3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration - 2016 Sept. 11-14

Presented at:
3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration
2016 Sept. 11-14
Ottawa, Canada
Session Title:
Session W1: Site Remediation Experience

P. Daly (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
M. Vickerd (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
T. Butz (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
K. Schruder (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
B. Wood (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)


Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is undertaking decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor. NPD was the first Canadian nuclear power reactor, a 20 MWe CANDU prototype which operated from 1962 to 1987.  The facility is presently in the storage with surveillance phase of a deferred decommissioning program. Significant radioactive decay has occurred since the shutdown of the reactor thus NPD is in an ideal strategic position for completion of the remainder of the decommissioning.  The purpose of the NPD Closure Project is to safely reduce Canada’s nuclear legacy liability by carrying out the decommissioning by 2020. 

Due to the configuration of the facility, as well as the limited disposal options for nuclear waste within Canada, in-situ decommissioning is the preferred decommissioning technique. In-situ decommissioning results in a concrete monolith which provides a robust and durable containment to allow for continued radioactive decay.  The proposed decommissioning activities include removing the above ground structure and placing materials into the below grade structure.  The below grade structure, including the reactor vessel and systems and components, will be sealed by grouting.  The structure will then be capped with concrete and covered with an engineered barrier.  Institutional controls would remain in place for an acceptable period of time to monitor the environmental performance of this decommissioning strategy.

The preferred technique of in-situ decommissioning will result an end state that includes the safe disposal of nuclear waste at the NPD site. Thus the proposed project qualifies as a Designated Project under CEAA 2012 and the environmental assessment process has been initiated. Stakeholder and aboriginal engagement activities are being planned and executed as well as species at risk conservation actions are being implemented.

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