Rabbit Lake Licence Renewal
15-year Licence Renewal
In October 2023, the CNSC granted a 15-year renewal to the licence for Rabbit Lake. The renewed licence is expected to allow Rabbit Lake to operate until October 2038 once it has resumed operations.
Licence Renewal Background Materials
In April 2021, Cameco applied to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to begin the process to renew the Rabbit Lake licence. Cameco initially requested an indefinite licence term for the remaining life of the operation. In support of the licence renewal process, Cameco conducted early and proactive engagement with Indigenous communities in the vicinity of Rabbit Lake 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 licence is valid until October 31, 2023.
- The site has mature management systems in place and would continue to operate within the established licensing basis.
- The site would continue to monitor and report on the environment, radiation protection, and health and safety performance at the operation.
- The site would maintain its financial assurances and review and update the preliminary decommissioning plan every 5 years.
During the current licence term, Rabbit Lake successfully transitioned to a safe state of care and maintenance. Rabbit Lake was able to do this while consistently implementing management systems that ensure the health and safety of workers and the public, as well as protect the environment. Throughout this period:
- 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 facility 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.