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7-3 Status of the Legal and Administrative Arrangements for High-level Radioactive Waste Management (HLRWM)

Mark Madras & Stacey Ferrara, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP , ON CAN

This paper reviews the evolution of legal and administrative arrangements for high-level radioactive waste management in Canada.  Canada’s Nuclear Fuel Waste Act and the Nuclear Safety and Control Act are relevant to the management of high-level radioactive waste.  The Nuclear Fuel Waste Act provides a framework for a future decision in Canada regarding the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste based on a comprehensive, integrated and economically sound approach.  This Act provides for the establishment of the NWMO and describes the duties of the organization: to present the Government of Canada with potential approaches and realistic recommendations for the management of nuclear fuel waste; and to implement the adopted approach.  The Nuclear Safety and Control Act gives the CNSC the authority to issue licences for the mining, production, refining, conversion, enrichment, processing, reprocessing, packaging, transportation and management of nuclear substances and decommission of facilities.  All of the stages involved in the disposal of nuclear substances, including interim and long-term storage and disposal and any transportation between, will require a CNSC licence.  Other Canadian laws of general application that are relevant to aspects of the management of high-level nuclear waste include the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. 

The paper also highlights various provincial and territorial legislation and regulations addressing nuclear substances, as well as a number of international treaties and conventions that Canada has ratified related to the management of radioactive waste and nuclear substances.



Author Biography

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Mark Madras

Mark Madras is the Leader of the firm’s Environmental Law National Practice Group and a senior member and former Leader of its Transportation Law National Practice Group. He is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Environmental Law and is recognized by the Lexpert Canadian Legal Directory as a leading practitioner in Canada of environmental and transportation law. Mr. Madras has been recognized by the Euromoney publication as among the world’s leading environmental lawyers. Mr. Madras has over 26 years of practice experience.

Mr. Madras has appeared as counsel before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and its predecessor the Atomic Energy Control Board. He was a leader of the Gowlings’ team that designed and instructed a course for staff and members of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission upon the implementation of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. Mr. Madras was also lead counsel on an application to the Commission for approval of the first decommissioning of a nuclear reactor in Canada.

Mr. Madras counsels commercial and industry association clients with respect to a variety of environmental regulation and liability concerns, including toxic substance and new substance regulation, contaminated lands, air and water emissions, dangerous goods transportation, waste management, international compliance and remedies, facility auditing, risk assessment, environmental reporting, emergency preparedness, environmental issues in commercial transactions, and corporate as well as officer and director environmental compliance concerns. He represents clients before courts and administrative tribunals, including in prosecutions, civil claims and appeals of administrative Orders. He also serves as an advocate for clients in environmental dispute resolution processes. He has been accredited as an arbitrator by the Arbitration and Mediation Institute and has been trained as a mediator.

Mr. Madras is a frequent speaker and writer on environmental law matters and has appeared at numerous privately organized continuing education conferences and industry association gatherings, as well as client and law firms sponsored information forums. He has written and spoken on a wide range of environmental topics, including hazardous materials management, environmental auditing, and current trends in environmental law and regulation.

Mr. Madras is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Environmental Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario) (a former member of the Executive of the Section), the Canadian Transport Lawyers’ Association (a former Ontario Director and member of the national Executive) and the Transportation Lawyers Association. Mr. Madras is past President of the Association for Transportation Law, Logistics and Policy, an organization of lawyers and transportation professionals from across North America. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pollution Probe.

Called to the Ontario Bar in 1976, Mr. Madras received his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to joining Gowlings, he was a partner with Saul, MacLeod & Madras.


Stacey Ferrara

Stacey Ferrara is an associate in Gowlings’ Environmental, and Real Estate and Urban Development National Practice Groups. Her practice is primarily concentrated in environmental law.

Ms. Ferrara has worked in both the federal and municipal levels of government in past employment positions that she has held with Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the City of Waterloo.

Throughout her employment with Gowlings, Ms. Ferrara has frequently contributed to the Environmental Bulletin and also co-authored “Is it a Crime to Burn Oil Wells?” which was published in the energy@gowlings newsletter. Ms. Ferrara also contributed to the review of legal environmental issues written by Gowlings’ Environmental National Practice Group for the Canadian Environmental Directory.

Ms. Ferrara received her Bachelor of Laws from the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Upon graduation, she also received recognition for her concentrated studies in the areas of environmental and business law. While attending law school, Ms. Ferrara acted as a student-body representative and was also the President of the law school’s student government, the Law Students’ Society. Throughout law school, Ms. Ferrara worked as a research assistant for the school’s Marine Environmental Law Program. She co-authored “The Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy: Tinkering While the Arctic Marine Environment Totters” which was written for the Law of the Sea and Polar Maritime Delimination and Jurisdiction. An expanded version of this article has also been published in the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy. Ms. Ferrara also co-authored the report on the Arctic for the 2001 Yearbook of International Environmental Law.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Ferrara attended Wilfrid Laurier University where she earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts while majoring in environmental studies with a minor concentration in political science. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2003 and is a member of the Ontario Bar Association.


7-3 Status of the Legal and Administrative Arrangements for High-level Radioactive Waste Management (HLRWM)

7-3 Executive Summary






This report does not necessarily reflect the views or position of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, its directors, officers, employees and agents (the "NWMO") and unless otherwise specifically stated, is made available to the public by the NWMO for information only.  The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s) who are solely responsible for the text and its conclusions as well as the accuracy of any data used in its creation.  The NWMO does not make any warranty, express or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information disclosed, or represent that the use of any information would not infringe privately owned rights.  Any reference to a specific commercial product, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or preference by NWMO.

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Nov-26-2015 05:27:26 AM EST

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