Near Surface Disposal Facility – Recharacterization of Waste

Public Notice

In August 2017, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff completed their technical review of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) Project in Deep River, Ontario, proposed by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). As part of the technical review, which was pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), a consolidated table of federal comments was submitted to CNL. The table included a number of comments and concerns related to the inclusion of intermediate-level waste in the facility, and similar comments were also raised in submissions received during the public comment period on the EIS.

On October 27, 2017, CNL announced the decision  to include only low-level radioactive waste in the NSDF, based on its consideration of federal, provincial and public comments. CNL stated  that waste intended for disposal in the NSDF will meet the International Atomic Energy Agency' guidelines for low-level radioactive waste. Intermediate-level waste will continue to be managed in interim storage at Chalk River Laboratories until a long-term disposal solution for this category of radioactive waste is developed and approved.

The environmental assessment (EA) process will continue, taking into account this revised proposal. The CNSC is awaiting documentation from CNL that details the revised waste inventory being proposed. This documentation, along with CNL's responses to all federal, provincial and public comments, will be considered as part of the CNSC's ongoing EA review of the proposed project. As the review proceeds, CNSC staff will continue to engage with the public and Indigenous communities on the project. For the latest information on the NSDF project and the EA process, visit the CNSC and Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry websites.

Concurrent to the CEAA 2012 EA process, CNSC staff are conducting a rigorous technical review under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA). The CNSC will not allow the project to proceed unless the health and safety of people and the environment is assured and all NSCA and CEAA 2012 requirements have been met.

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