Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

October 25, 2007 15:36 ET

CNSC Announces Decision on Renewal of Operating Licence for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Dedicated Isotope Facilities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2007) - Following a 2-day public hearing, held on June 22 and September 12, 2007, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced today its decision to renew the Non-Power Reactor Operating Licence for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's (AECL) Dedicated Isotope Facilities. The licence will permit the completion of the commissioning activities and the operation of the MAPLE 1 and 2 reactors and the New Processing Facilities. The licence is valid until October 31, 2011.

Considering that the DIF is not yet fully operational and that AECL must complete a substantial amount of outstanding commissioning activities before the facility can be declared in service, CNSC staff will carry out enhanced monitoring of the facility throughout the licence period. Further to these special considerations, the Commission notes that AECL shall seek the prior approval of the Commission to release the regulatory hold points established to separate critical phases during commissioning, including to transition the MAPLE 1 and MAPLE 2 reactors from commissioning to in-service status.

With this decision, the Commission establishes a framework for reporting purposes. This includes a request that status reports on the commissioning activities as well as on the performance of the facility over the first half of the licence term be presented at public proceedings of the Commission.

During the public hearing, the Commission considered written submissions and oral presentations from AECL, CNSC staff and 13 intervenors. The Commission concluded that AECL is qualified to operate the facility and that it will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of persons, and the maintenance of national security and measures required to implement international obligations to which Canada has agreed.

A Record of Proceedings including Reasons for Decision (http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/commission/pdf/2007-09-12-Decision-AECL-e-Final-E-docs3095931.pdf) and transcripts of the hearing are available on the CNSC Web site at www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca, or by contacting the CNSC.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment and to respect Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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