Is Canada Taking the Safety of Nuclear Power Seriously?

by chelseagiddings on October 7, 2016 - 10:24pm

Nuclear power has both a positive and negative view around the world.  The benefit of nuclear power is that it emits fewer greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change.  The negative aspect of nuclear power was evident from the event Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.  The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster showed us that there is a lack of control over the risks.  Some of the risks of nuclear power is that is produces many health risks and harmful effects to the environment.

In the article “Nuclear power plant safety inspections hit and miss, watchdog says”, Tom Parry and Kathleen Harris discuss how the inspections of Canada’s nuclear power plants are currently unacceptable.  After a report being released, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand found a number of different failings at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).  The agency is responsible for making sure that nuclear power plants are safe and secure but Julie Gelfand stated that, “75% of site safety inspections were carried out without an approved guide”(Parry, Harris, 2016).  There were concerns of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and if they have enough staff to ensure that all the inspections for the safety and security of the nuclear power points were met.  The article continues on about how once the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission was informed about the report they took upon actions right away.

My reaction to the article “Nuclear power plant safety inspections hit and miss, watchdog says” is that it provided information that was eye opening to the audience.  I thought that it was reassuring that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission took action immediately to the report that told them that they were treating the safety and security of the inspection unacceptably.  This relates back to what we learned in class about resource management and power and how an actor has control with their own interaction with the environment.  The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission could have the ability to not take action to what the report said and continue with doing the inspections without an approved guide.  I think that it is great that the CNSC decided to create a solution by addressing the issue that they are not taking the safety and security precautions seriously because it allows people to feel safe.  It allows people to have a sense that they are taking precautions of the risks nuclear power could potentially on humans and the environment. 

Sources:

Boyes, E. Kılınc, A. Stanisstreet, M. “Exploring Students’ Ideas About Risks and Benefits of Nuclear Power Using Perception Theories.” Journal of Science Education and Technology 22.3 (2013): 252-266. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.

Parry, T. Harris, K. “Nuclear Power Plant Safety Inspections Hit and Miss, Watchdog Says.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 04 Oct. 2016. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.   <http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/environment-commissioner-report-fall-201...

Comments

As someone who doesn’t know all that much about nuclear energy, I was immediately drawn to your piece! I think that Canada is at a very tricky point in many of their energy production sectors, as there is both increasing demand for many types of energy coupled with growing public scrutiny over the risks that many forms of production can have to the environment and human health. And the balance between the two can be hard to find...In your post you mention that the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development found a number of failings with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and that actions were taken. What were the next steps in terms of addressing these shortcomings? Do you think there are any other steps that can be taken to better regulate the industry in terms of management policy?

I agree that Canada is at a tricky point in their energy production sectors because of the high demand and implications that is produces. There are five actions that are being taken by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development that will be completed by March 31, 2017. The first action is to improve the documentation for site inspection planning. The second action is to update the planning process to include detailed criteria for when to conduct Type I inspections. The third action is to make sure that the inspection guides are approved for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 and for future years. The fourth action is a tracking mechanism to make sure that the lessons learned are documented at the end of each inspection. The fifth action is an action plan that is created to improve timely reporting of compliance inspections. I think that the action plans that the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development produced are good because I think that it is going to prevent problems in the future. Another action that could be implemented would to have training for the the people that are recording data. This will make sure that they are doing what is expected and meeting all the requirements that are implemented.

Source:
By March 31, 2017, the CNSC Will Have Addressed the Two Remaining Findings. "CNSC Actions the 2016 Audit Report on Nuclear Power Plant Site Inspections." Government of Canada,Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. N.p., 04 Oct. 2016. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.

I decided to read your blog because I feel that nuclear power safety is an extremely important issue around the world, and one that I don't often hear much about. Personally, I hear about the risks and benefits at a very general level, but never hear about the actual steps that are being taken in Canada to ensure safety at these ultra dangerous power plants. I think you did a really good job raising the issue of safety in these plants, however I'm not satisfied with the steps that have been taken to improve safety of nuclear power in Canada after it was found to need improvement. Overall, good post but I am still interested to hear how the watchdogs suggestions were implemented into new safety policies, or if they weren't actually implemented at all.

First off, I thought your piece was very very well written with minor errors and you chose a great topic to write about. I dont know much about nuclear energy so this article was very interesting for me to read! However, I dont quite understand how the CNSC only addressing the issue makes people feel safe. Did they put in new rules and regulations to further investigate the safety of these plants? Just curious. Got a little confused at the end of this.