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Near-Surface Disposal Facility not Part of Chalk River Laboratories Licence Renewal

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is compelled to correct the impression that your April 6 article left regarding the renewal of the Chalk River Laboratories licence and a proposed near-surface disposal facility (NSDF).

The purpose of the public hearing that was held in January was to consider the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ (CNL) licence renewal application for the Chalk River Laboratories site as it currently exists. It did not consider the development of future nuclear or waste management facilities, such as the NSDF. The licence does not give free rein to the licensee – any project outside of the reasons why CNL was issued a licence requires the CNSC’s approval. Therefore, a separate licensing hearing is necessary before any new projects at the Chalk River site can proceed.

CNL’s NSDF proposal is currently undergoing an environmental assessment pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. The CNSC, Canada’s independent nuclear regulator, is the responsible authority and will review and assess CNL’s proposal thoroughly. It will allow the project to proceed only if it is convinced that it is safe for Canadians and the environment.

The environmental assessment includes several opportunities for Indigenous peoples, the public and interested parties to provide input and comments, up to and including a public hearing. The CNSC encourages Indigenous peoples and members of the public to participate in the environmental assessment review process. Their concerns and interests are of vital importance to the Government of Canada and to the CNSC to ensure an open, balanced process, one that strengthens the quality and credibility of a project’s review.

View the Manitoulin Expositor article:

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