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 increasingly excellent safety performance. Recognized for four consecutive years by the Canadian Institute of Mining's John T. Ryan Regional Safety Trophy, Cigar Lake's risk-based approach and strong safety culture seeks to introduce safety controls before incidents occur.

Full-time equivalent dose

(mSv/yr)

  2020
Cigar Lake 1.0

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

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21

Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (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 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L) 0.1122 0.1284 0.1594 0.1408 0.1132 0.1003

0.0483

0.0367

0.0179

0.0067 0.0067 0.0067 0.0783 0.1102 0.0903

0.0365

0.0310 0.0110 0.0070 0.0677 0.0765 0.0981 0.0582 0.0518

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Copper

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21

Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (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) 0.0011 0.0011 0.0006 0.0005 0.0008 0.0014

0.0010

0.0017

0.0019

0.0024 0.0007 0.0006 0.0007 0.0006 0.0008 0.0006 0.0005 0.0003 0.0003 0.0004 0.0003 0.0005 0.0003 0.0003

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Lead

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21

Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (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 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L) 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0006

0.0001

0.0001

0.0001

0.0003 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Nickel

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21

Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (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) 0.0025 0.0016 0.0015 0.0010 0.0010 0.0011

0.0011

0.0008

0.0012

0.0014 0.0010 0.0011 0.0010 0.0101 0.0009 0.0009 0.0009 0.0007 0.0006 0.0011 0.0008 0.0005 0.0005 0.0008

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Zinc

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21

Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (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) 0.0382 0.0347 0.0409 0.0256 0.0358 0.0358

0.0184

0.0597

0.0976

0.0680 0.0581 0.0403 0.0693 0.0554 0.0684 0.0548 0.0548 0.0518 0.0562 0.0347 0.0414 0.0208 0.0272 0.0230

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Suspended Solids

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21

Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (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) 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Radium-226

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21
Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (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) 0.006 0.005 0.007 0.008 0.009 0.011

0.005

0.004

0.005

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

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — pH

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21
Authorized Maximum pH 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.6 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 7.2 7.3 7.2 7.4 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.2 7.2 7.0 7.1 7.1 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.1 7.2 7.2
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

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21
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) 0.0028 0.0031 0.0030 0.0030 0.0034 0.0041

0.0016

0.0014

0.0010

0.0010 0.0010 0.0027 0.0127 0.0064 0.0045 0.0015 0.0014 0.0006 0.0007 0.0029 0.0028 0.0019 0.0016 0.0013

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Uranium

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21
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) 0.0008 0.0004 0.0004 0.0002 0.0002 0.0001

0.0001

0.0002

0.0001

0.0001 0.0001 0.0002 0.0003 0.0003 0.0003 0.0002 0.0002 0.0001 0.0001 0.0002 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Molybdenum

  Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Oct-20 Nov-20 Dec-20 Jan-21 Feb-21 Mar-21 Apr-21 May-21 Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L) 0.1143 0.2066 0.1177 0.1011 0.1420 0.1648

0.0823

0.0748

0.0418

0.0264 0.0168 0.0076 0.0456 0.0818 0.0815 0.0428 0.0393 0.0180 0.0096 0.0416 0.0604 0.0900 0.0442 0.0450

Cigar Lake Monitoring Results

Treated Water Quality — Un-ionized Ammonia as Nitrogen

  Jun-21 Jul-21 Aug-21 Sep-21
Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (mg/L)  0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Cigar Lake Level (mg/L) 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01

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 2020 2021
Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Standard - see note (µg/m³) 70 70 70 70 60 60 60 60 60 60
Annual Average (µg/m³) 7.6 16.0 12.2 14.9 11.2 12.1 8.9 9.5 6.0 10.1

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

December 18, 2021

Incident Reportable Release
Details

At 7:40 p.m., while clearing snow at the East freeze pad, a brine supply hose was inadvertently sheared from the wellhead it was connected to. Approximately 17,000 litres of brine was released to the ground. Snow had obscured the hose and the operator’s ability to immediately see the damaged hose. Freeze plant operating staff identified the release due to the loss of brine in the system.

