Monthly Archives: January 2012

CNA Responds

CNA Responds to “Nuclear Aftershocks”

Last night, CBC’s The Passionate Eye, aired a re-broadcast of PBS’ Frontline documentary “Nuclear Aftershocks.” The doc asks: how safe are North American nuclear facilities?

The focus of the program was South of the border, and the Nuclear Energy Institute (our equivalent in the U.S.) did a great job of responding in two blog posts.

So, how safe are Canadian nuclear facilities?

Very safe. They’ve been very safe for 45+ years (as demonstrated by our remarkable safety track record).

But we NEVER rest on our laurels. Here’s what Canadian operators and the federal regulator have done to ensure the safety of our facilities post-Fukushima.

Soon after the disaster struck, nuclear operators in Canada launched a thorough assessment of their own systems and operations to confirm their safety. This included looking at back-up power systems and the ability of nuclear plants to withstand natural disasters that might occur here.

Last October, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission released the Fukushima Task Force Report. It concluded that all Canadian nuclear power plants are safe. It also said our plants are designed to withstand conditions similar to those that triggered at Fukushima. Still, it’s important for the nuclear industry internationally to share valuable lessons learned from the tragedy in Japan and ensure that safety standards and policies reflect current findings.

Nuclear power is very important for Canada’s future, as it is an energy alternative to fossil fuels. But power generation is only one of the many great things about nuclear power. Our nuclear industry provides a broad spectrum of products and services that benefit not only Canadians but people around the world. Nuclear science provides nuclear medicine and food safety technologies. Innovation in nuclear science is also being applied to address a number of societal challenges such as public health and transportation.


CNA2012 Update – Exclusive Workshops

Wednesday Workshops at the
2012 CNA Conference and Trade Show

Kick off your Conference experience with a Wednesday Workshop! Choose an invaluable update on the most relevant regulatory and legislative changes on the horizon, or equip yourself with the tools you need to have a meaningful dialogue with stakeholders about real and perceived risks about Radiation.

Space is limited. Register for either workshop today.

 Come for the Workshop, Stay for the Conference


 CNA Regulatory Affairs Workshop – 2012
Feb 22, 13:00 – 17:00
Westin Hotel (Oak Room)

The purpose of this year’s Regulatory Affairs Workshop will be to share information on new regulatory developments pertaining to the protection of the environment and, in particular, the protection of water.

Guest speakers will include federal and provincial regulatory officials whose mandate includes the protection of water.  Dr. Patsy Thompson will be discussing proposed improvements to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s regulatory framework for environmental protection under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.  Beverley Thorpe, of the Credit Valley, Toronto and Region and Central Lake Ontario Source Protection Committee, will be discussing new policy direction for source water protection under Ontario’s Clean Water Act.  Heather McCready will be discussing how Environment Canada’s Environmental Enforcement Directorate is working to minimize threats to the natural environment under the Fisheries Act.

Workshop participants will be provided with an overview of the mandate and legislation that govern these activities and the opportunity to ask questions about the new, and existing, regulatory requirements.

Max. 40 participants

Register Now



Talking about Radiation: “Are We Safe? Can We Trust You?”     
Feb 22, 12:00 – 17:00
Westin Hotel (Quebec Room)

This workshop, facilitated by Decision Partners, will provide participants with an understanding of radiation science at a lay level, and the principles of strategic risk communications for communicating about this complex topic.  Understanding Risk Communications and explaining health risks associated Radiation was identified as a key learning following events at Fukushima. The workshop will enhance the preparedness of the participants – including industry workers, stakeholders and governments – in explaining types of radiation to people from outside the nuclear industry.

Workshop participants will also hear from Mr. John Roberts and Ms. Andrea Marshall from Aurora Energy Ltd., who will share a case study based on their company’s experience communicating with people in Labrador about radiation and uranium mining.  Participants will leave the workshop with a toolkit of tested communications messages and a better understanding of best practices for engaging stakeholders in a community dialogue.

Max. 40 participants

Working lunch provided

Register Now


Download the entire Conference Agenda HERE (now includes #hashtags!)

What the #hashtag?
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Join the conversation on Twitter. Tweet using #cnagm2012 or the session #hashtag found on the Agenda.

Meet the Speakers












Thank you to our SPONSORS

See you in February!


Sponsor Spotlight

Checkout the Sponsor Spotlight on Ontario Power Generation. Click here!

CNA2012 Update – Honoring Jerry Grandey for Advancing Nuclear Energy


Who negotiated a deal which led to the dismantlement of 20,000 nuclear warheads, helped establish his company as a dominant nuclear energy company, and shaped its mission of bringing the many benefits of nuclear energy to the world?

The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA), in partnership with the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS), is pleased to present the CNS/CNA Ian McRae Award, given annually to honour an individual who has made substantive contributions to the advancement of nuclear energy in Canada.

