Two more northwest communities vying to be host site for nuclear waste storage (January 2015)

Tuesday, January 26, 2015 – By

THUNDER BAY — Two more communities in the Northwest, and another two in the Northeast,. are moving forward in their bid to bury Canada’s nuclear waste.

Manitouwadge and White River have reached the surveying stage of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s learn-more process.

Meanwhile, in Northeastern Ontario Blind River and Elliot Lake will also move forward with the same process.

Spanish and the township of North Shore are no longer being considered.

NWMO spokesman Pat Dolcetti says the geological and social conditions in those communities are right to bring them to the next stage.

All six of those communities received $400,000 for their efforts.

Eleven communities are still engaged in the process.

Ignace, Hornepayne, Schreiber are the furthest along.

A final decision on the proposed nuclear waste burial site isn’t expected for a least 10 years .

(TBT News)

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Two communities no longer eligible to host used nuclear fuel repository (January 2015)

[]By Troy Patterson, Kincardine News
Monday, January 26, 2015 10:56:38 EST AM

Two communities north of Manitoulin Island have been cut from the used nuclear fuel repository search that still includes Huron-Kinloss Township, South Bruce and Central Huron.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) announced Jan. 22, 2015 North Shore and Spanish had been cut from the process, while Elliot Lake, Blind River, Manitouwadge and White River "were assessed as having strong potential to meet the site selection requirements of the APM initiative and have been identified for further study."

The announcement was made following the completion of the first phase of preliminary assessments for six communities interested in being candidates to investigate the Adaptive Phased Management (APM) process to identify a site for underground, long term used nuclear fuel storage.

The findings do not affect the NWMOs ongoing work in seven other Ontario and Saskatchewan communities involved in the NWMOs site selection process, including the Bruce and Huron communities.

For more information visit

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Still No Solution to Storage of High-Level Radioactive Nuclear Waste (January 2015)

Paul Brown, Climate News Network | January 25, 2015 9:46 am | Comments

A private consortium formed to deal with Europes most difficult nuclear waste at a site in Britains beautiful Lake District has been sacked by the British government because not sufficient progress has been made in making it safe.
Highly radioactive waste, dangerous for as long as 200,000 year

Highly radioactive waste, dangerous for as long as 200,000 years, has to be isolated and guarded in every country that has dabbled in nuclear energy. Cartoon credit:

It is the latest setback for an industry that claims nuclear power is the low-carbon answer to climate change, but has not yet found a safe resting place for radioactive rubbish it creates when nuclear fuel and machinery reaches the end of its life.

Dealing with the waste stored at this one site at Sellafield­the largest of a dozen nuclear sites in Britain­already costs the UK taxpayer £2 billion a year, and it is expected to be at least as much as this every year for half a century.

Hundreds of people are employed to prevent the radioactivity leaking or overheating to cause a nuclear disaster, and the cost of dealing with the waste at this site alone has already risen to £70 billion.

Dangerous to humans

This extraordinary legacy of dangerous radioactive waste is present in every country that has adopted nuclear power as a form of electricity production, as well as those with nuclear weapons. No country has yet solved the problem of how to deal with waste that remains dangerous to humans for thousands of years.

Among the many other countries that have a serious unresolved nuclear waste problem are the U.S., Russia, China, India, Japan, France, Germany and Canada, as well as a number of eastern European countries that have aging Russian reactors. Only Sweden seems to have practical plans to deal with its nuclear waste, and these are years away from completion.

Many countries, including Germany and Italy, have rejected nuclear power, partly because they cannot find a solution to the waste problem. But many others­including the UK, India and China­intend to go on building them even though it stores up a dangerous radioactive legacy for future generations.

The problem began after the Second World War when, in the rush to build atomic weapons, the governments of the U.S., Russia and the UK gave no heed to the high dangerous nuclear waste it was creating in the process. This problem continued, even in non-weapon states such as Germany and Japan, when nuclear power was seen as a new, cheap form of electricity production.

Ill-founded hope

The belief was always that science would find some way of neutralising the dangerous radioactivity, and then it could be buried as simply as any other rubbish. This hope has proved to be ill-founded.

Highly radioactive waste, dangerous for as long as 200,000 years, has to be isolated and guarded in every country that has dabbled in nuclear energy. At Sellafield, huge water tanks filled with unknown quantities of radioactive rubbish have yet to be emptied.

The only bright spot is Sweden, which has a deep depository to dispose of short-lived waste in stable granite formations. Other similar depositories are planned along the same lines for more dangerous spent fuel, but these are still at the planning stage.

Long-term problem

Constructing these is likely to take another 30 years, so even in Sweden storing the waste is still a long-term problem. The argument is that once the depositories have been built and sealed, the granite will be stable for millions of years­long enough for the radioactivity to decay to safe levels.

Unfortunately for most countries, they do not have these stable granite formations. Britain has granite in the Lake District, but the rock is fractured and water filters through it, raising the possibility of radioactivity leaching out.

The British government promised four years ago it would not build any more nuclear power stations until it had found a solution to this 50-year-old problem. But it has abandoned the promise because it is no nearer building a Swedish-style depository, even though it is now offering financial bribes to communities to host an underground cavern.

