Hornepayne, Ont., municipal election to become debate on nuclear waste

Community one of three in northwestern Ontario to consider hosting nuclear waste

Voters in the small northwestern Ontario town of Hornepayne will have more to consider at the ballot box than tax rates and economic growth.

The township of 1,000 located between Highways 11 and 17 is in the running to host a nuclear waste repository. It’s one of three in northwestern Ontario, the others being Manitouwadge and Ignace.

Alison Morrison organized a walk this summer to demonstrate against hosting the toxic waste and is now running for town council.

The thought of having a burial area near her family camp, about 20 kilometres from town, caused Morrison to become more vocal in her opposition.

“We have had a history of some unfortunate economics here,” she said, referring to when the local sawmill was shut down, resulting in a large layoff.

That economic uncertainty has now largely faded, as the mill is up and running, along with its power producing co-gen plant. CN Rail also uses the community as a division point, with a large number of railroaders living in the community.

“Right now, I think that we’re doing ok. And, we are a very small town, but we have several industries,” Morrison said. “We’re not relying on just one. At this stage of the game, we’re having difficulties finding places for all of these workers to live.”

Nearly all of the communities in northwestern Ontario who have shown an interest in hosting the facility, including those no longer in the process, had fallen on hard economic times. Many had lost their primary industry, be it a sawmill or mine.

Morrison said she fears the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) will use its counts of ‘engagements’ as a sign the community supports the site – which she believes the silent majority does not.

Ken Fraser, who is also running for Hornepayne town council, believes the major motivator for the site is financial.

He said the community has received about $1.3 million in funding from the NWMO, and continues to get about $300,000 annually which supports community events, including Canada Day celebrations and the local fish derby.

Fraser said the population of the town, just under 1,000 people, should not be ‘bought’ at any cost.

“And over an eight year period, that’s what it comes out to, 49 cents. So, they divided a town, they’ve actually, you have family fighting, friends fighting friends for 49 cents a day.”

“To me, that’s pathetic.”

Hornepayne Mayor Morley Forster will not seek re-election as mayor, but will seek a councillor’s seat in the upcoming election. Forster has been part of the council which made the decision to get involved with the NWMO.

Morris and Fraser both hope a victory at the ballot box will mean they can change the current direction of how council feels about hosting nuclear waste.

The municipal election is October 22.

Jeff Walters · CBC News · Posted: Oct 04, 2018 8:00 AM ET | as posted at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/hornepayne-nuclear-waste-2018-election-1.4849106

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Bruce County municipalities line up for cheques fro OPG

Bayshore Broadcasting | Kincardine amends original agreement, and money now flows to 5 municipalities.

It was a sweetheart deal on Valentine’s Day.

Kincardine council has approved an amendment to the host agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) regarding the proposed Deep Geologic Respository (DGR).

It means 50% of the money that has been held in trust since 2015 will now flow to Kincardine as a host community, and to four surrounding municipalities totalling about two-million-dollars.

OPG Manager of Corporate Relations and Communications Fred Kuntz tells Bayshore Broadcasting News, he hasn’t got an exact date when the cheques will be cut but “It should happen very fast.”

The deal also calls for annual pay-outs going forward until a decision on the DGR is made.

Kincardine is in line to get just over 1.2-million-dollars and Mayor Anne Eadie says, “I can assure you, in this time when our municipality is growing, that we will find a good use for it.”

Eadie says there hasn’t been any discussion yet at the council table but she can see the money being used for infrastructure such as water and sewer services.

Mayor Eadie is happy with the re-negotiated deal that will now keep on giving each year until OPG is constructing the DGR.

Once that milestone is reached, all monies held in trust, will be released.

Besides Kincardine, Saugeen Shores ($477,124); Arran Elderslie ($76,340); Brockton ($76,340) and Huron Kinloss ($133,595) will now get their money as well.

Kuntz says OPG continues to wait for a decision from the federal government on their request to construct a DGR.

He says the company continues to talk with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation about any concerns they may have.

OPG is on record as saying they won’t go ahead with the project unless they get SON’s approval.

The multi-billion-dollar proposed DGR would store only low and intermediate level nuclear waste 680-meters below ground on the property at the Western Waste Management Facility near Bruce Power.

Thursday, February 15, 2018, “Area Communities Line Up For Checks From OPG”, Regional | by John Divinski, Bayshore Broadcasting, as posted at http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=99691

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Ontario Power Generation updating councils, saying DGR approval process continues to move along.

Ontario Power Generation updating councils, saying approval process continues to move along.

There is movement but it’s a slow process, on the proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) from Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

The DGR, proposed to be built at the Western Waste Management site near Bruce Power, would store low and intermediate nuclear waste.

