focus on external hazards such as earthquakes, floods, fire and extreme weather events; measures to prevent and mitigate severe accidents; and emergency preparedness. The CNSC also requests they report on how they plan to address any significant gaps. Specialists from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and the CNSC also join the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fukushima Accident Coordination Team.


The CNSC establishes a task force to learn from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Following the March 30, 2011 Commission meeting, the CNSC announces the establishment of an operational task force to evaluate the operational, technical and regulatory implications of the March 11, 2011 nuclear event in Japan in relation to Canadian nuclear power plants. The task force comprises senior CNSC experts in reactor design, safety assessment, and emergency preparedness and response.


The Minister of the Environment and the CNSC President announces the establishment of a Joint Review Panel(JRP)for the deep geologic repository project

The Honourable Peter Kent, federal Minister of the Environment and Michael Binder, President of the CNSC, announces the establishment of a Joint Review Panel JRP to review Ontario Power Generation's proposed project to construct and operate a facility for the long-term management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Ontario. Dr. Stella Swanson was appointed as the panel Chair and Dr. James F. Archibald and Dr. Gunter Muecke were appointed as members. Read their biographies.


With RD/GD-99.3 Public Information and Disclosure, major regulated facilities in Canada are required to have robust public information and disclosure programs. The objective is to ensure that information about the health, safety and security of persons and the environment and other issues associated with the lifecycle of a nuclear facility are effectively communicated to the public. These new regulatory requirements put the onus on licensees to proactively inform their public and stakeholders of their facilities’ activities, as well as any event or incident that occurs.


Michael Binder reappointed as CNSC President The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced the re-appointment of Dr. Michael Binder as President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Dr. Binder, who was first appointed to the position in January 2008, was re-appointed for a five-year term.


La centrale nucléaire de Gentilly-2 est fermée définitivement

La centrale nucléaire de Gentilly-2 est fermée définitivement, après près de 30 ans de production d’énergie nucléaire.


CNSC issues an eight-year licence to Cameco Corporation’s Cigar Lake Project

Cigar Lake, which is located about 660 kilometres north of Saskatoon, SK, is considered one of the world's most technically challenging uranium deposits to mine. Commercial production began in May 2015.


AMP Regulations come into force

Administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) are monetary penalties imposed by the regulator, without court involvement, for the violation of a regulatory requirement. They can be applied against any individual or corporation subject to the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. AMPs are a new tool in the CNSC's compliance verification and enforcement toolkit, providing the CNSC with a broader range of options for responding to non-compliance.


Canada scores second overall on Nuclear Threat Initiative Index The Nuclear Threat Initiative released the 2014 edition of its Nuclear Materials Security Index. Canada was ranked in second place overall based on its improved transportation regulations, and the ratification of two key international nuclear security agreements: the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.(Source: Nuclear Threat Initiative)


CNSC publishes the RADICON study

The CNSC completed a groundbreaking ecological study on populations living near Ontario's three nuclear power plants (NPPs). The purpose of the Radiation and Incidence of Cancer Around Ontario Nuclear Power Plants from 1990 to 2008 study (the "RADICON" study) was to determine the radiation doses to members of the public living within 25 km of the Pickering, Darlington, and Bruce NPPs and to compare cancer cases among these people with the general population of Ontario from 1990 to 2008. The study was conducted using data from the Canadian and Ontario Cancer Registries and the Census of Canada.

The study concluded that public radiation doses resulting from the operation of the NPPs are 100 to 1,000 times lower than natural background radiation and there is no evidence of childhood leukemia clusters around the three Ontario NPPs. Thus, radiation is not a plausible explanation for any excess cancers observed within 25 km of any Ontario NPP.


CNSC participates in Exercise Unified Response

Exercise Unified Response (ExUR) was simulated at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station and involved all levels of government, including the utility operator. This three-day exercise tested different aspects of emergency preparedness and response. With more than 50 organizations involved, this was the first national, multi-jurisdictional nuclear emergency response exercise to be conducted since 1999.


CNSC launches its Independent Environmental Monitoring Program As a complement to its compliance activities, the CNSC implemented its Independent Environmental Monitoring Program to verify that the public and environment around CNSC-regulated nuclear facilities are not adversely affected by releases to the environment. This verification is achieved through independent sampling and analysis by the CNSC. The program results confirmed public safety was protected around the Bruce A and B nuclear generating stations.


CNSC’s final hypothetical severe accident study is released The Study of Consequences of a Hypothetical Severe Nuclear Accident and Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures was done to assess the consequences and possible mitigation of a hypothetical severe nuclear accident in Canada. It addressed concerns raised during public hearings in December 2012 on the environmental assessment for the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station refurbishment project.


IPPAS mission to Canada concludes strong and sustainable nuclear security

An international team of experts and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed an International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission to review national nuclear security practices in Canada. The IPPAS team concluded that Canada conducts strong and sustainable nuclear security activities, and the team identified a number of good practices in the national nuclear security regime.

Convention on Nuclear Safety
Role in international nuclear safety

The Canadian National Report for the Convention on Nuclear Safety, was published August 2016. Canada’s seventh report outlines the various measures that are in place to assure the safe operation of nuclear power plants in Canada and the protection of the health and safety of people and the environment. Ramzi Jammal, the CNSC’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Operations Officer, was elected as the President of the Seventh Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which will be held in Vienna in spring 2017. As President, Mr. Jammal will lead discussions among participating countries on how to improve nuclear safety worldwide through a constructive exchange of views.

Celebrating 70 years of nuclear safety in Canada

Since 1946, the CNSC and its predecessor, the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), have regulated Canada's nuclear sector, continuously strengthening Canada's laws, regulations and licensing requirements, and enforcing compliance by licensees. The CNSC is mandated to regulate the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security, and the environment. Over the past 70 years, the CNSC has learned a lot about how to grow the best nuclear regulator in the world.

Convention on Nuclear Safety

CNSC, in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), provides regulatory training to participants from nine Caribbean countries.

CNSC publishes regulatory document REGDOC-2.2.4, Fitness for Duty, Volume II: Managing Alcohol and Drug Use.

From September 11 to October 6, 2017, representatives from nine Caribbean countries participated in classroom and field training hosted by the CNSC in Ottawa. The course, in partnership with the IAEA, was part of a regional cooperation project RLCA9082, Establishing and Strengthening Sustainable National Regulatory Infrastructures for the Control of Radiation Sources. Participating countries included Haiti, Dominica, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda. The collaboration with the IAEA is integral in ensuring that regulators work towards a global unified approach to the safety of nuclear substances. The presence of the trainees in Canada is a testimony to the recognition of the CNSC as a world-class nuclear safety regulator and our aim to be the best nuclear regulator in the world.

Read our feature article.

Convention on Nuclear Safety

REGDOC-2.2.4, Fitness for Duty, Volume II: Managing Alcohol and Drug Use, version 2 sets out requirements and guidance for managing fitness for duty of workers in relation to alcohol and drug use and abuse at all high-security sites, as defined in the Nuclear Security Regulations. Human performance is a key contributor to the safety and security of nuclear facilities. One factor that affects human performance is fitness for duty.

The adoption of measures that monitor alcohol and drug use or abuse is a key component of ensuring worker fitness for duty. This document is intended for inclusion in licences as either part of the conditions and safety and control measures in a licence, or as part of the safety and control measures to be described in a licence application and the documents needed to support that application.

REGDOC-2.2.4, Fitness for Duty, Volume II: Managing Alcohol and Drug Use, version 2

Historical Timeline

Page details

Date modified: