Monthly Archives: December 2011

Nuclear News Nuclear Pride

Celebrating CNSC 65th Anniversary

When the Atomic Energy Control Act came into force in 1946,  the Atomic Energy Control Board was created to ensure the safety and security of nuclear technologies. In 2000, the new Nuclear and Safety Control Act was enacted, creating the CNSC. This is just a taste of the rich history behind Canada’s independent nuclear regulator that 65 years later is continuing to keep our nuclear operations as safe as knowingly possible.

This year, the CNSC celebrates its 65th anniversary! To celebrate they’re sharing messages from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Natural Resources, and the CNSC President.

They’re also sharing stories from current and past staff members like Mike White and Bonnie Duff, who were Senior Project Officers during the events of Operation Morning Light, the massive search and recovery operation of the Cosmos 954 Russian satellite crash in 1978.

Canada has a long and rich history with nuclear science and technology that includes many firsts Canadians can be proud of. Discover this history through the stories of the people that were there making this technology as safe, reliable, clean and beneficial as it is today.

Check out the interactive historical timeline.
You can step through it chronologically – start from the creation of the solar system billions of years ago to scientists’ first capture of antimatter in 2010, or pick a subject area such as medicine or safety.


Congratulations to the CNSC for 65 great, safe years. Canada has oft been recognized for the strength of its regulatory systems. Our nuclear security is no exception, and in fact can be considered a model of excellence. On December 9 of this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed its follow-up assessment of Canada’s nuclear regulatory framework and concluded that the CNSC’s actions in response to the March 2011 events at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was prompt, robust and comprehensive, and was identified as a good practice that should be used by other regulatory bodies.

Here’s to another 65 and beyond!



Nuclear Energy Nuclear News Nuclear Pride

Canada’s Top Ten Weather Stories for 2011

Environment Canada has put together a year-end review of the top weather stories of 2011.

From floods to fire, melting Arctic seas, heat waves, blizzards, hurricanes and tornados – 2011 was a weather year to remember. Canadians from coast to coast to coast were affected by this year’s weather extremes and their insurance companies reported the second most expensive year for weather losses.

The 7th top weather story is this summer’s heat wave that struck the middle of Canada, from Saskatchewan to Quebec. We’re in Ontario where over half of our electricity comes from nuclear and were all glad to have that reliable baseload power to keep us cool.

More than the daily benefits of nuclear power generation, because there are virtually no greenhouse gas emissions from our nuclear power plants, our keeping cool with nuclear does not contribute to smog or climate change (climate change which many believe is the cause of the extreme weather we are experiencing in recent years).

Did you know:
Currently, nuclear energy provides 15% of the electricity produced in Canada, serving the needs of millions of people across Canada. Electricity currently generated by nuclear power plants in Canada saves the potential emission of about 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year that would result from the same amount of electricity generated by fossil-based sources. This makes up about 12% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Read all of Environment Canada’s Top Weather Stories of 2011.


Happy Holidays from the Canadian Nuclear Association!













On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Canadian Nuclear Association, we wish you a very happy holiday season with family and friends, and all the best in 2012.

Denise Carpenter
Marie-Danielle Davis
John Stewart
Kathleen Olson
Heather Kleb
Steve Coupland
George Christidis
Laura Allardyce
Kaitlin Walker







CNA2012 Update – Network with Industry Leaders + Exciting Workshops

If you have already registered for the 2012 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show, you will be in the company of industry leaders and innovators for three days of learning, networking and celebration of this great industry.

If you haven’t registered yet, don’t delay!

CLICK HERE to register for the 2012 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show NOW!

Download the complete 2012 CNA Conference and Trade Show AGENDA here.

Workshops at the 2012 Conference

Don’t miss your chance to sign up for one of two optional workshops. Seating is limited – Sign up now.

Wednesday February 22

13:00 – 17:00

CNA Regulatory Affairs Workshop

To provide an update on some of the new Federal and Provincial regulatory developments affecting Canada’s nuclear industry.  The workshop will include presentations by representatives of key Federal and Provincial agencies.
Max. 40 participants. $50 additional cost to participate.

Wednesday February 22

12:00 – 17:00

Talking about Radiation: “Are We Safe? Can We Trust You?”

The workshop will give participants an understanding of key challenges in communicating about radiation, radioactivity and associated environmental and human health risks; and enhance preparedness to address these challenges effectively through applied leading practice strategic risk communications methods, combined with relevant on-the-ground experience.
(Working lunch to be provided)
Max. 40 participants. $50 additional cost to participate.

