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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Nipigon joins Ear Falls, Schreiber, Hornepayne, Ignace and Wawa on NWMO list (October 2011)


Nipigon looks into nuke waste storage

Carl Clutchey
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 – 08:00

The number of Northwestern Ontario towns willing to at least consider the idea of storing waste from nuclear reactors in their vicinity has reached half a dozen.
Nipigon has become the latest municipality to have a Nuclear Waste Management Organization information kiosk in town to inform locals about the proposal and gauge support.

“This is a very long learning process that is just beginning,” Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey said Tuesday in a news release.

“Nipigon council has not made any decision about the project whatsoever,” Harvey added.

The NWMO wants to bury spent nuclear bundles deep in the Canadian Shield in a permanent facility somewhere in Northern Ontario.

The facility is expected to create several hundred jobs for the host town. It could take up to 10 years before a site is selected.

Ear Falls, Schreiber, Hornepayne, Ignace and Wawa have also expressed an interest in hosting a storage facility.

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