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CANDU Reactors: Long-Term Operation and Refurbishment, CNSC Perspective

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
37th Annual Conference of the Canadian Nuclear Society and 41st Annual CNS/CAN Student
Conference at Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

June 4–7, 2017

Prepared by:
M. Santini, A. Omar
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Numerous nuclear power reactors in Canada have reached or are approaching their assumed design life, and decisions are being made on their continued safe operation.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) does not prescribe the approach taken by licensed operators should they decide to extend their plant’s operation beyond the assumed design life. However, the approach selected by the operators must demonstrate that plant components will continue to be fit for service, and that safety will be enhanced through the implementation of analyzed actions to satisfy, as much as feasible, the requirements and expectations of modern standards and practices.

In 2008, the CNSC issued RD-360, Life Extension of Nuclear Power Plants, a regulatory document describing the expected phases to consider when undertaking a project to extend the life of a nuclear power plant. In 2015, RD-360 was superseded by REGDOC-2.3.3, Periodic Safety Reviews. While RD-360 was aimed at long-term life extension until end of life, REGDOC-2.3.3 proposes an approach of shorter safety reviews (10-year cycles) to establish the scope for potential safety enhancement and to re-baseline the safety case periodically.

The underlying regulatory philosophy remains the same – to stress continuous improvements that will ensure safer operations and enhance modern requirements and good practices at nuclear power plants. The CNSC regulatory approach rests on the continued demonstration of fitness for service and retention of safety margins of the defence-in-depth barriers.

To obtain a copy of the abstract’s document, please contact us at or call 613.995.5894 or 1.800.668.5284 (in Canada). When contacting us, please provide the title and date of the abstract.

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