Regulatory Oversight Report for Uranium Mines, Mills, Historic and Decommissioned Sites in Canada: 2017: Executive Summary
The Regulatory Oversight Report for Uranium Mines, Mills, Historic and Decommissioned Sites in Canada: 2017 presents Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff’s assessment of licensee performance for operating, historic and decommissioned uranium mines and mills regulated by the CNSC. This report also provides an update on staff activities related to public information, community engagement and relevant aspects of the CNSC’s Independent Environmental Monitoring Program.
CNSC staff use the safety and control area framework to evaluate the performance of each licensee. This report provides performance ratings for all 14 safety and control areas (SCAs) for operating uranium mines and mills and, where applicable, for historic and decommissioned uranium mines and mills. This report focuses on three SCAs that contain the majority of the key performance indicators for these facilities: radiation protection, environmental protection, and conventional health and safety. Information provided covers the 2017 calendar year for operating uranium mines and mills, and the 2016 and 2017 calendar years for historic and decommissioned sites. Where possible, trends are shown and information is compared to previous years.
The SCA ratings in this report were derived from results of compliance activities conducted by CNSC staff. These activities included onsite inspections, technical assessments, review of reports submitted by licensees, event and incident reviews, and ongoing exchanges of information with licensees. For this reporting year, CNSC staff rated all SCAs as "satisfactory" for all operating uranium mines and mills with the exception of the McClean Lake radiation protection SCA, which was rated "fully satisfactory".
For the reporting year of 2016, CNSC staff rated all SCAs as "satisfactory" for all historic and decommissioned sites with the exception of the radiation protection SCA for Port Radium, Rayrock and Agnew Lake mines, which were rated "below expectations". CNSC staff determined that while these sites had specific elements of a radiation protection program (such as dosimetry, signage and limited site access), the licensees’ radiation protection programs were not comprehensive or well structured.
For the reporting year of 2017, all SCAs of historic and decommissioned sites were rated "satisfactory" with the exception of the Elliot Lake historic sites, which were rated "below expectations" for the environmental protection SCA. Nonetheless, CNSC staff have confirmed that safety to persons and the environment was not compromised at these sites. CNSC staff confirmed that all operating uranium mine and mill sites in Canada operated safely during 2017, and that historic and decommissioned uranium mine and mill sites operated safely through 2016 and 2017.
CNSC staff concluded that the licensees for the regulated sites covered in this report have made adequate provision for the health and safety of workers, the protection of the public and the environment, and Canada’s international obligations. Documents referenced in this report are available to the public upon request.
Referenced documents in this Commission member document are available to the public upon request by contacting:
Senior Tribunal Officer, Secretariat
Tel.: 613-996-9063 or 1-800-668-5284
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