Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Port Hope 20 Year Licence Renewal
On December 2, 2020, Cameco Fuel Manufacturing (CFM) applied to the CNSC to renew its licence for a period of one year. This licence would be in effect until February 22, 2022. The hearing-in-writing for this renewal application is scheduled for December 17, 2021 and we expect a decision in early 2022.
While we await the one-year licence hearing and decision, we have initiated the process for a longer-term licence. On October 4, 2021, CFM submitted an application to the CNSC to renew the applied-for one-year licence, which should expire in 2023, for a period of 20 years. In addition to the longer term, CFM is requesting a slight change to the annual production limit.
Why Request a 20-year Term?
Over the last 15-20 years, the CNSC strengthened its regulatory framework, with clarity provided in CNSC regulatory documents (REGDOCs) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) nuclear standards. As well, the CNSC has introduced annual oversight reviews for all of the facilities regulated by the CNSC. These enhancements along with strong performance, have led to increased licence terms of 10 or more years because there are mechanisms in place to ensure that facility operations remain safe and that there are opportunities for the Commission to review performance in a public proceeding.
CFM has consistently received satisfactory rankings from the CNSC while meeting all CNSC and other regulatory obligations. CFM’s consistent performance during the current licence period demonstrates our commitment to safety and the protection of people and the environment.
What is the Production Limit Change?
Currently, CFM’s licence has a monthly production limit which is 125 megagrams (1 megagram = 1 tonne) uranium dioxide (UO2) as pellets during any calendar month. We are requesting a slightly revised licence limit of an annual amount of 1,650 tonnes of uranium as UO2.
In order to establish a consistent unit of measure for our production limits at all of our Ontario facilities, we are requesting an annual production limit in tonnes of uranium as UO2 instead of in megagrams. Accounting for the change in unit of measurement, the requested production limit represents an increase of approximately 24%.
We are requesting this increase so that our licence limit mirrors the actual production capacity of our facility and the change from the monthly limit to an annual limit ensures that we can flex our operations as needed to meet business demands. What this translates to is a greater security of supply by ensuring we can increase production should there be a disruption in operations for any reason at any time. It will also ensure that we are able to take on new business opportunities when they arise.
We expect the 20-year licence renewal will be heard by the CNSC through a public hearing at some point late in 2022. This process is expected to include interventions and the CNSC’s Participant Funding Program will also be available.
We will keep our website up to date with key dates, information and documents. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com or 905.800.2020.