Uranium Mines and Mills Regulations

Nuclear Safety and Control Act
URANIUM MINES AND MILLS REGULATIONS
SOR/2000-206
(as am. by SOR/2007-208 and 2012-288)


Interpretation and Application


1. Interpretation. The definitions in this section apply in these Regulations.
“Act” means the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.
“concentrate” means an extracted product that contains uranium and that results from the physical or chemical separation of uranium from ore.
“effective dose” Repealed. (SOR/2007-208, s. 13)
“equivalent dose” has the meaning assigned to that term by subsection 1(1) of the Radiation Protection Regulations.
“excavation site” means a place at which uranium is moved by means of underground activities for the purpose of evaluating a potential orebody.
“federal authority” means
(a) a Minister of the Crown in right of Canada;
(b) an agency of the Government of Canada or a parent Crown corporation, as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act, or any other body established under an Act of Parliament that is ultimately accountable through a Minister of the Crown in right of Canada to Parliament for the conduct of its affairs;
(c) any department or departmental corporation that is set out in Schedule I or II to the Financial Administration Act;
(d) any other body that is set out in Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012; and
(e) the Executive Council of — or a minister, department, agency or body of the government of — Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.
It does not include a council of the band within the meaning of the Indian Act, Export Development Canada or the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. It also does not include a Crown corporation that is a wholly-owned subsidiary, as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act, a harbour commission established under the Harbour Commissions Act or a not-for-profit corporation that enters into an agreement under subsection 80(5) of the Canada Marine Act, that is not set out in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
(SOR/2012-288, s. 3)
“hazardous substance” means a substance, other than a nuclear substance, that is used or produced in the course of carrying on a licensed activity and that may pose a risk to the environment or the health and safety of persons.
“jurisdiction” means
(a) a federal authority;
(b) any agency or body that is established under an Act of Parliament and that has powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the environmental effects of the preparation of a site for a uranium mine or mill or its construction, operation, decommissioning or abandonment;
(c) the government of a province;
(d) any agency or body that is established under an Act of the legislature of a province, and that has powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the environmental effects of the preparation of a site for a uranium mine or mill or its construction, operation, decommissioning or abandonment;
(e) any body that is established under a land claims agreement referred to in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and that has powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the environmental effects of the preparation of a site for a uranium mine or mill or its construction, operation, decommissioning or abandonment;
(f) a governing body that is established under legislation that relates to the self-government of Indians and that has powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the environmental effects of the preparation of a site for a uranium mine or mill or its construction, operation, decommissioning or abandonment;
(g) a government of a foreign state or of a subdivision of a foreign state, or any institution of such a government; and
(h) an international organization of states or any institution of such an organization.
(SOR/2012-288, s. 3)
“licensed activity” means an activity described in paragraph 26(e) of the Act that a licence authorizes the licensee to carry on in relation to a uranium mine or mill.
“licensee” means a person who is licensed to carry on an activity described in paragraph 26(e) of the Act in relation to a uranium mine or mill.
“mill” means a facility at which ore is processed and treated for the recovery of uranium concentrate, including any tailings-handling and water treatment system associated with the facility.
“mine” includes an excavation site and a removal site.
“ore” means a mineral or chemical aggregate containing uranium in a quantity and of a quality that makes mining and extracting the uranium economically viable.
“removal site” means a place at which uranium is removed from its place of natural deposit by means of surface activities for the purpose of evaluating a potential orebody.
“waste management system” means a system for collecting, transporting, receiving, treating, processing, storing or disposing of the wastes that are produced as a result of the licensed activity at a uranium mine or mill.
“worker” means a person who performs work that is referred to in a licence.
“workers’ representative” means
(a) a person who is a member of the workers’ safety and health committee;
(b) the workers’ safety and health representative;
(c) where there is no person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), the workers’ collective bargaining agent; or
(d) where there is no person referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c), a worker.
“work place” means any area within a uranium mine or mill where a worker could reasonably be expected to be in the course of performing work.


2. Application.
(1) These Regulations apply in respect of uranium mines and mills.
(2) These Regulations do not apply in respect of uranium prospecting or surface exploration activities.


