NWMO crosses Creighton off the list

Jonathon Naylor / Flin Flon Reminder March 3, 2015 01:06 PM

Canadas nuclear waste wont be coming to Creighton.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) announced Tuesday morning that the geology around the community cannot safely accommodate an underground waste repository.

The studies show that there is limited potential to meet safety requirements of the project in the Creighton area, Kathryn Shaver, vice-president of site selection for NWMO, wrote in a letter to the Town of Creighton.

In light of these findings, the NWMO will now conclude studies in your community. Safety, security and protection of people and the environment are central to the siting process, and it is important that we are guided by these findings concerning geoscientific suitability.

The decision stemmed from geological work NWMO carried out on land near Creighton last year.

NWMO announced that Schreiber, Ontario, has also been removed from consideration because of geological concerns.

Shaver thanked both communities.

The NWMO is grateful for the opportunity to work and learn with the people of Creighton and Schreiber, Shaver said in a news release. These communities should be proud of all theyve done to help advance this important national infrastructure project.

For Creighton, the news caps a regional conversation that divided many residents.

Creighton never applied to host the repository, only to engaged in a years-long learning process around it.

The town joined that process in late 2010, several months after town councillors visited a NWMO information kiosk.

Council discussed the concept at length and ultimately toured a Pickering, Ontario, nuclear power facility where radioactive waste is currently stored on site.

Over the following four years, NWMO took part in a series of public presentations and community meetings designed to educate residents on what is known and not known about nuclear waste storage.

It will take several more years of technical, scientific and social study and assessments, and more engagement with interested regions, before NWMO confirms a repository site.

Still in the running are the Ontario communities of Blind River, Central Huron, Elliot Lake, Hornepayne, Huron-Kinloss, Ignace, Manitouwadge, South Bruce and White River.

The repository is not expected to be operational until 2035 at the earliest. The project carries an estimated price tag as high as $24 billion.

See Wednesdays print edition of The Reminder for more on this story.


NWMO Concludes Studies in Creighton, Saskatchewan and Schreiber, Ontario


TORONTO, March 3, 2015 The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is concluding preliminary assessment work in two communities engaged in learning about Adaptive Phased Management (APM), Canadas plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

New geological studies in the vicinity of Creighton, Saskatchewan and Schreiber, Ontario revealed that areas assessed near both communities have geological complexities that reduce the likelihood of finding a suitable site for either area to safely host a used nuclear fuel repository.

“We have collected and interpreted new data using high-resolution airborne geophysical surveys and geological field mapping, which provided a deeper understanding of the geology in these areas,” said Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Director of Geoscientific Site Evaluations at the NWMO. “These latest studies show there is limited potential in the areas of Creighton or Schreiber to find a repository site that would meet the safety requirements of the project.”

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 and an associated Centre of Expertise. Studies and engagement associated with this step are ongoing in areas in or near nine Ontario communities: Blind River, Central Huron, Elliot Lake, Hornepayne, Huron-Kinloss, Ignace, Manitouwadge, South Bruce and White River.

“The NWMO is grateful for the opportunity to work and learn with the people of Creighton and Schreiber,” said Kathryn Shaver, Vice President of APM Engagement and Site Selection. “These communities should be proud of all theyve done to help advance this important national infrastructure project.”

It will take several more years of detailed technical, scientific and social study and assessments, and much more engagement with interested communities, First Nation and Métis communities and their neighbours before a preferred safe site for the project can be confirmed.

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 Canadas used nuclear fuel that is socially acceptable, technically sound, environmentally responsible and economically feasible. The NWMO was created in 2002 by Canadas 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 NWMOs operations. The NWMO operates on a not-for-profit basis and derives its mandate from the Federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, which came into force in November 2002.


For More Information
Mike Krizanc, Manager of Communications, NWMO
647.259.3043 or 647.272.7610 (cell)

Schreiber won’t get nuclear waste

The Chronicle-Journal – Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – 08:00

The mayor of Schreiber says he was shocked to hear his town was ruled out as a candidate to house nuclear fuel.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) announced Tuesday it had concluded a study looking at the geological conditions of Creighton, Sask., and Schreiber. The study found that both areas have geological complexities that make housing nuclear fuel unlikely.

In a letter, Kathryn Shaver, vice-president public engagement and site selection with NWMO, wrote that given the results of the study they will stop studies in the area and stressed that safety, security and protecting people and the environment are central to selecting a future site.

Schreiber Mayor Mark Figliomeni said after being involved in the process for four years, he was a little shocked by the news.

“There was one way into the process and I guess two ways out,” he said. “I’m a little shocked, but you knew you could get that news at anytime. The town is going to be buzzing for the next few days. You are going to have people saying ‘this is a great thing that Schreiber has been eliminated’ and you are going to have the folks who say ‘good job staying in the process and too bad you were eliminated.'”

He said when the town got involved, the main reasons were to learn more about the process and get some financial gain. He believes losing the financial boost will have a negative impact on the already struggling Northern community.

“As a township we’re certainly going to feel the shortfall of the NWMO cash, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “Schreiber is a small, struggling Northern Ontario community and it is going to impact our budget. Our budget process and our finances for the town will be impacted greatly.”

Although Schreiber was ruled out, there are still nine of possible sites with six of them located in Northern Ontario including Elliot Lake, Hornepayne and Ignace.

Mike Krizanc, spokesman for NWMO, said all the municipalities involved asked to be a part of the process as they wouldn’t impose being the home site. He explained the study helped them understand the geology better and allowed them to narrow down the search for the best site possible.

He said they found fractures, which could have had an impact on the safety of the repository. But ultimately, the main reason was the size.

“You want some flexibility in case you run into fractures or whatever that could impact safety,” he said. “You would want to work around them. The areas around were even more complex and that’s really where the issue is. Safety comes first. We’re looking for an informed and willing community and this will not be imposed on any community.

The community at the end of the day has to demonstrate they are willing to host the repository and they will have to do so in a compelling way.”

He explained that they will be conducting more studies over the next couple years. He added that the studies will become more detailed as they move forward.