Huron-Kinloss interested in hosting used-fuel DGR site (January 2012)

By JENNIFER SCHLEICH KINCARDINE NEWS

Updated January 26, 2012

Huron-Kinloss has agreed to make a formal request to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to receive more detailed information and to ask questions about the site selection process for becoming a host community to Canada’s planned used-fuel deep geological repository (DGR).

“We want to learn more about the process because whether it ends up here in Bruce County or not it will impact Huron-Kinloss,” said Mayor Mitch Twolan. “This is due diligence on the part of council at this point, it could be in a nearby community or shipments could be going through here.”

Other nearby communities, including Saugeen Shores and Brockton, have also expressed preliminary interest in becoming a host community for the long-term storage facility.

Inviting the NWMO to visit is only the second step in a long process of nine steps to becoming a host community. It involves the community identifying their interest and requesting an initial screening.

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Hornepayne moving to next step (December 2011)

December 2012

Hornepayne Moving to Next Step in NWMO Site Selection Process

The Township of Hornepayne has resolved to continue involvement with the Nuclear Waste
Management Organization (NWMO) and learn about Canada’s plan for managing used nuclear fuel over
the long term. Council passed a resolution at its December 21st meeting approving moving forward to
the next step, Preliminary Assessment of Potential Feasibility / Feasibility Studies (Step 3), in the NWMO
process. The process for identifying an informed and willing host community for a deep geological
repository is expected to take seven to ten years.

Council’s expression of interest in moving forward does not commit the Township to becoming a host
community.

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Nuclear waste depository interest expands in Ontario (December 2011)

The Municipality of Wawa, Ont. is the sixth community in Northwestern Ontario to enter the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) Adaptive Phase Management (APM) process.

The community’s initial screening report is complete, putting the municipality into Step two of the process of selecting a site for Canada’s deep geological depository for used uranium fuel, said Mike Krizanc, communications manager for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), in an interview with The Northerner.

Saugeen Shores and Brockton, both communities on Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula, which are close to the Bruce Nuclear Power plant, have had a briefing on the APM, but have not passed the municipal resolution asking for an initial screening, which is necessary to enter the process formally. The initial screening is Step Two of the process and “that really gets you into the process.” A briefing is getting the information on the process. “It’s us going out and letting people know what we are doing. We don’t consider them into the process until they pass a resolution asking for an initial screening.”

ELNOS, the Elliot Lake and North Shore Corporation for Business Development, acting on behalf of its members, is also looking into the APM process. ELNOS is made up of the Corporation of the City of Elliot Lake, the Town of Blind River, the Town of Spanish, the Township of the North Shore, and the Serpent River First Nation.

“Those communities have asked ELNOS to look into the APM … They are not applying as individual municipalities.”

Three of the municipalities, the Town of Blind River, the Corporation for the City of Elliot Lake and the Township of the North Shore, passed the necessary resolution to enter the APM process. “ELNOS staff came down (to Toronto) for a tour and briefing, but have not taken action as yet.”

The first communities to enter the APM process were from northwestern Ontario, ELNOS is in northeastern Ontario and the Bruce Peninsula is considered southern Ontario, Krizanc said. “The other thing, the Bruce Peninsula is actually sedimentary rock and all of the others are granite.” The granite is in the Canadian Shield.

One community, Ignace, in northwestern Ontario, has moved forward to Step Three, which is a feasibility study. It “takes one to two years to complete and is a much more detailed look at existing geological information and the social and economic concerns of the community.”

Three Saskatchewan communities are currently involved in the process: Pinehouse Lake, English River First Nation and Creighton. The northwestern Ontario communities are: Ignace, Red Rock, Schreiber, Hornpayne, Ear Falls and Wawa. No communities have dropped out of the process so far

Valerie G. Barnes-Connell, The Northerner, Town of Laronte, Saskatchewan

 

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First Nations vow to fight nuclear waste storage plans (December 2011)

 

CBC News

Posted: Dec 28, 2011 12:26 PM ET

When it comes to nuclear waste, there is often a lot of “not in my backyard” sentiment.

First Nations communities in the Elliott Lake area say the gates to the backyard are firmly shut even though business leaders there are on board with being considered a long-term storage site for nuclear waste.

The North Shore Tribal Council said there’s going to be opposition to the area becoming a nuclear waste storage site. The council represents seven First Nations across the North Shore of Lake Huron.

Tribal Council CEO Alan Ozawanimke said the chiefs have one message for the nuclear waste management group looking around Canada for potential sites: “Don’t waste your financial resources if you plan to conduct a study in this area because they’re going to oppose it.”

However, the Elliot Lake and North Shore Corporation for Business Development is hoping to be chosen by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

The NWMO is federally mandated to look after Canada’s spent fuel when it comes to long term storage.

William Elliott, general manager for the Elliot Lake group, said becoming a storage site would mean millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. And this would be boon to the economically challenged area.

“If we have the geology, we have the expertise, we have the history, why wouldn’t we do it?” he said. “And all the economic benefit is kind of the icing on the cake.”

Other places in the region under consideration for possible (nuclear waste) storage sites include Wawa, Hornepayne and several places near Thunder Bay.

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Ear Falls defers nuclear decision (December 2011)

 

Enterprise staff – December 30, 2011

Ear Falls council will until the new year before deciding whether to proceed to the next step to be on the list for consideration as a future nuclear waste storage site.

Mayor Kevin Kahoot told the Northern Sun News that town council discussed participating in the feasibility study overseen by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization set to begin 2012, but decided at its December meeting to defer any voting on the matter until January.

Kahoot noted council is generally in favour of moving on to the third stage of the waste management organization’s decade long site search, but only four of five council members were present for discussion in December.

