Archive for November, 2013
Also recognized for leadership in advancing Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel management
HORNEPAYNE, November 21, 2013 – The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has completed the first phase of preliminary assessment in collaboration with the Township of Hornepayne and seven others of the 21 communities engaged in learning about Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term care of used nuclear fuel. Hornepayne is one of four communities identified for further study in the process for identifying a preferred site for a deep geological repository.
“We are still in the early steps of a very long learning process,” said Morley Forster, Mayor of Hornepayne. “Ultimately, the community as a whole will have to decide whether hosting this project is in our best interests and can contribute to our long-term well-being. We look forward to the progressively more detailed studies to come and to increased community and regional engagement activities. Our residents can be proud of the contributions Hornepayne has already made in shaping this important national infrastructure project, regardless of the eventual outcome.”
The communities of Creighton in Saskatchewan, and Ignace and Schreiber in Ontario, were also identified for more detailed study. English River First Nation and Pinehouse in Saskatchewan, and Ear Falls and Wawa in Ontario, were not selected for further study.
“The NWMO looks forward to working closely with communities to plan the next phase of work, which involves field studies, detailed examination of sites and expanded engagement,” said Kathryn Shaver, Vice-President of APM Engagement and Site Selection at the NWMO. “Working together with interested communities, their neighbours and Aboriginal peoples, we will take the time required to gain a better understanding of the project’s potential to satisfy stringent safety requirements and advance long-term well-being of the area.”
Preliminary Assessments are the third of nine steps in a multi-year process for evaluating potential suitability of communities to host a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel and an associated Centre of Expertise. Phase 1 assessments evaluated in a preliminary way the potential for an area to meet or exceed strict safety and geoscientific requirements, and to align with the community’s long-term goals and vision. Any site selected in the future must have an informed and willing host, meet strict scientific and technical criteria for protecting people and the environment for the very long term, and meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
Findings to date do not confirm the suitability of any site, and no community has expressed willingness to host the project at this early point. These findings do not affect work in the 13 other communities involved in earlier stages of the process.
Recognizing Community Leadership
At this milestone in the process, the NWMO is recognizing the contribution all eight communities have made to advancing Canada’s plan for safely managing used nuclear fuel over the long term. In acknowledging these significant contributions, the NWMO will provide $400,000 to each community upon its establishment of a Community Well-Being Reserve Fund.
“Through their leadership, these communities have advanced this major national project on behalf of all Canadians,” said Ms. Shaver. “Each has helped design and lead dialogues to ensure important questions about safety are asked and learning continues. By working within their communities and through early outreach to neighbours and Aboriginal peoples, they have underscored the importance of working together and helped set the stage for the next several years of study.”
Administered by the communities, Community Well-Being Reserve Funds will support continuing efforts by each community to build sustainability and well-being. Examples of activities the funds could support include projects, programs or services that benefit community youth or seniors, community sustainability, energy efficiency or economic development initiatives. Other communities engaged in the site selection process will be similarly recognized upon completion of their Phase 1 studies.
The next phase of work involves more intensive community learning and engagement. Work will take on a broader focus to include surrounding communities and First Nations and Métis peoples. This ongoing engagement will be important to understanding the potential to foster well-being of the broader area and the ability to work together to implement the project. Preliminary fieldwork will begin, including aerial surveys, and at later date, limited borehole drilling, to further assess geology and site suitability against technical safety requirements.
As individual studies are completed, the NWMO will continue to gradually narrow its focus to areas with strong potential to be suitable for hosting a repository. Ultimately, the project will only proceed at a site that can safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel, and with the involvement of the interested community, surrounding communities, and First Nations and Métis peoples working together to implement it.
It is expected to take several more years to complete the necessary studies to identify a preferred site. Interested communities may choose to end their involvement at any point during the site evaluation process, until a final agreement is signed, subject to all regulatory requirements being met and approvals received.
About the NWMO
The purpose of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is to develop and implement, collaboratively with Canadians, a management approach for the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel that is socially acceptable, technically sound, environmentally responsible and economically feasible. The NWMO was created in 2002 by Canada’s nuclear electricity producers. Ontario Power Generation Inc., NB Power Nuclear and Hydro-Québec are the founding members, and along with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, fund the NWMO’s operations. The NWMO derives its national mandate from the Federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, which came into force in November 2002.
About the Township of Hornepayne
The Township of Hornepayne is located in the Algoma District in northern Ontario, approximately 430 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie on Highway 631. The community is halfway between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay and an hour drive north from White River. Hornepayne residents are well served by local elementary and high schools and one hospital. The main employers for its 1,050 residents are the lumber and railway industries. Hornepayne serves as a railway divisional point on the main Canadian National Railway line and is a main stop for the VIA rail passenger train.
