Waste management is a challenge facing the entire nuclear industry. CNL is once again using leading-edge technology to put forward a long-term environmental solution through the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) to meet that challenge. Taking guidance from domestic and international experience, CNL has proposed an engineered containment mound similar to the ones found in both Port Granby and Port Hope as the solution for low-level radioactive waste at Chalk River Labs.
Canada’s storied Chalk River Laboratories was established in 1944 on the Ottawa River, about 180 km (114 miles) from the City of Ottawa. An adjacent community, the Town of Deep River, was developed to support the site and remains home to generations of employees. The site is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation.
For decades, Chalk River Laboratories has been the centre for Nobel Prize-winning physics research, engineering technology and neutron science. Among its best-known legacies are the CANDU® reactor and the development of medical isotopes that benefitted millions of people around the world through cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Today’s Chalk River Laboratories provides essential support to Canada’s carbon-reducing nuclear energy industry, contributes to new innovations in medical isotopes, and is a leader in the investigation and analysis of reactor components to ensure safety and compliance.
It’s not surprising that decades of innovative research and development has resulted in waste by-products; so has the demolition of more than 100 aging structures – in the form of building debris and decommissioning material. While CNL has been storing the waste onsite using industry best practices, regulations in Canada are changing and this is not a permanent solution.
The NSDF is the solution for this environmental issue. CNL already has experience building similar waste management facilities through the Port Hope Area Initiative projects. Through shared knowledge and expertise, CNL will again construct an engineered containment mound with natural and synthetic barriers. These layers form components that are robust enough to prevent contaminants from entering the environment for hundreds of years. The Port Granby mound was successfully capped and closed last year after the relocation and long-term storage of more than 1.3 million tonnes of historic low-level radioactive waste in the south-eastern boundary of the Municipality of Clarington.
Now you too can support this environmental solution. A Parliamentary E-Petition 3929 has been launched calling for signatures in support of the proposed NSDF project and ongoing regulatory process. With almost 1000 signatures already obtained supporting the project, you can still show your support by signing the petition here which will remain open until June 27, 2022.
CNL continues to share information and facts about the NSDF project leading up to a hearing date with the nuclear regulatory body, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Learn more about the project that will implement a modern solution to an old environmental problem and how you can participate in the process by visiting here.