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17. Provisions

  Reclamation  Waste disposal  Total 
Beginning of year $552,636  $16,818  $569,454 
Changes in estimates and discount rates 1,958  397  2,355 
Provisions used during the period (9,576) (474) (10,050)
Unwinding of discount 16,161  230  16,391 
Impact of foreign exchange 12,763  –  12,763 
End of year $573,942  $16,971  $590,913 
Current $17,817  $2,396  $20,213 
Non-current 556,125  14,575  570,700 
  $573,942  $16,971  $590,913 
  • A. Reclamation provision

    Cameco’s estimates of future decommissioning obligations are based on reclamation standards that satisfy regulatory requirements. Elements of uncertainty in estimating these amounts include potential changes in regulatory requirements, decommissioning and reclamation alternatives and amounts to be recovered from other parties.

    Cameco estimates total future decommissioning and reclamation costs for its existing operating assets to be $823,493,000. The expected timing of these outflows is based on life-of-mine plans with the majority of expenditures expected to occur after 2019. These estimates are reviewed by Cameco technical personnel as required by regulatory agencies or more frequently as circumstances warrant. In connection with future decommissioning and reclamation costs, Cameco has provided financial assurances of $767,635,000 in the form of letters of credit to satisfy current regulatory requirements.

    The reclamation provision relates to the following segments:

      2013 2012
    Uranium $468,546 $435,842
    Fuel Services 105,396 116,794
    Total $573,942 $552,636
  • B. Waste disposal

    The Fuel Services division consists of the Blind River refinery, Port Hope conversion facility and Cameco fuel manufacturing. The refining, conversion and manufacturing processes generate certain uranium contaminated waste. These include contaminated combustible material (paper, rags, gloves, etc.), and contaminated non-combustible material (metal parts, soil from excavations, building and roofing materials, spent uranium concentrate drums, etc.). These materials can in some instances be recycled or reprocessed. A provision for waste disposal costs in respect of these materials is recognized when they are generated.

    Cameco estimates total future costs related to existing waste disposal to be $18,250,000. These outflows are expected to occur within the next eight years.