It came down to the wire, but Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has received a new 10-year licence to continue operating the Chalk River labs.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the new licence in a statement released last Thursday, March 29.
CNL’s previous operating licence was due to expire as of Saturday, March 31.
In its announcement, the CNSC said the new licence will be in effect from April 1, 2018 until March 31, 2028.
“In making its decision, the commission considered submissions from CNL and 88 intervenors, as well as CNSC staff’s recommendations,” the announcement said.
“CNL will present a mid-term update in 2023 on its licensed activities at CRL during a public commission meeting within the community.
“Members of the public will have the opportunity to intervene orally and in writing.
“CNSC staff will also report annually on CNL’s performance at CRL at a commission meeting with public participation.”
CNL welcomed the news of the new licence, saying the 10-year timeframe aligns with the company’s long-term strategy.
“This is exceptional news for the future of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, the hard-working professionals who work at our Chalk River campus, and more broadly for our local communities here in the Ottawa Valley and the nuclear industry in Canada,” said Mark Lesinski, CNL’s president and CEO.
“Our application was based on a track record of solid safety and environmental performance; this new licence reflects both our current efforts and our future plans to create a stronger, more resilient and enduring national laboratory with a revitalized talent pool, facilities and infrastructure.”
CNL’s licence was approved following three days of hearings held in Pembroke at the end of January.
Transcripts of the hearings are available on the CNSC website.
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