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Regulatory Oversight of Safety Culture

Abstract of the presentation presented at:
1st bilateral meeting between the CNSC and NRA
October 20-21, 2016 (afternoon)

Prepared by:
André Bouchard & Victor Goebel
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


The Canadian Nuclear Safety (CNSC) regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public. Regulatory oversight of safety culture is an integral part of the CNSC’s mandate. Beginning in the 1990s, the CNSC performed safety culture (SC) assessments of all nuclear power plant licensees as well as at many other major facilities. CNSC staff conduct regular consultations on safety culture with other government departments, industry stakeholders, academia and internationally. In 2012, the CNSC released a SC discussion paper (DIS-12-07) for public consultation. The resulting feedback was integrated into a SC regulatory document (REGDOC-2.1.2), which is currently undergoing public consultation before being issued and included in specific licences. The CNSC has gained several insights and lessons based on past experience in cultivating safety culture improvements, including the importance of the following with respect to SC: establishing clear language; formalizing regulatory expectations; promoting consistent practices across similar licensees; working to integrate security culture; and engaging in dialogue with licensees, industry-based groups, and other key domestic and international stakeholders. This technical presentation will provide an overview of the current state of the CNSC’s oversight of safety culture within the nuclear industry as well as proposed future initiatives.

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