Our Approach

Since 2011, NexGen established an experienced team of subject matter experts and qualified professionals across all aspects of the Project to conduct technical studies; engage with Indigenous Groups, communities, regulators, and public stakeholders; and prepare documentation required for the Project’s Environmental Assessment (EA) and Licensing activities. NexGen’s approach to advancing the regulatory process, including EA and Licensing applications, has included the following:

  • Conducting a conservative EA to make sure potential adverse effects were not underestimated or benefits overestimated, committing to mitigation measures to be protective of the social and biophysical environments, and implementing management programs and plans to make sure the Project performs as expected.
  • Using an integrated team of engineers and scientists for an iterative approach to Project design and identification of mitigation measures;
  • Engaging local Indigenous Groups and communities, government agencies, and the public; and
  • Incorporating feedback from local Indigenous Groups and communities, government agencies, and the public, including Indigenous and Local Knowledge, into Project design and planning.

Regulatory Pathway

The proposed Project is subject to both a federal and a provincial EA process, and requires federal and provincial licences, approvals, and permits. In addition to EA approvals, the Project requires other federal and provincial approvals.

At the federal level under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and applicable regulations, the three phases of licensed activities in the lifespan of the Project include:

  1. A licence to prepare a site and to construct;
  2. A licence to operate; and
  3. A licence to decommission.

At the provincial level under The Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010 and the associated regulations, the phases include:

  1. Approval to construct, install, alter, or extend a pollutant control facility;
  2. Approval to operate a pollutant control facility; and eventually
  3. Approval to permanently decommission a pollutant control facility.

Both the federal and provincial approval processes are overseen by life-of-mine regulatory authorities, meaning that the federal and provincial agencies oversee the Project from site preparation through to post-closure. This life-of-mine regulatory process aligns with NexGen’s lifecycle approach to Project development and reflects NexGen’s goal of maintaining strong and lasting relationships with all local Indigenous Groups and other Project stakeholders. NexGen believes strong, positive relationships from the start to the finish will result in better Project outcomes for all parties.


Environmental Assessment Process

The responsible development of the Rook I Project is paramount, and NexGen is proceeding through the rigorous Environmental Assessment (EA) process overseen federally by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and provincially by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment (ENV) through a harmonized process.

The EA for the Rook I Project (Project) is subject federally to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012) and provincially to The Environmental Assessment Act.

Provincial: In Saskatchewan, provincial EAs are governed under The Environmental Assessment Act, which requires that a proponent receive a positive Ministerial Decision before proceeding with a development. Under the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment (ENV), the Saskatchewan Environmental Assessment and Stewardship Branch (SEASB) acts as the lead agency overseeing the provincial EA process and is responsible for coordinating activities in cooperation with other provincial ministries, agencies, and authorities.

Federal: The federal EA requirements are detailed within CEAA 2012. The CNSC acts as the lead agency overseeing the federal EA process and is responsible for coordinating activities in cooperation with other federal agencies and departments that may be involved in the federal EA review process.

Following federal internal and public review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the CNSC prepare an EA Report that will inform an approval decision by the Commission. Public and Indigenous input will be solicited and comments considered in finalizing the EA Report. The Commission will then hold a public hearing, after which it will make a final determination, which will be issued in a formal Notice of Decision.