Former Canadian uranium mine site returned to province (World Nuclear News – May 3, 2024)

The project, which is some 75 km south of Lake Athabasca and 15 km east of the border with the Province of Alberta, operated from 1979 to 2002, producing more than 62 million pounds U3O8 (23,848 tU) from two underground mines and four open pit mines.

The operation also included a tailings management facility, a mill and other support facilities. The Cluff Lake Project is located on Treaty 8 territory, the Homeland of the Métis, and is within the traditional territories of the Dene, Cree, and Métis people. Cluff Lake was fully decommissioned in 2013.

In May last year, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) revoked the uranium mine licence held by Orano Canada for Cluff Lake Project, clearing the way for Orano to transfer the site to the Province of Saskatchewan. The CNSC has previously released properties at legacy uranium mining sites to provincial control, but Cluff Lake was the first decommissioned “modern” uranium mine to reach this milestone.

With the recent acceptance of a long-term monitoring and maintenance plan, and the provision of adequate funds by Orano to the Province of Saskatchewan to carry out the efforts (in perpetuity), the Cluff Lake property will now be transferred into the provincial Institutional Control Program (ICP).

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