CNSC renews BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc.’s operating licences as two facility-specific licences for the Toronto and Peterborough facilities
December 21, 2020 – Ottawa
Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced its decision to renew the nuclear fuel facility licence held by BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT) in Toronto and Peterborough. By way of a majority decision, the Commission also decided to authorize the commercial production of fuel pellets at BWXT’s Peterborough facility, with one member dissenting on this issue. BWXT will be allowed to produce fuel pellets at only one of its facilities at any time. Since pellet production is new to the Peterborough facility, BWXT will be required to submit a final commissioning report to show its compliance with safety requirements for the Commission’s acceptance before it can proceed with pellet production there.
In making its decision, the Commission considered submissions from BWXT and 247 intervenors, as well as CNSC staff recommendations. The Commission is renewing BWXT’s licence as two separate licences, one for each facility in Toronto and Peterborough. The Commission decided that individual licences will best meet the needs of the host communities and the CNSC’s regulatory expectations – benefits that outweigh any regulatory burden to BWXT.
After submitting the information on the soil resampling done in Peterborough in July 2020, CSNC staff informed the Commission that it had revised calculations for hypothetical beryllium emissions from BWXT’s Peterborough facility. After reviewing these revised calculations, the Commission concluded that the health of people and the environment around the BWXT facility in Peterborough remain protected.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.
- BWXT applied for a licence renewal in November 2018.
- The CNSC made funding available in June 2019 through the Participant Funding Program to support Indigenous peoples, members of the public and stakeholders so that they could present their views to the Commission.
- The Commission held a public hearing in Toronto and in Peterborough from March 2 to 6, 2020 (hearing transcripts and webcast are available online or by request).
- The Commission issued a notice of continuation in April 2020, directing CNSC staff to carry out soil resampling for beryllium on properties near BWXT’s Peterborough facility.
- CNSC staff presented the results of their soil resampling to the Commission in October 2020 (CMD 20-H2.D) and their revised calculations of hypothetical beryllium emissions in December 2020 (CMD 20-H2.E).
The two facility-specific licences are for the BWXT Class IB facilities located in Toronto and Peterborough, Ontario.
The licences will be valid from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2030.
Half way through the 10-year licence period (no later than 2026), BWXT must provide the Commission with a comprehensive mid‑term update on its licensed activities in its Toronto and Peterborough facilities.
CNSC staff must report on the performance of BWXT’s Toronto and Peterborough facilities as part of their work through regulatory oversight reports (ROR).
Both BWXT’s mid-term update and CNSC staff’s ROR will be presented at the Commission’s public proceedings.
- Indigenous peoples, members of the public and stakeholders will be invited to participate in Commission proceedings.
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Tel: 613-996-6860 or 1-800-668-5284
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