No timeframe for next steps in approval of CNL waste site

by Terry Myers

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission says it will not allow Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to build a giant new waste site at the Chalk River labs if it does not believe it will be safe for people and the environment.

And the CNSC says that’s not just a professional commitment, it’s personal too.

“As Canada’s independent nuclear regulator, the CNSC is committed to protecting health, safety, security and the environment.

“CNSC staff also live and work in communities along the Ottawa River, and have not only a professional regulatory obligation related to the project, but also a personal interest in ensuring safety.

“The CNSC will review and assess CNL’s proposal thoroughly, and will only allow the project to proceed if it is convinced that it is safe for the public and the environment.”

Those comments are contained in an open letter the CNSC issued last week regarding the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) at Chalk River.

The project is going through an environmental assessment and the CNSC is currently waiting for CNL to present a revised “environmental impact statement” for the NSDF project following public and government agency comments on the original draft last year.

According to the executive summary of CNL’s draft EIS, the NSDF is “rooted in the requirements established by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, on behalf of the government of Canada, to substantially reduce the risks associated with the CNL legacy wastes, liabilities, and to create the conditions for the revitalization of the CRL property.”

The site would be built as an “engineered containment mound” and would receive up to 1 million cubic metres of radioactive waste over an operating life of about 50 years.

> for the full story, pick up a copy of the June 20 NRT…