Corrective Action

The freeze plant system was shut down and line isolated. Brine and affected snow were collected for appropriate disposal. The CNSC and Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

1

Past reporting

Date

December 18, 2021

Incident Reportable Release
Details

At 7:40 p.m., while clearing snow at the East freeze pad, a brine supply hose was inadvertently sheared from the wellhead it was connected to.  Approximately 17,000 litres of brine was released to the ground. Snow had obscured the hose and the operator’s ability to immediately see the damaged hose. Freeze plant operating staff identified the release due to the loss of brine in the system.

Corrective Action

The freeze plant system was shut down and line isolated. Brine and affected snow were collected for appropriate disposal. The CNSC and Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

1

 

Date

December 15, 2021

Incident Reportable Release
Details

At approximately 2:45 p.m, an employee noticed an ammonia odour near the surface modular freeze plant. Investigation revealed that ammonia was bypassing a valve and venting through the relief stack. It is believed that cold weather may have caused the valve seat to contract, allowing an estimated 400 lbs of ammonia be released.

Corrective Action

The valve seat was tightened, returning it to normal conditions.  The CNSC and Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

1

 

Date

November 24, 2021

Incident Radiation Action Level Exceedance
Details

On November 24, 2021, Cameco’s dosimetry service provider notified site that, in the first week of September, a Personal Alpha Dosimeter (PAD) result for a worker was above the action level of 1mSv per week. A further review of the worker’s dosimetry information for the quarter confirmed results are below the quarterly action level. 

Corrective Action

An investigation into the cause is underway.  Provincial and federal regulators have been notified

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

November 14, 2021

Incident Worker injury
Details

At approximately 10:15 a.m., a worker was exiting the JBS drill car underground and slipped while stepping down onto the rail. The worker reached out in an attempt to stop their fall, resulting in a wrist injury. 

Corrective Action

Co-workers and the supervisor attended to the worker and transported them to the health centre for assessment. The worker was subsequently transported to Prince Albert for further medical treatment. An investigation is ongoing and provincial and federal regulators were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

November 8, 2021

Incident Dangerous occurrence
Details

At approximately 5:59 a.m., the mine rescue team (MRT) responded, in accordance with emergency procedures, to reports of smoke originating from the 890 electrical room on the 480 level. No smoke or fire were present and no workers were injured.

Corrective Action

The area was temporarily locked out for further investigation into the probable cause, which was likely an electrical short in a controller for a start drive of #1 high pressure pump. The equipment was tagged out for repairs and area reopened. The CNSC and Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety have been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

October 11, 2021

Incident Environmental Occurrence
Details

Analysis of the high-volume air sampling unit at Station 6.1 resulted in 126 µg /m3, higher than the standard of 100 µg /m3. As a result of recent windy conditions in the area, an elevated quantity of particulate was observed on the filter.

Corrective Action

No corrective action available or taken. The CNSC and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment have been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

1

 

Date

August 19, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 12:46 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the Construction Camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. The alarm was engaged when aerosol mist from a personal grooming product activated the sensor.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the pull station and fire alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

August 9, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 6:50 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the Powerhouse. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. Maintenance work had been conducted on the manual fire alarm pull station the prior day and it is believed percussion from opening and closing an adjacent door likely set off the pull station.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the pull station and fire alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

July 26, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 7:39 a.m. a fire alarm was activated in the Dry No. 2 area. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. Hot work activity in an adjacent area created smoke and engaged the sensor.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the fire alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

July 19, 2021

Incident Dangerous occurrence
Details

At approximately 8:45 a.m., while moving a scissor deck, smoke was observed coming from the starter of the engine. 

