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Update on the near surface disposal facility project

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has proposed the construction of a near surface disposal facility (NSDF) in Deep River, Ontario. The NSDF is an engineered facility designed to dispose of solid low-level radioactive waste generated by CNL. The proposed NSDF would be located in the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people.

We will provide regular updates on the project as work continues on the environmental and licensing assessments.

Where we are now

The CNSC held a 2-part public Commission hearing to consider CNL’s application to amend its operating licence to authorize the construction of the proposed NSDF. Part 1 of the public hearing was held virtually on February 22, 2022 and comprised a presentation by CNSC staff and a presentation by CNL, followed by questions by the Commission. Part 2 of the public hearing was held from May 30, 2022 to June 3, 2022 at the Best Western Inn & Conference Centre in Pembroke, Ontario. In total, the Commission received 165 interventions from Indigenous Nations and communities, the public, and interested stakeholders. The Commission hearing was livestreamed on the CNSC website and simultaneous translation was provided in both official languages.

The documents for Part 1 and Part 2 of the Commission hearing can be found on our website. If you would like to watch the webcast of the NSDF Commission hearing, it will be archived on our website for 3 months following the conclusion of Part 2 of the hearing.

Next steps

On July 5, 2022, the Commission issued a procedural direction announcing its decision to leave the record open to allow more time for engagement and consultation with Kebaowek First Nation and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, and for the filing of additional information about these consultative efforts. Kebaowek First Nation, the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, CNL, and CNSC staff will have until January 31, 2023 to file additional information. As a result of leaving the record open, the time period for the written final submissions by CNL and intervenors who registered for oral presentations will not commence until the Commission receives and reviews the new information on engagement and consultation.

The Commission’s procedural direction constitutes no ruling with respect to the environmental assessment (EA) or licensing application. The Commission will await further information before making decisions in respect of the duty to consult, the EA and the licensing application.

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