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Overview of the Historical and Regulatory Basis for Exclusion-Zone Sizing in Canada

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
38th Annual Conference of the Canadian Nuclear Society and 42nd Annual CNS/CNA Student Conference
June 3–6, 2018 (poster presented on June 4)

Preapred by:
Nicole Allison, Kyle Cormier, Chantal Morin, Garry Schwarz
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


In recent years, vendors and proponents of emerging reactor technologies have indicated their intention to establish smaller exclusion zones around new nuclear power plants, which they claim are suitable for their new, innovative reactor designs. In light of this, the historical basis for the exclusion-zone sizing, as well as current national and international practices in this area, were reviewed to highlight the evolution of exclusion-zone sizing determination in Canada.

An exclusion zone is an area surrounding a nuclear facility that is under the control of the licensee and is generally intended to reduce individual and societal risk from nuclear power plants. Historically in Canada, exclusion-zone sizing was conservatively set at 1,000 yards (914 m) radially from the reactor building, reflecting dose limits and uncertainties. In Canada, recent practice in establishing the size of exclusion zones incorporates security and robustness design considerations, environmental factors, evacuation needs, land use and dose acceptance criteria. Use of this approach allows applicants to propose exclusion-zone sizes that are different from those of existing facilities.

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