Environment & Safety

Safety

The Cigar Lake operation has a solid safety record. The operation has systematic programs to identify, evaluate and mitigate risks and engage all workers and managers in development of a strong safety culture. These programs follow the international OHSAS 18001 model and have delivered excellent safety performance during construction and startup of the mine which involve elevated safety risk.

Full-time equivalent dose

(mSv/yr)

  2017
Cigar Lake 0.73

Radiation Protection

Radiation risks are effectively managed at Cigar Lake through a formal radiation protection program and dedicated personnel who ensure that doses to workers are as low as reasonably achievable. The program ensures that radiation protection is considered in the physical design of all facilities and operating procedures. It also provides for systematic monitoring of radiation in work areas and tracking the exposures of individual workers using a combination of monitoring devices and health testing. Radiation exposures at Cigar Lake are far below the regulated limits.

Environmental Protection

Environmental protection at Cigar Lake operation is assured through an ISO 14001-certified environmental management system. The program ensures that the environmental aspects associated with the facilities are systematically identified, controlled and monitored.

Environmental Monitoring

Comprehensive monitoring programs are in place at the Cigar Lake operation to help protect the surrounding environment. Samples of water, air, soil, plants and fish are collected from numerous locations around the site and tested to confirm that environmental protection systems are effective. Monitoring results are submitted to federal and provincial regulatory authorities for review. Cameco also supports independent regional monitoring downstream of its Saskatchewan operations to ensure there are no cumulative effects on the regional watershed. The extensive monitoring undertaken at Cigar Lake has identified no significant impact on the surrounding environment.

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Arsenic

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Metal Mining Regulations Limit (mg/L) 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L)

0.0704

0.0601

0.0717

0.0786 0.0363 0.0606 0.0599 0.1086 0.0746

0.0653

0.0858

0.1090

0.0619 0.0395 0.0382 0.0334 0.0260 0.0568 0.0714 0.0858 0.0915 0.781 0.1190 0.0815

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Copper

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Metal Mining Regulations Limit (mg/L) 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L)

0.0006

0.0007

0.0003

0.0004 0.0004 0.0003 0.0003 0.0002 0.0003

0.0003

0.0004

0.0005

0.0003 0.0007 0.0007 0.0008 0.0014 0.0015 0.0012 0.0016 0.0009 0.0020 0.0050 0.0013

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Lead

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Metal Mining Regulations Limit (mg/L) 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L) 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.00009 0.0001 0.0004 0.00009 0.0001 0.00009 0.0001 0.0003 0.0001 0.0003 0.0007 0.0001

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Nickel

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Metal Mining Regulations Limit (mg/L) 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L)

0.0009

0.0006

0.0005

0.0007 0.0006 0.0007 0.0006 0.0010 0.0009

0.0008

0.0008

0.0011

0.0014 0.0006 0.0006 0.0007 0.0008 0.0012 0.0011 0.0011 0.0009 0.0011 0.0010 0.0009

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Zinc

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Metal Mining Regulation Limit (mg/L) 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L)

0.0200

0.0201

0.0237

0.0342 0.0308 0.0188 0.0182 0.0159 0.0157

0.0349

0.0291

0.0368

0.0086 0.0245 0.0131 0.0331 0.1020 0.0206 0.0179 0.0188 0.0106 0.0172 0.0161 0.0080

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Suspended Solids

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Metal Mining Regulations Limit (mg/L) 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L) 1 0.9 1 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 1 1 0.9 0.9 1 1 1 1 0.9 0.9 1 0.9 1 1

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Radium-226

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Metal Mining Regulations Limit (Bq/L) 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.37
Cigar Lake Level (Bq/L)

0.008

0.006

0.009

0.008 0.006 0.007 0.005 0.004 0.007 0.007 0.006 0.006 0.003 0.004 0.005 0.006 0.005 0.006 0.005 0.005 0.004 0.007 0.005 0.006

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — pH

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Authorized Maximum pH 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5
Cigar Lake Level pH

7.25

7.31

7.40

7.26 6.99 7.23 7.47 7.54 7.33 7.56 7.47 7.18 7.2 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.3 7.3 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.7 7.5 7.7
Authorized Minimum pH 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Selenium

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Limit (mg/L) 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L)

0.0038

0.0055

0.0049

0.0039 0.0018 0.0037 0.0056 0.0035 0.0052

0.0035

0.0031

0.0047

0.0044 0.0045 0.0043 0.0032 0.0022 0.0044 0.0059 0.0061 0.0077 0.0058 0.0051 0.0059

