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Commission renews Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc.’s Class IB nuclear fuel facility licence for its facility for a 20-year period

Press Release

From: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

January 18, 2023

Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the Commission’s decision to renew the Class IB nuclear fuel facility licence held by Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. (CFM) for its facility located in the Municipality of Port Hope, Ontario. The Commission renewed the licence for a period of 20 years.

CFM is authorized to operate the facility to produce uranium dioxide (UO2) fuel pellets and nuclear fuel bundles. The CFM facility has been in operation since the late 1950s, and its manufacturing process involves both uranium fuel pellet manufacturing and fuel bundle assembly. Natural UO2 powder is pressed into pellets, fitted into zirconium tubes and then assembled into CANDU reactor fuel bundles. The CFM facility is located on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Haudenosaunee, Anishinabek Nation, and the territory covered by the Williams Treaties First Nations.

This decision follows a public hearing held on November 23, 2022, in Cobourg, Ontario. As part of the licence renewal, the Commission authorizes the increased annual production limit to 1,650 tonnes of uranium, as UO2 pellets. The renewed licence will be valid from March 1, 2023 to February 28, 2043, with CFM to provide the Commission with a comprehensive midterm update on the conduct of its licensed activities and compliance with requirements no later than 2033.

In making its decision, the Commission considered submissions from CFM, CNSC staff, and 42 intervenors. After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that CFM is qualified to carry on the activities that the renewed licence will authorize. It also concluded that CFM will continue to make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, and the health and safety of persons.

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. A funding review committee, independent of the CNSC, reviewed the funding applications received and made recommendations on the allocation of funds. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the CNSC awarded up to approximately $58,000 to 5 applicants.

The record of decision is available upon request to the Commission Registry at [email protected]. All submissions and the hearing webcast are also available on the CNSC website or on request. The hearing transcript is also available on request.

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.

Timeline

  • CFM applied for a licence renewal on October 4, 2021.
  • In March 2022, the CNSC made funding available through its 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 public hearing on November 23, 2022, in Cobourg, Ontario.

Quick facts

  • The CFM facility has been in operation since the late 1950s. The facility was acquired by Cameco in 2006, when Cameco acquired 100% ownership of the facility’s operator Zircatec Precision Industries Inc. (Zircatec). Zircatec was renamed Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. in 2008.
  • This licence renewal authorizes CFM to possess, transfer, use, process, import, package, transport, manage store and dispose of the nuclear substances that are required for, associated with, or arise from CFM’s activities.
  • The Commission also authorizes the increase of the annual production limit to 1,650 tonnes of uranium, as UO2 pellets.
  • The renewed licence is valid from March 1, 2023 to February 28, 2043.

Associated links

  • Information about CNSC oversight of the CFM
  • Hearing submissions
  • Hearing transcript is available upon request to the Commission Registry at [email protected]
  • Archived video webcast of the hearing

Contact

Kim Cunningham
Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Tel: 613-996-6860

Email: [email protected]

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