Commission amends Orano Canada Inc.’s uranium mine and mill licence for the McClean Lake Operation authorizing expansion of the JEB tailings management facility
From: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
January 17, 2022 – Ottawa
Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced its decision to amend the uranium mine and mill licence held by Orano Canada Inc. (Orano) for its McClean Lake Operation (MLO). This decision follows a public hearing held virtually on October 4, 2021. The licence amendment allows Orano to expand the JEB tailings management facility (TMF) at the MLO.
In making its decision, the Commission considered submissions from Orano and 6 intervenors, as well as CNSC staff recommendations. The CNSC made participant funding available through its Participant Funding Program, and invited interventions from Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders. Three requesters received participant funding to assist with their interventions.
After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that Orano is qualified to carry out the expansion of the JEB TMF that the amended licence will authorize. It also concluded that Orano 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 protected] 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.
- Orano applied for a licence amendment in June 2020.
- The CNSC made funding available in February 2021 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 October 4, 2021 (hearing transcripts and webcast are available online or on request).
- The amended licence is valid until June 30, 2027.
- The MLO began operations in 1999.
- Since 2014, the MLO has processed high-grade uranium ore from Cameco Corporation’s Cigar Lake mine.
- The JEB TMF is the repository for tailings resulting from uranium processing at the MLO and, before this amendment, was expected to reach its capacity in 2027.
- CNSC staff must report on the performance of Orano and the MLO, including the JEB TMF, through regulatory oversight reports at the Commission’s public proceedings.
- Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders will be invited to participate in these Commission proceedings.
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Tel.: 613-996-6860 or 1-800-668-5284
Email: [email protected]