Join us in honoring former Cameco Corporation CEO,
Mr. Gerald (Jerry) Grandey!
2012 CNS/CNA Ian McRae Award recipient

The 2012 CNS/CNA Ian McRae Award will be presented in a special
ceremony as part of the Welcome Reception for the
2012 CNA Conference and Trade Show – Leadership Through Innovation

Wednesday February 22, 2012
Westin Hotel, Main Ballroom, 11 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa

18:00 Welcome Reception Begins
18:30-19:30 Award Ceremony
21:00 Welcome Reception Concludes

Come for the Award, stay for the Conference!

Throughout his distinguished career in Canada’s nuclear industry, Mr. Grandey earned the reputation as a well-respected, influential leader who helped shape nuclear advancement on a global scale. He is being recognized for raising the nuclear profile to a higher level along with Canada’s reputation as a world leader in nuclear safety. He has been a strong supporter and vocal advocate for the industry through the dedication of his personal time and resources at Cameco Corporation to support the national efforts of the Canadian Nuclear Association.



The 2012 CNA Conference and Trade Show continues on February 23-24 with informative and entertaining speakers and panels discussing all the top issues afftecting your business and the nuclear industry, both in Canada and globally.

Download the entire 2012 CNA Conference program HERE.

REGISTER for the 2012 CNA Conference HERE.

Thank you to our SPONSORS!

See you in February!

Sponsor Spotlight

Click here to view the complete Sponsor Spotlight on
Durham Economic Development Partnership

Messages Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

CNSC Hearing Speech: Cameco Corp. Port Hope License Renewals

Today, Heather Kleb, Director of Regulatory Affairs here at the CNA, is speaking at the Licence hearings for Cameco Corporation’s Port Hope Conversion Facility, Fuel Manufacturing Facility and Blind River Refinery, on behalf of the people who work in Canada’s nuclear industry. Here’s why we think the facility licences should be renewed.

The Canadian Nuclear Association has some 100 member companies, representing 70,000 people employed in the production and advancement of nuclear medicine, uranium mining and exploration, and fuel processing and electricity generation.  This includes the 590 people who operate Cameco’s Port Hope Conversion Facility and Fuel Manufacturing Facility, and the 160 people who operate the Blind River Refinery.

Understandably, we have a strong interest in matters pertaining to the health and safety of our Members and to potential effects on the environment where they live and work.  We have therefore reviewed, with interest, Cameco’s applications to renew the Class IB Nuclear Fuel Facility Operating Licenses for the Conversion Facility, Fuel Manufacturing Facility and Refinery, which comprise Cameco’s Fuel Services Division.

In our presentation we would like to make three main points:

  1. Canada’s nuclear industry needs to maintain its base of highly skilled professionals.
  2. Our industry is committed to environmental stewardship, both in the communities where we live and work, and globally; and
  3. We have a proven track record of being among the safest in the world.  


PORT HOPE CONVERSION FACILITY Cameco's fuel services division is headquartered in Port Hope, Ontario.

We would like to start by discussing the community
where the Fuel Services Division’s head office, and much of its operations, are based – the town of Port Hope.

Port Hope is a town with a long, rich history.  It is home to more than 270 heritage buildings and sites, including former 19th and early 20th century houses, shops and schools.  Also included among the heritage buildings and sites are a number of mills, distilleries and factories.  Port Hope grew up around these and other industrial facilities, which supported not only its growth, but its economic development.

It is not the focus of the current licence renewals, but we feel it is important to acknowledge these past industrial activities and the legacy that they have left behind.  As a result of these activities, Port Hope is also home to low-level radioactive and other industrial wastes, which predate Cameco’s operations there.  The wastes are considered to be in a safe and stable condition, but there is an acknowledged need for a solution for their long-term management.

Cameco and a number of our other Members are involved in the development of the required solution.  Our industry’s knowledge, experience and technology are being used to clean up the radioactive and other industrial wastes that originated from Eldorado’s facility’s, the Crane Sanitary Company, the coal gasification plant and other past industrial activities.

So, as I indicated in point I., we need to maintain our base of highly skilled professionals – including the Cameco staff that are undertaking this important work.  


PORT HOPE CONVERSION FACILITY The Port Hope conversion facility is one of three Western suppliers of UF6, a chemical form of uranium that is the feedstock for uranium enrichment plants that produce fuel for light water reactors.

With respect to environmental stewardship,
the knowledge and skills of Cameco staff were recently tested when, in 2007, subsurface contamination was discovered beneath the UF6 plant.  They immediately investigated the extent of the soil and groundwater contamination and completed a site-wide risk assessment.  Then, following confirmation that there were no unreasonable risks to employees, the public, or the environment, they installed new liquid management infrastructure and groundwater collection and control systems.

We are confident that Cameco staff will apply this same level of diligence to the resolution of any operational challenge that they face.  The commitment to continual improvement is embedded in the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System framework that they work to conform to.  ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems involve a plan-do-check-act cycle of continuous improvement.

As I indicated in point II, we, as an industry are committed to environmental stewardship:  protecting the land, air and water, both in the communities in which we live and work, and globally.


Cameco in Port Hope

We also believe that past performance provides the best indication of future performance when it comes to human health and safety.  We are committed to safety and are proud of our safety track record.  That being said, we are never complacent.  Cameco staff continually work to learn from the experiences of others within the corporation and outside of the organization.

