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Decommissioning of Cluff Lake uranium facility

Environment assessment (EA) start date: April 15, 1999
Type: Screening
FEAI reference number: 18738
Proponent: COGEMA Resources Inc. (currently AREVA Resources Canada Inc.)
Location: Cluff Lake, Saskatchewan

Latest update

  • July 20, 2004 – Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announces decision to issue a uranium mine decommissioning licence for COGEMA's Cluff Lake project located in Northern Saskachewan
  • April 15, 2004 – Environment Minister announces decision on Cluff Lake uranium mine decommissioning
  • February 27, 2004 – Notice – Public hearings – April 29, 2004 and June 9, 2004
  • January 28, 2004 – CEAA request for public comment on the comprehensive study report: Comment period closed on February 27, 2004
  • January 12, 2004 – Comprehensive study report submitted to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Minister of the Environment
  • October 31, 2003 – Licence application submitted by COGEMA Resources Inc.
  • October 15, 1999 – Final scope of project and assessment report released
  • September 8, 1999 – Request for public comment on draft scope of project and assessment report for comprehensive study

Project description

In 1999, the CNSC, then the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), received a notice from COGEMA Resources Incorporated (CRI) of its intent to apply for a licence to decommission its uranium mining facility at Cluff Lake, in northern Saskatchewan. The major components of the uranium mining facility include: a mill, surface tailings management area, three underground mines, four open pits, four waste rock storage areas, a camp, a landing strip and other supporting infrastructure.

Before a licensing decision could be made on CRI's application to decommission the Cluff Lake uranium facility, an EA had to be completed 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.

The EA process included a period for public comment on the draft scope of project and assessment report, which ended on October 4, 1999. These comments were reviewed and incorporated into the final report, which is available at CNSC offices in Ottawa and Saskatoon.

The scope of project and assessment report served to both guide and direct CRI on the preparation of a set of comprehensive study documents for the proposed decommissioning of its uranium mining facility. Decommissioning involves the management of the closure, dismantling, waste management, site remediation, care and maintenance, and continued monitoring and surveillance of the areas and facilities at Cluff Lake. The initial EA comprehensive study documents were circulated in December 2000 and in January 2001 for regulatory and public review. The documents underwent extensive technical review by federal and provincial government agencies, and comments were provided to the proponent in May 2001. Following further public consultation meetings, CRI's review and response to the government technical review comments was submitted to the CNSC and other review agencies in January 2002, in the form of an addendum to the comprehensive Study documents. A further government review of the addendum was completed in May 2002. On October 31, 2002, CRI provided a draft of the comprehensive study report (CSR) to CNSC, to enable CNSC to complete the final drafting of the report.

The final drafting of the CSR was carried throughout 2003 and completed in December of the same year. The CNSC submitted the CSR to the Minister of Environment and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) in January 2004 for formal public review. The Minister of the Environment issued its decision on the EA on April 15, 2004. The Minister determined that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with the implementation of the mitigation measures outlined in the comprehensive study report.

Further information

The CNSC maintains a public registry of documents related to its EAs. For questions or information directly related to this EA, please contact:

For questions or information directly related to the environmental assessment of this project, contact the CNSC.

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