Licence Applications


3. General Requirements. An application for a licence in respect of a uranium mine or mill, other than a licence to abandon, shall contain the following information in addition to the information required by section 3 of the General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulations:
(a) in relation to the plan and description of the mine or mill,
(i) a description of the site evaluation process and of the investigations and preparatory work to be done at the site and in the surrounding area,
(ii) a surface plan indicating the boundaries of the mine or mill and the area where the activity to be licensed is proposed to be carried on,
(iii) a plan showing the existing and planned structures, excavations and underground development,
(iv) a description of the mine or mill, including the installations, their purpose and capacity, and any excavations and underground development,
(v) a description of the site geology and mineralogy,
(vi) a description of any activity that may have an impact on the development of the mine or mill, including any mining-related activity that was carried on at the site before the date of submission of the application to the Commission,
(vii) a description of the design of and the maintenance program for every eating area,
(viii) the proposed plan for the decommissioning of the mine or mill, and
(ix) a description of the proposed emergency power systems and their capacities;
(b) in relation to the activity to be licensed,
(i) a description of and the schedule for the planned activity,
(ii) a description of the proposed methods for carrying on the activity,
(iii) a list of the categories of material proposed to be mined and a description of the criteria used to determine those categories,
(iv) the anticipated duration of the activity, and
(v) the proposed quality assurance program for the activity;
(c) in relation to the environment and waste management,
(i) the program to inform persons living in the vicinity of the mine or mill of the general nature and characteristics of the anticipated effects of the activity to be licensed on the environment and the health and safety of persons,
(ii) the program to determine the environmental baseline characteristics of the site and the surrounding area,
(iii) the effects on the environment that may result from the activity to be licensed, and the measures that will be taken to prevent or mitigate those effects,
(iv) the proposed positions for and qualifications and responsibilities of environmental protection workers,
(v) the proposed environmental protection policies and programs,
(vi) the proposed effluent and environmental monitoring programs,
(vii) the proposed location, the proposed maximum quantities and concentrations, and the anticipated volume and flow rate of releases of nuclear substances and hazardous substances into the environment, including their physical, chemical and radiological characteristics,
(viii) the proposed measures to control releases of nuclear substances and hazardous substances into the environment,
(ix) a description of the anticipated liquid and solid waste streams within the mine or mill, including the ingress of fresh water and any diversion or control of the flow of uncontaminated surface and ground water,
(x) the proposed measures to prevent or mitigate the effects of accidental releases of nuclear substances and hazardous substances on the environment, the health and safety of persons and the maintenance of security, including measures to
(A) assist off-site authorities in planning and preparing to limit the adverse effects of an accidental release,
(B) notify off-site authorities of an accidental release or the imminence of an accidental release,
(C) report information to off-site authorities during and after an accidental release,
(D) assist off-site authorities in dealing with the adverse effects of an accidental release, and
(E) test the implementation of the measures to control the adverse effects of an accidental release,
(xi) the anticipated quantities, composition and characteristics of backfill, and
(xii) a description of the proposed waste management system;
(d) in relation to health and safety,
(i) the effects on the health and safety of persons that may result from the activity to be licensed, and the measures that will be taken to prevent or mitigate those effects,
(ii) the proposed program for selecting, using and maintaining personal protective equipment,
(iii) the proposed worker health and safety policies and programs,
(iv) the proposed positions for and qualifications and responsibilities of radiation protection workers,
(v) the proposed training program for workers,
(vi) the proposed measures to control the spread of any radioactive contamination,
(vii) the proposed ventilation and dust control methods and equipment for controlling air quality, and
(viii) the proposed level of effectiveness of and inspection schedule for the ventilation and dust control systems; and
(e) in relation to security, the proposed measures to alert the licensee to acts of sabotage or attempted sabotage at the mine or mill.


4. Requirement for Code of Practice.
(1) In this section, “action level” means a specific dose of radiation or other parameter that, if reached, may indicate a loss of control of part of a licensee’s radiation protection program or environmental protection program, and triggers a requirement for specific action to be taken.
(2) An application for a licence in respect of a uranium mine or mill, other than a licence to abandon, shall contain a proposed code of practice that includes
(a) any action level that the applicant considers appropriate for the purpose of this subsection;
(b) a description of any action that the applicant will take if an action level is reached; and
(c) the reporting procedures that will be followed if an action level is reached.


