The Whiteshell Reactor – 1 (WR-1) Project’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has now passed the CNSC’s completeness check and entered the final technical review stage. This significant milestone was reached this week, after an estimated 35,000 hours of work by the team. The 4500-page package of 23 documents, along with over 650 references, has been in the works since 2017, when it was first submitted. Since it was first submitted, the project team has been working on responding to information requests from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), engaging with First Nations and the Manitoba Métis Federation, and updating the revised draft EIS to ensure a complete resubmission.
Over the course of the Environmental Assessment (EA), CNL has learned the key areas of interest and concern from the public, Indigenous Peoples, and federal and provincial agencies. CNL has addressed comments from stakeholders and Indigenous communities and incorporated this feedback into the revised draft EIS.
The document will now undergo its second technical review by the Federal, Provincial, and Indigenous Review Team (FPIRT). There may be a number of further information requests and comments from the FPIRT that come out of this review as well. This technical review process is expected to take about 1 year to complete, after which the Final EIS will be submitted. The final decision on the project will be determined by the CNSC following a public hearing process.
“The team has worked hard to make significant improvements to the EIS and supporting documents over the past few years,” said Jeff Miller, Manager of WR-1 Regulatory Approvals, “notably in the way we demonstrate how Indigenous Interests and Concerns were addressed through incorporation into the assessments, and commitments to future collaboration and support. We are very proud of the work we’ve done, and the relationships we’re continuing to build with Indigenous communities.”