CNL in all its activities is committed to the protection and safety of public, the environment, contractors,
and employees. Furthermore, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada’s independent nuclear
regulator, will not issue a licence unless it is satisfied that the entire project will be
completed safely, without posing increased risks to the health, safety or security of Canadians or the
HEU is transported in packages (casks) that are specifically designed and certified by both the CNSC and in this
circumstance its counterpart, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation
in accordance with international safety requirements established by the International Atomic Energy Agency
These packages undergo stringent testing, which
simulate both normal and abnormal situations of transport, including:
Stringent security plans for each shipment are required to avoid any risk of material falling into the hands of
unauthorized persons or organizations. Specific details on shipments are considered sensitive, and are limited to
persons who have a need to know, such as police or emergency response forces. The transportation routes and
security measures put in place are pre-approved and agreed to by authorities in both Canada and the United States.
Canada has an excellent safety record for the transport of radioactive material. The CNSC will not allow the
shipment of any radioactive material unless it is convinced the safety and security of both Canadians and the
environment will be protected.
Every organization involved in the transport of radioactive material must:
In the highly unlikely event of an accident, measures are in place to ensure that the public, the environment,
contractors, and employees are protected.
Potential accident scenarios will be addressed during the planning phase so that CNL personnel are prepared
for, and able to manage, any accident situation.
First responders are trained to recognize the identifying markers on vehicles specific to this transport and act
in accordance with the regional emergency response protocols.
CNL has an approved Radioactive Material Transportation program that allows us to ship and meets the
requirements of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and the CNSC Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances
Regulations. The Program covers the off-site transport of radioactive material activities and practices at
CNL. The Program specifies the requirements to fulfill regulatory, company business, environmental, health,
safety, and quality assurance responsibilities pertaining to radioactive material transportation.
The main objectives of the Program are to protect persons, property and the environment from the effects of
radiation during the transport of radioactive material. This is done by establishing and maintaining requirements,
processes and training necessary to facilitate the safe transport of radioactive material to and from CNL sites in
accordance with regulatory requirements. In addition, the Program provides oversight to ensure compliance with
applicable regulatory and licence requirements.
Radioactive material has been transported safely nationally and internationally for over 45 years by road, rail,
water and air without a single radiological incident. It is a highly regulated activity that must meet the
stringent requirements of both Transport Canada and CNSC before being approved.
Canada has decades of experience in transporting radioactive materials, and has an excellent safety record. Thousands of shipments
containing radioactive material are transported safely in Canada each year.
International, the company contracted to move the HEU materials, has more than 40 years of proven experience
providing nuclear materials packaging and transportation services for nuclear utilities, commercial companies, the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and other government agencies. The
company has developed ten major U.S. NRC-licensed (10CFR71 and 72) cask systems and has obtained over 120 U.S. NRC
license amendments. In addition, NAC has licensed its cask technology through competent authority validations in
more than 35 countries.
Using its licensed casks, NAC has safely completed more than 3,700 cask movements of spent fuel, high-level
waste and other nuclear materials. NAC casks have been used at more than 60 nuclear facilities to package a broad
array of nuclear materials including spent nuclear fuel and high-level wastes, and have logged more than six
million cask miles traveling through more than 35 countries. NAC routinely applies to the NRC to obtain numerous
amendments to its transport cask licenses in support of client-specific requirements.
Since 2002, United States Department of Energy has down blended,
(processed to convert HEU to a form usable in Pressurized Water Reactors) over 22 metric tons of surplus enriched
uranium resulting in enough energy to power every home in the United States for 50 days or every home in South
Carolina for nine years.
Repatriation and processing at the U.S. DOE facilities will reduce proliferation risks by consolidating HEU
inventories in fewer locations around the world. The U.S. DOE has the technology and capability to do this work
safely and securely. Options for managing the HEU materials in Canada do not provide a permanent solution. For
example, vitrification (encasing in glass) or other solidification approaches would require long-term management
and storage of the resulting radioactive product in Canada.
If the liquid bearing HEU material were to remain in Canada, a process would be required to be developed and put
in place for production of a suitable radiological material form for long term disposal in Canada, managed
by future generations.
The CNSC and the U.S. NRC will separately review different aspects of the project to transport HEU, and will
only approve the shipments if both agencies are convinced that health, safety, security and the environment will be
protected. Both Canadian and U.S. regulatory requirements are based on strict international standards for the
transportation of radioactive materials.
While the transportation of HEU does not require an environmental assessment under the Canadian
Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, it does require a transport license from the CNSC. The CNSC regulatory
regime ensures that adequate measures are in place to protect the environment and human health, in accordance with
the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its
This HEU is the result of nuclear fuel use at Chalk River Laboratories for CNL’s research reactors, the NRX and NRU, and for the production of medical isotopes through the irradiation of HEU
targets in the NRU. Generations of Canadians have benefitted from medical isotopes and nuclear technology.
Canadians are taking responsibility for the management of the resulting materials to ensure the burden and
financial cost is not transferred to future generations.