Update on EAs for CNLs nuclear waste disposal projects

from Kerrie Blaise, Legal Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association

For both NPD and Whiteshell, the revised EIS has been found to be incomplete and the CNSC has sent it back to the proponent. The CNSC is currently undertaking their completeness review for NSDF. 


1. Whiteshell DecommissioningStatus: Revised EIS deficient and sent back to proponentProject Page: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80124

April 30, 2020 – On March 27, 2020, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) submitted a revised draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed In Situ Decommissioning Of the Whiteshell Reactor #1 Project to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), which included an updated EIS, updated technical supporting documents, and consolidated responses to all federal and provincial information requests. CNSC staff conducted a completeness check and determined that insufficient information was provided to enable the federal and provincial review team to proceed with the EIS technical review. CNL is expected to provide additional information and resubmit the revised EIS and supporting documents at a later date. 

   
2. Near Surface Disposal FacilityStatus: Completeness review underwayProject Page: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80122

April 9, 2020 – The Federal and Provincial Review Team (FPRT) has completed their technical review of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ (CNL) revised draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility, including updated supporting documents, and responses to all federal and provincial comments and information requests (IRs) (step 26 in Appendix A of the CNL–CNSC Administrative Protocol for the Proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility), available here.

Led by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the federal and provincial authorities that participated in the technical review included Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and the Quebec Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changement climatiques. The FPRT technical review resulted in 37 IRs in total, several of these follow-up comments on existing IRs as well as several new IRs resulting from the review of new information. The CNSC submitted the consolidated table of federal and provincial comments from the FPRT technical review to CNL on April 3, 2020. CNL must now respond to these additional federal and provincial comments. The CNSC, in collaboration with the FPRT, will then make a determination on whether the information provided in CNL’s submissions is complete.

3. Nuclear Power Demonstration Status: Revised EIS deficient and sent back to proponentProject Page: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80121

May 05, 2020 – On March 31, 2020, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) submitted a revised draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) Closure Project to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), which included an updated EIS, updated technical supporting documents, and responses to all federal and provincial comments and information requests. CNSC staff conducted a completeness check and determined that insufficient information was provided to enable the federal and provincial review team to proceed with the EIS technical review. CNL is expected to provide additional information and resubmit the revised EIS and supporting documents at a later date.  

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