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Near Surface Disposal Facility Project

The Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) is a proposed engineered disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste planned for the Chalk River Laboratories site (CRL). All waste to be disposed at the NSDF will be required to meet the waste acceptance criteria established to assure compliance with operational and long-term safety requirements.

The Near Surface Disposal Facility is planned to have an operating life of at least 50 years and as proposed, would be an engineered mound built at near-surface level on the CRL site. The engineered mound would be cellular, made up of multiple disposal cells consisting of:

  • base liner and final cover systems
  • leachate collection and leak detection systems
  • environmental monitoring systems

The proposed project would also include:

  • a wastewater treatment plant
  • supporting infrastructure, such as a truck wheel wash, vehicle monitoring and weighing stations, work stations and change facilities, security systems to monitor access and egress, construction trailers, and marine containers or tents for storage of construction materials

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, CNL's proposal requires approval by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and involves an amendment to the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) Nuclear Research and Test Establishment Operating Licence. An environmental assessment (EA) conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 is required, and an EA decision affirming that the proposed activities will not cause significant adverse environmental effects, before the CNSC can make a licensing decision on this proposal.


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given project.


Latest update

January 9, 2020 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has submitted a revised draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), which includes an updated EIS, updated technical supporting documents, and responses to all federal and provincial comments and information requests. The CNL–CNSC Administrative Protocol for the Proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility and Appendix A have also been updated to reflect the revised timelines associated with the environmental assessment process. For more information on the review of the revised EIS and revised protocol, click here.

August 28, 2019 - Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act (IAA) came into force. Under the transitional provision set out at section 182 of the IAA, given that the proposed NSDF project commenced under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and a decision statement has not yet been issued, the project will continue under the process set out in the CEAA, 2012. The letter sent to CNL regarding the changes to federal legislation can be found here.


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External Links

Please note that access to external websites is provided solely as a courtesy. Users should be aware that the information offered by non‑Government of Canada websites that are not subject to the Official Languages Act might be available in only one language.


  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • 280 Slater Street
  • Ottawa, ON, K1P 5S9
  • Telephone: 613-995-7948 or 1-800-668-5284
  • Fax: 613-995-5086
  • Email:

  • Location

    • Deep River (Ontario)
  • Project Type

    • Nuclear Energy
    • Waste Management
  • Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
  • Authorities

    • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Assessment Type

    Environmental assessment under CEAA 2012
  • Reference Number


Nearby projects

..within 200 kilometres
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