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Decommissioning of the heavy water upgrading plant at Chalk River Laboratories

Environment assessment (EA) start date: March 14, 2002
Type: Screening
FEAI reference number: 31931
Proponent: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)
Location: Chalk River, Ontario

Latest update

  • June 25, 2008 – Commission decision on the EA, and record of proceedings
  • March 11, 2008 – Notice of public hearing on the screening report – A one-day public hearing will take place on May 15, 2008 at the Ajax Convention Centre (550 Beck Crescent, Ajax, Ontario) to consider the results of this proposed project's EA screening. Please refer to the Notice for more information.
  • January 2, 2008 – Request for public comments – Comment period closes February 2, 2008

Project description

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has received notice from AECL of their intent to proceed with the decommissioning of the heavy water upgrading plant (HWUP), located at the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) in Chalk River, Ontario.

The HWUP occupies Buildings 210 and 212 in the controlled area of the CRL site. The facility was designed to remove contaminants and upgrade the isotopic composition of heavy water using an electrolytic process. Cleaning and upgrading operations were terminated in August 1998, and the facility has been in a shut-down state since then. The proposed decommissioning would involve the dismantling and removal of storage tanks, process equipment and piping from the facility.

Before the CNSC makes its decision on AECL's licence amendment application, an EA must 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.

Further Information

The CNSC maintains a public registry of documents related to its EAs.

For questions or information directly related to the EA on the proposed decommissioning of the HWUP in Chalk River, please contact:

John Clarke
Environmental Assessment Specialist

Environmental Assessment Division
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
P. O. Box 1046, Station B
Ottawa, ON
K1P 5S9

Phone: 1-800-668-5284
Fax: 613-995-5086

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.

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