Canada and Ireland Sign Arrangement on Import and Export of Radioactive Sources

Spent fuel pool containing cobalt-60 rods (glowing blue section on the right) at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, near Kincardine, Ontario. Canada is one of the largest producers of cobalt-60, which is produced in CANDU reactors and widely used around the world to sterilize medical equipment, cosmetics, raw materials for pharmaceutical products, and food.
Spent fuel pool containing cobalt-60 rods (glowing blue section on the right) at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, near Kincardine, Ontario. Canada is one of the largest producers of cobalt-60, which is produced in CANDU reactors and widely used around the world to sterilize medical equipment, cosmetics, raw materials for pharmaceutical products, and food.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has signed an administrative arrangement on the harmonization of regulatory controls on the import and export of radioactive sources with the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII).

Administrative arrangements such as this one are a key element of Canada’s nuclear regulatory program, and ensure consistency with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources.

“The signing of this arrangement with our regulatory counterpart in Ireland demonstrates our mutual commitment to international controls on transfers of radioactive sources,” said CNSC President Michael Binder. “It allows us to assure Canadians that the export and import of radioactive sources are done safely and securely.”

Radioactive sealed sources are important to medical, industrial, agricultural and educational sectors around the world. Some of the large sources covered by this arrangement, such as sources of Cobalt-60, are used to treat cancer and to sterilize food, blood and medical equipment. Smaller sources are used in applications such as in industrial radiography to detect cracks and flaws in pressure vessels, pipelines and ship components.

To date, Canada has signed similar bilateral arrangements with 11 countries. This reflects the country’s strong commitment to nuclear safety and its world leadership in the manufacturing and export of radioactive sources.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment and to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

For more information, visit www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca