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Restoring and protecting Canada’s environment

For more than 75 years, Canada has been a world leader in nuclear science and technology. And during that time, we’ve made scientific breakthroughs that have changed our country in profound ways.

From the beginning, we studied and improved how nuclear waste is stored in Canada, making the safety of our environment and the public a priority. We established standards to keep the industry’s workforce safe, because it’s important to us that we all go home to our families every night. And, we learned how to take care of our environment, ensuring that our operations have a minimal impact on the pristine lands on which we work.

CNL has developed some of the world’s most advanced waste management technologies and practices. And now our talented engineers, researchers and operators are putting them to good use –  tackling some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems.

Like in Port Hope, Ontario, where CNL has already removed and safely stored over one million tonnes of contaminated soils from around the community. Or the WR-1 reactor in Pinawa, Manitoba, where CNL is working to safely dispose of one of Canada’s oldest research reactors.

And, we’re revitalizing the celebrated Chalk River Laboratories site in the Ottawa Valley. With more than 110 buildings taken down, 250,000 kg of asbestos, 3,000,000 kg of low-level radioactive waste and 20,000,000 kg of decommissioning debris safely removed, CNL is cleaning up the past to make way for a bright future.

We’ve learnt a lot over the years and we’ve taken on the responsibility to make things right. These projects are difficult. They rely on information gained through decades of advanced science and technology. And they require an unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Which is why our scientists and technicians take hundreds of thousands of samples in the field every year. So we can understand our local environment and the impact of our operations. These employees care deeply for the environment. They care about the health and well-being of Canadians.

And they care about the place we call home.

CNL manages all of Canada’s nuclear legacy liabilities at CNL sites.

CNL is responsible for implementing the program by carrying out decommissioning and site remediation work and managing the legacy waste. This work involves:

Ensuring regulatory compliance, safety and effectiveness;

Identifying priorities and developing annual plans;

Reporting on approved activities; and

Holding and administering licences, facilities, lands, materials and other asset responsibilities related to the nuclear legacy liabilities.

CNL across Canada

Northern Transportation Route

AECL is working with CNL and engaging with local communities and Indigenous groups to establish clean-up plans for all remaining sites at certain points along the Northern Transportation Route.

Whiteshell Laboratories

The Whiteshell Laboratories, in Pinawa, Manitoba, is a former research site that is currently being decommissioned.

Douglas Point Reactor

The Douglas Point reactor is a shutdown prototype nuclear power reactor owned by AECL and located in Kincardine, Ontario.

Port Hope Area Initiative

The Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) represents the Government of Canada’s commitment to clean-up and safely manage historic low-level radioactive waste currently located in the municipalities of Port Hope and Clarington.

Chalk River Laboratories

The Chalk River Laboratories are Canada’s largest science and technology complex. The objective is to revitalize the site and transform it into a world-class, state of-the-art nuclear science and technology campus.

Gentilly-1 Power Reactor

Gentilly-1 is a shutdown prototype nuclear reactor owned by AECL and located in Bécancour, Quebec.

Nuclear Power Demonstration Site

The NPD reactor was Canada’s first nuclear power reactor to supply electricity to the electrical distribution grid and served as an important training facility for reactor engineers and operators. It has been shut down for more than 30 years and plans are being proposed for its safe decommissioning.

CNL manages legacy liabilities at the following sites in Canada:

  • Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, with about 70 per cent of the liabilities;
  • Whiteshell Laboratories in Manitoba, with about 20 per cent of the liabilities;
  • Three shutdown prototype reactors, with about 10 per cent of the liabilities:

  • Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor in Rolphton, Ontario;
  • Douglas Point reactor in Kincardine, Ontario;
  • Gentilly-1 reactor in Bécancour, Quebec.


Upcoming Events

Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship

CNL is delivering clean, safe environments for Canadians. To secure the social licence for the continued utilization of nuclear energy, the nuclear sector must demonstrate responsible environmental stewardship. CNL is advancing its waste and decommissioning effort for effective and efficient elimination of nuclear liabilities.
  • Monica Steedman

    CNL has developed some of the world’s most advanced waste management technologies and practices. And now our talented engineers, researchers and operators are putting them to good use – tackling some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems.

    - Monica Steedman, Vice-President, Environmental Remediation Management

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