Winnipeg Free Press – PRINT EDITION
Nuclear waste is a hot issue
By: Jonathon Naylor
Posted: 02/9/2012 1:00 AM |
FLIN FLON — Cynthia Fedak is speaking out, not so much for herself but for her grandkids.
A longtime resident of Creighton, the sleepy sister town to Flin Flon just over the Saskatchewan border, she vehemently opposes plans to potentially store Canada’s nuclear waste in her community.
“To me, nuclear waste is iffy and there’s no absolute answers,” says the 65-year-old retiree. “It could be dangerous if something happened and it wouldn’t be just a minor disaster; it would be something probably major.”
Creighton is one of at least 10 Canadian communities expressing an interest in hosting a subterranean storage facility to be built by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.
Though it will take up to nine years to select a host community, debate already is raging over whether storing spent nuclear fuel rods represents the secondary industry this mining area has long craved.
While it tentatively won’t open until 2035, the repository is expected to represent a multibillion-dollar investment and spawn more than 4,000 jobs before, during and after construction.
Creighton has a long history of exploring new, sometimes unusual means of growth. Economic development workers have contemplated selling liver oil from burbot fish as a health supplement, and at one time hoped to use an abandoned mine shaft for zero-gravity experiments.
For Bruce Fidler, the straight-talking mayor of Creighton, the nuclear waste repository is “a heck of an economic development opportunity.”
Yet Creighton is not at the point where it has formally applied to host the repository. A geological screening of the area has found no obvious conditions to preclude the town, but there are numerous other steps ahead before Creighton might put in an official bid.
NWMO did not prove repository concept is safe, says Northwatch spokesperson
Still many unknowns about repository
By KEVIN MCSHEFFREY, THE STANDARD
Posted Feburary 1, 2012
A Northern Ontario-based environmentalist group is opposed to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization�s (NWMO) concept of burying high-level spent nuclear fuel rod bundles anywhere.
Last year, a number of communities in the ELNOS (Elliot Lake and North Shore Corporation for Economic Development) region, which runs from Spanish to Blind River and includes two First Nations, expressed an interest in learning more about the concept.
Brennain Lloyd, a spokesperson for North Bay-based Northwatch, says there are a few reasons why Northwatch is opposed to the repository concept.
The main reason for their opposition to the concept of burying high-level nuclear waste in an underground repository is the NWMO has not proven the claims it has made regarding the transportation and long-term storage of high-level nuclear fuel rod bundles underground.
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.
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
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
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.