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Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (S.C. 2002, c. 23)

Act current to 2021-11-17

Nuclear Fuel Waste Act

S.C. 2002, c. 23

Assented to 2002-06-13

An Act respecting the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

economic region

economic region means an economic region described by Statistics Canada in its Guide to the Labour Force Survey, published on January 31, 2000. (région économique)

management

management, in relation to nuclear fuel waste, means long-term management by means of storage or disposal, including handling, treatment, conditioning or transport for the purpose of storage or disposal. (gestion)

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Natural Resources or such member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as the Governor in Council may designate as the Minister for the purposes of this Act. (ministre)

nuclear energy corporation

nuclear energy corporation means

  • (a) Ontario Power Generation Inc., Hydro-Québec, New Brunswick Power Corporation, and any other body that owns nuclear fuel waste resulting from the production of electricity by means of a commercial nuclear reactor;

  • (b) any successor or assignee of a corporation mentioned in paragraph (a); and

  • (c) any assignee of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, being the company incorporated or acquired pursuant to subsection 10(2) of the Atomic Energy Control Act, chapter A-19 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1970. (sociétés d’énergie nucléaire)

nuclear fuel waste

nuclear fuel waste means irradiated fuel bundles removed from a commercial or research nuclear fission reactor. (déchets nucléaires)

prime rate

prime rate means, for any day, the rate of interest charged by banks to their most credit-worthy borrowers for short-term business loans, as determined and published by the Bank of Canada for the month in which the day falls. (taux de base)

waste management organization

waste management organization means the corporation established under section 6, regardless of the actual name of that corporation. (société de gestion)

Purpose of Act

Marginal note:Comprehensive, integrated and economically sound approach

 The purpose of this Act is to provide a framework to enable the Governor in Council to make, from the proposals of the waste management organization, a decision on the management of nuclear fuel waste that is based on a comprehensive, integrated and economically sound approach for Canada.

Application of Act

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

Marginal note:Application to nuclear energy corporations and AECL

 This Act applies to a nuclear energy corporation and to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited only if it is the owner of nuclear fuel waste.

Waste Management Organization

Marginal note:Incorporation and purpose

  •  (1) The nuclear energy corporations shall establish a corporation, in this Act referred to as the waste management organization, whose purpose under this Act is to do the following on a non-profit basis:

    • (a) propose to the Government of Canada approaches for the management of nuclear fuel waste; and

    • (b) implement the approach that is selected under section 15 or is approved under subsection 20(5).

  • Marginal note:Participation in waste management organization

    (2) Once the waste management organization has been established, every nuclear energy corporation shall become and remain a member or shareholder of it.

  • Marginal note:Not an agent of Her Majesty

    (3) For all purposes the waste management organization is not an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada.

Marginal note:Duty toward other owners of nuclear fuel waste

 The waste management organization shall offer, without discrimination and at a fee that is reasonable in relation to its costs of managing the nuclear fuel waste of its members or shareholders, to

  • (a) Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and

  • (b) all owners of nuclear fuel waste produced in Canada that are neither members nor shareholders of the waste management organization

its nuclear fuel waste management services that are set out in the approach that the Governor in Council selects under section 15 or approves under subsection 20(5).

Marginal note:Advisory Council

  •  (1) The waste management organization shall create an Advisory Council, which shall

    • (a) examine the study referred to in subsection 12(1) and the triennial reports referred to in section 18 that are to be submitted to the Minister; and

    • (b) give written comments on that study and those reports to the waste management organization.

  • Marginal note:Representation on Advisory Council

    (2) The members of the Advisory Council shall be appointed by the governing body of the waste management organization. The governing body shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the Advisory Council’s membership

    • (a) reflects a broad range of scientific and technical disciplines related to the management of nuclear fuel waste;

    • (b) reflects expertise, in matters of nuclear energy,

      • (i) in public affairs, and

      • (ii) as needed, in other social sciences;

    • (b.1) reflects expertise in traditional aboriginal knowledge; and

    • (c) includes representatives nominated by local and regional governments and aboriginal organizations that are affected because their economic region is specified for the approach that the Governor in Council selects under section 15 or approves under subsection 20(5).

Financing

Marginal note:Trust funds

  •  (1) Each nuclear energy corporation and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited shall maintain in Canada, either individually or jointly with one or more of the other nuclear energy corporations or Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, one trust fund with a financial institution incorporated or formed by or under an Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, except, in the case of a nuclear energy corporation, a financial institution in relation to which the nuclear energy corporation beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, more than ten per cent of the outstanding shares of any given class of shares.

  • Marginal note:Documents relating to trust funds

    (2) The financial institution that holds a trust fund referred to in this section shall maintain in Canada all documents relating to that trust fund.

Marginal note:Initial deposit to trust funds

  •  (1) Each body mentioned in this subsection shall, either directly or through a third party, no later than 10 days after the day on which this Act comes into force, deposit to its trust fund maintained under subsection 9(1) the following respective amounts:

    • (a) Ontario Power Generation Inc., $500,000,000;

    • (b) Hydro-Québec, $20,000,000;

    • (c) New Brunswick Power Corporation, $20,000,000; and

    • (d) Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, $10,000,000.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent deposits to trust funds

    (2) Each body mentioned in this subsection shall in each year, either directly or through a third party, no later than the anniversary of the day on which this Act comes into force, deposit to its trust fund maintained under subsection 9(1) the following respective amounts:

    • (a) Ontario Power Generation Inc., $100,000,000;

    • (b) Hydro-Québec, $4,000,000;

    • (c) New Brunswick Power Corporation, $4,000,000; and

    • (d) Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, $2,000,000.

