The Canadian nuclear industry works closely with the Government of Canada and international organizations to keep nuclear materials from reaching nuclear weapons programs. Industry members fully comply with the treaties, conventions and agreements that limit the spread of nuclear weapons.
Supporting non-proliferation measures not only improves global security; it also opens up a global marketplace for Canadian uranium and nuclear products. Canada is the world’s second-largest supplier of uranium, and one of the largest suppliers of “sealed sources” – containers of highly radioactive materials used in medicine and industrial applications.
Canadian nuclear organizations maintain detailed records of all nuclear materials, tracking their movements all the way from mines through to used-fuel storage sites. They accept regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency and implement the Agency’s audit recommendations.
The non-profit Nuclear Threat Initiative, established to reduce the risk of nuclear weapon use, ranked Canada second highest on its 2014 Nuclear Materials Security Index. The index assesses 25 countries that have nuclear materials, scoring them in five categories of security measures: quantities and sites, security and control measures, global standards, domestic commitments and capacity, and risk environment. In the 2012 edition of the security index, Canada ranked tenth, showing a marked improvement in the past two years.
The Canadian nuclear industry also fully supports the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. As Yukiya Amano, the IAEA Director General, observed in June 2014, the 2005 amendment “is the single most important step which the international community can take in strengthening nuclear security globally.”