Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission fonds [multiple media] formerly titled the Atomic Energy Control Board fonds
Record Information – Brief
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission fonds [multiple media] formerly titled the Atomic Energy Control Board fonds
- Hierarchical level:
- R1199-0-9-E, RG60, RG60-B, R9845
- Type of material:
- Textual material, Maps and cartographic material, Photographs, Sound recordings, Architectural and technical drawings, Objects (including medals and pins)
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
9 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Place of creation:
- No place, unknown, or undetermined
ca. 326.53 m of textual records : including some technical drawings, maps, photographs, records on computer supports, and a botanical specimen.
17 remote-sensing images.
119 photographs : col.
21 audio cassettes (ca. 24h, 30 min).
40 microfilm reels.
3 CD ROM.
- Language of material:
- Added language of material:
- English, French
- Scope and content:
Fonds consists of records maintained by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CSNC) or by its precursor, the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB). Fonds consists of minutes and member documents from Commission and Board meetings held from 1946-2013, and as well as records from the offices of the President and advisors for the years 1961-2005. These records are organized chronologically, generally speaking, though some (but not all) are accompanied by detailed listings of documents. The extent of these records is approximately 50 m. The majority of the fonds consists of paper files maintained according to AECB's (legacy) file system. These files, which extend over 250 m, are organized by file plan subject or theme (e.g., "Reactors," "Nuclear Liability Legislation," "Radioisotope Facilities"), and include documents dating from 1946 -2007. The paper files consist primarily of textual material but sometimes the files include technical drawings, maps, and, in reports, photographs. Fonds includes photographs, cartographic materials, and textual records pertaining to Operation Morning Light. "Operation Morning Light" was the name for the search for, and retrieval of, radioactive debris scattered in northern Canadian regions by the nuclear-powered Soviet surveillance satellite COSMOS 954 when it re-entered the atmosphere on 24 January 1978. Fonds also consists of the records of the AECB's independent advisory committees, including the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Safety, the Advisory Committee on Radiological Protection, and more. These advisory committees worked with their own secretariat, record-keeping system and personnel. AECB was under no obligation to take the advice rendered by these advisory committees. Fonds consists of approximately 20 m of textual meeting records and other documentation from these advisory committees dating chiefly from 1971-2002, as well the Advisory Committee Secretariat's administrative records on a variety of computer supports for the years 1985-2002.
- Biography/Administrative history:
Canada. Atomic Energy Control Board : The Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) was established in 1946 under the Atomic Energy Control Act (AECA) (10 George VI, Chapter 37). The Second World War brought about the development of the atomic bomb and led to the anticipation of possible other atomic energy uses. In this context, the Canadian government recognized the need to control this type of energy, as much from a national safety viewpoint as for public health reasons. The 1946 Act gave the Board wide powers in matters of atomic energy development (research, mining, acquisition and trade of radioactive materials) as well as regulatory functions, the authority to award scholarships and research grants and to control the disclosure of information regarding atomic energy. However, the Board was never directly involved in the development of the nuclear sector. Uranium production remained a monopoly retained by Eldorado Nuclear, a Crown Corporation nationalized in 1944. Moreover, the Board never had formal control over nuclear research. In Canada, the origin of such research goes back to the Second World War and the development of the atomic bomb. In 1942, the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC), in cooperation with the British and American governments, undertook research geared to building a reactor cooled by heavy water. In Montreal, scientists from Great Britain and occupied Europe, participating in the project, attempted to produce enriched plutonium and uranium. In 1944, the project was set up at new facilities in Chalk River, an isolated location on the Ottawa River upstream from Ottawa. The war ended too soon for the work in Canada to significantly contribute to the war effort. In 1945, researchers nevertheless achieved the first controlled nuclear chain reaction outside the United States, using a small reactor called the "Zero-Energy Experimental Pile". Soon, a larger research reactor saw the light of day and eventually set the stage for the creation of the CANDU reactor project. While the 1946 Act made the AECB responsible for overseeing research at the Chalk River facility, it was the NRCC that retained actual control over the project. In 1952, the project passed to an autonomous Crown Corporation, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), still subordinate to the AECB in principle. In 1954, an amendment to the Act removed the AECL from the Board's supervisory control. The Board thus remains, first and foremost, a regulatory agency. Its role in this respect started to increase in the 1960s, with the expansion of nuclear reactor construction, the utilization of radioactive materials for medical and other purposes, and the rise of public concern regarding the dangers of nuclear energy to health and the environment. The Board now issues regulations and administers a complete system of licences governing the design, the construction, the operation and the decommissioning of power and research reactors, heavy water plants and nuclear waste treatment facilities, mines and uranium treatment facilities, particle accelerators and other equipment using radioactive materials, for example in medicine. The Board controls all transactions involving radioactive and equivalent materials, with a view to avoiding compromising the health and safety of citizens, and national or international security. The Board carries out its work in consultation with the federal departments and the provincial ministries responsible for areas such as health, environment, transportation and labour. It oversees licensee compliance through inspectors operating out of regional offices, as well as on site, in the case of nuclear reactors. The AECB also administers the Nuclear Liability Act by designating nuclear facilities and by setting the amount of basic insurance operators are required to obtain. The Board's mandate also has an international dimension. In 1957, Canada made the export of radioactive material and nuclear equipment to certain countries subject to bilateral agreements, including guarantees of non-proliferation of nuclear arms. The Board played a role in auditing compliance with such agreements. Since 1968, following the ratification of the Nuclear Arms Non-Proliferation Treaty, this role was increasingly taken over by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Board maintains a close relationship with the IAEA, especially in the area of information exchange, among others. The Board also finances research projects. At the start of its mandate, the Board gave scholarships and grants for university research with a view to diversifying atomic energy research. The monies were allocated in close consultation with the NRCC. This university grants program was transferred to the NRCC in 1976. In 1972, however, the Board started to fund research projects relating to its own mandate, particularly in the areas of reactor safeguards, health, safety and environmental protection. These research projects make it possible for the Board to call upon expertise that is independent of the companies it regulates. The Board is administered by a five-member board of directors. The president of the NRCC is a member ex officio and the other four members are appointed by the Governor in Council. They include the president and first director, the only full-time member. Since its establishment, the Board has obtained advice from several advisory committees of independent experts. Since 1979, the number of committees has been gradually reduced to two: the Advisory Committee on Radiological Protection and the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Safety. In addition, a group of medical consultants provides expert advice. The Board also includes the Office of the President, the Secretariat, the Reactor Regulation, Fuel Cycle and Materials Regulation, the Research and Safeguards, the Analysis and Assessment and the Administration Directorates. In 1996, the Board had 357 full-time employees, including 55 employees working at regional and on-site offices. Over the course of its existence, the Board has reported to Parliament through the Privy Council Committee for scientific and industrial research (1946-1965), the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (1965), the Minster of Energy, Mines and Resources (1966-1993) and the Minister of Natural Resources (1993- ). Board presidents over the years are as follows: Andrew G.L. McNaughton (1946-1948), Chalmers Jack Mackenzie (1948-1961; as well, president of the NRCC from 1939-1952), G.C. Laurence (1961-1970), D.G. Hurst (1970-1974), Alan T. Prince (1975-1978), Jon H. Jennekens (1978-1987), René J.A. Lévesque (1987-1993) and Agnes J. Bishop (1994- ). With the coming into force of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the AECB became the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on 31 May 2000. The CNSC has a stronger mandate in which to pursue its activities.
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission : On 31 May 2000, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) replaced the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) as the regulator of Canadian nuclear safety. Through the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its attendant regulations, the CNSC became responsible for the regulation and use of nuclear energy and materials in Canada. Through this regulation, the CNSC works to protect health, safety, security and the environment and to respect international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Reporting through the Minister for Natural Resources, the CNSC's mandate involves four main areas: the regulation of the development, production and use of nuclear energy in Canada; the regulation of the production, possession and use of nuclear substances, prescribed equipment and prescribed information; the implementation of measures respecting international control of the use of nuclear energy and substances, including measures respecting the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; and the dissemination of scientific, technical and regulatory information concerning the activities of the CNSC. The Commission is composed of up to seven members, with one of the members designated President and Chief Executive Officer. Presidents over the years are as follows: Agnes J. Bishop (to 2001), Linda J. Keen (2001-2008), Michael Binder (2008-2018), and Rumina Velshi (2018 - ). When the Commission was first established, it followed the organizational structure of the AECB - Directorate of Reactor Regulation, Directorate of Fuel Cycle and Materials Regulation, Directorate of Environmental and Human Performance Assessment, Secretariat and Directorate of Corporate Services. By January 2002, the organization was changed to include an Operations Branch, Corporate Services Branch, Office of International Affairs and Office of Regulatory Affairs all of which report directly to the President. Also included are Legal Counsel, Audit and Evaluation, an Executive Assistant and a Special Assistant. Separate from the staff, are the Secretariat (with its own Secretary) and the Commission members. The staff, from their various areas of expertise, prepare recommendations on licensing decisions, present them to the Commission for consideration during public hearings and then administer the decisions made by the Commission. The Commission functions as a tribunal, making independent decisions on the licensing of nuclear-related activities in Canada; the establishment of legally-binding regulations; and the setting of regulatory policy direction on matters relating to health, safety, security and environmental issues involving the Canadian nuclear industry. In performing these tasks, the Commission considers the views, concerns and opinions of interested parties and various interveners. The information received is then used to establish regulatory policy, make licensing decisions and implement programs. CNSC website, July 2002
- Finding aid:
(Other) Finding aids are available. See linked lower level descriptions. (96: Restrictions vary)
- Additional information:
- Custodial history:
- Previously separate AECB fonds (R1199) and CNSC fonds (R9845) were amalgamated in April 2021 because the activities, functions, and records continue from precursor institution to successor institution.
- Further accruals are expected.
- Related material:
- For files created by the Department of Justice's Legal Services Unit at the Atomic Energy Control Board, see series with archival reference no. R188-76-3.
- Former archival reference no.:
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