Tag Archives: Mining

Guest Blog Nuclear Energy

Open Letter from Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission President Michael Binder

This letter by CNSC President, Dr. Michael Binder, is simply too good not to share. Kudos to the CNSC for being such a strong regulator and our member companies Cameco and AREVA for their solid safety track record and impeccable operations. Please read on below.

November 22, 2012

Following the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) recent decision to license a uranium exploration project in Quebec, I’m dismayed that recent statements and discussions over the safety of uranium mining have been based neither on fact nor science. Uranium mining and milling in this country is tightly regulated by the CNSC. Canada is a world leader in responsibly developing this resource. This is largely attributable to a solid safety track record.

Uranium mining is the only type of mining that has a dedicated federal regulator that oversees all aspects of operation on an ongoing basis. Provincial oversight is also strictly applied. In fact, uranium mining is the most regulated, monitored and understood type of mining in Canada.

Activists, medical practitioners and politicians who have demanded moratoriums may have various reasons for doing so, but their claims that the public and environment are at risk are fundamentally wrong. The provincial governments that have decided to ban uranium exploration have done so ignoring years of evidence-based scientific research on this industry.

The CNSC would never compromise safety by issuing a licence or allowing a uranium mine or mill to operate if it were not safe to do so. All monitoring data shows that uranium mining is as safe as other conventional metal mining in Canada.

The numbers speak for themselves. Metal mining effluent data reported to Environment Canada demonstrates that uranium mining operations from 2007 to 2010 was 100% compliant with federal release limits for all seven types of contaminants. Uranium mining operations were the only type of metal mine to have 100% compliance during this period.

Both the CNSC and provincial environmental regulators closely monitor and analyze industry releases to ensure streams, lakes and rivers downstream of mining operations are safe for people, animals, fish and plants.

We also monitor miner safety. The average annual radiation dose to miners is well below the CNSC annual dose limits, which are conservatively established to protect workers. Radiation doses to the public and the environment near uranium mines are negligible.

In Saskatchewan, where Canada’s operating uranium mines are found, the province’s Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety monitors all conventional health and safety issues for uranium mining. All reporting continuously shows that uranium mining and milling sites are among the best performing facilities in accident prevention and lost-time incidents across the province’s entire mining and industrial sectors.

The CNSC has carried out and validated numerous studies over the decades that have repeatedly provided sound evidence that workers and residents near these facilities are as healthy as the rest of the general population. The same is true of people who live near nuclear power plants.

The CNSC’s conclusions on the uranium mining industry are clearly based on decades of studies, research, and a rigorous licencing and inspection framework. That being said, it needs to be voiced again, the CNSC will never compromise safety and would never issue a licence for a mining or milling operation unless the proposed activities were safe.

I invite Canadians to visit our Web site to get the facts about uranium mining and the complete nuclear sector in Canada.

Michael Binder
President
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Messages Mining Nuclear Energy

National Aboriginal Day in Canada – June 21

Did you know: The Canadian uranium industry is the leading employer of Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan, and Cameco is the leading industrial employer in Canada overall?

Our industry takes great pride in the communities in which it operates. We know our neighbors and we contribute to the economic, environmental, and social prosperity of the cities and towns where we work and live.

Today, on National Aboriginal Day, TalkNUclear would like to highlight the contributions of three of our members who rely on Aboriginal communities as a valuable part of their workforce and for input into their planning and projects for the benefit of all of Canada’s people, including its First Peoples.

Did you know: Canada produces 18% of all global uranium, making us the second largest producer in the world. Our uranium industry directly and indirectly employs about 14,000 people in Saskatchewan.

Cameco is a proud sponsor of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) fourth National Event in Saskatoon, taking place from June 21-24 at Prairieland Park. “The TRC Saskatchewan National Event is an opportunity for all Canadians, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to learn more about and bear witness to the legacy of the residential school system,” said Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the TRC.

Did you know: The province of Saskatchewan has the largest number of Residential School Survivors in Canada.  Approximately 10 per cent of them reside in Saskatoon.

Visit www.trc.ca for more information.

If you’re in the area, join the AREVA office in La Ronge for the AREVA Celebration BBQ! Celebrate Summer and National Aboriginal Day, Thursday, June 21 at 4:00pm. Enjoy a burger and a pop while you meet some of AREVA’s employees and management, and learn more about AREVA’s operations, jobs and contracting opportunities.

