The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is looking to get the word out about some important hearings that are coming up.

From June seventh to eighth in Saskatoon the commission will be hearing from Cameco, which has put forward an application related to its operations in the north.

“Cameco Corporation has requested a 20 year operating license to renew their operations at the Key, McArthur and Rabbit operations in northern Saskatchewan for uranium mining and milling,” said Adam Levine, team lead for Indigenous consultation and participant funding with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

Levine said people who are interested can attend the hearings in person, which will be at the Hilton Garden Inn or they can follow them online as they will be streamed on the CNSC website. He explained the commission has in the past done hearings in La Ronge, but found after talking with some people in the north that Saskatoon would be a better location.

“Saskatoon was selected this time because it is a central hub, we actually heard feedback from communities that in terms of flying from communities like from Stony Rapids, Hatchet Lake, Fond-du-Lac, Black Lake, etc, its actually easier to get down to Saskatoon,” said Levine.

People interested in giving their feedback to the commission can make submissions by contacting the commission by email, where they can then make a written submission. People can also make an oral submission where they can speak to the commission directly, either in person or virtually. Anyone looking to give feedback has to make their arrangements by April 24.

In order to get their license Cameco will have to show the CNSC that they have plans in place to protect the environment along with their workers. Levine said the commission will also be asking the company about how they plan to work with communities in the north.

“A big part is how their going to continue to do engagement with Indigenous communities and the public and how they’re going to continue to report to us to ensure those things are happening,” he said.

Part of the goal of the hearings is for the commission to hear from the company along with communities to come up with a decision which works best for everyone. Levine said recently in New Brunswick a power company put forward a request to have a license for their plant to operate for 25 years. He explained after hearing concerns from locals, CNSC went with a term which was quite a bit shorter then what the company asked for and what their own staff had recommended.

“The commission decided to grant a 10 year license and (CNSC) staff were recommending at that time a 20 year operating license, so that was directly affected by communities input,” he said.

(PHOTO: Cameco’s McArthur River/Key Lake mine operation. Photo provided by Cameco.)