CNSC amends Cameco’s Beaverlodge waste facility operating licence
September 12, 2022 – Ottawa
Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the Commission’s decision to amend the waste facility operating licence held by Cameco Corporation (Cameco) for the decommissioned Beaverlodge mine and mill site. The site is located near Uranium City in northern Saskatchewan, within historic Treaty 8 territory, the Homeland of the Métis, and is within the traditional territories of the Dene, Cree, and Métis peoples. This decision follows a public hearing held virtually on March 24, 2022. The amended licence remains valid until May 31, 2023, and allows for the removal of 18 Beaverlodge properties from licensing under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA).
Cameco intends to transfer the 18 properties to Saskatchewan’s Institutional Control Program (ICP), which requires the Province of Saskatchewan to be exempted from licensing under the NSCA for those properties. Therefore, as part of its decision in this matter, the Commission also exempted the Province of Saskatchewan from licensing for the 18 properties, enabling their acceptance into the ICP.
In making its decision, the Commission considered oral and written submissions from Cameco, CNSC staff and 14 intervenors. The CNSC also made participant funding available through its Participant Funding Program and invited interventions from Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders. A funding review committee, independent of the CNSC, reviewed the funding applications received and made recommendations on the allocation of funds. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the CNSC awarded up to $78,150 to 3 applicants.
After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that Cameco remains qualified to carry on the activities that the amended licence will authorize. It also concluded that Cameco will continue to make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, and the health and safety of persons. The Commission also concluded that, taking into account the ICP’s framework, the Beaverlodge properties transferred into the program will remain safe.
The record of decision is available on request to the Commission Registry at firstname.lastname@example.org. The decision will also be posted in both official languages at nuclearsafety.gc.ca at a later date. All submissions, the hearing transcript and the hearing webcast are available on the CNSC website or on request.
The CNSC 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. The Commission is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal set up at arm’s length from government, independent from any political, government or private sector influence.
- Cameco applied for the licence amendment on July 14, 2021.
- In August 2021, the CNSC made funding available through its Participant Funding Program to support Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders in presenting their views to the Commission.
- The Commission held a virtual public hearing on March 24, 2022.
- The amended licence remains valid until May 31, 2023.
Eldorado Nuclear Limited, a federal Crown corporation, operated the Beaverlodge Project site from 1952 to 1982.
Comprising 65 separate properties, the site has been in a monitoring state since decommissioning was completed in 1985.
The Province of Saskatchewan’s ICP is designed to ensure that the properties in the program are monitored and managed in perpetuity.
The process to transfer decommissioned Beaverlodge properties to the ICP was initiated in 2009.
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
613-996-6860 or 1-800-668-5284
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