5. Licence to Prepare Site and Construct.
(1) An application for a licence to prepare a site for and construct a uranium mine shall contain the following information in addition to the information required by section 3 and subsection 4(2):
(a) a description of the proposed design of the mine;
(b) the proposed construction program, including its schedule;
(c) a description of the components, systems and equipment proposed to be installed at the mine, including their design operating conditions;
(d) the proposed quality assurance program for the design of the mine;
(e) the results of a process-hazard analysis and a description of how those results have been taken into account;
(f) a description of the proposed design, construction and operation of the waste management system, including the measures to monitor its construction and operation, the construction schedule, the contingency plans for construction and the measures to control the movement of water in existing waterways;
(g) a description of the proposed disposition of the ore;
(h) the anticipated quantities and grade of ore and waste rock that will be removed, their proposed storage location, and the proposed method, program and schedule, for their removal and disposal;
(i) the proposed mining methods and programs; and
(j) the proposed commissioning plan for the components, systems and equipment to be installed at the mine.
(2) An application for a licence to prepare a site for and construct a uranium mill shall contain the following information in addition to the information required by section 3 and subsection 4(2):
(a) a description of the proposed design of the mill;
(b) the proposed construction program, including its schedule;
(c) a description of the components, systems and equipment proposed to be installed at the mill, including their design operating conditions;
(d) the proposed quality assurance program for the design of the mill;
(e) the results of a process-hazard analysis and a description of how those results have been taken into account;
(f) a description of the proposed design, construction and operation of the waste management system, including the measures to monitor its construction and operation, the construction schedule, the contingency plans for construction and the measures to control the movement of water in existing waterways;
(g) the proposed milling methods and programs;
(h) a description of all proposed laboratory facilities and programs; and
(i) the proposed commissioning plan for the components, systems and equipment to be installed at the mill.


6. Licence to Operate.
(1) An application for a licence to operate a uranium mine shall contain the following information in addition to the information required by section 3 and subsection 4(2):
(a) the results of any commissioning work;
(b) a description of the structures, components, systems and equipment at the mine, including any changes to their design and their design operating conditions as a result of the commissioning;
(c) the proposed policies, methods and programs for operating and maintaining the mine; and
(d) the proposed methods for handling, storing, loading and transporting nuclear substances and hazardous substances.
(2) An application for a licence to operate a uranium mill shall contain the following information in addition to the information required by section 3 and subsection 4(2):
(a) the results of any commissioning work;
(b) a description of the structures, components, systems and equipment at the mill, including any changes to their design and their design operating conditions as a result of the commissioning;
(c) the proposed policies, methods and programs for operating and maintaining the mill;
(d) the proposed methods for handling, storing and loading concentrates and uranium-bearing material, both solid and liquid;
(e) the proposed operating schedule;
(f) the daily and annual design capacity of the mill, and the expected recovery and composition of mill feed, concentrates and tailings; and
(g) a description of the proposed operation of the waste management system.


7. Licence to Decommission. An application for a licence to decommission a uranium mine or mill shall contain the following information in addition to the information required by section 3 and subsection 4(2):
(a) a description of and the proposed schedule for the decommissioning work, including the proposed starting date and the expected completion date of the decommissioning work and the rationale for the schedule;
(b) the land, buildings, structures, components, systems, equipment, nuclear substances and hazardous substances that will be affected by the decommissioning;
(c) the proposed measures, methods and programs for carrying on the decommissioning; and
(d) a description of the planned state of the site upon completion of the decommissioning work.


8. Licence to Abandon. An application for a licence to abandon a uranium mine or mill shall contain the following information in addition to the information required by sections 3 and 4 of the General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulations:
(a) the program to inform persons living in the vicinity of the site of the mine or mill of the general nature and characteristics of the anticipated effects of the abandonment on the environment and the health and safety of person;
(b) the results of the decommissioning work; and
(c) the results of the environmental monitoring programs.


Time Lines: Application for Licence to Prepare Site and Construct
(Above title and ss. 8.1–8.3 added by SOR/2012-288, s. 4)


8.1. Compliance Verification. The Commission shall, within 60 days after the day on which an application for a licence to prepare a site for and construct a uranium mine or mill is received, determine whether the application contains sufficient detailed information for the Commission to commence its review.


8.2. Time Periods — Review of Application. The Commission shall, within five days after the day on which it determines that an application contains sufficient detailed information for it to commence its review, give notice of the commencement of its review
(a) by providing notice in writing to this effect by mail or email to the applicant; and
(b) by posting notice to this effect on its Internet site.