Joint Review Panel (JRP) hearings have been held on the subject and the JRP has come out in favour of the facility.

Those results have been sent to the federal Ministry of the Environment (MOE) for permission to apply for a licence to construct, but there’s been no answer from the office.

Vice President of Nuclear Waste Management at OPG Lise Morton, speaking to Bruce County Council on September 6th, says they are aware a federal election next year could see changes within the MOE but the company owes an answer to the ministry no matter what government is in power or who is heading the ministry.

You may recall in 2017, federal minister asked OPG to update its analysis and to be informed of results of talks between OPG and Saugeen Ojibway nation (SON).

OPG is on record as saying they will only go forward with the DGR project with the blessing of SON.

Morton says talks with SON are ongoing and the Native community has indicated they may have an answer in a year or two.

She says OPG respects the process and is in no hurry to rush any answer.

The Manager, Corporate Relations and Communications at OPG Fred Kuntz, who spoke to Saugeen Shores council on Monday, September 10th, says without knowing how everything will play out, if there’s some answer from SON in 2019 then in 2020, they would be prepared to re-submit to the Environment Ministry OPG’s completed analysis, incorporating the results of the SON community process.

OPG has been presenting its third-quarter update to Kincardine, Bruce County and Saugeen Shores councils.

Similar addresses are scheduled in Huron Kinloss, September 17th and Brockton and Arran Elderslie on September 24th.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Update From The OPG On The DGR, Bayshore Broadcasting, Saugeen Shores | by John Divinski, as posted at http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=104161

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OPG Continues Consultations With Saugeen Ojibway Nation (according to OPG)

Blackburn News | Ontario Power Generation is progressing with community consultation efforts with local First Nations on its proposed deep geologic repository project.

Vice President of Nuclear Waste Management Lise Morton says dialogue with Saugeen Ojibway Nation is ongoing, pointing out the company remains committed to only moving ahead with the DGR for low-and-intermediate level nuclear waste if it can secure SON community approval.

Morton says conversations with the SON community have been positive, but there’s no pressure for an immediate answer.

“We’re getting more involved with some of the working groups in the community, elders, youth, et cetera, but again, it’s a process that takes time,” says Morton. “It is a process that has to respect the needs of the community and again, we think we can make the progress we need in the time-frame that we need as a company.”

She says they could still be years from concluding the consultation process with First Nations.

“We’re not in a position to pressure SON, we have to respect their community process, which we’re doing,” says Morton. “We’re continuing to work with SON, they themselves have said it could take one-to-two years to make this decision, and we’re certainly working with them, but at the end of the day, we have to respect the process that SON has.”

Last year, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna asked OPG to update its cumulative effects projections to include impacts on local First Nations, including results of the community consultation process, before she would issue a ruling on the project’s environmental assessment.

With a federal election looming next year, Morton says OPG will continue to progress with the project, adding OPG will owe an answer to whomever holds the environment portfolio after the electoral dust settles.

Ontario Power Generation’s Western Waste Management Facility at the Bruce nuclear site. (Photo by Jordan McKinnon) “OPG Continues Consultations With Saugeen Ojibway Nation”, BY JORDAN MACKINNONSEPTEMBER 11, 2018 4:23AM, as posted at https://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/2018/09/11/opg-continues-consultations-saugeen-ojibway-nation/

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UK reports on radwaste management and disposal

The UK has taken steps to address its radioactive waste policy with the publication yesterday of two reports. The UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has unveiled its single radioactive waste strategy which is open for public consultation until 31 October. Separately, the BEIS parliamentary select committee has reported on a draft national policy statement for geological disposal infrastructure (GDI).

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) works to ensure that the UK’s nuclear legacy sites are decommissioned and cleaned up safely, securely, cost-effectively and in ways that protect people and the environment, across 17 NDA-owned sites in England, Wales and Scotland. More than 90% of the UK Radioactive Waste & Materials Inventory (the Inventory) by volume is generated by the NDA estate, covering the full spectrum of wastes contaminated or activated by radioactivity from very low-level to high-level wastes.

The Inventory is the latest national record on radioactive wastes and materials in the UK and is usually compiled by NDA. The Inventory contains information about: radioactive wastes that exist now; radioactive wastes that will arise in future; and radioactive materials, which are radioactive items that are not classed as waste now but may be in future if no further use can be found for them. Updated every three years, the Inventory is a snapshot of wastes and materials at a specific point in time, called the ‘stock date’.

For the GDI, the Inventory is undertaken by the developer Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM) and called the ‘UK Derived Inventory’ or ‘Inventory for Geological Disposal’. It is also updated every three years and is aimed specifically at identifying the wastes and materials that will need to be stored in the GDI.

