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Panel Report

Appendix C - Terms of Reference: Scientific Review Group


A federal Environmental Assessment Panel (Panel) will review the safety and acceptability of AECL's (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's) concept of disposal of nuclear fuel wastes in Canada, along with a broad range of nuclear fuel waste management issues. This review will be conducted under the requirements of the federal Environmental Assessment and Review Process (EARP) and be administered by the Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office (FEARO).

The Scientific Review Group (SRG), appointed by and responsible to the Panel, will conduct a specific in-depth examination of the scientific and engineering aspects of the concept, developed by AECL, to dispose of high-level nuclear fuel wastes in igneous rock of the Canadian Shield.


  1. Members of the SRG will be independent and distinguished, and have scientific backgrounds rele-vant to the review of AECL's disposal concept.
  2. Members will be appointed by and responsible to the Panel.
  3. Each member is expected to serve in his/her own personal and professional capacity and not as a representative of any organization.
  4. The Panel will appoint one of the members of the SRG to serve as chairman.


Over the course of its examination of AECL's disposal concept, the SRG will:

  1. critically review and comment on the acceptability and applicability of AECL's high-level nuclear fuel waste disposal concept from a scientific and engineering point of view;
  2. review and comment on the choice of predictive techniques, the underlying assumptions and the validity of the results of the predictive techniques used to assess the long-term performance and safety of the disposal concept;
  3. provide advice on other issues when requested by the Panel.


  1. The SRG will be responsible for its own internal organization and will discharge its responsibilities as it wishes, subject to the concurrence of the Panel. The findings of the SRG will be made available to the public.
  2. The SRG may, if required, seek technical assistance from other sources, including government agencies, universities and the consulting community, to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities.
  3. The SRG will meet in such places and at such times as it deems appropriate.
  4. The SRG may organize workshops or technical meetings with invited external experts, as it deems appropriate.

Reporting / Publication

In accordance with the timetable outlined by the Panel, the SRG will produce a comprehensive report containing conclusions and recommendations on the acceptability and applicability of the scientific and engineering aspects of AECL's concept for disposal of high-level nuclear fuel wastes, and the validity of the predictive modelling results.

Publication of interim and final reports from the SRG shall be made by the Panel and shall be made available to the public.

Administrative Structure and Support

  1. FEARO will engage a suitably qualified person to act as secretary of the SRG.
  2. A FEARO officer will be designated to act as liaison to facilitate managerial and administrative matters and to ensure ongoing communication between the Panel and the SRG.
  3. FEARO will provide administrative support, as well as some office space.
  4. FEARO will pay an honorarium and all reasonable expenses accrued by the SRG members.