A timely example is the review of lessons learned from the events in Japan.  In spite of the operational differences, the Fuel Services Division has carefully evaluated the lessons that can be learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and developed and submitted an action plan to the CNSC, which outlines further improvements to their operations.
So, not only are Cameco staff committed to the safe, clean and reliable operation of the Fuel Services Division, they are also committed to continually striving to improve the safety performance and processes of the Division.  Even though the facilities have been in operation for decades, and the licence renewals will not result in fundamental changes to their operations, Cameco staff are committed to continuous improvement.

As I indicated in point III., Canada has an exemplary nuclear track record with over 50 years of occupational and public health and safety and is a leader in the industry worldwide, but we are never complacent.

In summary

  1. Cameco has a highly skilled workforce, which should be maintained;
  2. Cameco has reaffirmed its commitment to take all reasonable precautions to protect the environment; and
  3. Cameco has expressed a strong commitment to the safe operation of its facilities.  Cameco also intends to continually improve the health, safety and environmental performance and processes of its facilities and to ensure the safety of its employees, the community and the environment where they live and work.

In light of these points, the Canadian Nuclear Association is of the opinion that the Class IB Nuclear Fuel Facility Operating Licenses for the Port Hope Conversion Facility, Fuel Manufacturing Facility, and the Blind River Refinery, should be renewed. 

Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

Deep River Science Academy – A Summer Program for Future Scientists

Are you a high school student between the ages of 15 and 17 with a love of science? Then The Deep River Science Academy (DRSA) might be for you! It’s a summer school program that provides experiential learning in the areas of chemistry, physics, biology and math. You get to do real research and get academic, personal and professional credit for it.

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2012 BUT the early-bird deadline for a reduced tuition is January 14, 2012 – this Saturday! Here is the info about the program, and check out their website for more information.

What? / How?
The Deep River Science Academy (DRSA) is a science summer program for high school students between 15 and 17 years old.

The program is not for the faint of heart – it’s an intensive six weeks of chemistry, physics, biology and math. You pick your subject area and we’ll put you in the laboratory or in the field. Do you enjoy chemistry? We’ll put in a lab. Would you prefer to work outside? Then we’ll put you in the field (aka swamp or forest – depending on the research project).
Afraid you won’t know the answers to the research? Don’t worry – neither do we! This is what makes our program and your experience unique. So unique in fact, there is no other program like it in Canada. You become part of a real research team. You will not be placed in a classroom, with books and a teacher lecturing you. You are placed with another student under the guidance of a Research Assistant/Tutor (RA/T) and a professional scientist. YOU are EXPECTED to do the work – it’s called experiential learning. You learn by doing. And we expect a lot.

What does “a real research team” mean? We get our projects from professional scientists, engineers, biologists and technicians who spend months and years on a research project. To encourage you to become a scientist, you get the opportunity to help that scientist on one small portion of his/her work. When our scientists conclude their projects and publish their results, the students who worked on that project get credit. It’s called being published, and it has happened to a few our students.

For 6 weeks each summer: July 1 – August 11, 2012

Deep River, Ontario. WHERE?!? Deep River is about a 2 hour drive west of Ottawa, Ontario. We are located between North Bay and Ottawa above Algonquin Park. Google us.

The DRSA wants to increase interest in careers in science and technology in Canada’s youth. We’ve figured out a way to do that – we give youth a chance to be a scientist for 6 weeks each summer. We’ve been doing it since 1987, and it works! Why does it work? We let high school students work in professional research laboratories on some pretty high tech equipment. We make science come alive, more than what students get in high school. We treat our students with respect. And we give student credit for their work: academic credit, personal credit, and professional credit.

Apply for the 2012 program NOW!

Applications will be accepted from October 1, 2011 until March 31, 2012. The tuition for 2012 is $5,100; but, apply by January 14th, 2012 and you will be eligible for our early bird discount which reduces your tuition cost to $4,700!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the DRSA via email at, or by phone, 613-584-4541


CNA2012 Update – The Future of Nuclear is Here

The future of nuclear technology and innovation in Canada is HERE!

2012 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show
Leadership Through Innovation

February 22-24, 2012, in Ottawa.

Patrick Lamarre, President, SNC-Lavalin

Get the inside track on SNC-Lavalin’s acquisition of AECL’s commercial reactor business and what it means for nuclear innovation in Canada. SNC-Lavalin President, Patrick Lamarre speaks on Friday February 24 at the 2012 CNA Conference.

Join hundreds of your colleagues and contemporaries for our three-day networking and professional development conference.

Click here to REGISTER NOW

Steve West, CEO, Nordion

Nuclear medicine was pioneered in Canada. Find out how innovations being made today at Nordion will take nuclear medicine to the next level over the coming decade. Nordion CEO, Steve West, speaks on Friday February 24 at the 2012 CNA Conference.

The full 2012 CNA Conference program includes keynote speakers, panels, Canadian and global nuclear industry updates and more!

Download the 2012 CNA Conference Agenda here

Click here to REGISTER NOW

See you in February!

Thank you to our 2012 SPONSORS