Corrective Action

The operator immediately stopped the equipment and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flame. Maintenance personnel made repairs and a fire watch was left in place until the equipment was deemed safe to return to operation.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

July 13, 2021

Incident Dangerous occurrence
Details

On July 13th, during the process of slinging pipes from surface to underground in Shaft 1, four pipes became dislodged from the timber car, three of which then fell towards the shaft bottom. There were no injuries or near misses involving the immediate safety of personnel. 

Corrective Action

Al site personnel, including Occupational Health and Safety Committee (OHC) and emergency response members, were made aware of the situation through email and radio communications and underground activities were idled. The areas around the shaft stations underground were made secure with ropes and guards, and Hoist 1 was shut down. Shaft 2 was inspected and brought into service to ensure another means of egress was ready and available. All non-critical activities underground have been safely stood down while the situation is being assessed.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 29, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 8:32 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the Shaft No. 2 exhaust area. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. Dusty conditions were present, likely from work in an adjacent area. 

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, dust on the fire sensor was determined the likely causal factor. The sensor was cleaned and alarm system reactivated. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 29, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 7:08 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the construction camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. A fire panel for the area was registering a “trouble” signal. Power outages earlier in the day may have affected the performance of the panel.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the fire panel and alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 26, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 7:00 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the permanent camp kitchen air handling unit. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. A power outage shortly, before the alarm, resulted in kitchen ventilation not being fully operational while kitchen activities (grilling) were underway. This likely resulted in some excess smoke in the area, which triggered the alarm.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe and ventilation returned to normal operating status, the alarm condition was eliminated. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 3, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 11:22 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the permanent camp kitchen air handling unit.  The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. The detector in question was dirty and likely tripped when the fans engaged, blowing dust into the detector.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the detector was replaced and the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

May 27, 2021

Incident Unusual incident
Details

On May 27, 2021, the filter from the Operation's high volume air sampling unit at Station 6.1 was analyzed. The result was identified as 134 ug/m3, which was greater than the standard of 100 ug/m3.

Corrective Action

As the cause of the situation was natural, windy conditions, no corrective actions were available or taken.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

1

 

Date

May 17, 2021

Incident Reportable release
Details

At approximately 5:25 a.m., when walking past Dry #3, a worker detected the smell of propane. A gasfitter dispatched to investigate identified a sagging line resulting from building fasteners that had become loose, causing the leak. 

Corrective Action

The line was isolated and repairs initiated. Air quality tests confirmed a safe environment. Regulators have been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

1

 

Date

May 16, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 10:30 a.m. a fire alarm was activated in the warehouse area of the administration building.  The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified there was no fire. Work in the area the prior day had generated smoke and dust which potentially affected the detector.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the detector was replaced and the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

May 11, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 4:53 a.m. a fire alarm was activated in the construction camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire. It is likely the detector engaged as a result of water vapour from a curling iron in use nearby.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the detector was replaced and the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

May 9, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 3:13 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in a contractor office facility. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire. A faulty detector was identified which is believed to have activated the alarm system.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the faulty detector was replaced and the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

April 13, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 1:18 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the construction camp main area. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire. A faulty detector was identified which is believed to have activated the alarm system.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

March 23, 2021

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 4:45 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the permanent camp kitchen. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire. A dirty detector was identified which is believed to have activated the alarm system.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

January 2, 2021

Incident Reportable release
Details

During maintenance work on generator 7 in the powerhouse building, an incorrect valve position resulted in an overflow of antifreeze (ethylene glycol). Approximately 100 litres of antifreeze was released to the concrete pad and surrounding frozen soil, which was identified on the morning of January 2nd.

Corrective Action

Antifreeze and snow from the affected area were removed and put into containers for appropriate disposal. All filling valves were locked in the closed position and instructions on proper filling will be added. Cameco notified provincial and federal regulators.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

1

 

Date

December 24, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 5:21 a.m. a fire alarm was activated in the north wing of the permanent camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire. Water vapour or hair spray, used in sufficient quantities by the room occupant, likely activated the smoke detector and engaged the alarm system.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

October 28, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 7:36 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the “X” wing of the construction camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire. A worker was charging vaping equipment and it inadvertently released smoke, engaging the detector.

