Regulatory review status for the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF)
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is proposing to build an engineered mound near the ground’s surface on the Chalk River Laboratories site. The Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF), built for the purpose of disposing of low-level radioactive waste, would contain multiple cells made of systems that cover the base and top of each cell*, collect leachate and detect leaks, and monitor the surrounding environment. The proposed project would also include:
- a wastewater treatment plant
- supporting infrastructure, such as:
- security systems to monitor access and egress
- a truck wheel wash, vehicle monitoring and weighing stations
- work stations and change facilities, construction trailers, and marine containers or tents for storage of construction materials
*Final cover would be applied once a cell is full.
Before the Commission can make a licensing decision on this proposal, CNSC staff must complete an environmental assessment (EA) under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). This involves publishing an assessment of the licence amendment and producing an EA report based on the information in CNL’s licensing submission, a final environmental impact statement (EIS) and other supporting documentation.
CNSC staff must have reviewed enough evidence and be able to show that the proposed NSDF activities would not cause significant adverse environmental effects before the Commission can proceed with its decision. The CNSC will make this information available as Commission member documents before Part 1 of the 2-part public hearing.
Environmental assessment start date: May 5, 2016
Reference number: 80122
In relation to the NSDF project, in May 2021, a request for a regional assessment of radioactive waste disposal in the Ottawa Valley under the Impact Assessment Act was made to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada conducted a detailed review of the request. In July 2021, the Minister decided that a regional assessment was not warranted.
Reference number: 81624
For general CNSC updates, subscribe to the CNSC’s mailing list. For information directly related to this project, please contact:
Environmental Assessment Division
Telephone: 613-995-7948 or 1-800-668-5284
Mailing address: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
P. O. Box 1046, Station B
Ottawa, ON K1P 5S9
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