News Release

CNL hosts Martine Ouellet at the Chalk River Laboratories

Bloc Québécois Leader Tours CNL Site, Meets with Technical Experts to Discuss Site Revitalization and Proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility

Chalk River, August 10, 2017 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, today welcomed Martine Ouellet, leader of the Bloc Québécois, to its Chalk River Laboratories. CNL is currently undergoing a ten-year transformation designed to modernize the facilities and infrastructure at the site, spur commercial growth and revitalize Canada’s largest science and technology campus. 

As part of the visit, Ms. Ouellet met with CNL technical experts to discuss CNL’s proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF), an engineered containment facility designed for the permanent, safe disposal of low-level radioactive waste, and one-percent other suitable waste. The NSDF is a crucial step in the transformation of the Chalk River Laboratories into a centre for world-class science and technology innovation, as it will allow CNL to responsibly and safely manage radioactive waste. 

“We were very pleased to welcome Ms. Ouellet to the site to discuss the revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories, and the work we carry out on behalf of Canadians related to sustainable energy, public health, environmental stewardship and global security,” commented Kathy McCarthy, CNL’s VP of Research and Development. “Ultimately, this ambitious transformation will position CNL as a global leader in nuclear science and technology, home to world-renowned scientists, and allow us to make important scientific contributions to Canada for decades to come.” 

The NSDF will enable the safe disposal of more than 100 aging buildings and structures at the Chalk River Laboratories – a necessary step to revitalize the site – and waste from 65 years of science and technology and the Laboratories’ continuing operations, including contaminated lands. It is a safe, responsible way to manage Canada’s radioactive waste.

The majority (90%) of the Government of Canada-owned waste that would be disposed of in the facility is already stored, or will be produced, from activities at the Chalk River site. Approximately 5% would be waste originating from the Whiteshell Laboratories in Manitoba and other CNL-managed sites, such as prototype reactors, including Gentilly-1 in Quebec; and less than 5% would be commercial-sourced inventories, from Canadian hospitals and universities, for example. 

“CNL has made it a priority to engage members of the public to discuss the details of this important project,” commented Kurt Kehler, CNL’s VP of Decommissioning and Waste Management. “Ensuring our communities understand the facts of the NSDF is absolutely critical to its success, and we encourage everyone to participate through our information sessions and the environmental review process.” 

CNL is currently in the public comment period of the process with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada’s nuclear regulator. During this period, the CNSC is accepting public comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement, and CNL encourages members of the public to take part in that process. For more information on how to participate in the Environment Assessment process, please visit the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency registry at 

About CNL 

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally. 

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity. 

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Patrick Quinn 
Director, Corporate Communications 
CNL, 1-866-886-2325