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NWMO News Release: NWMO to Focus Field Studies on Fewer Communities

No more geological studies planned in Central Huron and White River, both to continue to play a role

TORONTO, June 23, 2017 –The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is narrowing its focus to fewer communities as it prepares to further advance the next set of activities in the selection process for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

The Municipality of Central Huron and the Township of White River will no longer be considered a potential host for the project. Both will continue to play a role as activities continue in nearby communities of Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce in the southwest, and to the northwest in the vicinity of Hornepayne and Manitouwadge.

“As we work toward identifying a single preferred site, we need to increasingly focus on specific locations that have strong potential to meet safety requirements and a foundation for sustained interest in exploring the project,” said Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection. “Central Huron and White River have each made a significant contribution on behalf of Canadians to this project, and their continued leadership will be invaluable as we work together to plan next steps in their regions.”

The next activities in the areas of Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce; and Hornepayne and Manitouwadge will involve planning for more geological studies and initial discussions about visioning and partnership. Regional engagement will continue, as the project will only proceed with interested communities, potentially affected First Nation and Métis communities, and surrounding communities working in partnership to implement it.

Studies continue in areas around Ignace, Blind River and Elliot Lake, Ontario, which are also engaged in the process for siting the national infrastructure project. Ongoing field activities and engagement with municipal, First Nation and Métis communities in those regions are not affected by today’s decision.

The NWMO will continue the process of narrowing down potential sites to host the project until it arrives at one preferred safe and socially acceptable site as the focus of more detailed site characterization. The preferred site must have a suitable rock formation in an area with an informed and willing host.

This news release was issued by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization and has been posted without alternation or correction. As posted at

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NWMO Takes Central Huron Off DGR Search List

Central Huron is off the list in a search for a deep geologic repository for used nuclear fuel.

Blackburn News | The Nuclear Waste Management Organization made the announcement Friday, narrowing the focus.

South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss are both still on the list as is Hornepayne in the Algoma region and Manitouwadge in the Thunder Bay region.

“As we work toward identifying a single preferred site, we need to increasingly focus on specific locations that have strong potential to meet safety requirements and a foundation for sustained interest in exploring the project,” said Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection. “Central Huron and White River have each made a significant contribution on behalf of Canadians to this project, and their continued leadership will be invaluable as we work together to plan next steps in their regions.”

More geological studies are planned in South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss and regional engagement will continue.

According to NWMO officials, the process will continue the process until one preferred safe and socially acceptable site is the focus of a more detailed site characterization.

The preferred site must have a suitable rock formation in an area with an informed and willing host.

BY STEVE SABOURINJUNE 23, 2017 9:38AM, Blackburn news, as posted at

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JRP Participant Says Time Is Up For Kincardine Nuclear Waste DGR Decision

Kincardine | As the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency prepares a final draft report for the environment minister on the planned Deep Geologic Repository for low and medium level nuclear waste in Kincardine, one opponent is still insisting the project has exceeded its Statute of Limitations.

Joint Review Panel Participant John Mann points to the CEAA Act of 2012, section 54, which says the minister of environment must issue a decision within two years of referral to a review panel, which was ten years ago.

CEAA Communications Manager Lucille Jamault says the CEAA Act of 2012 required the project timeline to be adjusted.

But Mann says section 126 says the minister must establish the time limit from the day the act comes into force, and the decision is required within the time limit. And it says if the project started under the old act, then it continues under the new act.

He says the CEAA timeline does not actually detail the total time since 2012.

Jamault says in December 2016, The governor in council extend the time for a decision by 243 days, and 162 days remain. She adds they cannot speculate on the exact timing of the decision.

Mann says the act also allows for a one time maximum three-month extension. He says the government is ignoring the act by extending the decision for 243 days.

The environment minister determined the timeline for the panel to submit the report was 515 days or 17 months from the coming into force of the act.

And a decision was to be made four months after the panel report was submitted, not including time for OPG to respond to additional requests.

Mann adds the six month period between when the Joint Review Panel was established in January 2012, to the start of the pre panel phase in July is being ignored.

