Decommissioning of a plutonium tower facility at Chalk River Laboratories
- January 25, 2012 - Natural Resources Canada - Environmental Assessment Decision on the Plutonium Tower, Building 223, Decommissioning Project
- December 16, 2011 - Record of Proceedings, Including Reasons for Decision in the matter of the Environmental Assessment Screening regarding the Proposal to Decommission the Plutonium Tower at Chalk River Laboratories in Chalk River, Ontario (PDF)
- May 20, 2011 - Comment period extended to May 31, 2011 - Draft Environmental Assessment Screening Report (PDF)
- April 26, 2011 - Request for Public Comment - Draft Environmental Assessment Screening Report (PDF)
- July 26, 2005 - Environmental Assessment Guidelines issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has received an application from AECL for authorization to decommission a plutonium tower facility located at the Chalk River Laboratories. This authorization would require an amendment to AECL’s operating licence pursuant to section 24 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA). The plutonium tower facility is a Class IB nuclear facility under the Class I Nuclear Facilities Regulations.
This facility was used to develop means to extract plutonium from fuel rods irradiated in the NRX reactor and operated for a few years in the late 1940s. The building was permanently shut down in 1954. All process equipment was removed from the building, and an initial clean-up was carried out. Further clean-up and dismantling was carried out in the 1980s. Decommissioning include the following activities: demolition of annexes, concrete tower, building structure; segregation of solid wastes and transfer to waste management facilities at the CRL; and, removal of any contaminated soil and site restoration.
Before the Commission makes its decision on AECL’s application, an environmental assessment must be completed in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The purpose of an environmental assessment is to identify the possible environmental effects of a proposed project, and to determine whether these effects can be mitigated before the project is allowed to proceed.
CNSC maintains a public registry of documents related to its Environmental Assessments. Lists and copies of documents may be obtained upon request. For questions or information directly related to this environmental assessment, please contact:
Environmental Assessment Officer
Environmental Assessment Division
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
P.O. Box 1046, Station B
Phone : 1-800-668-5284
Fax : 613-995-5086
Email : EA@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca
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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