Near Surface Disposal Facility Project

Deep River (Ontario)

Reference number: 80122
Federal Responsible Authority: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Proponent: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Environmental Assessment Commenced: 2016-05-05
Environmental Assessment Type: Environmental Assessment by Responsible Authority
Status: Environmental assessment in progress

Latest Update

October 16, 2018 - The timelines in Appendix A of the Administrative Protocol between Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and the CNSC for the Near Surface Disposal Facility Project have been updated to clarify the environmental assessment (EA), licensing and public hearing processes for the review of the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) project. CNL has indicated that they require additional time to address information requests (IRs) received on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the federal and provincial authorities as well as from Indigenous groups and members of public. Given that there are no firm time commitments for receipt of CNL's completed responses, or for the remainder of the regulatory process, Appendix A has been revised to clarify the milestones remaining in the EA and licensing processes and the current focus of obtaining a complete submission of information. The required timelines for the federal and provincial authorities to complete their reviews remain the same. More information is available here.

About the Proposal

The Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) is a proposed engineered disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste planned for the Chalk River Laboratories site (CRL). All waste to be disposed at the NSDF will be required to meet the waste acceptance criteria established to assure compliance with operational and long-term safety requirements.

The Near Surface Disposal Facility is planned to have an operating life of at least 50 years and as proposed, would be an engineered mound built at near-surface level on the CRL site. The engineered mound would be cellular, made up of multiple disposal cells consisting of:

  • base liner and final cover systems
  • leachate collection and leak detection systems
  • environmental monitoring systems

The proposed project would also include:

  • a wastewater treatment plant
  • supporting infrastructure, such as a truck wheel wash, vehicle monitoring and weighing stations, work stations and change facilities, security systems to monitor access and egress, construction trailers, and marine containers or tents for storage of construction materials

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, CNL's proposal requires approval by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and involves an amendment to the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) Nuclear Research and Test Establishment Operating Licence. An environmental assessment (EA) conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 is required, and an EA decision affirming that the proposed activities will not cause significant adverse environmental effects, before the CNSC can make a licensing decision on this proposal.


  • For Public Participation (9)
    Contains all documents related to public participation opportunities
  • News Releases (11)
    Contains all news releases related to this environmental assessment process.
  • Comments Received/Responses (226)
    Contains comments received related to the environmental assessment process and, when applicable, responses to those comments.
  • Additional Information (7)
    Contains additional records related to the project and the environmental assessment process.
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External Links

Please note that access to external websites is provided solely as a courtesy. Users should be aware that the information offered by non‑Government of Canada websites that are not subject to the Official Languages Act might be available in only one language.

For questions or information, please contact:

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Nicole Frigault, Environmental Assessment Officer
280 Slater Street
P.O. Box 1046, Station B
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5S9
Telephone: 613-995-7948 or 1-800-668-5284
Fax: 613-995-5086

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