Radioactive waste

The strategy will apply to all radioactive waste generated within the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group, including materials that may become waste at some point in the future. It provides a framework for making decisions flexibly, BEIS said, to ensure safe, environmentally acceptable and cost-effective solutions that reflect the nature of the radioactive waste concerned and a consolidated position and greater clarity of strategic needs in this area. It promotes cross-category waste management opportunities, supports a risk-based approach to waste management and provides an integrated programme for a suitable and timely waste management infrastructure to support the NDA mission.

The development of the strategy and the integrated approach to waste management it supports is an important input into the government’s Industrial Strategy Nuclear Sector Deal, BEIS said.

“This deal calls for a National Decommissioning and Waste Management Pipeline to give a truly comprehensive view of all major decommissioning and waste management activity across the country. This should promote economic growth through enhanced awareness in the supply chain of opportunities, provide greater resilience in the UK infrastructure and opportunities for inward investment and growth,” it said.

The strategy document states the government’s preferences against each of the waste management lifecycle stages – planning and preparation, treatment and packaging, storage and disposal. The NDA says it will create an integrated programme that builds upon the success of its low-level waste programme.

“The integrated programme will seek to drive changes in waste management behaviour and culture to allow waste producers to flexibly and effectively manage their radioactive waste as well as develop proportionate waste management solutions,” the strategy document states. “The programme will be implemented in prioritised phases with the initial focus on areas such as wastes at the low/intermediate-level waste boundary, waste management culture and packaging.”

“Whilst primarily an NDA strategy, this document will also be of interest to other producers of radioactive wastes, radioactive waste management facility operators, suppliers of waste management services, regulators, local planning authorities and communities where radioactive wastes are generated and/or managed”, NDA said.

Geological disposal infrastructure

In January, the government laid before Parliament the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) for GDI, which set out its proposed framework for future development consent orders for such a facility in England.

A GDI consists of specially-engineered vaults and tunnels located deep underground that are designed to host the higher activity radioactive waste that cannot be stored at existing surface facilities on a permanent basis.
The BEIS committee was designated to carry out parliamentary scrutiny of the draft NPS as required under the Planning Act 2008.

In its report the committee says that most of the evidence received on the scope of the draft NPS was positive.

“We heard from several stakeholders that the draft NPS was on the whole fit for purpose and adequate, although the same evidence submissions also suggested improvements to the Assessment Principles and Impacts,” it said. “In addition, we found that the draft NPS satisfactorily reflected lessons improvements from previous failed attempts to find a suitable location for geological disposal and we support the voluntary approach chosen for the siting process.”

The committee says the draft NPS is “fit for purpose” and contains adequate level of guidance and details needed for the developer, the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State to put forward and make recommendations on development consent orders.

“We welcome the fact that the NPS and the separate but relevant ‘Working with Communities’ policy incorporate some of the key lessons from previous unsuccessful attempts to find a suitable location for a GDI,” it said. “Provided that the government takes into account our recommendations aimed at improving the engagement of and benefits to prospective host communities, we support the case for the final NPS to be brought before Parliament for approval,” it said.

Its recommendations cover national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty; new nuclear build; local community consent; and the Industrial Strategy.

On new nuclear build, it says that successive governments have “for too long left it for future generations” to find a solution to dispose safely of higher activity radioactive waste.

“It is time for a decision. Regardless of whether the government should have embarked upon a new nuclear build programme and regardless of whether geological disposal is the best approach to dispose of waste, any long-term waste management strategy should include waste from new nuclear,” it said.

The committee also recommends that the government works with RWM and CoRWM “to strengthen the justification” for geological disposal in the NPS.

On local communities, it says that “what may be a clear framework to the developer and Planning Inspectorate may not be as easily accessible to a lay audience”. It is of paramount importance, it added, that prospective host communities understand how their ‘right of withdrawal’ interacts with the development consent orders for boreholes and geological disposal.

“We do not suggest that community consent should become an Assessment Principle as we think the ‘Working with Communities’ policy already guarantees to communities that no GDI could be granted development consent without their express approval. However, the NPS as currently drafted does not explain clearly how these two frameworks interact. The government should clarify the degree of priority afforded to community consent in the NPS in a way that is accessible to a lay audience so as to give prospective communities all the tools they need to engage with the siting process,” it said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News. Note that the Word Nuclear News is a publication of the nuclear industry and presents pro-nuclear positions and interpretations of news stories. 31 July 2018, as posted at http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/UK-reports-on-radwaste-management-and-disposal

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More nuclear waste test drilling planned for Ignace area

IGNACE, Ont. — A spokesperson for Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization says it has applied to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for permission to drill more boreholes near Ignace.

