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Atomic Energy of Canada Limited National Research Universal Reactor Safety System Upgrades and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's Licensing and Oversight Process

X. Performance Improvement and Oversight

The current regulatory system is primarily “expert-based” vs. “process-based”, and can be characterized as “the licensee proposes and the regulator disposes.”

Observation (33) - Self-Assessment (SA) and Oversight (O)

AECL oversight and self-assessments did not identify the existence of the programmatic weaknesses discussed above. While it would be expected that the above processes and implementation by the line organization should have caught the deviation from the project plan and EPS design change package, other lines of defense, self-assessment and oversight by Quality Assurance (QA), should have also identified the deviation. Programmatic weaknesses of the nature that allowed the EPS modification to be closed without the connection to MHWPs are significant, and should have been identified by an effective Self-Assessment Program and QA Program.


A-O-4: AECL should continue to increase and strengthen its QA Program and its implementation.

AECL Management Response
AECL is in the process of improving its QA program (governing programs and standards), and will include lessons learned from this event in the planned improvements.

A-O-5: AECL should assess the effectiveness of Quality Control and QA.

AECL Management Response
AECL will conduct a focussed causal assessment on why QC and QA staff did not identify the deviation.

A-SA-1: AECL should continue to increase and strengthen its self-assessment programs.

AECL Management Response
AECL is focussing on improvements to its self-assessment program. In 08/09, these improvements will be driven by a performance-based audit of the self-assessment program (see overall recommendation 15).

A-SA-2: AECL should arrange and conduct a peer review of the CRL self-assessment program.

AECL Management Response
AECL will include industry peers on the performance-based audit mentioned in the response to A-SA-1 (see overall recommendation 15).

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