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Uranium

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Limit (mg/L) 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L)

0.0018

0.0017

0.0011

0.0011 0.0007 0.0008 0.0008 0.0006 0.0006

0.0016

0.0011

0.0006

0.0004 0.0003 0.0003 0.0004 0.0004 0.0003 0.0003 0.0002 0.0003 0.0005 0.0003 0.0004

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Molybdenum

  Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Oct-17 Nov-17 Dec-17 Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L)

0.0249

0.0377

0.0522

0.0925 0.0736 0.0685 0.0788 0.2100 0.0563

0.1357

0.1064

0.0613

0.0605 0.1067 0.0599 0.0722 0.0397 0.2004 0.0131 0.1458 0.1283 0.1057 0.1203 0.0848

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Ambient Air Quality – Annual Average Total Suspended Particulate (TSP)    NOTE - Regulations replaced and standard revised on June 1, 2015; however for consistency, the old value is referenced for the 2015 reporting year. Reporting against the new value began in Q1 2016.

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Q1
Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Standard - see note (µg/m³) 70 70 70 70 60 60 60 60
Annual Average (µg/m³) 7.6 16.0 12.2 14.9 11.2 12.1 8.9 5.8

Environmental Incidents and Other Events

Environmental incidents and other events are reported to regulatory agencies as required by federal and provincial regulations.

Latest incident or event:

Date

June 25, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 7:20 pm a smoke alarm registered at the construction camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

It is expected that objects placed in contact with a baseboard heater set off the sensor. The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

Read more

Date

June 25, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 7:20 pm a smoke alarm registered at the construction camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

It is expected that objects placed in contact with a baseboard heater set off the sensor. The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 21, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 8:00 am a smoke alarm registered at the Shaft 2 ventilation exhaust. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

It is expected that work in the area may have raised dust that set off the sensor. The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 14, 2019

Incident Loss of power and ventilation
Details

At approximately 4:30 am the Cigar Lake operation lost power from the provincial power utility. Back-up power generation did not engage as designed. This resulted in power loss to the main fans for about three hours.

Corrective Action

In accordance with operating procedures, underground personnel reported to the refuge stations. Maintenance personnel restored power and after confirmation of satisfactory underground air quality, personnel were released from the refuge stations. The loss of power was likely caused by a summer storm. The lack of back-up power generation is being investigated. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 3, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 10:00 pm a smoke alarm registered at Dry No. 2. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

It is expected that work in the area may have raised dust that set off the sensor. The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

April 30, 2019

Incident Dangerous Occurrence 
Details

At approximately 11:30 pm, while ground support was being installed in a new production tunnel on the 480 Level, a section of shotcrete came loose and rock slid down a portion of the working face.

Corrective Action

The area was immediately sprayed with shotcrete to prevent further deterioration. Further ground support and shotcrete were applied. An investigation into the cause is underway. Provincial and federal regulators were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

April 17, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 8:00 pm a smoke alarm registered at Dry No. 2. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

It is expected that work in the area may have raised dust that set off the sensor. The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

March 26, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 3:00 am a smoke alarm registered at the construction management office building. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

A faulty sensor was considered the likely cause. The sensor was replaced and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

March 2, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 11:00 am a smoke alarm registered at the Operations Services building. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

Maintenance work in the area may have raised dust that set off the sensor. The system was put back into service. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

February 24, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 9:45 am, Cigar Lake’s emergency response team (ERT) responded to a smoke alarm in a mechanical room at the permanent camp.

Corrective Action

The event is under investigation but it is expected that a potential short circuit in a humidifier switch may have caused the smoke. Repairs have been completed and the fire alarm panel reset. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

February 16, 2019

Incident Smoke alarms
Details

At approximately 6:30 pm, Cigar Lake's emergency response team (ERT) responded to a smoke alarm in the kitchen, as well as one in a mechanical room at the permanent camp.

Corrective Action

The kitchen alarm was due to excess smoke from cooking activities. The area was vented and the exhaust system examined. In the mechanical room the smoke may have been caused by a section of a boiler, which was isolated pending maintenance work. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

February 9, 2019

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

Cigar Lake's emergency response team (ERT) responded to a smoke alarm at the permanent camp at 5:00 pm.

Corrective Action

The ERT investigated and noticed that heat damage from a water heater set off the smoke alarm. The water heater was taken out of service and the alarm system was reset. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

November 2018

Incident Radiation Action Level Exceedance
Details

November results from a personal monitoring device belonging to an underground nuclear energy worker at Cigar Lake showed that the individual’s radon progeny exposure exceeded action levels.

