Wheeler River Project
About the project
In February 2019, the CNSC received a project description from Denison Mines Corporation (Denison) for the proposal to develop an in situ recovery uranium mining and processing operation located in the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan, approximately 600 km north of the City of Saskatoon.
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 environmental assessment (EA) is required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) before the Commission can make an NSCA licensing decision.
Visit the Denison Mines Corporation website for the latest information about this project.
About the environmental assessment
Because this project was initiated under CEAA 2012 and led by the CNSC, the EA will continue under this process. The Impact Assessment Act,which came into force August 28, 2019, contains provisions that allows projects to continue this way.
An EA under 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. The EA will consider all phases of the project that require a licence. This includes site preparation, construction, operation and decommissioning.
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.
This project is also subject to the environmental assessment requirements of the Government of Saskatchewan.
Read the latest information about the Wheeler River Project environmental assessment
About the CNSC’s review of the proposed project
CNSC staff will undertake a review of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) pursuant to CEAA 2012. As the responsible authority for conducting the EA, the CNSC will work with other federal and provincial departments to verify the draft EIS and its technical supporting documentation. A final EIS submission is required before the 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 Denison. All questions and comments received during the public comment period must be addressed by Denison as part of its final EIS.
Following the receipt of a final EIS, 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 process, CNSC staff will engage with key communities within the regional project area through open houses, information booths at community events, and webinars. Updates will be posted on both the CNSC website and the Registry website on a regular basis as well as circulated to mailing distribution lists.
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