CNSC completes review of CNL’s draft environmental impact statement

News Release

August 31, 2017 – Ottawa, ON

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff recently completed their technical assessment of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) for the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility. The CNSC, as the responsible authority, is carrying out a federal environmental assessment (EA) pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

As the responsible authority, the CNSC has identified a number of areas where additional information will need to be included in the final EIS and other technical supporting documentation. CNSC staff’s assessment is reflected in a series of comments that have been consolidated with those of other federal authorities participating in the review, given their expert information or knowledge in relation to the project (Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and Natural Resources Canada). The consolidated table of federal comments, which lists almost 200 information requests and comments, has been submitted back to the project proponent, CNL, for action.

Next steps

CNL must now address all federal and public comments received, and submit a final EIS to the CNSC. The CNSC will then make a determination on whether the information provided in CNL’s submissions is complete. Should further information be required, the proponent will be requested to submit the necessary information until CNSC staff are satisfied with a final EIS. CNL is expected to submit its final EIS in January 2018.

Following receipt of a complete licensing submission and final EIS, CNSC staff will document their assessment and conclusions on the project. CNSC staff’s assessment and the EA report will be available to the public and Indigenous groups at least 60 days prior to the Commission's public hearing, expected to take place in July 2018. The public will be offered the opportunity to submit written and/or oral interventions.

Quick Facts

  • The Near Surface Disposal Facility is a proposed engineered disposal facility for radioactive waste planned for the Chalk River Laboratories site.

  • The facility is planned to have an operating life of at least 50 years; as proposed, it would be an engineered mound built at near-surface level on the Chalk River Laboratories site.

  • The proposed project would also include a wastewater treatment plant and supporting infrastructure.

Associated Links


Aurèle Gervais
Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Tel: 613-996-6860 or 1-800-668-5284


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