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Environmental Protection Review Report: BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. Toronto and Peterborough Facilities - FFOL 3620.01/2020 Licence Renewal


The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) conducts an environmental protection review (EPR) for every licence application with potential environmental interactions. It does so in accordance with its mandate under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) to ensure the protection of the environment and the health of persons. An EPR is a science-based technical assessment of the environment conducted by CNSC staff, as required in the NSCA. Some aspects of the CNSC’s mandate, like safety and security, are fulfilled through other regulatory oversight activities.

This EPR report was written by CNSC staff for the Commission, Indigenous peoples and the public. It describes the scientific, evidence-based findings from the CNSC staff’s review of the application by BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT) to renew its single Class 1B fuel facility operating licence 3620.01/2020, which allows for the operation of two separate facilities: one in Peterborough and the other in Toronto. The licence application proposes the continued operations of both the Peterborough and Toronto facilities for a period of 10 years, from December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2030. During this licensing period, BWXT has requested authorization to transfer the pelleting operations currently performed at the Toronto facility to the Peterborough facility with no change to the current overall production and possession limits.

CNSC staff’s EPR report can be read as a stand-alone document that focuses on items that are of current public and regulatory interest, such as releases of radiological and hazardous substances to the receiving environment, as well as the effects on valued ecosystem components and species at risk during ongoing operations and decommissioning activities.

This EPR report includes the CNSC staff’s assessment of the documents submitted in support of the licence application, as well as, but not limited to, the following:

  • the results of BWXT’s environmental monitoring, as reported in annual compliance monitoring reports
  • BWXT’s submitted Environmental Risk Assessments for the Toronto and Peterborough facilities and for the proposed transfer and eventual full consolidation of pelleting operations to the Peterborough facility
  • BWXT’s preliminary decommissioning plan
  • the results of the CNSC’s Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP)
  • the results from regional monitoring programs and/or health studies completed at other levels of government near BWXT’s Toronto and Peterborough facilities

The information provided in this EPR report supports the environmental protection conclusions that CNSC staff made in Commission member document (CMD) 20-H2, that BWXT has made adequate provisions for the protection of the environment and the health of persons and it will continue to so.

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