Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility: Modification to Crawl Space

The Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility (NPDWF), owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and managed by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), is currently being maintained in a safe shut down state, in preparation for eventual decommissioning.  Small modifications in a crawlspace of the facility are being proposed to support the prevention of species at risk bats from hibernating in the facility during the winter months.    

Through surveying efforts in and around the NPDWF from 2015 to 2020, it has been confirmed that a few individuals of species at risk bats have used the facility during both winter and summer seasons. A hibernaculum has been confirmed in the crawl space under the maintenance wing of the NPDWF, occupied by one Little Brown Myotis Bat and one Tri-colored Bat. After further inspection, it was determined that the bats were likely using holes in the wall where piping exited the facility as their ingress and egress point. The crawl space may be an 'ecological trap' (detrimental to the bats) due to temperature fluctuations below the 2 - 10 C temperature range required for hibernation. Also crawl space inspections, and presence of asbestos, may interfere with the ambient environmental conditions of the hibernating bats.

The intent of the proposed modifications is to permanently seal the openings to prevent bats entering the crawlspace.  Sealing will include the installation of one-way bat doors permitting bats that may potentially be inside the facility the means to exit safely prior to hibernation season. Implementing proposed exclusion methods in the spring of 2021 provides adequate time for the bats to relocate.

This activity requires a Species at Risk permit from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Accordingly, ECCC has an obligation as a Federal Authority to make a determination under s.82 of the IAA 2019 and therefore will work with AECL in making the final determination.   The Notice of Determination posted at the end of the public participation period will reflect this.





Latest update

April 07, 2021.  On behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) (lead Authority), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) have jointly determined that the Modification to Crawl Space at the Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility (NPDWF), is therefore not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

CNL will undertake the activity according to the terms and conditions specified in the Species at Risk permit issued by ECCC “Installation of Bat Eviction Devices at the Nuclear Power Demonstration Site” (SARA-OR-2021-0588).

The carrying out the project is therefore not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.




Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Patrick Quinn, Director, Corporate Communications
286 Plant Rd,
Chalk River, Ontario K0J 1J0
Telephone: 1-800-364-6989

  • Location

    • Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility, Rolphton, Ontario (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Other, not otherwise specified
    • Maintenance activities (fences, walls)
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
  • Authorities

    • Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


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...within 200 kilometres
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