Federal Court Dismisses Bruce Used Fuel Project Judicial Review Application

The Federal Court of Canada recently dismissed an application for judicial review aimed at stopping Ontario Power Generation Inc. from proceeding with its Bruce Used Fuel Dry Storage Project. The project is designed to store spent nuclear fuel after its use in generating stations at the Bruce Nuclear Power Development. The environmental assessment of the project concluded that, with appropriate mitigation measures and monitoring, the project is not likely to cause significant environmental effects.

The Atomic Energy Control Board then approved the construction of the project. A local group, the Inverhuron & District Ratepayers Association, brought the court challenge to the environmental assessment. It argued that the assessment did not properly take into account design changes in the project, that it failed to meet other requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and that certain important documents had not been made available to the public for comment. The Court rejected each of these arguments.

Torys acted for OPG in successfully defending the application. The Torys team included John Laskin, Cara Clairman (who moved to OPG while the proceeding was ongoing) and Tycho Manson. Brian Saunders and Patricia Johnston of the federal Department of Justice represented the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Atomic Energy Control Board. Rodney Northey of Birchall Northey represented the Ratepayers Association, with Donald Affleck of Kelly Affleck Greene acting as lead counsel at the hearing.