News Release

CNL announces Near Surface Disposal Facility project update

Chalk River, ON, November 24, 2017 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, announced today that it has requested an amended timeline for its Near Surface Disposal Facility project. CNL is currently working with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to establish a revised schedule for final regulatory submittals, including the submission date for the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Last month, CNL made the decision to only include low-level radioactive waste in the proposed facility. This decision was based, in part, on public remarks and federal technical submissions received through formal comments on the draft EIS. CNL also received requests for additional technical information from the CNSC. In order to respond, and to provide adequate time for third-party review, CNL has determined that the schedule for final EIS submittal and the licensing hearing will need to be amended.

“CNL believes the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility project is critical to the renewal of the Chalk River Laboratories, as this environmental remediation is helping create the conditions for a clean and revitalized science and technology campus,” commented Kurt Kehler, Vice-President of Decommissioning and Waste Management at CNL. “It is an environmentally responsible solution to address waste material generated from historical operations at our nuclear sites.”

CNL has received just over 200 submissions.  Presently CNL is responding to those comments, and, subject to their acceptance by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CNL will update and finalize the Environmental Impact Statement as set out under the amended project schedule.

“To date, we’ve made significant progress advancing through the CNSC’s regulatory review process,” added Kehler. “This process is tremendously important, it gives members of the public the opportunity to voice opinions on the project to CNL. We welcome the opportunity to understand concerns, make changes and respond.”

“Public engagement is tremendously important in projects of this magnitude, we encourage members of the public to stay informed through updates such as this, and through CNL’s website and social media platforms.” 

CNL’s Near Surface Disposal Facility is an engineered containment mound proposed for construction at the Chalk River Laboratories site to safely dispose of solid, low-level radioactive waste. CNL is currently working through the environmental assessment and licensing phase of the project and will continue to actively engage with stakeholders and Indigenous communities. This ongoing engagement will help inform the process as CNL prepares the final version of the Environmental Impact Statement.

The Near Surface Disposal Facility will provide safe disposal of:

  • Legacy waste from 65 years of operations; 
  • Waste from the remediation of contaminated lands; 
  • Debris from decommissioning outdated infrastructure at Chalk River Laboratories as part of ongoing site revitalization.

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