Conference Proceedings Paper
DECOMMISSIONING OF THE CLUFF LAKE URANIUM MINE, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA
3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration - 2016 Sept. 11-14
C. Brown (AREVA Resources Canada)
D. Martens (AREVA Resources Canada)
K. Hughes (AREVA Resources Canada)
D. Huffman (AREVA Resources Canada)
The Cluff Lake uranium mine and mill are located in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, approximately 900 km north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Uranium mining and milling operations commenced in 1980 and ceased at the site in 2002 after more than 20 years of production. During operation, facilities included open pit and underground mines, a mill, a tailings management area, a residential camp, and various other support and site infrastructure activities. In the time since the completion of mining and milling at Cluff Lake, AREVA Resources Canada Inc. (AREVA) has focused on decommissioning activities at the site.
A decommissioning license was granted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) in 2004. The majority of the physical decommissioning then occurred between 2004 and 2006. This work included mill demolition, decommissioning of the open pits, and covering of the waste rock pile and tailings management area. From 2006 to 2013, personnel remained on site for post- decommissioning activities and follow-up monitoring. The Cluff Lake Project reached a milestone in 2013, when the remainder of site clean-up work was completed, a permanent site presence was discontinued, and the site access restrictions were removed. AREVA now conducts routine environmental monitoring of the Cluff Lake Project through quarterly campaigns, where a small team is mobilized to site from Saskatoon to collect the required environmental data. The first full year of campaign monitoring occurred in 2014 and proved to be an effective method for environmental monitoring. In addition to campaign monitoring, AREVA is completing an environmental assessment follow-up program for the Cluff Lake Project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). An overview of the decommissioning history for the Cluff Lake Project site, with a focus on the transition to campaign monitoring, the follow-up program, and the next steps for the site will be discussed.
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