Frequently asked questions on the base and variable hour adjustment

Q1. Why do I see an increase in my fees this year?

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has adjusted the number of base and variable hours associated with some regulatory activities. This adjustment was needed in order to reflect the actual level of regulatory effort and costs the CNSC expended in exercising its regulatory oversight of licensing and compliance. This adjustment will also end the cross-subsidization of those activities by other areas within the CNSC.

Q2. How do you calculate the base and variable hours?

Base hours are the minimum amount of time required to conduct ongoing regulatory oversight for a specific licence type.

Variable hours are a calculation of hours based primarily on the number of locations operated by a licensee, along with the number of devices covered under the licence.

Q3. Why has there been an adjustment in the number of base and variable hours?

The hours have been adjusted to reflect the regulatory effort level the CNSC carried out, as well as the increased costs associated with the oversight of regulatory activities for licensing and compliance.

Q4. How are my licensing fees used?

The fees cover licensing and compliance activities that the CNSC carries out to ensure the safe conduct of licensee activities, including possession, use, transfer and storage of nuclear substances and radiation devices. Specific CNSC activities include:

  • inspections and enforcement activities
  • in-depth technical assessment of safety programs at licence renewal
  • licence amendments
  • response to unplanned events

Q5. When will the fee adjustment take effect?

The adjustment to the formula fees takes effect on April 1, 2019.

Q6. Is the fee adjustment the same for all licensees?

No. The exact fee adjustment will differ for each licensee and will depend on variables such as licence type, number of locations and number of devices/equipment.

Q7. Can I expect the hours to be adjusted again next year?

The CNSC will continue to review the effort level needed to deliver on its regulatory activities on an annual basis and will make additional adjustments accordingly.

Q8. Do I have recourse if I don't agree with these adjustments?

Q9. Where can I get additional information on this adjustment?

You can consult the CNSC Cost Recovery Fee Schedule 2019-20 (PDF 127 Kb).

You can also send an email to or contact the CNSC at 1-888-229-2672.

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