CNSC to hold two-part public hearing for the licence renewal of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station

On April 4, 2018, the CNSC will hold the first part of a public hearing in Ottawa for the renewal of the operating licence for the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station (NGS). The Commission will hear from the licensee and CNSC staff. During the second part of the hearing, scheduled to take place on June 26 to 28 at the Hope Fellowship Church in Courtice, Ontario, members of the public, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders may have an opportunity to participate in the proceedings.

Pickering Nuclear Generating Station

Aerial vew of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station

The Pickering NGS is owned and operated by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and located in the municipality of Pickering, Ontario, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Like all of Canada’s licensed and operating nuclear power plants, the Pickering NGS uses CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) reactors at all of its units.

Along with its operating licence for the Pickering NGS, OPG also operates a nuclear waste management facility at the site.

Licence renewal

OPG currently has a five-year nuclear power reactor operating licence, which expires on August 31, 2018, and has applied for a ten-year licence renewal. The proposed licence term would cover the period from September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2028. As OPG intends to cease commercial operation of the Pickering NGS on December 31, 2024, the proposed licence period would cover three phases of operational activities: continued commercial operation until December 31, 2024; a stabilization phase (post-shutdown defuelling and dewatering) lasting approximately two to three years; and the beginning of safe storage for six reactor units. The safe storage phase marks the beginning of station decommissioning.

The timeline displays activity dates for the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station licence renewal.
August 2017, Ontario Power Generation submits licence renewal application. 
September 2017 The application is reviewed by CNSC staff.
September 29, 2017 There is a notice of public hearing and Participant Funding Program.
October 24-26, 2017 in Pickering Ontario, Ontario Power Generation hosts three open houses.
December 1, 2017 Deadline to apply for the Participant Funding Program.
March 2018, CNSC staff Commission member document and presentation is available for public review. 
February 7 and 8, 2018 in Pickering, Ontario, The CNSC hosts CNSC 101.
April 4, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario, Pickering nuclear generating station licence renewal hearing, part 1. 
May 7, 2018 Deadline for public intervention.
June 26-28, 2018 in Pickering, Ontario, Pickering licence renewal hearing, part 2. 
To be confirmed, decision announcement.

Compliance verification

The CNSC regulates and licenses the nuclear industry in Canada to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment. One way that this is done is through compliance verification activities. The CNSC has full-time staff onsite at the Pickering NGS who perform inspections to evaluate safety and to verify compliance with regulatory requirements and licence conditions. The Pickering NGS is also subject to ongoing reviews of activities and licensee documentation. The licensee must also report unusual occurrences and report on routine performance data.

Part of the CNSC’s regulatory approach is to require major licensees to have robust public information and disclosure programs in place. For nuclear power plants, these programs include a disclosure protocol developed in consultation with community stakeholders.

These compliance activities enable the CNSC to inform Canadians of the compliance and safety performance of facilities like the Pickering NGS. These activities also help provide valuable information to the Commission when it considers relicensing.

Public participation

Members of the public, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders who have an interest or expertise in this matter or information that may be useful to the Commission in coming to a decision are invited to comment on OPG’s application.

The CNSC offered funding through its Participant Funding Program (PFP), to assist members of the public, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders in reviewing OPG’s application and associated documents and providing valuable informed and topic-specific interventions to the Commission in the licence proceedings. The final date to submit a PFP for the review of OPG’s application was December 1, 2017.

In addition to information from PFP recipients, the Commission will carefully consider all the information presented from the public, Indigenous groups, the licensee and CNSC staff when making its decision. To facilitate comment, OPG’s application is available for review. Requests to intervene must be filed with the Commission Secretariat by May 7, 2018.

Find out more about the Pickering NGS: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/reactors/power-plants/nuclear-facilities/pickering-nuclear-generating-station/index.cfm

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