Near Surface Disposal Facility Project

Environmental assessment (EA) start date: May 5, 2016
CEAR reference number: 80122
Proponent: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Location: Deep River, Ontario

Latest update

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.

Further information

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:

Nicole Frigault

Environmental Assessment Officer
Environmental Assessment Division
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
P. O. Box 1046, Station B
Ottawa, ON
K1P 5S9
Telephone: 613-995-7948 or 1-800-668-5284
Fax: 613-995-5086
Email: cnsc.ea-ee.ccsn@canada.ca

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.