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Proposed slightly enriched uranium (SEU) CANDU Fuel Production

Start date: September 15, 2006
Type: Screening
CEAR reference number: 06-01-23099
Proponent: Zircatec Precision Industries Inc.
Location: Port Hope, Ontario

Latest update

  • February 18, 2008 - EA decision by Commission
  • November 7, 2007 - Notice of Public Hearing on the Screening Report (PDF) :
    A one-day public hearing will take place on January 9, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Oshawa (1011 Bloor St. East, Oshawa) to consider the results of this proposed project's environmental assessment screening.  Please refer to the Notice (PDF) for more information.
  • September 14, 2007 - Request for public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) Screening Report
  • August 3, 2007 - CNSC announces decision on Environmental Assessment Guidelines for the Proposed SEU CANDU Fuel Production at Zircatec's Port Hope Facility
  • April 20, 2007 - Notice Public Hearing - June 22, 2007
  • March 9, 2007 - Request for public comment on Draft EA Guidelines - Comment period closed
  • February 5, 2007 - Request for public comment on Draft EA Guidelines
  • February 1, 2007 - CNSC open House on February 12, 2007

Project Description

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will conduct an environmental assessment screening of Zircatec's proposal to produce fuel bundles containing 1% enriched uranium.

The Zircatec facility is licensed by CNSC to produce nuclear fuel for CANDU and research reactors. It produces fuels using natural uranium (containing 0.7% U-235); using depleted uranium (containing 0.3% U-235); and using enriched uranium (containing 0.7% up to, but less than, 5.0 % U-235). Its production capacity has been focused on fuel bundles containing natural uranium on a large scale, and fuel bundles containing enriched uranium, on a small scale, for research reactors.

Zircatec Precision Industries Inc submitted a project proposal in June, 2003, to produce nuclear fuel bundles containing enriched uranium. At the time of requesting a licence renewal in June, 2006, Zircatec submitted a revised project description. As proposed in 2003, Zircatec proposes to establish a new production line using 1% enriched fuel. The operating processes in the new fuel line would be the same as in the existing fuel line, but would include state-of-the-art design features to eliminate the potential for a criticality incident.

The facility's production limits, emission limits and worker dose limits would not increase from current levels.

Under Section 5 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, an EA is required to enable this project to proceed because the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission may amend Zircatec's existing licence under subsection 24(2) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.

Further Information

For questions or information directly related to the environmental assessment of the proposed project, please contact:

The CNSC maintains a public registry of documents related to its environmental assessments. Lists and copies of documents may be obtained upon request. For questions or information directly related to this environmental assessment, contact the CNSC.

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