Overview by Adriaan Buijs   

2013 has been a busy and productive year for the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS). During the year, the CNS carried out all of its key program objectives in hosting conferences and technical courses, and in providing education programs.

For the first time, the CNS has intervened in public hearings: it intervened before the CNSC in a license hearing – the renewal of the operating license for the Pickering NGS – and it made a successful intervention in the joint CEAA-CNSC environmental review of the Bruce DGR project for lowand intermediate-level wastes.

The CNS is an active member of the international community of Nuclear Societies. Domestically, the CNS has worked closely with other nuclear industry associations. Under the leadership of the Canadian Nuclear Association and with the support of its staff, the CNS participated in a number of meetings and workshops in the framework of the Nuclear Leadership Initiative (NLI). The outcomes of the initiative were a 25-year vision and a strategic plan for the industry. Following its mandate and purposes, the CNS has committed itself to three areas of the strategic plan: education and training of (prospective) members of the industry, outreach to the public, and support in matters of nuclear research and development.

Our three focus areas are covered by activities we perform: organization of workshops, courses and conferences, such as Nuclear 101, the CANDU Technology and Safety Course, the Fuel Technology Course; Conferences on steam generators, nuclear-plant maintenance, nuclear science and engineering, small modular reactors and others. The CNS also regularly hosts major international conferences, such as the Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference, the Degradation Conference and others. Our members reach out to schools and other institutions, and participate in science fairs. We wrote a position paper explaining the need for a research reactor in Chalk River. In the spirit of expanding our portfolio of activities, we are currently developing the First Technical Meeting on Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The CNS has had to make significant changes to its governance and structure during the past year because of the new Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act. The new statute required substantial changes to the CNS bylaws, which were drafted and then approved at a special members meeting in November. The CNS has been operating under the new regulations since February 6, 2014. I would like to thank all those involved in making this transition happen; it was a crucial task for the society.

A detailed description of the Canadian nuclear landscape is provided a few pages below in the review of 2013 by the publisher and editor of the Nuclear Canada Yearbook, Colin Hunt. You will also find reviews of the CNS activities by Tracy Pearce, Chair of the CNS Program Committee, Ruxandra Dranga, Chair of the Education and Communications Committee, as well as a number of individual reports by other organisations: The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA), Women in Nuclear Canada (WiN), the Canadian Nuclear Workers Council (CNWC) and the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI).

The financial support that allows us to stage our many activities comes from several sources: membership fees, industry sponsorship, either through direct support or through registration fees and other modest revenues such as the advertisement in this yearbook and the CNS Bulletin. This shows the need of the CNS for a strong and active membership base. What the CNS in turn offers the membership may not be easy to quantify, but can be summarized in one word: networking. Primarily this comes through the ongoing program of technical conferences, courses and Branch seminars offered by the CNS. This also includes being informed through the CNS Bulletin, the website, and other social media in which we are active. The CNS has a Linked-In.com group that offers great potential. We are working on online forums and blogs.

Just as important as the support from members and the industry is the support the CNS receives from its volunteers. Many of our members volunteer their time on Council, to set the program of the CNS, and on the Executive, to run the day-to-day operations of the Society. There are the chairs and members of the divisions, committees and branches who make up the fabric of the Society. It speaks well for Canada’s nuclear industry that its members are so dedicated to what they recognize as a good cause. I salute all those who continue to volunteer their time in support of the CNS. Those who made outstanding contributions to the nuclear industry and R&D, either in person or as part of a team, are honoured as well, with a variety of awards and fellowships, presented at our main conferences.

On a sad note, the past year saw the passing of Ian Wilson on January 6, 2014. Ian was President of the CNS in 2002-3, and he was the Vice President of Technology for the CNA 1985-95. Ian pioneered many of the communication and public contact tools that we use today.

In closing, I would like to thank the Council, Branch-, Committee- and Division-Chairs and -Members, and the CNS Staff for their hard work and dedication during a demanding year. I would also like to thank Frank Doyle for his leadership in organising PBNC-2014 – the premier nuclear event of the year – and Jacques Plourde, incoming President, for organising the CANDU Maintenance Conference, which will showcase Canadian nuclear capabilities, and last but not least, my predecessor John Roberts, under whose watch the new bylaws were drafted, first austerity measures were implemented, and interventions were initiated.

View Nuclear Canada Yearbook 2014 (PDF)