Skip to main content
Search Menu

Nuclear Safety

Is Nuclear Power Safe?

In Canada’s 40 plus years of using nuclear energy, no member of the public has been harmed as a result of a radiation leak from a nuclear power plant or waste storage facility.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is the federal regulator mandated to protect national security from risks associated with nuclear energy and material.

All Canadian nuclear power plants operate only under the license of the CNSC and are monitored daily by CNSC members located at each site.

Radiation Safety

The Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station operates a CANDU reactor - among the safest in the world as they are designed with these four pillars:

  • Redundancy - using at least two components or systems for a particular function so that one will be available if the other is not.
  • Diversity - using two physically or functionally different means for a particular function in case there are flaws in either method.
  • Separation - using barriers and/or distance to separate components or systems that perform a particular function.
  • Protection - seismically and environmentally qualifying all safety systems, plus equipment and structures required to support safety.

There are backup power supplies and a backup control room. CANDU reactors are also equipped with four Special Safety Systems, which are designed to operate in the event of a serious incident or equipment failure. Each of these systems functions independently.

Radiation Protection

Radiation is the process of emitting energy as waves or particles and has existed since long before life on earth began. The average Canadian receives three to five millisieverts, the basic measure of radiation, throughout a year from the natural environment. Total radiation dose due to emissions at Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station factsheet.

Workers at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station receive specific training in radiation protection, how to measure it and detect it, and how to protect themselves from receiving any.

Our radiation protection program directives follow federal and provincial regulations, and have been approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, our regulator.

Environmental Protection

PLNGS prides itself on its emission-free operation. As good stewards of the environment, the Station has an extensive monitoring programs and ensure compliance with permits and regulation.

The station has a comprehensive Environmental Management System, certified to the ISO International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 Standard.  The Environmental Management System(EMS) is linked with other station processes to ensure all requirements are met.

The intent of the station’s EMS is to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner.  This contributes to the enhancement of environmental performance, fulfilment of environmental regulatory commitments and achievement of environmental objectives.  The EMS applies to all activities and operations that physically occur at the PLNGS station and PLNGS authorized sites.