8.3.
(1) The Commission shall render its decision in respect of an application within a time period of 24 months from the day on which the notice is posted in accordance with paragraph 8.2(b).
(2) The following are excluded from the 24-month time period:
(a) any period granted by the Commission for the preparation and submission of information requested by the Commission, which in the opinion of the Commission is necessary to complete the review;
(b) any period, not to exceed 30 days following the Commission’s receipt of a response to the request for information referred to in paragraph (a), that the Commission requires to determine whether the information requested has been provided and is adequate;
(c) any period that is required by any jurisdiction to respond to an offer to consult and cooperate made by the Commission under section 18 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 with respect to the environmental assessment of the proposed preparation of the site for, and construction of, the uranium mine or mill, or its operation, decommissioning or abandonment, and, if the offer is accepted by any jurisdiction, any period that is required for consultation and cooperation with that jurisdiction;
(d) any period that is required to conduct, and render a decision on, an environmental assessment of the proposed preparation of the site for, and construction of, the uranium mine or mill, or its operation, decommissioning or abandonment, by any jurisdiction that is obligated by law to conduct that assessment and render a decision; and
(e) any period during which the licence application review was adjourned under section 14 of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Rules of Procedure.
(3) The Commission shall give notice of the beginning and end of any period that is excluded from the 24 months
(a) by providing notice in writing to this effect by mail or email to the applicant; and
(b) by posting notice to this effect on its Internet site.


Obligations of Licensees


9. Posting of Code of Practice. Every licensee shall post a copy of the code of practice referred to in the licence at a location within the uranium mine or mill that is accessible to all workers and where it is most likely to come to their attention.


10. Operating Procedures. Every licensee shall
(a) establish, implement and maintain written operating procedures for the licensed activity;
(b) train its workers to perform their work in accordance with the operating procedures; and
(c) audit its workers for the purpose of verifying compliance with the operating procedures.


11. Ventilation Systems. Every licensee shall, with respect to the ventilation systems established in accordance with the licence,
(a) ensure that each main fan is equipped with a device that provides a warning signal when the main fan is not functioning properly;
(b) ensure that a person is designated to receive and respond to a warning signal provided by a device referred to in paragraph (a); and
(c) implement measures to prevent any person or activity from interfering with the proper operation of the ventilation systems.


12. Malfunction of Ventilation System.
(1) Where a ventilation system in a work place is not functioning in accordance with a licence, the licensee shall
(a) implement alternative measures to protect the health and safety of its workers; and
(b) ensure that only the work necessary to restore that system is performed in the work place.
(2) Before a worker performs any work that is necessary to restore a ventilation system, the licensee shall inform the worker of the protective measures that have been taken and are to be taken in connection with the work.


13. Use of Respirators. No licensee shall rely on the use of a respirator to comply with the Radiation Protection Regulations unless the use of the respirator
(a) is for a temporary or unforeseen situation; and
(b) is permitted by the code of practice referred to in the licence.


14. Gamma Radiation. Every licensee shall
(a) post signs at all entrances to each area where the dose rate of gamma radiation exceeds 25 uSv/h, designating the area as a radiation area and indicating the dose rate of gamma radiation in that area; and
(b) provide every worker who is to enter an area where the dose rate of gamma radiation exceeds 100 uSv/h with a direct-reading dosimeter.


15. Training Program.
(1) Where a worker successfully completes the training program in basic radiation health and safety referred to in a licence, the licensee shall issue to the worker a certificate indicating that the worker has completed a training program in basic radiation health and safety that is acceptable to the Commission.
(2) Every licensee shall provide a copy of the training program referred to in the licence to a workers’ representative.


Records to Be Kept and Made Available


16.
(1) Every licensee shall keep a record of
(a) its operating and maintenance procedures;
(b) its mine plans showing the actual and planned mine workings;
(c) the schedules for all of its planned mining operations;
(d) the plans of every tailings-containment structure and area and every diversion structure and system associated with the waste management system;
(e) the design of the uranium mine or mill and of the components and systems installed at the mine or mill;
(f) the method and relevant data used to ascertain the doses of radiation received by the workers at the uranium mine or mill and the intake of radioactive nuclear substances by those workers;
(g) any measurement made in accordance with the licence or the regulations made under the Act;
(h) the inspections and maintenance carried out in accordance with the licence or the regulations made under the Act;
(i) the quantity of air delivered by each main fan;
(j) the performance of each dust control system; and
(k) the training received by each worker.
(2) Every licensee shall make the records referred to in subsection (1) available at the uranium mine or mill to the workers and a workers’ representative.
(3) Every licensee shall retain a record of the training referred to in paragraph (1)(k) for the period that the worker is employed at the uranium mine or mill.
(4) Every licensee shall post, at a location within the uranium mine or mill that is accessible to all workers and where it is most likely to come to their attention, a record of the measurements made in respect of every work place in accordance with the licence and these Regulations.


Coming into Force


17. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are approved by the Governor in Council.