Saturday Post: Funds for Nuclear Safety

Hello Funs Fans!  Welcome to your Saturday.  I hope it is a lazy, sprawling, dog day of summer complete with lemonade (or wine) and a gentle spray of water from some turquois source.  Later today, I will be packing for holidays and then I won’t be back to the blog until the end of August.  Today, I give no deadlines, just awareness.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) provides a funding program called Participant Funding (PFP) to enhance Aboriginal, public and stakeholder participation in the CNSC environmental assessment and licensing and process.  This funding is ear-marked to help stakeholders bring valuable information to the commission through informed and topic-specific interventions related to aspects of environmental assessments and licensing.

The PFP is available to eligible stakeholders whose proposed activities are related to aspects of environmental assessments (EA) and/or a licensing action for major nuclear facilities (e.g., uranium mines, nuclear power plants or nuclear waste facilities). Funding may also be available for CNSC proceedings that are of significant interest to the public or to Aboriginal groups.

The maximum amount of funding available for each project will depend on potential direct impacts and public interest, as well as other factors, including:

  • project size and location
  • Aboriginal groups in the area
  • diversity of issues likely to be raised in the hearing
  • the technical complexity of the project
  • participant funding levels that may have been established for similar projects in the past
  • available resources

Eligible recipients are individuals, community members, Aboriginal groups, not-for-profit corporations and other stakeholders who have:

  • a direct, local interest in the project; for example, living or owning property near the project area
  • Aboriginal traditional knowledge and/or local community insight relevant to the proposed project
  • interests in potential project impacts on treaty lands, settlement lands or traditional territories and/or related claims and rights
  • plans to provide value-added* information relevant to the CNSC’s mandate and specific matter before the Commission Tribunal

Note: * Value-added information is new, distinctive and relevant information that contributes to a better understanding of the anticipated effects of a project.

The CNSC’s annual funding allotment for PFP is limited and will likely be divided among various projects on an annual basis. Multiple applications may be associated with a single issue (or ‘matter’) – which is why the CNSC encourages collaboration amongst groups and individuals seeking funding for similar activities.

The PFP is intended to provide modest funding to approved Funding Applicants whose input on a proposed project will bring value to the CNSC’s regulatory processes. It is the Funding Applicant’s responsibility to explain how each proposal will contribute value-added information to the CNSC.

In general, the maximum funding for a single matter could reach up to $250,000 per year. However, in special circumstances and upon the recommendation of the Funding Review Committee or the President, the CNSC may increase the available funding for the matter at hand.

Participant funding is available to cover some expenses related to professional fees, travel and other reasonable costs, as determined by an independent Funding Review Committee. CNSC participant funding is not meant to act as or to replace capacity-building funding from other sources. It is a modest amount meant to cover some of the expenses incurred in providing the CNSC with value-added information related to an EA or licensing issue.

Nuculear power is a controversial matter.  Please feel welcome to leave your comments below.