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CNL Awards of Excellence/Distinguished Merit Award: Near Surface Disposal Facility Team

Distinguished Merit Award: Near Surface Disposal Facility Team

Jerome Besner, Richard Birchall, Jeff Chapin, Craig Cochrane, Sandra Faught, Greg Finley, Christine Gallagher, Rob Kingsbury, Martin Klukas, Mike Labriola, Nicole LeBlanc, Mitch MacKay, Annie Morin, Reisa San Pedro, and Meggan Vickerd 

For work on the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) Environmental Impact Statement and Licensing Document Submission.

Since 2016, CNL has prepared over 100 technical documents to support CNL’s application to add the NSDF to the existing CRL site licences in alignment with the Safety and Control Areas. In 2019 and 2020, the NSDF Project team produced almost 50 licensing documents for submission to the CNSC. These were all highly technical documents with a vast range of disciplines including but not limited to engineering, geotechnical, safety and environmental analysis, and also communication.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff have carefully considered all of the NSDF design and safety documents to ensure they are in alignment with the requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its regulations, CNSC regulatory documents, the requirements of the CRL site licence and international guidance. The CNSC staff review resulted in numerous comments for CNL disposition, additional technical analysis and revisions of documents to address these comments to CNSC staff satisfaction. In July 2021, CNSC staff deemed that all documents submitted to support the licence application were accepted and, as such, ready for independent review by the CNSC Commission.

March 2017, the team submitted to CNSC staff the draft NSDF Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the NSDF Project at the CRL site. A federal and provincial review team completed a technical evaluation. In 2019, a revised EIS was submitted to the CNSC along with dispositions to the 257 federal and provincial review team information requests on the 2017 draft EIS. In April 2020, the federal and provincial review team completed their technical review of the 2019 revised draft EIS, its updated supporting documents, and responses to all federal and provincial comments and information requests. In December 2020, the NSDF Project Team submitted the 2020 NSDF EIS for acceptance by the federal provincial review team. In January 2021, the team was informed by the CNSC that outstanding information was required to be included in the EIS. The team revised the EIS and in July 2021, the CNSC determined that the information provided in CNL’s submission was complete and the final NSDF EIS was deemed acceptable.

The acceptance of the NSDF EIS and licensing documents by the CNSC and subsequent notification of intent to proceed to a hearing, results in reputational benefits on both a national and international scale. Specifically, the NSDF may become the first Class 1 disposal facility for nuclear waste in Canada, thus supporting the Canadian nuclear industry by demonstrating implementable solutions for its nuclear waste.