The full Conference program includes keynote speakers, panels, Canadian and global nuclear industry updates and more. Download the Conference agenda here.

See you in February!

CNA Responds

CNA Responds: The Green Goliath Takes on Nuclear (Financial Post, Dec. 10)

This Letter to the editor was submitted to the Financial Post in response to this op-ed on December 10.


Lawrence Solomon makes the claim that “the Ontario government’s decision to go nuclear — based on the ideology of the 1960s and 1970s — had nothing to do with economics and everything to do with the politics of the day.”  Ontario was out of suitable large hydroelectric sites by the 1950s and nuclear was the economic, low-emissions option that was emerging.

Choosing nuclear power greatly facilitated Ontario’s economic growth over the past five decades, it has helped Canada avoid about 90 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, and still supports tens of thousands of high-wage, highly-skilled jobs in Ontario.  If that decision “had nothing to do with economics” then it has been a remarkably lucky one for Ontarians’ quality of life.

Because nuclear power plants are highly reliable, competitive, predictable in costs, and low in emissions, they have been chosen as a source of base load power in most of the world’s large, developed economies.  Most of these countries are planning new investments in nuclear, as are many emerging economies.

What Solomon calls “nuclear power cost overruns” were in large measure a combination of high interest rates, unexpected delays due to stops and starts of projects by different governments, and unanticipated design changes by regulators.  None of the cost challenges that have affected nuclear power plant construction are inherent in nuclear technology.  New nuclear plants in Asia are being built at a very low cost compared with North America and Europe, in part due to the cost benefits of getting beyond the slower “first of a kind” projects and moving on to second, third and fourth plants of the same design.

The costs and timeliness of plant construction have become more accurate as more plants are built.   And while nuclear plants have high capital costs and take a long time to come into service, once they are built they have low and stable operating costs, and those operating costs are much less sensitive to fuel price increases than either gas or coal plants.  That is why nuclear is becoming the global choice for base load electric power.

In Canada, three provinces – Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick – are benefitting from this available, reliable, clean and affordable source of energy.  And, for almost 50 years, Canada’s nuclear industry has achieved an unparalleled record of safe power generation in these provinces. Nuclear energy is responsible for 15% of Canada’s electricity production and for 55% of Ontario’s alone.  Furthermore, nuclear energy is not subject to unreliable weather or climate conditions, unpredictable cost fluctuations, or dependence on foreign suppliers. Fortunately, Canada is a uranium-rich country, making the supply of this key ingredient stable over time.

Canada has a number of challenges ahead with respect to electricity demand. We believe that when the real costs and benefits are considered, nuclear will play a significant role in Canada’s energy portfolio going forward. It is a vital component for a sustainable energy future.

Denise Carpenter

President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association

CNA Responds Messages

Natural Resource Projects will Require More than $500-Billion from Government

This letter from our President, Denise Carpenter, appeared in The Hill Times today in response to this article in the Hill Times Resources Policy Briefing on December 5. Canada’s energy and natural resources infrastructure need government investment and streamlined regulatory frameworks and would benefit greatly from enhanced collaboration between government and industry.


The Canadian Nuclear Association was among the industry associations that appeared before the House of Commons Environment Committee recently to advocate for changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) (“NRCan anticipates $500 billion in new investments in natural resources projects,” December 5).

In fact, we made a number of suggestions that the nuclear industry believes would make environmental assessments:

  • More efficient – by conducting EAs according to the principle of “one project, one assessment, by the best-placed regulator”;
  • More effective – by strengthening the precedent value of EAs;
  • Proportionate to the environmental risk – avoiding reassessment of risks that have already been addressed;
  • More aligned with permitting and authorization decisions; and
  • More timely.

As vital as improving the regulatory framework may be, an anticipated $500 billion in natural resource projects will require much more than this from Canadian governments.

Your article rightly quoted the petroleum industry on the need for pipeline expansion.  But realizing all of these energy and natural resource developments will depend on a range of goods and services that will not be adequately supplied by business alone, and are fertile ground for public-private collaboration:

  • Education and human resource development:  public schooling and an academic sector that build the skills employers need.
  • Science and technology infrastructure:  laboratory facilities, equipment, instrumentation and expertise that can be invested in, and accessed, by business, government and universities.
  • Transport infrastructure:  the capacity to move supplies, energy, people and products efficiently within Canada and across our borders.

Senators Angus and Mitchell made related points in the same issue (“Energy, Environment:  We Need a National Discussion”).  Government can enable hundreds of billions in development, not just by regulating well, but also by working together with industry to build the human, technological and transport infrastructure required.


Denise Carpenter
Canadian Nuclear Association