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Update on the Near Surface Disposal Facility Project

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has been granted a licence to construct a near surface disposal facility (NSDF) at the Chalk River Laboratories site in Deep River, Ontario. The NSDF will be located in the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg peoples.

The purpose of the NSDF is to permanently dispose of solid low-level radioactive waste in an engineered waste disposal facility designed to contain the waste and isolate it from people and the environment.

CNL’s application was subject to both an environmental assessment (EA) and a licensing assessment by the CNSC. Both assessments were launched in May 2016. CNL’s application was also subject to rigorous regulatory scrutiny, with the Commission finding that it met all regulatory requirements for a radioactive waste disposal facility.

Where we are now

On January 9, 2024, the CNSC announced the Commission’s decision to amend CNL’s nuclear research and test establishment operating licence for Chalk River Laboratories to authorize the construction of an NSDF at the Chalk River Laboratories site.

The Commission considered all submissions and perspectives received throughout the multi‑year regulatory review and hearing process, which began in 2016.

Read the full record of decision from the Commission.

CNSC staff are responsible for providing ongoing oversight of this project and for ensuring that CNL meets regulatory and safety requirements as it moves forward with construction of the NSDF. This includes ongoing engagement and consultation with Indigenous Nations and communities, stakeholders and the public to ensure that they are kept informed on a regular basis about all NSDF regulatory matters.

The CNSC will ensure that CNL meets all legal and regulatory requirements, as well as its licence conditions, through regular inspections and evaluations.

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