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CNSC responds to the articles published in The Peterborough Examiner on January 8, 11 and 18, 2020

For the benefit of your readers, we would like to correct some information in a number of articles you published recently (January 8, 11 and 18) regarding the relicensing of the BWXT plant in Peterborough. Contrary to what has been repeatedly stated in the articles, no decision has been made by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to renew the licence of BWXT or to allow it to manufacture pellets at the Peterborough facility.

It is important to make the distinction between the Commission, which is composed of members appointed by the Governor in Council, and CNSC staff.

The Commission is an independent administrative tribunal set up at arm's length from government, with no ties to the nuclear industry. It makes its decisions transparently and independently from government, industry and CNSC staff.

On the other hand, the CNSC is composed of more than 800 scientific, technical and professional staff who review licence applications against regulatory requirements, make recommendations to the Commission, and enforce compliance.

CNSC staff have conducted a comprehensive assessment of BWXT’s licence renewal application and have submitted their conclusions and recommendations to the Commission. The Commission will make the decision following the public hearing in March, taking into account the position of CNSC staff and interventions from the public. Under no circumstances should the staff assessment be considered a Commission decision.

We hope that this explains the difference between the two bodies, and we strongly invite you to read the frequently asked questions dedicated to this matter.


Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

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