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Proposal to construct and operate a deep geologic repository for disposal of low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes

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.

Environment assessment (EA) start date: January 30, 2006
CEAR reference number: 06-05-17520
Proponent: Ontario Power Generation (OPG)
Location: Bruce Nuclear Site, Municipality of Kincardine (Tiverton), Ontario

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Project description

The CNSC received a letter of intent from OPG to apply for regulatory approval to prepare, construct and operate a deep geologic disposal facility on the Bruce Nuclear Site within the municipality of Kincardine, Ontario.

A DGR has been proposed for the disposal of low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes currently stored on the Bruce Site. The DGR will also hold waste produced from the continued operation of OPG-owned nuclear generating stations at Bruce, Pickering and Darlington, Ontario.

Low level waste consists of industrial items that have become contaminated with low levels of radioactivity during routine clean-up and maintenance at nuclear generating stations. This can include mops, rags, floor sweepings, clothing and tools. Low level waste may be safely handled by workers using normal industrial practices and equipment without any special radiation protection.

Intermediate level wastes are radioactive to a level where shielding is required to protect workers during handling. These wastes typically include ion exchange resins, filters and irradiated core components.

The DGR project includes the site preparation, construction, operation and long-term performance of above-ground and below-ground facilities, which are expected to be located within the boundaries of the Bruce Site. Operations would involve those activities required to operate and maintain the DGR facility, remove wastes from the Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF) on the Bruce Site, receive wastes from the WWMF and nuclear generating stations, emplacement of the wastes into the repository, including the closure activities and monitoring of the repository.

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, OPG will require licences from the CNSC for activities to be undertaken with respect to the DGR project. Before the Commission can make licensing decisions for this proposal, an EA of the proposal must be conducted in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The purpose of an EA is to identify the possible environmental effects of a proposed project, and determine whether these effects can be mitigated before the project is allowed to proceed.

Further information

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency maintains a public registry of documents related to its EAs. For questions or submissions directly related to this EA, please contact:

Deep Geologic Repository Project
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Kelly McGee, Panel Co-Manager / Debra Myles, Panel Co-Manager
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
Place Bell Canada
Ottawa  ON  K1A 0H3
Telephone: 613-957-0700 or 1-866-582-1884
Fax: 613-957-0941

Or contact the CNSC.

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