CNSC and AECL Announce Findings from Independent "Lessons Learned" Review of NRU Reactor Events

    OTTAWA, July 28 /CNW/ - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) today announce that Talisman
International, LLC has concluded its "lessons learned" report related to the
circumstances that led up to the extended outage of AECL's National Research
Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ontario in November and December 2007.
    The independent review consisted of document reviews and interviews, and
was focused on renewal of the NRU licence in 2005 and 2006 and the extended
outage in late 2007. As part of its mandate, Talisman was asked to identify
the underlying causes of the extended outage and to make recommendations for
improvements in both organizations that would prevent a repeat occurrence or
similar situation.
    The report outlines 15 specific recommendations, which CNSC and AECL have
fully accepted. The report also includes responses by both organizations to
these recommendations and outlines the actions that will be taken to address
each recommendation.
    CNSC and AECL have examined the lessons learned report carefully, and
recognize the need to clarify licence requirements and improve the
implementation, tracking and completion of licensing commitments. Both
organizations have already taken action to improve communications at all
levels, including a process to allow for senior management oversight and
resolution when warranted.
    Commenting on the review, CNSC President Michael Binder stated, "To
address the review team's findings and recommendations, CNSC has put a
corrective action plan in place with aggressive timelines. We are working to
ensure a constructive relationship with AECL and to ensure that the NRU
licence conditions and outstanding commitments are clearly defined and
    "We accept the lessons learned report and are committed to taking the
actions required to ensure our operational processes and communications
practices are adjusted in accordance with the recommendations," said AECL's
President and CEO Hugh MacDiarmid. "I will be personally overseeing the
implementation of these improvements to ensure they are in place as quickly as
possible and we are confident that the actions we are taking to address the
recommendations will prevent any similar situations in the future."
    English or French versions of the lessons learned report can be viewed
and downloaded from both CNSC and AECL websites.

    About CNSC

    The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is an independent
quasi-judicial agency that reports to Parliament through the Minister of
Natural Resources. The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials
to protect health, safety, security and the environment, and to respect
Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    About AECL

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is a full service nuclear technology
company providing services to nuclear utilities around the world. Established
in 1952, AECL is the designer and builder of CANDU technology including the
CANDU 6, one of the world's top-performing reactors. AECL's 4,800 employees
deliver cutting edge nuclear services, R&D support, design, and engineering,
construction management, specialized technology, refurbishment, waste
management and decommissioning in support of CANDU reactor products. More
information on AECL and CANDU technology can be found at

    About Talisman International

    Talisman International is an international consulting firm based in
Washington D.C. whose personnel have conducted evaluations of the operational
and regulatory performance of nuclear facilities since the mid-1980s.

For further information:

For further information: Aurele Gervais, CNSC Media Relations, (613)
996-6860,; Robin Forbes, Manager, External
Communications, AECL, 1-866-886-2325,

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