Global First Power Micro Modular Reactor Project
About the project
GFP is seeking CNSC approval for a licence to prepare the site for a MMR at the Chalk River Laboratories site in Renfrew County, Ontario, approximately 200 km northwest of Ottawa.
The proposed project includes a nuclear plant that contains an MMR high-temperature gas-cooled reactor to provide process heat to an adjacent plant via molten salt. This MMR would produce approximately 15 megawatts (thermal) of process heat to generate electrical power and/or heat over an operating life span of 20 years.
CNSC authorization is required in the form of a licence issued under subsection 24(2) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) in order for the project to proceed. However, an EA is required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) before the Commission can make an NSCA licensing decision.
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About the environmental assessment
Because this project was initiated under the CEAA 2012 andled by the CNSC, the EA will continue under this process. The Impact Assessment Act,which came into force August 28, 2019, contains provisions that allow projects to continue this way.
An EA under the CEAA 2012 is a planning and decision-making tool. Its objectives are to minimize or avoid adverse environmental effects before they occur and incorporate environmental factors into decision-making.
An EA decision affirming that the proposed activities will not cause significant adverse environmental effects is required before the CNSC can make a licensing decision on this proposal. The EA will consider all phases of the project that require a licence. This includes site preparation, construction, operation and decommissioning.
As part of the EA, GFP is also required to provide details about the alternative means – the various technically and economically feasible options – that were assessed for carrying out the proposed project. Note that the CNSC does not prescribe the selection method for new reactor technologies. However, it has a mandate to ensure that the technology proposed by the licensee or applicant does not pose a risk to the public or the environment.
About the CNSC’s review of the proposed project
CNSC staff will undertake a review of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) pursuant to the CEAA 2012, and conduct a licensing review pursuant to the NSCA and its associated regulations. As responsible authority for conducting the EA, CNSC will work with other federal and provincial departments to verify the EIS and technical supporting documentation. Complete licensing and EIS submissions are required before CNSC can complete its assessment and proceed with public hearings.
About participation opportunities
Indigenous peoples, members of the public and stakeholders will have several opportunities to provide feedback on the project. The draft EIS will be available for comment once it has been submitted by GFP. All questions and comments received during the public comment period must be addressed by GFP as part of its final EIS. Following the receipt of a complete licensing submission and final EIS, CNSC assessment of the licence application and the EA report will be available to Indigenous peoples, members of the public and stakeholders in a Commission member document at least 60 days prior to the Commission’s public hearing. Indigenous peoples, members of the public and stakeholders will also have the opportunity to participate in the hearing through written submissions and/or oral interventions.
In addition, throughout the EA and licensing process, CNSC staff will engage with key communities within the regional project area through open houses, information booths at community events and webinars, and by providing status updates through our project distribution list.
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