Ten communities across Ontario and Saskatchewan remain involved in the site selection process that began in 2010.

In Ontario the communities are Ear Falls, Ignace, Nipigon, Schreiber, Hornepayne, Wawa and Saugeen Shores.

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Devil is in the details’ as Canada tackles growing stockpile of radioactive waste (December 2011)

Dec 16, 2011 7:05 PM ET

By Ian MacLeod

When an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima nuclear complex on March 11, as many as 13,000 highly radioactive spent uranium fuel rods, far exceeding the original design, were crammed into a pool of cooling water at the No. 4 Reactor Building.


At the end of 2009, there were about 240,000 tonnes of spent civilian fuel worldwide, most of it at reactor sites. In Canada, 60 years of splitting atoms to make electricity and medicine, and drive innovation has created 44,000 tonnes of intensely radioactive waste, a stockpile second in size only to that of the U.S.

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Nuclear Waste – The perpetual challenge (September 2011)

Thursday, September 15, 2011   by: BayToday.ca Staff   Story by Brennain Lloyd/Special to BayToday.ca
While messages from government and industry during the three day Conference on Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration for Canada’s Nuclear Activities for the most part had the feel of having been crafted for homogeneity, the international theme for Day Three provided for some interesting contrasts, particularly during the morning plenary and panel discussion.

Morning plenary presentations spoke to the theme of international experience with speakers from the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Sweden, the U.K and U.S. One of the most interesting juxtapositions was between the repeated messages of “we really do know how to handle this stuff” – the stuff in question being nuclear wastes of several varieties – and the observations of presenters that in doing clean up and decommissioning of older nuclear facilities, the agencies were often dealing with a grab bag of nuclear unknowns, having to retrieve and place into containment highly radioactive wastes that were sometimes of unknown origin and composition.

Strategy and Technology Director Adrian Simper from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in the U.K. described some of those situations as “slow emergencies”, where the risks associated with a particular site are intolerable, but limited information about the site hazards makes action difficult.

“They didn’t always think it through”, remarked Mr. Simper.

“In some cases, past practices for (nuclear) waste storage cause us challenges today”.

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Nuclear Wastes – when “low”is not low enough (September 2011)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011   by: BayToday.ca StaffStory by Brennain Lloyd/Special to BayToday.ca
With a focus on low and intermediate level radioactive wastes, some interesting themes emerged during Day Two of the Canadian Nuclear Society’s international conference in Toronto on nuclear wastes and the decommissioning of nuclear facilities in Canada. Each had their own potential implications for Canadians in general and some for northern Ontario more particularly.

Speakers in the morning plenary – representing various nuclear industries and regulators – cast the initiatives under discussion in a positive light, using terms like “waste minimization” and “volume reduction”. In plainer language, what was being discussed was the incineration, export and potential dispersal of low level radioactive wastes into the environment or in some cases potentially even into consumer goods.

In what appears to be part of an emerging trend, there were numerous examples discussed of exporting radioactive wastes across international borders for “disposal”. New Brunswick Power was initially coy about their plans to ship an unexpectedly large volume of refurbishment wastes to an “off-site third party”, but with prompting they shared the detail that their intention is to ship the wastes to a private company in Tennessee for “disposal and volume reduction”. The residuals – radioactive incinerator ash – will be sent back to Canada. But theirs is not the only cross-border trafficking: Cameco plans to send Depleted Uranium to a “recycler” in the U.S., as well as shipping spent lab solvents south for incineration of at a U.S. facility, and contaminated soils to the U.S. for disposal.

Much of this trafficking in nuclear waste product flys well under the radar for the general public or even potentially affected communities. While there was a thunderous public response to plans last year by Bruce Power to ship radioactive steam generators to Sweden for recycling there is no certainty that the public will even be aware that these transfers are taking place, or that radioactive wastes are being incinerated.

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Decommissioning Canada’s nuclear activities (September 2011)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011   by: BayToday.ca StaffStory by Brennain Lloyd/Special to BayToday.ca
Day One of the Canadian Nuclear Society’s international Conference on Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration for Canada’s Nuclear Activities ran for a solid nine hours before spilling some its 400 participants out in the muggy streets of downtown Toronto to jostle with crowds of tourists in town for the Toronto International Film Festival, while others lingered in the lower levels of the Marriot Hotel to enjoy some quintessential industry conference hospitality.

The day had begun with an opening plenary for the international conference featuring several speakers from the nuclear trinity of industry, government, and the federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

A theme ran through the opening presentations: the problem is not with nuclear power or nuclear waste, the problem is the public perception of risk associated with nuclear technology and the radioactivity it generates.

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No to nuclear waste: petition by Wawa residents (November 2011)

 

Protest opposing Wawa even being considered a nuclear fuel waste dump garners 800 names; residents should take time to learn more before dismissing bid, official says

By Shirley MIlls

Posted November 1, 2011

Those opposed to community even being considered as a nuclear fuel waste dump made their presence known during the final day of public consultations on the proposed project.

A petition, Take Wawa Off the Study List ­ We Do Not Want It, bearing some 800 names, was presented to Mayor Linda Nowicki during he fourth day of Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s open-house information sessions at the Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre.

“Atomic Canada want an acquiescent community … 800 voices raised in protest in our small community is not an acquiescent community,” said Ann Hicks, who, along with Marie David, launched the protest.

“Therefore, by their rules, we must be removed from the process.”

It was recently determined the area is suitable to host a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel waste, council has learned when the Nuclear Waste Management Organization released results of an initial screening process. The company said this early information hasn’t confirmed the suitability of the community. Instead, screening informs a community if there are conditions that would exclude it from further consideration.

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