Canada renews AECL license for five more years

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Following a two-day public hearing, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced its decision Oct. 27 to renew the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's (AECL) Chalk River Laboratories operating license for a period of five years. The license will be valid from Nov. 1 until Oct. 31, 2016.

The commission, in making its decision, considered information presented at public hearings held on June 8 in Ottawa, and on Oct. 4, in Chalk River, Ontario. During the public hearing, the commission received and considered submissions from AECL and 14 intervenors, and CNSC staff’s recommendations.

The commission is satisfied that the licensee meets the requirements of section 24 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and is qualified to carry out the activities that will be permitted under the renewed license 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.

With this decision, the CNSC incorporated the authorization of activities related to a dedicated isotope facility into the renewed operating license for the Chalk River Laboratories. The commission requested that AECL prepare yearly reports on compliance monitoring and operational performance. In addition, with respect to operation of the National Research Universal reactor, the commission expects to receive AECL’s report on progress made regarding the reactor vessel inspection by the end of February 2012.

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

The webcast of the hearing is archived on the CNSC website for a period of 90 days. The detailed Record of Proceedings, including Reasons for Decision will be available, in both official languages, on the CNSC website at a later date.