He says even from 2012, the 24-month time line cannot be documented, even excluding for the multiple times Ontario Power Generation was asked to provide information on other possible sites.

Blackburn News, BY JANICE MACKAYJUNE 15, 2017 1:39PM, as posted at

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How South Australians dumped a nuclear dump

South Australia | Last November, two-thirds of the 350 members of a South Australian-government initiated Citizens’ Jury rejected “under any circumstances” the plan to import vast amounts of high-level nuclear waste from around the world as a money-making venture.

The following week, South Australian (SA) Liberal Party Opposition leader Steven Marshall said that “[Premier] Jay Weatherill’s dream of turning South Australia into a nuclear waste dump is now dead.” Business SA chief Nigel McBride said: “Between the Liberals and the citizens’ jury, the thing is dead.”

And after months of uncertainty, Premier Weatherill has said in the past fortnight that the plan is “dead”, there is “no foreseeable opportunity for this”, and it is “not something that will be progressed by the Labor Party in Government”.

So is the dump dead? The Premier left himself some wriggle room, but the plan is as dead as it possibly can be. If there was some life in the plan, it would be loudly proclaimed by SA’s Murdoch tabloid, The Advertiser. But The Advertiser responded to the Premier’s recent comments ‒ to the death of the dump ‒ with a deafening, deathly silence.


By Jim Green on 15 June 2017

As posted at

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and editor of the Nuclear Monitor newsletter.

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Proposed nuclear waste dump draws Congressional ire

OPG appears to sidestep Canada’s request for more details

By Jim Bloch | For The Voice | The 40-acre Western Waste Management Facility site is the proposed future home of an underground nuclear waste dump. The site is hemmed in by four nuclear reactors at Bruce A and four at Bruce B, operated by Bruce Power.

Nuclear waste is handled by Ontario Power Generation’s Nuclear Waste Management Division.
Ontario Power Generation’s latest submission to the Canadian government about its proposed nuclear waste dump on the shores of Lake Huron continues to be evasive and overly broad, according to critics of the project.

In OPG’s Dec. 28, 2016, response to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the power company did not pinpoint specific alternative sites for the dump, as the agency requested. Instead, OPG chose two enormous geological formations comprising about 75 percent of the entire province: The crystalline rock of the Canadian Shield, which is about a billion years old, and the sedimentary rock formations of southern Ontario, which are 354 million to 543 million years old.

On May 26, the company did basically the same thing in answering the CEAA’s follow-up request for a more detailed consideration of alternate sites for the dump. The CEAA also requested further analysis of the cumulative effects that the dump could have on the environment, especially if a high level waste dump is built nearby, which OPG has proposed; and an updated list of OPG’s commitments to reduce “each identified adverse impact” of the deep geological repository on the environment.

Despite its 144 pages, OPG’s new report did not satisfy opponents.

“OPG’s failure to develop a ‘Plan B’ and its unwillingness to investigate actual alternate sites outside of the Great Lakes Basin has left it with no option but to continue to defend the indefensible,” said Beverly Fernandez, founder of Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, in a press release.

Congressional delegation responds

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, of Michigan’s 12th District, and Rep. Dave Trott, of Michigan’s 11th District, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on June 7, urging him to enter the fray against the dump.

“We write to urge you to do everything in your power — through both diplomatic and legal channels — to protect our Great Lakes and to convince the Canadian government to require OPG to select an alternative site that will not place the health, safety, and economic security of Americans at risk,” said Dingell and Trott in the letter.

Thirty-two bipartisan Congressional representatives from the Great Lakes states co-signed the letter, including Paul Mitchell, the Republican representing the 10th District, covering Michigan’s Thumb — all of St. Clair, Huron, Lapeer and Sanilac counties and most of Macomb County. The only member of Michigan’s Congressional delegation who did not endorse the letter was Justin Amash, the Cascade Township Republican.

The lawmakers said that OPG had “doubled down” on the dump “for two inconvenient facts for the company: that they believe an alternative site would be more expensive and take longer to construct.”