Corrective Action

Once the area was verified as safe, the alarm system was reset. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

September 7, 2020

Incident Radiation Action Level Exceedance
Details

Routine analysis indicated an employee’s effective dose for the period spanning September 4-10, 2020 exceeded the weekly radiation action levels. The majority of the dose is attributed to the worker welding underground inside the 480 clarifier on September 7 with radiation controls in place. The worker was wearing appropriate protective gear and was working under a radiation permit. There are no expected health impacts and the dose remained well below the CNSC’s dose limit.

Corrective Action

The worker will continue to be monitored and will be excluded from working in areas that may result in further exposure.  The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

September 7, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 8:10 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the “W” wing of the construction camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire.

Corrective Action

It is believed steam from showers in the nearby washroom may have triggered an alarm. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

August 21, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 4:40 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the north refuge station. There were five people underground at the time. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that there was no fire.

Corrective Action

Increased humidity, caused by floor cleaning activities in the area, is believed to have tripped the alarm. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

July 20, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 2:32 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the underground fuel bay. There were no people underground at the time. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

A sensor in the underground fuel bay fire detection system has been taken out of service and will be replaced. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

July 18, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 12:12 p.m. a fire alarm was activated in the underground fuel bay. There were no people underground at the time. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

A sensor in the underground fuel bay fire detection system has been taken out of service and will be replaced. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 30, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 7:17 pm a fire alarm was activated in the underground fuel bay. There were no people underground at the time. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm. 

Corrective Action

The underground fuel bay fire detection system is under repair and will be returned to normal operation prior to use of the facility. The CNSC has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

June 22, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 6:05 pm a smoke alarm activated in the airport. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

March 23, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 8:50 am a smoke alarm activated in the construction camp. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

February 15, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 4:44 pm a smoke alarm activated in the loading dock area near the permanent camp kitchen. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm from smoke accumulating from a kitchen grill.

Corrective Action

The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

February 11, 2020

Incident Fire alarm system activation
Details

At approximately 12:14 am a heat detection alarm registered at the Coverall 5H storage room. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

January 26, 2020

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 1:09 am a smoke alarm registered at the operations building. The emergency response team (ERT) responded in accordance with emergency procedures and verified that it was a false alarm.

Corrective Action

The system was put back into service and the CNSC was notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

 

Date

January 12, 2020

Incident Smoke alarm
Details

At approximately 5:27 am the mine rescue team (MRT) was activated to respond to a report of smoke in the underground workings. All personnel reported to refuge stations in accordance with emergency procedures.

Corrective Action

The (MRT) swept the underground and did not identify any smoke, fire or hazard. Workers were released from refuge stations. An investigation is currently underway. Provincial and federal regulators were notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

N/A

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 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. For more information, see Preliminary Decommissioning Plan - Summary - Cigar Lake Operation.

Waste Management

Ore mined at Cigar Lake is milled at Orano'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 Risk Assessment

All new, or substantially changed, mining developments may be subject to environmental risk assessments (ERAs) to identify potential effects on the environment. ERAs follow guidance provided by CSA and various agencies, such as Health Canada (HC), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

In 2017, Cameco completed an environmental risk assessment (ERA) to align with the standardized requirements found in CSA N288.6-12 ERA at Class I Nuclear Facilities and Uranium Mines and Mills. An addendum to the ERA was completed in 2019.

Public Summary - Environmental Risk Assessment - Cigar Lake Operation (PDF 1.4 MB)

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.

Sustainability at Cameco

When measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of a company, environmental, social and governance (ESG) are key factors considered by the public and investors. Sustainability and ESG matters have been an important focus at Cameco for many years and we have a strong performance record.

Learn more