Does the CNSC president meet IAEA requirements for “independence”?

The International Atomic Energy Agency provides explicit guidance on the necessary independence of the nuclear regulatory agency in order to ensure safety and public confidence. The guidance is provided in the  IAEA “General Safety Guide No. GSG-12, Organization, Management and Staffing of the Regulatory Body for Safety”. Here is a screen capture from page 22 of that publication (emphasis added).

The guidance is quite clear that the regulatory body must be separate from the “promoters of nuclear technology”. The guidance also suggests that CNSC should be independent from NRCan; more detail on this is provided in this post.

The CNSC’s current president, Rumina Velshi, prior to her appointment at CNSC, worked for Ontario Power Generation for eight years in senior management positions and led the OPG commercial team involved in a multi-billion dollar proposal to procure new nuclear reactors as noted below in the announcement of Ms. Velshi’s appointment on the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission website. 

It would seem that Rumina Velshi fails to meet the IAEA’s guidance that staff of the regulatory body must be separate from “promoters of nuclear technology”. As the leader of a multi-billion dollar project to procure new nuclear reactors, Ms. Velshi was quite clearly a “promoter of nuclear energy” before her appointment at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

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