ARCHIVED — Vol. 145, No. 26 — December 21, 2011

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Registration

SOR/2011-283 December 2, 2011

NUCLEAR SAFETY AND CONTROL ACT

Regulations Amending the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations

P.C. 2011-1391 December 1, 2011

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, pursuant to section 44 (see footnote a) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (see footnote b), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations.

Ottawa, August 26, 2011

MICHAEL BINDER
President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PACKAGING AND TRANSPORT
OF NUCLEAR SUBSTANCES REGULATIONS

AMENDMENT

1. Subsection 2(2) of the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (i) and by adding the following after paragraph (j):

  • (k) that is contained in a check source where no licence is required under section 8.1 of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations, following sale to the end user; or

  • (l) that is contained in a radiation device where no licence is required under paragraph 5(1)(c) of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations, following sale to the end user.

COMING INTO FORCE

2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issue and objectives

In Canada, the transportation of nuclear substances is regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The main CNSC regulations that apply are the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations. (see footnote 2) In February 2010, the CNSC Commission Tribunal approved temporary exemptions to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations to allow check sources and certain radiation devices to be transported following the sale to the end user without the need to comply with the packaging and transportation requirements with the exception of sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 found in the Regulations. Under the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations, (see footnote 3) check sources containing small, very low-risk quantities of nuclear substances are already exempted from licence requirements to possess, transfer, store, use or abandon. Similarly, radiation devices containing less than 10 times the exemption quantity of a radioactive nuclear substance are also exempted from licence requirements to possess, transfer, import, export, store, use or abandon. These exemptions are found in paragraph 5(1)(c) and section 8.1 of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations.

The regulatory amendment exempts packaging and transport requirements from the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations, with the exception of sections 3, 4, 5 and 6, following the sale to the end user:

  • nuclear substances that are contained in check sources pursuant to section 8.1 of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations; and
  • nuclear substances that are contained in radiation devices containing less than 10 times the exemption quantity of a radioactive nuclear substance regardless of whether they are a consumer device.

The level of risk associated with the transportation of these nuclear substances is no different from the risk associated with the other exempted activities under the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations. Manufacturers and initial distributors of check sources are not exempted from licensing as stated in section 9 of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations and would continue to be subject to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations since they may transport large quantities of check sources in one shipment. Manufacturers and all distributors of radiation devices meeting paragraph 5(1)(c) of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations would continue to be subject to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations. The amendments are consistent with the licensing requirements of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations.

Description and rationale

Canada is one of the major producers of nuclear substances in the world and has an excellent safety record for the transport of nuclear substances. More than a million packages containing nuclear substances are transported safely in Canada each year. Through the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations, the CNSC regulates all aspects of the packaging of nuclear substances and all phases of transport from the preparation of packages for shipment until unloading at the final destination. The requirements in the Regulations, based on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) TS-R-1, Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, ensures a high level of safety of people, property and the environment against radiation and other hazards associated with the transport of nuclear substances. All industrialized countries use the IAEA TS-R-1 regulations as the basis to regulate the packaging and transport of nuclear substances.

In February 2010, the CNSC’s Commission Tribunal approved temporary exemptions for check sources and certain radiation devices following the sale to the end user until such time as the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations were amended. The exemptions were approved to eliminate the need to apply the packaging and transport requirements for nuclear substances already exempted from certain licensing activities under the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations. Currently, there are exemptions in place in the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations where compliance with the requirements for packaging and transport of nuclear substances are not required (i.e. smoke detectors, tritium safety signs, depleted uranium counterweights used in aircrafts).

The check sources exempted are sealed sources containing a small, very low-risk quantity of nuclear substances as defined in section 8.1 of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations. These sources are typically used for training and instructional purposes as well as to determine if radiation detection equipment is functioning correctly. The other exemption is for radiation devices containing less than 10 times the exemption quantity of a radioactive nuclear substance. The exemption quantity of a radioactive nuclear substance refers to the activity at or below which a licence to possess, transfer, import, export, store, use or abandon is not required due to the very low-risk posed by the quantity of radioactive substance, pursuant to the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations. The exemption quantity values for various radioactive nuclear substances in Canada are based on international accepted standards and are listed in schedule 1 of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations. The requirements for certification of the radiation devices under sections 11 to 15 of the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations are not affected by this regulatory amendment.

The amendments to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations will not pose a risk to the health and safety of persons, to the environment or to national security given the small quantity of nuclear substances involved and its low risk profile. It should be noted that manufacturers and initial distributors will not be exempted from the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations. Compliance with the packaging and transportation requirements in the Regulations continues. This is consistent with the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations where manufacturers and initial distributors are not exempt from licensing requirements. Also, the exemptions for check sources and radiation devices with less than 10 times the exemption quantity of a nuclear substance only apply to packaging and transport of these items within Canada and are applicable only to the end user.

Overall, the amendments to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations will lessen the regulatory burden for users by simplifying the requirements for domestic transportation for end users by eliminating the need to apply the packaging and transport requirements, such as shipping documentation and training for items already exempted from certain licensing activities under the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations. The potential total cost savings to Canadian end users is estimated at $200,000 annually based on an estimate of 10 000 items multiplied by $20/item for paperwork and measurements. The amendments to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations will continue to conform to measures of control and international obligations to which Canada has agreed.

Consultation

In February 2010, the CNSC presented to the CNSC Commission Tribunal proposed exemptions to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations under section 7 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. (see footnote 4) As a result, the Commission Tribunal decided to exempt the transport of check sources and certain radiation devices containing low activity sources from the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations until such time that the Regulations were amended. The minutes of the Commission’s public meeting were posted on the CNSC Web site in April 2010.

In May 2010, the CNSC posted an information bulletin and an overview of the exemptions advising stakeholders that the exemptions would simplify transport requirements, ensure regulatory consistency with the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations, and only apply to the transportation of check sources and certain radiation devices following the sale to the end users. At the time, stakeholders were advised that the exemptions were valid until the CNSC permanently incorporated the exemptions into the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations as part of a future regulatory amendment. In June 2010, an information item on the exemptions was published in the Directorate of Nuclear Substance Regulation newsletter as part of CNSC’s commitment to keep licensees and the public informed about ongoing activities. All stakeholders who subscribe to CNSC’s email mailing list would have received information on the exemptions. The CNSC did not receive any feedback to the proposal to permanently incorporate the exemptions into the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations. In addition, Transport Canada, which deals with the transportation of dangerous goods, is also supportive of the amendments to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The amendment to the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations does not affect CNSC’s compliance and enforcement policies. The items to be exempted from the packaging and transport requirements are already exempted from licensing for many other licensable activities under the Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices Regulations. No monitoring and enforcement action are needed due to the low risk profile of the exempted material.

The CNSC inspectors do regular compliance verifications to ensure that licensees and carriers comply with the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations. They verify proof of training for transport workers, review transport documents and inspect packages to ensure they are prepared for transport in accordance with regulations. If a licensee or carrier is found to be non-compliant with these regulations, the CNSC uses a graded enforcement approach for the implementation of corrective measures. The CNSC remains committed to protecting the health, safety and security of the public, and to protecting the environment.

Contact

Sylvain Faille
Director
Transport Licensing and Strategic Support Division
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
280 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5S9
Telephone: 613-991-3153
Email: Sylvain.Faille@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 2010, c. 12, s. 2151

Footnote b
S.C. 1997, c. 9

Footnote 1
SOR/2000-208

Footnote 2
SOR/2000-208

Footnote 3
SOR/2000-207

Footnote 4
S.C. 1997, c. 9