Nuclear Safety Commission Allows Flooded Collins Bay Pit to be Opened to Wollaston Lake

On October 24, 2003, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced its decision to renew the operating licence for Cameco Corporation's Rabbit Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan.

As part of this licence, the company will be allowed to breach the dike that separates the mined-out Collins Bay A-Zone pit from Wollaston Lake itself. MiningWatch Canada was among the intervenors who demanded an environmental assessment of this decommissioning plan. In fact, no environmental or public consultation information was brought before the Commissioners, although this did not seem to bother them.

In a public meeting in the spring, people in the community of Wollaston Lake told the company in no uncertain terms they did not want the dike breached at all. The CNSC determined that breaching the dike is not "decommissioning" but rather part of the "ongoing site rehabilitation" and therefore no EA is required - never mind consultation with the affected Athabasca DenesuLiné First Nations.

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