Near Surface Disposal Facility Project
The Impact Assessment Act (IAA) came into force August 28, 2019. Ongoing projects with environmental assessments initiated under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) and led by the CNSC, will continue under their current processes. The IAA contains provisions to enable these projects to advance in this way.
- March 2019 - Notice of participant funding offering for the NSDF
- October 2018 – Updated Timeline in Appendix A of the Administrative Protocol between Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and the CNSC for the Near Surface Disposal Facility Project at Chalk River Laboratories Currently under review
- November 24, 2017 – Update on the Status of the Environmental Assessment Process
- November 2, 2017 – Near Surface Disposal Facility – Recharacterization of Waste
- September 15, 2017 – Canada's nuclear regulator invites you to open houses in Deep River, ON, Pembroke, ON, and Sheenboro, QC (source: CEAA website)
- August 31, 2017 – CNSC completes review of CNL's draft environmental impact statement
- August 16, 2017 – Consolidated Table of Federal Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Near Surface Disposal Facility Project (source: CEAA website)
- June 16, 2017 – Relaunch of Public Comment Period on Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' Draft Environmental Impact Statement (source: CEAA website)
- May 15, 2017 – Update on public comment period on Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ draft environmental impact statement (source: CEAA website)
- March 17, 2017 – Public comments invited on draft environmental impact statement for Near Surface Disposal Facility Project (source: CEAA website)
- March 8, 2017 – Record of Decision on the Scope of Environmental Assessments for Three Proposed Projects at Existing Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' Facilities
- March 8, 2017 – CNSC Responses to Public Comments on the Project Description for the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility Project (source: CEAA website)
- October 19, 2016 – Public Comments Invited on Revised Project Description (source: CEAA website)
- September 15, 2016 – CNSC notification of requirement for CNL to decide on project scope (PDF)
- May 25, 2016 – Notice of Participant Funding Offering (PFP Decision Report)
- May 24, 2016 – Public Comments Invited on Project Description (source: CEAA website)
- May 5, 2016 – Notice of Commencement of an Environmental Assessment (source: CEAA website)
About the project
The Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) is a proposed engineered disposal facility for radioactive waste planned for the Chalk River Laboratories site (CRL). Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has provided a revised project description which includes the proposal for the NSDF to also accept intermediate-level waste, as opposed to solely low-level and mixed waste. All waste to be disposed at the NSDF will be required to meet the waste acceptance criteria established to assure compliance with operational and long-term safety requirements.
The CRL site is located in Renfrew County, ON, on the shore of the Ottawa River, approximately 200 km northwest of Ottawa. The site is situated within the boundaries of the Corporation of the Town of Deep River.
The Near Surface Disposal Facility is planned to have an operating life of at least 50 years and as proposed, would be an engineered mound built at near-surface level on the CRL site. The engineered mound would be cellular, made up of multiple disposal cells consisting of:
- base liner and final cover systems
- leachate collection and leak detection systems
- environmental monitoring systems
The proposed project would also include:
- a wastewater treatment plant
- supporting infrastructure, such as a truck wheel wash, vehicle monitoring and weighing stations, work stations and change facilities, security systems to monitor access and egress, construction trailers, and marine containers or tents for storage of construction materials
Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, CNL’s proposal requires approval by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and involves an amendment to the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) Nuclear Research and Test Establishment Operating Licence. An environmental assessment (EA) conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 is required, and an EA decision affirming that the proposed activities will not cause significant adverse environmental effects, before the CNSC can make a licensing decision on this proposal.
The public registry for this project is maintained on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry. If you wish to receive email notifications when the CNSC’s website is updated, including notices for hearings, meetings and PFP funding opportunities, subscribe to the CNSC mailing list. For questions or information directly related to this EA, please contact:
Environmental Assessment Officer
Environmental Assessment Division
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
P. O. Box 1046, Station B
Telephone: 613-995-7948 or 1-800-668-5284
Or contact the CNSC.
The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment, and to implement Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.
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