Don’t know La Ronge? La Ronge is the largest community in Northern Saskatchewan with over 3500 people residing in the town itself and about 2000 people on the adjacent First Nations lands of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and some 1000 people residing in the bordering settlement of Air Ronge.
Learn more here: http://www.townoflaronge.ca/Welcome/Introduction.php

Bruce Power is providing its employees an opportunity to learn about the cultures of Canada’s Aboriginal people with a celebration that includes a tradition drum circle, Native dancers, and cedar tea and cake. The event is hosted by the Bruce Power Native Circle, which is a group of 30 self-identified employees of Aboriginal heritage. “The day will be about sharing our rich and beautiful culture,” said Sismo – Pam Schwartzentruber, the chair of Bruce Power’s Native Circle. “I find not everyone in our area is aware of the unique parts of our First Nations and Métis communities.” Festivities and learning takes place June 21 from 10am-12pm at Bruce Power. More details here: http://www.brucepower.com/6124/news/bruce-power-to-celebrate-aboriginal-day-on-june-21/

Guest Blog Mining Nuclear Education Nuclear Energy Nuclear Pride Nuclear Safety

Going Deep Underground: Cameco and AREVA Uranium Mine and Mills Tour

This is a guest blog by the CNA’s Regulatory Affairs Officer, Matthew Hickman. Looks like it was a great tour at a truly impressive set of facilities!

AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan is the only facility in the world capable of processing high-grade uranium ore without diluting it.

On June 13, 2012 AREVA and Cameco hosted the staff and Board of Directors of the Canadian Nuclear Association on a tour of their mining facilities in northern Saskatchewan.  Tour participants had the incredible opportunity to see the mining and milling operations at the McArthur River uranium mine and McClean Lake mill.

 

The day started at AREVA’s McClean Lake site after a quick flight from Saskatoon. The McClean Lake site is located approximately 700 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, and is comprised of several uranium mines and the newest, most technologically advanced uranium mill in North America.  Our tour guide Glenn was very knowledgeable and provided us with a tour of the entire uranium milling process, from extraction to final packaging.  The milling facility was as impressive as it was complex and the safety features and processes were evident.

Cameco's McArthur River Operation: The main McArthur River head frame houses the hoist over the main (Pollock) shaft which deliver miners and equipment as deep as 680 metres below surface.

 

Our next stop was the Cameco McArthur River site, which is also located within the Athabasca Basin approximately 60 kilometers west from the McClean Lake site.  The first thing that stuck out to me was the small footprint of the entire mining operation – only about 4 square kilometers.  Equally fascinating was that the McArthur River site is the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine, with the average ore grade of 16.89%.

The primary themes that I have extracted from this tour are the unique and innovative mining techniques, employee pride and evident safety culture.  I can definitely say that the tour surpassed my expectations and would highly recommend it to anyone if they ever have the opportunity.  Finally, I would like to graciously thank our hosts, AREVA and Cameco for providing such an amazing opportunity to the CNA.

Mining Nuclear Energy Nuclear News Nuclear Pride

Launch of WiN-Saskatchewan

We here at TalkNUclear.ca are very pleased to be sharing this news with you. Today Women-in-Nuclear Canada (WiN) is launching its very first chapter west of Ontario! Congratulations to all involved in this great achievement signalling a growing engagement among the industry and commitment to nuclear all across Canada.

Thanks to WiN-Canada for allowing us to repost this event information from their website.

June 11, 2012

All aboard!!  Yes, the first chapter west of Ontario is about to be launched in Saskatchewan.  Together with Women in Mining, WiN-Saskatchewan will host a networking opportunity for women in nuclear medicine, academia and science to officially announce the launching of the Saskatchewan Chapter of WiN.  This opportunity will provide an important venue for other members of WiN-Canada to interact with the new WiN-Saskatchewan chapter members and to meet the members of our sister organization, Women in Mining (WIM).  WIM is a logical group to join forces with in Saskatchewan since so many of our members will have ties to both organizations.  We invite as many of the WiN members in other parts of Canada to come and join in with the celebration.

As many of you may know, Saskatchewan has a history with nuclear.  Last year, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the development of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan.  In addition, this province is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium and employs a large number of women in that sector.  The University of Saskatchewan pioneered the use of cobalt 60 in cancer treatments.  And, Saskatchewan also has the Canadian Light Source synchrotron and a slowpoke reactor!  Nuclear is not new to Saskatchewan but having a WiN chapter will be!

The Canadian Nuclear Society has been very supportive and has presented us with this opportunity to get together and celebrate the launching of the new chapter at TCU Place during the CNS 33rd Annual Conference and 36th Annual Student Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Important to note, you can attend the WiN meeting without attending the CNS Conference.  Hence, we will need to have members RSVP in advancetheir attendance so we can arrange entry with the CNS conference registrar.  A letter of welcome and an invitation to the meeting is attached to this email.  The formal part of the agenda will be kept short to allow time for networking and interaction.  So, the more people that can attend the better.  This is an exciting milestone for Saskatchewan!

