Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to Appeal the Recent Federal Court Decision that found Darlington New Build’s Federal Environmental Impact Assessment to be Deficient

We recently wrote about the judicial review application challenging the adequacy of the federal environmental assessment (“EA”) process for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project (the “Project”).  To recap, the Federal Court found that the EA was deficient for a number of reasons, including that the Joint Review Panel did not adequately consider the issues of long-term management and disposal of used nuclear fuel and the potential of a large-scale nuclear accident. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (“CNSC”) has now announced that it is appealing the Federal Court’s decision regarding the Project.

The CNSC takes the view that the Federal Court’s decision contains errors of law regarding the correct interpretation of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the manner in which it was applied by the Joint Review Panel in its consideration of the Project. We will be following this appeal with interest, especially since Ontario Power Generation (“OPG”) is in the process of refurbishing the existing nuclear reactors at Darlington and the environmental assessment process for that project has been challenged on similar grounds (as previously reported, a decision on the judicial review of the refurbishment project has not yet been released).