Commission renews Ontario Power Generation’s waste facility operating licence for its Darlington Waste Management Facility for a 10-year period
April 20, 2023 – Ottawa
Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the Commission’s decision to renew the waste facility operating licence held by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for its Darlington Waste Management Facility (DWMF), located on the site of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (DNGS) in the Municipality of Clarington, Ontario. The DWMF is located on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Anishinabek Nation, and the territory covered by the Williams Treaties with the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations.
The Commission renewed the licence for a period of 10 years. OPG is authorized to operate the DWMF to process and store dry storage containers holding used nuclear fuel from the DNGS, as well as intermediate-level radioactive waste generated from the ongoing refurbishment of the DNGS.
This decision follows a public hearing held virtually on January 26, 2023. As part of the licence renewal, the Commission renews the authorization for the construction and operation of 2 additional structures for the storage of used fuel, subject to specific licence conditions. The Commission also authorizes an increase in the combined total capacity of the additional used fuel dry storage structures, from 1,000 to 1,200 dry storage containers. The renewed licence reflects the Commission’s acceptance of the change in terminology for these structures, from “used fuel dry storage buildings” to “used fuel dry storage structures”.
The renewed licence also reflects the Commission’s decision not to accept OPG’s request to change the name of the facility to Nuclear Sustainability Services – Darlington. In keeping with the CNSC’s regulatory framework, the name in the licence will remain Darlington Waste Management Facility.
In making its decision, the Commission considered submissions from OPG, CNSC staff and 30 intervenors. After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that OPG is qualified to carry on the activities that the renewed licence will authorize. It also concluded that OPG will continue to make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, and the health and safety of persons.
The CNSC 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 approximately $70,000 to 5 applicants.
The record of decision is available upon request to the Commission Registry at email@example.com. All submissions and the hearing webcast are available on the CNSC website or on request. The hearing transcript is also available 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.
- OPG applied for a licence renewal on December 16, 2021.
- In June 2022, 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 January 26, 2023.
- OPG’s current licence, WFOL-W4-355.01/2023, is valid until April 30, 2023, and authorizes OPG to operate the DWMF to receive, process and store dry storage containers containing used nuclear fuel (high-level waste) generated at the DNGS, as well as intermediate-level radioactive waste generated from the ongoing refurbishment of the DNGS.
- OPG’s current licence provides for the construction of 4 used fuel dry storage buildings, 2 of which have been built. In its licence renewal application, OPG requested to carry over the authorization for the future construction and operation of the two additional used fuel dry storage structures. With this decision, the Commission renewed this authorization.
- The name in the licence will remain Darlington Waste Management Facility.
- The Commission accepted the licence conditions recommended by CNSC staff, with a wording change to Licence Condition 15.1 (Construction Plans).
- Information about CNSC oversight of the DNGS
- Information about CNSC oversight of radioactive waste
- Hearing submissions
- Hearing transcript is available upon request to the Commission Registry at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Archived video webcast of the hearing
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
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