Corrective Action

Further analysis of dosimetry results is in progress. Cameco has notified the individual and the appropriate supervisor. Cameco is also investigating the cause of the incident. Provincial and federal regulators have also been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

November 18, 2018

Incident Worker injury
Details

Workers were conducting maintenance on a cable reel that raises and lowers a camera used for inspections of Shaft No. 2. The reel became detached from the floor and struck a worker in the lower back area.

Corrective Action

As a precaution, the emergency response team responded and transported the worker to the health centre. The individual was treated and returned to work the following day. The cause of the event is under investigation. Provincial and federal regulators were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

November 11, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The fire alarm system at the permanent camp was activated at approximately 10:40 am. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

Construction in the area of the detector may have resulted in the false alarm. The system was put back into service. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

November 1, 2018

Incident First Aid Response
Details

At approximately 6:00 am the Emergency Response Team (ERT) responded to a non-occupational first aid request underground. An individual was transported to the Health Centre for assessment and treatment. The event was caused by a pre-existing health condition.

Corrective Action

The individual was treated and is stable. Provincial and federal regulators were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

October 29, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The fire alarm system at the permanent camp was activated at approximately 5:00 pm. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

Construction in the area of the detector may have resulted in the false alarm. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

September 16, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The Cigar Lake fire alarm system at the mine was activated twice during the evening of September 16th. Each time the emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

A malfunctioning smoke detector was found to be the cause and was replaced. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

September 9, 2018

Incident Reportable release
Details

Approximately 4 ounces of ammonia was released to the atmosphere, due to a leaking valve at freeze plant No. 2.

Corrective Action

The leak was stopped and maintenance work to repair the system was initiated. Provincial and federal regulators have been notified of the incident.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

August 1, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The Cigar Lake fire alarm system in the main camp was activated at approximately 2:20 am. The emergency response team (ERT) was activated and the CNSC was notified.

Corrective Action

The ERT responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June to August 2018

Incident Radiation Action Level Exceedance
Details

June, July and August results from personal monitoring devices belonging to four workers at the Cigar Lake operation indicate effective doses slightly higher than radiation action levels. The workers were involved with a pump replacement project underground and it is expected that this work resulted in the elevated readings. There are no expected health impacts and doses remained well below the CNSC’s dose limit.

Corrective Action

A number of actions were taken to control radiation exposure during the work and the project is now complete, with radiological conditions in this area confirmed normal. Further investigation into the causes of this event is ongoing. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 30, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The Cigar Lake fire alarm system in Warehouse Coverall 2H was activated at approximately 4:45 pm. The emergency response team (ERT) was activated and the CNSC was notified.

Corrective Action

The ERT responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

April 19, 2018

Incident Electrical contact
Details

A contract worker cut into an energized electrical cable during work at the construction camp at the Cigar Lake operation. The worker was not injured and reported to the site nurse for assessment as a precaution.

Corrective Action

Work at the camp was suspended immediately and an investigation initiated to determine the cause of the incident. Provincial and federal regulators have been notified of the incident.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating N/A

 

Date

April 12, 2018

Incident Reportable release
Details

Approximately 21 pounds of ammonia was released to the atmosphere, due to a leaking valve on a condenser at freeze plant No. 1.

Corrective Action

The valve has been taken out of service pending repair and the cause is being investigated. Provincial and federal regulators have been notified of the incident.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

April 6, 2018

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

Cigar Lake's emergency response team (ERT) responded to a smoke alarm at the permanent camp at 3 a.m.

Corrective Action

The ERT investigated and determined that the alarm was triggered by a malfunctioning water heater in a mechanical room at the camp. The water heater was taken out of service. The incident was recorded in Cameco’s incident reporting system. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating N/A

 

Date

March 15, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The Cigar Lake construction camp fire alarm system was activated at approximately 10:15 pm. The emergency response team (ERT) was activated and the CNSC was notified.

Corrective Action

The ERT responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating N/A

 

Date

February 26, 2018

Incident Reportable release
Details

Approximately 100 millilitres of ammonia was released outside of freeze plant No. 2 due to a defective o-ring within a valve assembly on a condenser.

Corrective Action

The leak was detected, the valve repaired and the plant returned to service.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

February 14, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The Cigar Lake construction camp fire alarm system was activated at approximately 9:30 pm. The emergency response team (ERT) was activated and the CNSC was notified.

