Whiteshell Laboratories

Protecting the Environment. Preparing for the Future.

Restoring Whiteshell Laboratories

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is proposing to complete the decommissioning of the Whiteshell site and to restore the site so that it is safe for humans and the environment.

The project is being undertaken by CNL on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). CNL is responsible for managing all the AECL sites and carrying out decommissioning and waste management work; and AECL is a Crown Corporation, and owner of all the sites, who are mandated to enable nuclear science and technology to protect the environment.

The proposed decommissioning process will minimize and safely store or dispose of all forms of waste. Then the site will be restored so that it will serve the future needs of local communities and Indigenous nations. Extensive environmental monitoring will be put in place to ensure the area remains safe for future generations.

2024 Relicensing

In February 2023, CNL applied to renew the Whiteshell Laboratories licence for a period of three years. The licence application is available here.

The Commission hearing on CNL’s application will be from October 23 to 24, 2024. The Notice of Hearing from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is available here.

Get in Touch

Reach out us at wlcommunications@cnl.ca to learn more.

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The Approach

The proposed approach to decommissioning the WR-1 Reactor is a technique known as in-situ disposal, where the nuclear reactor remains in place, avoiding extraneous handling, shipping, and the need to build another storage facility elsewhere. In-situ disposal completes the decommissioning and contains and isolates the remaining empty reactor systems and components below grade in bedrock.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

CNL is Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, and a world leader in developing nuclear technology for peaceful and innovative applications.

Land Acknowledgement:

Whiteshell Laboratories is located on Treaty #1 and Treaty #3 Territory as well as the Homeland of the Red River Métis.

As an organization, CNL recognizes and appreciates the Indigenous peoples connection to this place and the contributions that First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other Indigenous Peoples have made, both in shaping and strengthening the communities where this project is situated, and to this country as a whole.

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