Fall 2023 Update on the Whiteshell Reactor #1 Project

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has proposed the decommissioning of Whiteshell Reactor #1 (WR-1).

The proposed project is located on the Whiteshell Laboratories site, which is located is located in the homeland of the Red River Métis, Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 territories and the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Ojibway Peoples. The Whiteshell site is also located in the vicinity of Treaty 5 territory.

We will provide regular updates on the project as work continues on the environmental assessment (EA) and licensing technical review.

Where we are now

Our licensing technical assessments of CNL’s proposal are ongoing, and CNL continues to develop and revise documents supporting its licence application to address our comments.

With respect to the EA, CNL submitted a revised draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and supporting documentation to the CNSC on December 15, 2022, which underwent a technical review by the federal, provincial and Indigenous review team (FPIRT) in early January. The FPIRT concluded that the submission did not meet regulatory requirements for the EA. In a letter dated April 27th, CNSC staff outlined expectations for resubmission and, in a letter dated May 8th, provided additional comments based on the review conducted by Sagkeeng Anicinabe First Nation.

CNL has been asked to submit complete responses to all new/outstanding information requests (IRs) from the FPIRT. Based on the volume of IRs, CNL will also need to update the EA follow-up program to reflect all revisions that will be made to the draft EIS. Additionally, the CNSC has requested that CNL include a commitments report in the resubmission to track all of the mitigation measures and follow-up program commitments referenced in the EA documentation. Upon resubmission, CNSC staff will determine if CNL’s EA package has enough information to start another review by the FPIRT.

Outreach

CNSC staff were at community events this summer to answer questions on the WR-1 EA and the regulatory oversight of the Whiteshell Laboratories site. The team was at the Pinawa’s Birthday Weekend on July 16th and Sagkeeng Treaty Days on August 2nd and 3rd. If you have an event and would like the CNSC to attend, please contact us.

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