On September 1st, in Ottawa, Canada, the Director General, Jean-Christophe Niel and Rumina Velshi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and their respective teams had discussions focused on safety issues, particularly in terms of regulatory harmonization and standardization, related to the development of SMRs / AMRs. This meeting was an opportunity for the CNSC and IRSN to share information and have a technical exchange discussion between the two organizations.
Ms Velshi indicated that, in her capacity as Chair of the IAEA's Commission on Safety Standards, she was working actively to ensure that the Agency's safety standards could be applied effectively to new reactor technologies.
Finally, R. Velshi took the initiative of mentioning the role of TSOs in the harmonisation efforts currently being pursued by many actors around the world in the field of SMRs / AMRs. She hoped that TSOs could make technical contributions to these efforts. The Director General of IRSN replied that IRSN and the European TSO network, ETSON, were considering a "bottom-up" technical harmonization (sharing of a "TSO capability", adaptability of technical information, sharing of technical assessment), which could be part of the global effort to harmonize and coordinate regulations.
Finally, J-C Niel presented to the CNSC the IRSN PASTIS project for research on the safety of passive systems used by SMRs.
This meeting at the CNSC also provided an opportunity to review, with the operational teams and technical experts, all the cooperation between the CNSC and IRSN: research for deep geological repositories (TENOR), modelling and simulation of radioactive substances in the environment/Ukraine, severe accidents, and health of nuclear workers.
The exchanges with the CNSC were concluded by the signing, at the French Embassy, in the presence of the Minister Counsellor, Chargé d’Affaires, the President and CEO of the CNSC and the Director General, an Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation and exchange of information on nuclear safety between the CNSC and the IRSN.
Finally, the visit to Canada provided an opportunity to meet Ontario Power Generation, which is planning to build an SMR on the Darlington site, and Terrestrial Energy, which is developing an innovative SMR model”.