NWMO completed the first exploratory hole, 1000 metres into the Canadian Shield, last January.

Since then, its researchers have been analyzing core samples and conducting other followup work.

Regional communications manager Patrick Dolcetti said it will take the rest of the year to get all the results.

“There are some very specific tests that go away to specialized labs, and so on,” but the initial results “were all fine,” Dolcetti said in an interview with Tbnewswatch. “There were no surprises for the geologists. It was very consistent with what they thought was there.”

The current drilling site is in the Revell Batholith rock formation, just south of Highway 17 at a point about 35 kilometres west of Ignace.

If the MNRF approves additional exploration, Dolcetti said, drilling for two more holes could start this fall at locations within two kilometres of the original borehole.

He noted, however, that NWMO may ultimately have to drill as many as 20 holes before it completes its evaluation of the area’s suitability for an underground nuclear waste repository which would be situated about 500 metres below the surface.

“We knew that right from the beginning, because we need to fully understand the geology, and that requires many, many boreholes.”

Each drill site is about the size of two NHL hockey rinks, side-by-side.

On Wednesday, NWMO hosted a community Open House in Ignace to update area residents and summer residents on its work plan.

Besides Ignace, it is investigating the potential for nuclear waste storage in four other areas of Ontario: Hornepayne, Manitouwadge, the Municipality of South Bruce, and Huron-Kinloss Township in Bruce County

NWMO expects that it will be able to identify its preferred site by 2023.

As posted 20 July 2018 at https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/more-nuclear-waste-test-drilling-planned-for-ignace-area-3-photos-989090

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CNL Announces Four Reactor Proponents submitted bids to build Small Modulur Reactors

Chalk River, ON, June 12, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that four small modular reactor (SMR) project proponents have submitted responses to CNL’s recent Invitation for SMR Demonstration Projects at a CNL-managed site. The invitation, which began with an optional pre-qualification stage, is an opportunity for CNL to evaluate technical and business merits of proposed designs, assess the financial viability of the projects, and review the necessary national security and integrity requirements.

CNL concluded the first intake on June 11, 2018, with responses received from four international and domestic SMR project proponents. While this intake is now closed, technology developers are welcome to submit their responses at any time.

“Since its inception, CNL’s small modular reactor program has garnered interest from around the world. That momentum continues to build, with a response to our invitation that has already exceeded our expectations,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL’s President and CEO. “These exciting new nuclear technologies will serve as part of an integrated clean energy system enabling increased use of solar and wind energy, or hydrogen production, for example. The world needs improved access to clean energy, and the tremendous benefits offered by SMRs, including a reduced size, simpler but safer designs, and a reduced staff complement, make nuclear a very appealing technology to fill that void.”

CNL has identified SMRs as one of seven strategic initiatives it is pursuing as part of its Long-Term Strategy, with the goal of siting an SMR on one of the sites it manages by 2026. The company is working to demonstrate the commercial viability of SMRs and position itself as a global hub in SMR prototype testing and technology development support.

“The reactor designs being proposed are both evolutionary – building on the strengths of past nuclear technologies, and revolutionary, with innovative advances in efficiency, safety and technical design,” commented Corey McDaniel, CNL’s Vice-President of Business Development. “As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, we’re excited to review these responses and consider the technologies, as well as the potential benefits to Canada, to ensure they are viable projects worthy of pursuing.”

The Invitation for SMR Demonstration Projects includes four distinct stages. Following the optional Pre-Qualification stage, which will assess proponents against preliminary criteria, applicants must complete the Due Diligence stage, which will include more stringent financial requirements and a full assessment of funding and project costs. The third phase, Negotiation of Land Arrangement and Other Contracts, would culminate in the signing of an agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), the owner of the sites. Finally, the Project Execution stage would include licensing and construction, testing, commissioning, operation, and eventual decommissioning of the SMR unit.

All projects successful in CNL’s invitation are also subject to separate regulatory processes and requirements.

CNL is currently performing generic siting studies for the Chalk River Laboratories and Whiteshell Laboratories to identify the potential locations suitable for construction of SMR demonstration units. The company also continues to engage with stakeholders and members of its local communities, to gather their input and feedback on hosting a demonstration project. These outreach activities include information sessions, webinars, industry meetings and roundtables.

For ongoing updates on CNL’s SMR development program, SMR project proponents and members of the public are encouraged to visit www.cnl.ca/smr.

“CNL announces strong interest in siting an SMR demonstration unit – Canada’s national nuclear laboratory receives responses from four SMR proponents seeking to construct small modular reactor demonstration projects at CNL-managed sites” as posted at http://www.cnl.ca/en/home/news-and-publications/news-releases/2018/cnl-announces-strong-interest-in-siting-an-smr-dem.aspx

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