The official position is that Britain is still on course for finding a Swedish-style deep depository for nuclear waste, but no one can say where or when it could be built.

WIPP discovers fallen roof during inspection (January 2015)

By Sarah Matott POSTED: 01/22/2015

CARLSBAD >> Mining and Ground Control engineers discovered on Jan. 15 that a portion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant ceiling in Panel 3 had fallen, officials said Wednesday.

The roof damage was found during a routine ground control and bulkhead inspection by the WIPP geotechnical staff and was estimated to be 8 feet long and 8 feet wide, with a thickness of 24 inches, WIPP officials said in a release.

"The roof had already fallen before the geotechnical staff found it," said Tim Runyon, WIPP recovery communications manager.

The fallen piece of ceiling was found in the Panel 3 access drift of the WIPP underground, an area that is already labeled as restricted due to low levels of radiation contamination in the area, the release said.

Runyon said that problems in the restricted areas of the underground were anticipated after geotechnical inspections in November.

According to the news release, during these inspections, seven areas in the underground were identified as restricted areas due to significant bolt loss. All bolting activities at WIPP were halted since the February 2014 incidents until this past November.

"This event highlights the need to continue prioritizing roof bolting and ground control in both the contaminated and uncontaminated areas of the WIPP underground facility in order to ensure safety and habitability in the underground," a WIPP news release said.


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Step 3. Preliminary Assessments for Blind River, Elliot Lake, Manitouwadge, Spanish, Township of the North Shore, White River

January 22, 2015 – as posted at

In January 2015 the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) completed the first phase of preliminary assessment for six communities in Northern Ontario that expressed interest in learning about Canadas plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

Based on work undertaken collaboratively with each community, the City of Elliot Lake, Town of Blind River, and Townships of Manitouwadge and White River are assessed as having strong potential to meet site selection requirements and have been identified for further study. The Town of Spanish and Township of The North Shore were not selected to be the focus of more detailed study.

Preliminary findings to date do not confirm technical suitability and safety of any site, and at this early point in the process no community is asked to confirm its willingness to host the project. These findings do not affect work ongoing in seven other Ontario and Saskatchewan communities involved in the site selection process. It is expected to take several more years to complete the necessary studies to identify a preferred site and an informed and willing host.

The communities from Northern Ontario that completed Phase 1 of Preliminary Assessments in 2015 are listed below. Click on each to access their respective assessment reports.

Blind River, Ontario

Elliot Lake, Ontario

Manitouwadge, Ontario

Spanish, Ontario

The North Shore, Ontario

White River, Ontario

Two area communities move to next phase in NWMO project, Two local communities dropped (January 2015)

Elliot Lake Standard – Thursday, January 22, 2015 12:15:20 EST PM

Two area communities are moving into a more detailed study phase for the Nuclear Waste Management Organizations (NWMO) site selection for a deep geological nuclear repository.

Elliot Lake and Blind River will move to the next phase of the study along with Townships of Manitouwadge and White River, northwestern Ontario.

However, the Town of Spanish and the Township of the North Shore are being dropped from the study.

The results come after the NWMO completed the first phase of preliminary assessment for the six Northern Ontario communities that expressed interest in learning about Canadas plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

As we prepare for more detailed studies and engagement, we need to narrow our focus, said Kathryn Shaver, vice-president of APM Engagement and Site Selection at the NWMO. Going forward, studies will continue in areas with strong potential to meet robust safety requirements and for the project to align with the communitys long-term vision.

Preliminary findings do not confirm technical suitability and safety of any site, and at this early point in the process no community is asked to confirm its willingness to host the project. These findings do not affect work ongoing in seven other Ontario and Saskatchewan communities involved in the site selection process.

Nuclear Waste On-line: February 2015 Webinar Series

Please join us for our 2015 webinar series about nuclear waste in Canada.

Nuclear Waste On-line is a series of on-line presentations throughout February 2015. This third annual webinar series uses on-line meetings to provide expert presentations and opportunities for discussion of topics of interest to members of the public concerned about the generation and proposed burial of highly radioactive nuclear fuel waste. Visit to register

Week One | February 4 @ 7 pm | Canada Update 2015 on Nuclear Waste
An overview and update on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s efforts to site a deep geological repository for high level nuclear fuel waste and its program and activities in the 13 communities being studied as possible burial sites

Week Two | February 11 @ 10 am | Radiation’s Health Effects
Presenter Dr. Cathy Vakil, M.D., Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Physicians for Global Survival, will discuss the negative health effects of ionizing radiation that is generated at each stage of the nuclear chain – from uranium mining through to the tens of thousands of years that nuclear fuel waste remains hazardous.

Week Three | February 18 @ 12 noon | Nuclear Risk: Calculating the Incredible
Presenter Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear analyst with Greenpeace Canada, will debunk the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commissions (CNSC) approach to risk assessment.

Week Four | February 25 @ 2 pm | Emergency Planning in the Nuclear Age
Presenter Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Senior Counsel with the Canadian Environmental Law Association, will discuss the importance of emergency planning, preparedness and response and how Ontario is unprepared for a major nuclear accident.

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 |