The WR-1 reactor at Whiteshell played a key role in the nuclear history of Canada. It was built by General Electric and first achieved criticality in 1965, serving for twenty years as a research reactor, which among other missions became a testing site for the CANDU fleet. It was safely shut down in 1985, and since then, has been maintained in a state of “storage with surveillance”.
CNL is proposing to decommission and leave the reactor in place at the Whiteshell site. All fuel and liquids have been removed, and what remains are the structural components of the reactor, such as the vessel and piping.
CNL’s proposed approach – in-situ decommissioning – will provide a safe, secure and effective disposal solution for the existing contaminated below-grade building. This approach minimizes the risks to the health, safety and security of the public, workers and the environment. It avoids the necessity of transporting contaminated components and finding another location and facility for disposal.
Development of Dry Storage concept which is used at all major nuclear facilities in Canada as well as around the world. AECL developed many technologies that have become the nuclear industry standard, including the dry storage concept for spent fuel using concrete canisters. This concept is now used across Canada as well as around the world.
The Underground Research Laboratory (URL) was constructed to develop and defend the concept of deep geological disposal of Canada’s nuclear fuel waste. Work conducted at the URL contributed greatly to the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program and Canada’s Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, as well as to waste management programs for several other countries including Japan, France and Sweden who accessed this world class facility.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement submitted to the CNSC
Formal public and Indigenous comment period on draft EIS concludes
CNL receives all comments and information requests on the draft EIS
CNL addressing responses to comments on draft EIS and preparing supplemental studies requested
CNL submits final EIS to CNSC and responses to public comments
CNSC Commission Hearing Part 1
Public and Indigenous intervention period on CNSC’s EA report
CNSC Commission Hearing Part 2
EA and licencing decision
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