AECL comprehensive review of its nuclear decommissioning and waste liability
Chalk River, 2013 March 19 — Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is reviewing and updating its liability for nuclear decommissioning and waste management and has advised the Government that its estimate of the liability has increased by an amount of $2.4 billion. The increase will require a corresponding adjustment to the liability recorded in the Public Accounts of Canada, which was $3.6 billion as at March 31, 2012. The adjustment will be reflected in the Government’s financial results for 2012-13.
In mid 2012, AECL initiated a comprehensive review of its decommissioning and waste liability and the related plan for its management through the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program. The last comprehensive review of this nature was completed in 2005. The review is intended to reflect best global policies and practices in nuclear decommissioning and waste management. The liability represents the estimated future costs, in Net Present Value (NPV), of decommissioning, managing and disposing of its radioactive waste in a manner that will ensure long-term health, safety, security and environmental responsibility. All activities are in compliance with regulatory requirements established and enforced by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Confirmation of the amount of the adjustment to the liability will be subject to verification by AECL management, review and approval by its Board and audit by its external auditors, the Office of the Auditor General and KPMG.
The main reason for the liability adjustment is an increase in the indirect costs attributed to the decommissioning and waste management over the period of up to 70 years of the Program. Indirect costs include site operational and corporate support costs at AECL’s Chalk River Laboratories (CRL). These costs are shared among the multiple mandates executed by AECL at its Chalk River site. Between 2005 and 2013, the mandates and related activities at the CRL have evolved significantly in response to many factors, notably: a shift in demand for services, the introduction of targeted programs and capital investments to address health, safety, security and environment priorities and to respond to enhanced regulatory requirements. The adjustment reflects these higher indirect costs.
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is Canada’s premiere nuclear science and technology organization. For 60 years, AECL has been a world leader in developing peaceful and innovative applications from nuclear technology through its expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology and engineering. Over 3,000 highly skilled employees deliver a range of nuclear services – ranging from research and development, design and engineering to specialized technology, waste management and decommissioning.
Today, AECL continues its commitment to ensure that Canadians and the world receive energy, health, environmental and economic benefits from nuclear science and technology with confidence that nuclear safety and security are assured.
Director, Corporate Communications