Contacts for More Information Mike Krizanc, Manager of Communications Morley Forster, Mayor
NWMO Township of Hornepayne firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
2013-11-22 at 14:31
Several towns in Northwestern Ontario have received a financial boost from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.
Communities that have worked with the agency are getting $400,000 apiece for local improvement projects. And three of the towns are moving to the next stage in becoming the possible host site for a used nuclear fuel repository.
Schreiber, Ignace and Hornepayne were notified by the NWMO that they’ve completed the first phase of the preliminary assessment, and have been identified for further study.
Wawa and Ear Falls were not selected for more detailed study.
A total of 24 communities across Canada, including eight in the Northwest, have hosted open houses and agreed to learn more about the proposed underground repository.
Officials in Nipigon, White River and Manitouwadge are still waiting for the first phase assessment to be completed.
NWMO officials say they decided to give each community the $400,000, whether they were selected or not, to show their appreciation for getting involved.
Schreiber Mayor Don McArthur says the money can be used for projects, programs or services that benefit youth or seniors, community sustainability, energy efficiency or economic development.
He adds that he’s pleasantly surprised by the announcement, but points out the next phase will be a lot of work.
The NWMO wants to have repository built within the next 15 years.
More than one truck in seven carrying radioactive cargo has been pulled off the road by Ontario transportation inspectors since 2010
By: John Spears Business reporter, Published on Fri Nov 15 2013
Since 2010, more than one truck in seven carrying radioactive material has been pulled off the road by Ontario ministry of transportation inspectors for failing safety or other requirements.
The information is contained in a notice quietly filed with a panel studying a proposal to store low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in deep underground near Kincardine.
The information filed doesn’t specify what sort of radioactive cargos the trucks were carrying. In theory, it could have been anything from uranium fuel for nuclear reactors, to radioactive isotopes for medical use.
A spokesman for Ontario Power Generation said that none of its nuclear shipments has failed a vehicle inspection.
“We have zero tolerance” for failed inspections, Neal Kelly said. “We’ve got no infractions. Period.”
What the information does show is that since 2010, inspectors have examined 102 trucks carrying “Class 7 Dangerous Goods (Radioactive material.)”
Of those, 16 were placed “out-of-service,” which means the vehicle “must be repaired or the violation corrected before it is allowed to proceed.”
Among the violations:
Faulty brake lights; unspecified “load security” problems; flat tires; false log; damaged air lines; and driver with no dangerous goods training.
Critics of the Kincardine waste project have said not enough attention has been paid to the transportation of radioactive material.
A federal panel is considering a proposal by Ontario Power Generation to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in chambers carved out of limestone 680 metres deep.
The billion-dollar depository would be constructed at the site of the Bruce nuclear plant on the shore of Lake Huron, north of Kincardine.
The site would not contain used fuel (although a separate process is considering sites for a used fuel disposal site in the area, as well as in other regions of Canada.)
The material destined for the site would range from mops and protective clothing – much of it incinerated – to components from reactor cores, which will remain dangerously radioactive for many thousands of years.
Some opponents of the site have closely questioned planners about transporting material to the site, which will contain waste from the Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations as well as the Bruce plant.
That material is already being trucked to the Bruce site, and stored in warehouses or shallow underground vaults.
Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch said in an interview that the number of trucks pulled over until defects are remedies is “shocking.”
“It only heightens the need for a real substantive discussion on transportation and what are the transportation safeguards,” she said.
The lack of detail in the statistics adds to the need for further information, she said.
“I think it raises more questions than it retires, for sure,” she said.
Toronto city council joined the ranks of municipalities calling for the project to be halted this week.
In a motion adopted unanimously, councillors urged that “neither this proposed nuclear waste repository near Kincardine, Ontario, nor any other underground nuclear waste repository, be constructed in the Great Lakes Basin, in Canada, or in the United States.”
Councillor Mike Layton, who made the motion, said it’s impossible to guarantee the depository won’t leak over the millennia.
“We have a massive endowment of fresh water,” he said in an interview. “We shouldn’t be putting it at risk.”
By Ken Kilpatrick on November 5, 2013
Huron-Kinloss council is running into a stone wall with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.
A member of the Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Advisory Committee wants the Waste Management Organization to pay for his registration at a nuclear waste conference in Arizona.
Glenn Sutton, a former Kincardine Mayor, is already in Arizona, and simply asked that the $800 fee for the conference be picked up by the NWMO. But it turned him down, says it won’t support attendance at conferences and symposiums by communities involved in the site selection process.
So Huron-Kinloss council agreed last night to pay the conference fee for Sutton, and will consider sending the invoice to the NWMO for reimbursement.