McClean Lake ruling overturned on appeal
June 07, 2004
On Friday, June 4th, in a unanimous decision, the Federal Court of Appeal has overturned the September 2002 decision of the Trial Division that quashed the original federal operating licence of the McClean Lake uranium mining and milling facilities*.
In making this decision, the Court of Appeal agreed with arguments by AREVA subsidiary COGEMA Resources Inc. and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
The position of the CNSC and COGEMA Resources was supported during the appeal hearing on May 3 and 4 by submissions from the Government of Saskatchewan and from northern people and businesses.
"It should help restore industry confidence in Canada’s environmental and licensing review processes" said Tim Gitzel, Director of AREVA’s Mining Business Unit and Chairman of COGEMA Resources Inc.
*In 1999, the activist group opposed to uranium mining and nuclear energy Inter Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative (ICUCEC) challenged the Atomic Energy Control Board's decision to grant an operating licence for the McClean Lake Project through the Federal Court of Canada. In September 2002, a Federal Court judge ruled in favour of the ICUCEC position and quashed the operating licence issued in 1999. COGEMA Resources Inc. and the CNSC (successor to the AECB) appealed the decision.
The actual performance of Mc Clean Lake, which has consistently bettered regulatory requirements since it began operating five years ago, was not a factor in the case.
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