The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement is intended to strengthen their collaboration and enhance the exchange of information between the two countries in nuclear regulatory matters.
ENSI Director Hans Wanner expressed his satisfaction following the signing of the agreement on the sidelines of the 59th IAEA General Conference in Vienna: “The exchange of information with our international colleagues and the opportunity for mutual administrative assistance in the area of nuclear regulatory matters will allow us to learn from each other’s experiences and best practices.” This will lead to continuous improvement in nuclear safety both in Switzerland and abroad.
As the governmental supervisory authority for nuclear energy in Canada, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is responsible for regulating the use of nuclear energy and ensuring the safety, health and protection of the environment against radioactive risks. The CNSC has additionally been mandated by the Canadian Parliament to monitor Canada’s international commitments to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inform the Canadian public about scientific, technical and regulatory developments. In addition to its task as a regulator overseeing the Canadian nuclear power plants, the CNSC regulates the medical use of nuclear materials for the detection and treatment of cancer as well as the mining of uranium. The CNSC comprises 800 employees and is a governmental authority, under the control of the Minister of Natural Resources who reports directly to the Canadian Parliament.
The signing of the agreement by CNSC President Michael Binder and ENSI Director Hans Wanner has taken the Swiss nuclear supervisory authority one step further in fully implementing its strategy for international collaboration. This strategy attaches great importance to collaborating with other countries and international organisations.
Collaboration increases safety in Switzerland
Active participation in the international exchange of information and experience is important for the ENSI as a nuclear regulator, as it increases its competence and enables lessons to be learnt from important incidents and inspection results in nuclear power plants abroad.
The advantage of international collaboration for ENSI includes not only gaining knowledge for its own regulatory role but also in pressing its own concerns over international nuclear safety and security regulations.
ENSI has already concluded similar bilateral cooperation agreements with Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the USA, Finland and the EU.