Information Bulletin

Repatriation project cask receives certification

(Chalk River, 2015 July 14) Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is pleased to announce that NAC International, the company contracted to move liquid highly enriched uranium (HEU) materials from CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories to the United States, has successfully received certification from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to transport liquid HEU in its engineered package. CNL’s HEU repatriation program is part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, a broad international effort to consolidate HEU inventories in fewer locations around the world.

To obtain certification, NAC International successfully complied with the CNSC Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances (PTNS) regulations. These regulations establish strict standards for safety which provide an internationally acceptable level of control of the material. This included simulated testing of both normal and hypothetical conditions of transport, including free-drop testing, puncture testing and thermal testing without a breach of containment.

With the package now certified for use CNL will now make application for a transport and export licence to the CNSC. For this, CNL will have to satisfy all regulatory requirements including a transport security plan, and an emergency response assistance plan.

The repatriation of HEU provides a safe. secure, timely and permanent solution to Canada’s long term management of this material. The Global Threat Reduction Initiative offers a timely solution to eliminate CNL’s stored liquid bearing HEU inventory. If this material was to remain in Canada, new processes and facilities would be required, extending activities well beyond the current repatriation timeframe. Furthermore, the resulting radiological material would remain in Canada and require long-term management by future generations.

NAC International, has more than 40 years of proven experience providing nuclear materials packaging and transportation services. Using its casks, NAC has safely completed more than 3,700 cask movements of spent fuel, high-level waste and other nuclear materials, having logged more than nine million cask kilometres traveling through more than 35 countries. 

CNL is committed to the protection and safety of the public, the environment, contractors, and employees in all that we do. CNL has an excellent safety record. Radioactive substances have been transported safely nationally and internationally over 50 years by road, rail water and air without a single radiological incident.