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Gentilly-1 Decommissioning Project

Gentilly-1 Decommissioning Project

The Gentilly-1 nuclear generating station in Bécancour, Québec, operated intermittently from 1972 to 1978. A decommissioning program was initiated in 1984 to bring the facility to a safe shutdown state. Since then, the reactor has remained safely shut down, and the facility has been in a state of safe, long-term storage with ongoing monitoring. Operations at the site are conducted under a licence issued to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The Gentilly-1 site is now partially decommissioned and is licensed as a waste facility, the Gentilly-1 Waste Management Facility (G1WF).

The Gentilly-1 Waste Management Facility is owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), which has contracted CNL to manage and operate its sites. The facility is adjacent to the Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station, which was shutdown in 2012. Hydro-Québec owns the Gentilly-2 facility and the land on which both facilities are located.

What are the next steps?

What are the next steps?

CNL plans to decommission the Gentilly-1 Waste Management Facility. CNL will first request approval from the CNSC to undertake the work. This process will include opportunities for the public and Indigenous nations, communities, and organizations to provide input on CNL’s plans.

CNL plans to submit an application to the CNSC in summer/fall 2024 to amend the current licence for the facility to permit decommissioning. It is anticipated that the Commission will hold a public licence hearing  on the application in 2025.

Once the necessary approvals are in place, the reactor, which has been in safe storage since 1978, will be be carefully dismantled and the resulting waste streams properly managed.

The Gentilly-1 Waste Management Facilitiy (G1WF)

The Gentilly-1 Waste Management Facilitiy (G1WF)

Gentilly-1 (G-1) is a 250-megawatt (MWe) CANDU® prototype boiling water reactor (BWR) that is permanently shut down and partially decommissioned. Located in Bécancour, Québec, the reactor was commissioned in 1972 and operated intermittently until 1978. In 1984, the facility was permanently shut down and the initial decommissioning process was carried out. Since then, the reactor has remained safely shut down, and the facility has been in a state of safe, long-term storage with ongoing monitoring.

Gentilly-1 Timeline

Safety is the highest priority

Safety is the highest priority

The safety of the public, workers and the environment is CNL’s number one priority. The decommissioning work and related activities will be conducted in compliance with all health and safety, environmental protection, radiation protection and transportation protocols and regulations.

In Canada, the nuclear industry is regulated by the CNSC.

Decommissioning of nuclear power plants (

The CNSC requires applicants and licensees of nuclear activities to demonstrate that their activities meet the requirements of nuclear safety laws, regulations and standards.

The CNSC’s role is to ensure that decommissioning activities are carried out in accordance with  regulatory requirements to ensure protection of the workers, the public and the environment, and to implement Canada’s international commitments.

Emergency response planning is mandatory at all CNL sites. CNL has developed a specific Emergency Response Plan for the Gentilly-1 Waste Management Facility. This plan is updated regularly. CNL (Gentilly-1 Waste Management Facility) and Hydro-Québec (Gentilly-2) will work closely together in the event of an emergency.

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