As the chapter gets organized, there will be an announcement on the WiN-Canada website (www.wincanada.org) introducing the new leadership group.  However, until the leadership is in place for WiN-Saskatchewan, all inquiries or comments can be sent to Kathryn Black by email at kblack@saskpower.com or by phone at 306 566-3127!  RSVPs for the event can also be sent to Kathryn at the same contact email.

We are looking forward to welcoming all of the WiN-Canada members who can attend to join us in Saskatoon for this important chapter launch and networking event.

Launch of WiN-Saskatchewan

Location
TCU Place
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)

Related Links

 

Mining Nuclear News

AREVA Canada on AREVA in Canada (and Why They’ll be Sticking Around)

AREVA Canada Exec VP Jean-Francois Béland

AREVA Canada Executive Vice President Jean-Francois Béland appeared on Business News Network (BNN) today.

Mr. Béland talked about AREVA Canada’s involvement in the Canadian nuclear industry. They employ roughly 600 employees in Canada with projects on the go or planned in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nunavut, Quebec and New Brunswick. AREVA Canada services nuclear facilities in all the nuclear provinces.

The interviewer asked about the “big business” of nuclear (i.e. the economic contributions of the nuclear industry). We know that through the efforts of our people, the Canadian nuclear industry is a $6.6 billion per year industry, contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenues and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

And, as Mr. Béland mentioned, it provides roughly 71,000 direct and indirect jobs.

We also know that refurbishing nuclear facilities at Bruce and Darlington will create 25,000 jobs in the next decade and inject $5 billion into the Ontario economy annually. Big business, indeed!

The Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan, the world’s second-largest high-grade uranium deposit, is on track to start producing in 2013. 100% of its production will be processed at the McClean Lake mill.

AREVA Canada’s has some exciting mining projects in Saskatchewan too. The Cigar Lake mine, which they partner on with Cameco, contains what is considered among the best grade uranium in the world. AREVA and its partners are also investing $150 million to improve the McClean Lake mill, a project that when completed will create over 100 jobs in Northern Saskatchewan.

AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan is the only facility in the world capable of processing high-grade uranium ore without diluting it.

Mr. Béland also talks about AREVA’s international business and the politics of energy in France, after the recent election that saw a change in the head of state.

Watch the full interview here.

Messages Nuclear News

Canada’s Nuclear Industry Welcomes Modernized Regulatory System and Innovation Investments

March 29, 2012, OTTAWA - The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) today welcomed the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012, “Jobs, Growth, and Long-Term Prosperity,” and key measures to create a modern regulatory system that will also contribute to improved environmental performance for Canada’s energy and mining projects.

“Regulatory modernization is a priority for our industry as it provides a competitive advantage for Canada,” said Denise Carpenter, President and CEO. “We are optimistic these proposed changes will increase efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory process, and we look forward to working with the federal government to implement changes swiftly to enhance job creation and economic growth in Canada.”

The CNA serves approximately 100 member companies, representing 70,000 people employed in the production and advancement of nuclear medicine, uranium mining and exploration, fuel processing, and electricity generation.

“Our members support a regulatory process that establishes clear timelines, reduces duplication and burdens, and focuses resources on large projects where potential environmental impacts are the greatest,” added Carpenter, “We appreciate the focus on what matters to the environment.”

The CNA also applauded Innovation investments contained in Economic Action Plan 2012, such as the implementation of a Jenkins Panel recommendation to refocus the National Research Council (NRC) to improve its responsiveness to Canada’s business sector.

“Canada’s home-grown nuclear technologies connect the energy, medicine, manufacturing, advanced materials, and academic sectors with many other value-added industries, and the NRC is an important part of that innovation system,” said Carpenter. “Our industry believes there is great value to having strong public support for S&T that is responsive to the needs of industry.”

The Canadian nuclear industry provides a broad spectrum of products and services that benefit Canadians, generating approximately $6.6 billion per year and contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenue and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

Please visit www.cna.ca to follow CNA’s Blog, Twitter, and Facebook, and join in the “TalkNUclear” conversation.

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Background Information:

The CNA discussed this issue in the September 2011 “Innovation Issue” of Policy Options magazine:  http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/sep11/stewart.pdf

The CNA issued the following new release on March 14, 2012 to encourage the Government of Canada to fully consider the recommendations on the federal Environmental Assessment (EA) process made by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development: http://www.cna.ca/english/news_events/Mar14-2012-CNA-press-release.html