Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility Modification to Building Crawl Space

The Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility (NPDWF), owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and managed by the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), is currently being maintained in a safe shut down state, in preparation for eventual decommissioning.  Small modifications in the basement of the facility are being proposed to support the prevention of species at risk bats from hibernating in the facility during the winter months.

Through surveying efforts in and around the NPDWF from 2015 to 2020, including visual inspections, passive acoustic recorders, thermal imaging (FLIR) and heterodyne, it has been confirmed that a few individuals of species at risk bats are utilizing the facility during both winter and summer seasons. A hibernaculum has been confirmed in the crawl space under the maintenance wing of the NPDWF, where one Little Brown Myotis Bat and one Tri-colored Bat have been seen hibernating. After further inspection, it was determined that the bats were likely using holes in the wall where piping exited the facility as their ingress and egress point. In order to prepare the facility for future decommissioning, the intent is to permanently seal the openings to ensure that no bats are entering the crawlspace.  Sealing will include the installation of one-way bat doors to ensure that any bats that may potentially be inside the facility are not trapped when holes are sealed, but are able to exit safely prior to hibernation season. By implementing these exclusion methods it will allow adequate time for the bats to relocate.

Latest update

Out of an abundance of caution the project to modify a crawl space within the Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility (NPDWF) has been cancelled. This decision was made in order to ensure adequate measures are taken to protect the species at risk bats that are potentially present in the crawl space.  .



Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Patrick Quinn, Director, Corporate Communications
286 Plant Rd,
Chalk River, Ontario K0J 1J0
Telephone: 1-800-364-6989

  • Location

    • Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Nuclear Power Demonstration Waste Facility, Rolphton, Ontario (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Nuclear Energy
    • Waste Management
  • Assessment Status

  • Proponent

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
  • Authorities

    • Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
    • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


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