Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

August 12, 2005 10:45 ET

CNSC Announces its Decision on the Environmental Assessment of AECL's Proposed Continued Operation of the National Research Universal (NRU) Reactor at Chalk River Laboratories

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 12, 2005) - Following a public hearing held on June 29, 2005, in Ottawa, Ontario, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced today its decision on an environmental assessment of the proposed operation of the NRU reactor to the year 2012. The Commission decided that the project, taking into account the identified mitigation measures, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The NRU reactor is located at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's (AECL) Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario.

The screening environmental assessment was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).

The Commission may now proceed, under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, with its consideration of an application from AECL to amend the licence for the Chalk River Laboratories, which if approved, would allow the NRU reactor to operate beyond its currently scheduled shutdown on December 31, 2005.

A one-day hearing for a seven-month extension of the reactor operations (until July 31, 2006) will be held on October 18, 2005, as described in the revised Notice of Public Hearing Ref. 2005-H-15. The proposed seven-month extension, if granted, would allow the reactor to continue operating while technical studies are completed in support of AECL's application for a longer-term extension.

During the public hearing on the environmental assessment, the Commission considered the Environmental Assessment Screening Report prepared by CNSC staff and the written submissions and oral presentations from AECL, CNSC staff and six intervenors.

The Record of Proceedings is available upon request by contacting the Secretariat at the coordinates below. 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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