NSC and AECL to conduct joint review of NRU reactor events

OTTAWA, ONTARIO - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) are undertaking a joint review of the circumstances that led up to the extended outage of AECL's National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ontario in November 2007.

The joint review will cover all action taken by each organization, as well as the lessons learned by both organizations from the event. The review will examine the performance of the CNSC and AECL staff over the period leading up to and pursuant to the Commission Tribunal decision to renew the NRU reactor licence in 2006, as well as the subsequent period leading up to the extended outage of the NRU in November and December 2007.

The review team will make recommendations for improvements in CNSC and AECL's performances. The joint review reflects the commitment of both organizations to continuous improvement in implementation of their respective responsibilities.

Talisman International LLC, which was retained by the CNSC on December 15 to conduct its lessons learned project, will also be retained by AECL in a separate contract. A joint report will be completed this spring and will be made publicly available.

Commenting on the announcement, CNSC President Michael Binder stated, "This joint review will yield more insightful findings and observations and will ensure a more effective implementation, within both organizations, of necessary improvements."

AECL's President and CEO Hugh MacDiarmid added, "We welcome this opportunity for a full and transparent examination and expect to learn valuable lessons that can be applied in the future."


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