South Bruce residents attend virtual Q&A with Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Experts

Updated

September 18th, 2020

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South Bruce residents attend virtual Q&A with Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Experts

On Wednesday, September 16, South Bruce residents were invited to attend a “Meet the Regulator” Virtual Information Session with expert staff from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

This presentation was a follow-up to an educational presentation by CNSC representatives on August 6, made at the Community Liaison Committee (CLC) meeting, where they gave an overview of their role as Canada’s nuclear regulator and licensor.

Following this initial presentation, South Bruce community members were invited to submit further questions for CNSC experts, related to their role in the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s Adaptive Phased Management Project.

Shortly after 7:00 PM, CLC Vice Chair Doug Culbert welcomed the CNSC to South Bruce, and thanked them for hosting the session which focused on providing detailed responses to the inquiries brought forth.

Community members tuned into the virtual event, which featured seven CNSC employees from various departments, who addressed the thirty-seven questions which were submitted in advance.

The CNSC grouped the questions into themes and prepared a slideshow presentation to accompany their responses.

At the outset of the presentation, they defined what the CNSC does and does not do as an organization. Later, the timeline of the Adaptive Phased Management Project was also highlighted, which explains the ongoing CNSC regulatory involvement for these proposed sites.

Question themes included public engagement, waste management, geoscience and DGRs, environmental assessment, licensing service arrangement, emergency preparedness, health and safety, and other matters of regulatory interest.

When addressing a number of submitted questions related to emergency preparedness and response, it was emphasized that a licence will only be granted by the CNSC after all requirements for safety have been met.

After answering the pre-submitted questions by each theme, the CNSC representatives allowed additional follow up questions using a virtual chat function.
In responding to a concern which was raised by a viewer in the virtual chat, Adam Levine, Team Leader – Indigenous Relations and Participant Funding Program, spoke to the perception that the CNSC is influenced by the nuclear industry.

Levine explained that the CNSC is completely independent from the nuclear industry, and rather focuses on safety as mandated by the Act of Parliament which governs them.

Similarly, one pre-submitted question asked what the CNSC does to promote nuclear power. Project Officer Julia Smith confirmed that the CNSC does not promote nuclear power whatsoever; this was alluded to at the beginning of their presentation when outlining the do’s and don’ts of the organization.

The final pre-submitted question which was addressed simply asked what the CNSC sees their role being at this point with the DGR project in South Bruce. Project Officer Jocelyn Truong explained that the CNSC will continue to engage with the community and answer questions relating to the licensing process. Truong added that any other questions are welcome to be submitted to cnsc.info.ccsn@canada.ca

Truong reminded viewers that the questions and their answers will be shared in a written document which will be made available to the community through the CLC once finalized.

Submitted by Steve Travale, Municipality of South Bruce