In its report, OPG pegged the baseline cost of a Deep Geological Repository at the proposed site in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, or the alternative sites in the Canadian Shield or in southern Ontario, Canada, at $2.4 billion. The company said that transporting low and intermediate nuclear waste from the province’s 20 reactors to a location in Southern Ontario would add $381 million to $493 million to cost of the project; transportation of waste to a location in the Canadian Shield would add $452 billion to $1.424 billion. Incidental costs would grow by $832 million in southern Ontario and $2.056 billion in the Canadian Shield. OPG labeled the additional transportation and incidental costs as “unacceptable.”

On April 13, Fred Kuntz, manager of corporate relations and communications for OPG in Bruce County, told Bruce County stakeholders that a shift to a new location could add 15 years to the construction timeline.

“We cannot let cost be the sole driving factor in this critical decision, as storing nuclear waste in the Great Lakes basin bears far too great a risk that would be fundamentally devastating to an entire region,” the Congressional representatives said in their letter to Tillerson.

What’s next

The CEAA announced that it was in the process of reviewing the OPG submission to assess its completeness.

“As part of the next steps, the Agency will prepare a Draft Report on the additional information and the potential environmental assessment conditions, which will be required if the project proceeds,” said the CEAA in a statement on May 29. “A public comment period on the Draft Report and potential conditions will be announced at a later date.”

OPG’s proposal calls for excavating a repository 2,200 feet deep in a layer of Cobourg limestone that the company says has been stable for 4.5 million years.

The location of the proposed dump is slightly more than a half-mile inland from Lake Huron in the Kincardine, Ontario, Canada. The site is just over 100 miles uplake of Port Huron.

OPG wants to bury and abandon 200,000 cubic meters of low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste, some of which will give off dangerous radioactivity ten times longer than the Great Lakes have been in existence.

By Jim Bloch | For The Voice Jun 12, 2017

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Nuclear waste storage near Lake Huron? Congress pushes back

WASHINGTON — Virtually all of Michigan’s U.S. House delegation today joined a bipartisan group urging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to do all he can to stop a Canadian power company from building an underground facility to store low- to intermediate-level nuclear waste near Lake Huron.

The letter — which was signed by 32 members of Congress, including 13 of Michigan’s 14-member House delegation — was arranged by U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, and Dave Trott, R-Birmingham. The only member of the Michigan delegation who did not sign was U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township.

The letter comes on the heels of a 143-page report prepared by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) concluding that selection of an alternative site could be cost prohibitive and present a greater risk of accidents and pollution with waste being trucked potentially thousands of kilometers.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is considering whether to recommend approval of OPG’s deep geologic repository, which the company maintains is the safest alternative, placing the nuclear waste some 2,200 feet below the earth’s surface at the company’s Bruce site in Kincardine, Ontario.

Todd Spangler , Detroit Free Press Published 11:24 a.m. ET June 7, 2017 | as posted at

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Lake Huron site is best suited for nuclear waste bunker: OPG report

The Ontario Power Generation is planning on burying nuclear waste about 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron, sparking criticism from environmental groups and Indigenous communities.

Canadian Press | A new report from Ontario Power Generation overwhelmingly affirms the utility’s long-held position that the best place for a nuclear-waste bunker is on the Lake Huron shoreline.

One of the biggest problems with burying the hazardous waste somewhere else would come from having to truck it up to 2,000 kilometres, increasing the risk of radiological accidents and pollution, the 143-page analysis concludes.

The only minor advantage — amid a sea of disadvantages — to locating a bunker elsewhere might be less disturbance of Indigenous heritage sites, such as burial grounds, the report finds.

Even so, the overall impact on Indigenous peoples will probably be lower if the deep geologic repository is built, as proposed, at the Bruce nuclear plant near Kincardine, the report states.

“There is the potential that the total risk may be increased on Indigenous peoples if the (facility) is constructed at an alternate location,” the report states. “This (is) due to the introduction of a new facility in an area previously without a nuclear facility, as well as the transportation of wastes to that facility.”

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By COLIN PERKEL, The Canadian Press, Tues., May 30, 2017, as posted at

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