Nuclear facilities and materials in Canada are tightly regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The McMaster Nuclear Reactor holds a license to operate from the CNSC that is subject to a number of conditions and regulations relating to safety, operating parameters and personnel training: contravention of these terms can result in the suspension or revocation of the license. MNR has also chosen to implement internal Operating Controls and Limits (OCLs) for many of its operating parameters, assigning even more stringent conditions for reactor operation than those required by the Canadian nuclear regulator. The reactor is subjected to regular inspections by the CNSC, as well as by theInternational Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations organization that oversees the use of nuclear materials for peaceful purposes around the world.
Day to day operation of the nuclear reactor is overseen by the Manager of Reactor Operations, who ensures that all work is carried out in a safe and appropriate manner that is in keeping with the terms of MNR’s operating license. The Manager reports to the Director of Nuclear Facilities, who reports to two independent McMaster-based committees: the Health Physics Advisory Committee (HPAC), which oversees the use of radioactive materials on campus, and the Nuclear Facilities Control Committee, the regulatory body responsible for the safe and compliant operation of the nuclear reactor and the other Class II nuclear facilities on the McMaster University campus. The HPAC reports directly to the President of the University, while the NFCC is accountable to the Vice President, Research and International Affairs at McMaster University. Both committees also report to the federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.