McArthur River/Key Lake Licence Renewal

20-year Licences Granted

In October 2023, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) granted 20-year renewals to the licences for both McArthur River and Key Lake. The renewed licences are exected to allow McArthur River and Key Lake to operate until October 2043.

Licence Renewal Background Materials

In April 2021, Cameco applied to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to begin the process to renew the Key Lake and McArthur River licences. Cameco initially requested an indefinite licence term for the remaining life of each operation. In support of the licence renewal process, Cameco conducted early and proactive engagement with Indigenous communities located in the vicinity of Key Lake and McArthur River in accordance with Cameco’s Public Information Programs and Collaboration Agreements. During our engagement activities, representatives from some of these communities expressed uncertainty with what an indefinite licence term means and how it fits within existing regulatory and engagement frameworks.

In response to these concerns, Cameco submitted a revised application requesting a 20-year licence term on November 4, 2022. Although we remain confident that the established management systems we have in place would ensure the health and safety of workers, the public and the environment throughout an indefinite licence term, it is important to understand and respond to the questions and concerns of the communities in close proximity to our facilities.

The licence renewal hearing is anticipated to be held in June 2023. The current licenses are valid until October 31, 2023.

  • The sites have mature management systems in place and would continue to operate within the established licensing basis.
  • The sites would continue to monitor and report on the environment, radiation protection, and health and safety performance at the operations.
  • The sites would maintain its financial assurances and review and update its preliminary decommissioning plans every 5 years.

During the current licence term Key Lake and McArthur River safely transitioned into a safe state of care and maintenance and are currently in the process of preparing the operations to transition back into production. Key Lake and McArthur River were able to achieve these transitions while consistently implementing strong management systems that ensure the health and safety of workers and the public, as well as protect the environment. Throughout the current licence term:

  • Workers were safe and properly protected.
  • There were no releases that harmed the environment or health and safety of people nearby.
  • All treated water released from the facilities met regulatory requirements and was safe.
  • Environmental monitoring consistently showed that fish and plants were safe to eat.
  • Cameco engaged with northern stakeholders to keep them informed of our activities.


Program summaries:

Related materials:

Public Disclosure Protocol for Cameco Northern Saskatchewan Operations