The licenses for Canadian nuclear reactors reference Canadian Standards Association(CSA) standards. Up until recently you had to purchase these CSA standards if you were interested in the details of a license. They are quite expensive, costing around $200 to $300 per standard, and there are dozens of them. I personally spent close to $1000 of my own money on three of five seismic standards which I needed for the seismic research I have done in relation to Point Lepreau’s license. I lodged my concerns in this regard recently in a review of the Fukushima omnibus regulations where I explained that it is cost prohibitive for the general public to engage in a meaningful way if they cannot afford to obtain these requirements for licensed nuclear reactors.
Cost prohibitive licensing documents is a common complaint from other interveners as well. Today the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced that the CSA licensing documents would now be available to the public for FREE.:
CSA nuclear standards now available online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2013
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is pleased to announce that the CSA Group is now offering complimentary access of their nuclear standards. This new access platform allows interested stakeholders to view these standards online through any device that can access the internet. Please note that the access platform is limited to read only.
Copy of full news release can be found here. http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/mediacentre/releases/news_release.cfm?news_release_id=477
Although I still have many very serious and unresolved issues with the CNSC, this shows that they do listen occasionally, and this is a good baby step at transparency.
Background on CSA standards:
CSA is NOT a governmental organization. This is from their website:
About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.
CSA standards are developed and decided upon by a committee of stakeholders. Most of these stakeholders are from the industry being regulated. Decisions on these standards are made by CONSENSUS, meaning that EVERYONE has to agree. I am not sure if I am comfortable with regulations being made that the industry has to agree to 100%.