Corrective Action

The ERT responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating N/A

 

Date

February 12, 2018

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

The Cigar Lake permanent camp fire alarm system was activated at approximately 2:00 am. The emergency response team (ERT) was activated and the CNSC was notified.

Corrective Action

The ERT responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating N/A

 

Date

January 24, 2018

Incident Leak of treated water
Details

Routine monitoring of water levels in a lined storage pond that is part of the water treatment system at the Cigar Lake operation determined that approximately 1,200 cubic metres of treated water had leaked from the pond.

Corrective Action

The storage pond was taken out of service until the pond liner can be inspected and repaired.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

January 20, 2018

Incident Transportation incident
Details

Upon arrival at McClean Lake mill, a slurry tote was discovered to have a small amount of ore slurry visible on the tote and trailer deck. An inspection of the road was conducted and no evidence of slurry was found. Testing confirmed that the valve on the tote had failed.

Corrective Action

The tote and trailer were cleaned and scanned at McClean Lake and returned to Cigar Lake. Ore slurry transportation was suspended while all remaining tote valves were inspected and leak tested before being put back into service. The CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

January 3, 2018

Incident Fire in contractor storage facility
Details

At approximately 3:30pm, a fire was identified in a contractor’s storage facility. The emergency response team (ERT) responded and extinguished the fire. Personnel were not at risk from the fire nor was there risk to other areas of the site.

Corrective Action

The potential cause of the fire is currently unknown and under investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, Cameco will work with the contracting company to put in place any corrective actions identified. Both provincial and federal regulators have been notified of the incident.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

December 6, 2017

Incident Ammonia release
Details

After a temporary power outage at the freeze plant, an valve on a pipe leaked, releasing approximately 14 kilograms of ammonia gas.

Corrective Action

The system was safely taken out of service and the defective valve was repaired.  The cause of the incident is being investigated.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

August 6, 2017

Incident Reportable release
Details

Investigation of an equipment failure at a refrigeration plant at the mine site that occurred on Aug. 6, 2017 has determined that an estimated 700 pounds of ammonia gas was released to the atmosphere as a result of the incident.

Corrective Action

The equipment was taken out of service at the time of the initial incident pending repair and investigation which is still underway.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

July 26, 2017

Incident Reportable release
Details

Approximately 10 pounds of ammonia gas was released inside a refrigeration plant at the mine site that is part of the ground-freezing system.

Corrective Action

The refrigeration plant shut down immediately and was placed in a safe state until repairs were made. Other freeze plants at the site were inspected following the incident and no issues were identified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Date

July 4, 2017

Incident Reportable release
Details Approximately two to three pounds of ammonia gas was released inside a refrigeration plant, which is part of the ground-freezing system at the mine site.
Corrective Action

The leak was detected and addressed immediately with the plant’s exhaust fans clearing the air of ammonia. Cameco’s investigation determined the cause to be a leaking seal on a valve.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

  • Level 1 - no measurable impact to the environment
  • Level 2 - negligible impact
  • Level 3 - short-term, seasonal impact
  • Level 4 - mortality of some species, but not affecting ecosystem function
  • Level 5 - impairment of ecosystem function
  • N/A - not applicable

Decommissioning

Detailed plans and financial guarantees are in place to provide for decommissioning of the Cigar Lake sites when operations end. Decommissioning will include removal of all buildings and equipment and landscaping and re-vegetation of disturbed areas. All underground workings and other mine and mill facilities will be sealed off and secured. A monitoring program will be in place to ensure the sites remain in a secure and stable state for the long-term.

Waste Management

Ore mined at Cigar Lake is milled at AREVA’s McClean Lake operation. There is no tailings management facility at the Cigar Lake site. The jet boring mining method employed at Cigar Lake generates less waste rock than other methods. The waste rock that is brought to the surface is stored on lined pads. Waste rock containing small amounts of uranium is transported to the McClean Lake mill where it is used to blend down the high-grade ore prior to milling.

Environmental Assessment

All new mining developments and significant changes to existing operations may be subject to environmental assessments to identify potential effects on the environment.

Regulatory Oversight

The primary regulator for the Cigar Lake operation is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The mine is also subject to regulatory oversight from several other federal and provincial agencies including Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. Federal and provincial regulators conduct regular site inspections and audits to verify that people and the environment are protected. Uranium mining and milling operations in Canada are licensed by the CNSC.