Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the Commission’s decision to renew the Class IB nuclear fuel facility licence held by Cameco Corporation (Cameco) for its Blind River Refinery, located south of the Mississauga First Nation community and approximately 5 kilometres west of the Town of Blind River in Ontario. This decision follows a public hearing held virtually on November 24, 2021. The renewed licence authorizes Cameco to continue operating the Blind River Refinery.
In making its decision, the Commission considered oral and written submissions from Cameco, CNSC staff and 50 intervenors. The CNSC also made participant funding available through its Participant Funding Program, and invited interventions from Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders. Two requesters received participant funding to assist with their interventions.
After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that Cameco is qualified to carry out the refining activities that the renewed licence will authorize. It also concluded that Cameco will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, and the health and safety of persons.
The record of decision is available on request to the Commission Registry at email@example.com. The decision will also be posted in both official languages at nuclearsafety.gc.ca at a later date. All submissions, hearing transcripts and the hearing webcast are available on the CNSC website.
The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public. The Commission is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal set up at arm’s length from government, independent from any political, government or private sector influence.
- Cameco applied for a licence renewal on September 30, 2020
- In March 2021, the CNSC made funding available through the Participant Funding Program to support Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders in presenting their views to the Commission
- The Commission held a virtual public hearing on November 24, 2021 (hearing transcripts and webcast are available online or by request)
- The renewed licence is valid until February 28, 2032
- This licence renewal authorizes the production of uranium trioxide (UO3) from uranium ore concentrates by Cameco at the Blind River Refinery
- The renewed licence includes revised environmental release limits that were derived using a new, more stringent methodology
- The renewed licence contains a licence condition to impose a hold point before Cameco can increase its annual production capacity at the Blind River Refinery from 18,000 tonnes of uranium as UO3 to 24,000 tonnes
- A financial guarantee ensures sufficient resources are in place if the licensee is not able to fulfill its decommissioning obligations
- The revised financial guarantee of $57.5 million in the form of a letter of credit has been accepted