  • Marginal note:When obligation ceases to apply

    (3) Subsection (2) ceases to apply on the day on which the Minister approves the amount of the deposit under paragraph 16(3)(a).

  • Marginal note:Calculation of interest

    (4) Interest accumulates on any portion of a deposit not paid by the day referred to in subsection (1) or (2), at the prime rate plus two per cent, calculated daily from the day referred to in subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be, to the day before the day of the deposit.

  • Marginal note:Latest date for deposit

    (5) Each body mentioned in subsection (1) or (2) shall, either directly or through a third party, deposit to its trust fund maintained under subsection 9(1), no later than 30 days after the date of the decision of the Governor in Council under section 15, the applicable amount referred to in subsection (1) or (2) plus an amount, if any, equal to the interest.

Marginal note:Withdrawals from trust funds

  •  (1) Only the waste management organization may withdraw moneys from a trust fund maintained under subsection 9(1).

  • Marginal note:Condition for withdrawals

    (2) The waste management organization may make withdrawals only for the purpose of implementing the approach that the Governor in Council selects under section 15 or approves under subsection 20(5), including avoiding or minimizing significant socio-economic effects on a community’s way of life or on its social, cultural or economic aspirations.

  • Marginal note:First withdrawal

    (3) The waste management organization may make the first withdrawal only for an activity in respect of which a construction or operating licence has, after the date of the decision of the Governor in Council under section 15, been issued under section 24 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.

  • Marginal note:Ministerial approval

    (4) If the Minister is of the view that the waste management organization has withdrawn moneys from a trust fund contrary to subsection (2) or (3), the Minister may require the Minister’s prior approval in respect of any future withdrawal from a trust fund by the waste management organization.

Study by Waste Management Organization

Marginal note:Study within three years

  •  (1) Within three years after the coming into force of this Act, the waste management organization shall submit to the Minister a study setting out

    • (a) its proposed approaches for the management of nuclear fuel waste, along with the comments of the Advisory Council on those approaches; and

    • (b) its recommendation as to which of its proposed approaches should be adopted.

  • Marginal note:Methods to manage nuclear fuel waste

    (2) Each of the following methods must be the sole basis of at least one approach:

    • (a) deep geological disposal in the Canadian Shield, based on the concept described by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited in the Environmental Impact Statement on the Concept for Disposal of Canada’s Nuclear Fuel Waste and taking into account the views of the environmental assessment panel set out in the Report of the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept Environmental Assessment Panel dated February 1998;

    • (b) storage at nuclear reactor sites; and

    • (c) centralized storage, either above or below ground.

  • Marginal note:Technical description, region

    (3) The study must include a detailed technical description of each proposed approach and must specify an economic region for its implementation.

  • Marginal note:Comparison of risks, etc.

    (4) Each proposed approach must include a comparison of the benefits, risks and costs of that approach with those of the other approaches, taking into account the economic region in which that approach would be implemented, as well as ethical, social and economic considerations associated with that approach.

  • Marginal note:Services to certain owners of waste

    (5) Each proposed approach must include a description of the nuclear fuel waste management services to be offered by the waste management organization under section 7.

  • Marginal note:Implementation plan

    (6) Each proposed approach must include an implementation plan setting out, as a minimum,

    • (a) a description of activities;

    • (b) a timetable for carrying out the approach;

    • (c) the means that the waste management organization plans to use to avoid or minimize significant socio-economic effects on a community’s way of life or on its social, cultural or economic aspirations; and

    • (d) a program for public consultation.

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (7) The waste management organization shall consult the general public, and in particular aboriginal peoples, on each of the proposed approaches. The study must include a summary of the comments received by the waste management organization as a result of those consultations.

Marginal note:Financial aspects

  •  (1) The study must set out, with respect to each proposed approach, a formula to calculate the annual amount required to finance the management of nuclear fuel waste. The report must explain the assumptions behind each term of the formula. The formula must include the following terms:

    • (a) the estimated total cost of management of nuclear fuel waste, which must take into account natural or other events that have a reasonable probability of occurring;

    • (b) the estimated rate of return on the trust funds maintained under subsection 9(1);

    • (c) the life expectancy of the nuclear reactors of each nuclear energy corporation and of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited; and

    • (d) the estimated amounts to be received from owners of nuclear fuel waste, other than nuclear energy corporations and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, in return for services of management of nuclear fuel waste.

  • Marginal note:Respective percentages

    (2) The study must set out, with respect to each proposed approach, the respective percentage of the estimated total cost of management of nuclear fuel waste that is to be paid by each nuclear energy corporation and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and an explanation of how those respective percentages were determined.

  • Marginal note:Financial guarantees

    (3) The study must set out the form and amount of any financial guarantees for the management of nuclear fuel waste that have been provided by the nuclear energy corporations and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.

Marginal note:Minister may consult public

  •  (1) The Minister may engage in such consultations with the general public on the approaches set out in the study as the Minister considers necessary.

  • Marginal note:Revision of study

    (2) If the Minister is of the opinion that the study fails in a significant way to meet the requirements of sections 12 and 13, the Minister shall direct the waste management organization to revise the relevant portions of it and submit the revised study to the Minister within the period that the Minister specifies.

Marginal note:Decision of Governor in Council

 The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, shall select one of the approaches for the management of nuclear fuel waste from among those set out in the study, and the decision of the Governor in Council shall be published in the Canada Gazette.

 
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