Schreiber, Ignace, Hornepayne move to next stage of nuclear storage study

2013-11-22 at 14:31


Several towns in Northwestern Ontario have received a financial boost from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

Communities that have worked with the agency are getting $400,000 apiece for local improvement projects. And three of the towns are moving to the next stage in becoming the possible host site for a used nuclear fuel repository.

Schreiber, Ignace and Hornepayne were notified by the NWMO that they’ve completed the first phase of the preliminary assessment, and have been identified for further study.

Wawa and Ear Falls were not selected for more detailed study.

A total of 24 communities across Canada, including eight in the Northwest, have hosted open houses and agreed to learn more about the proposed underground repository.

Officials in Nipigon, White River and Manitouwadge are still waiting for the first phase assessment to be completed.

NWMO officials say they decided to give each community the $400,000, whether they were selected or not, to show their appreciation for getting involved.

Schreiber Mayor Don McArthur says the money can be used for projects, programs or services that benefit youth or seniors, community sustainability, energy efficiency or economic development.

He adds that he’s pleasantly surprised by the announcement, but points out the next phase will be a lot of work.

The NWMO wants to have repository built within the next 15 years.


Trucks with radioactive cargo fail inspections

More than one truck in seven carrying radioactive cargo has been pulled off the road by Ontario transportation inspectors since 2010

By: John Spears Business reporter, Published on Fri Nov 15 2013

Since 2010, more than one truck in seven carrying radioactive material has been pulled off the road by Ontario ministry of transportation inspectors for failing safety or other requirements.

The information is contained in a notice quietly filed with a panel studying a proposal to store low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in deep underground near Kincardine.

The information filed doesn’t specify what sort of radioactive cargos the trucks were carrying. In theory, it could have been anything from uranium fuel for nuclear reactors, to radioactive isotopes for medical use.

A spokesman for Ontario Power Generation said that none of its nuclear shipments has failed a vehicle inspection.

“We have zero tolerance” for failed inspections, Neal Kelly said. “We’ve got no infractions. Period.”

What the information does show is that since 2010, inspectors have examined 102 trucks carrying “Class 7 Dangerous Goods (Radioactive material.)”

Of those, 16 were placed “out-of-service,” which means the vehicle “must be repaired or the violation corrected before it is allowed to proceed.”

Among the violations:

Faulty brake lights; unspecified “load security” problems; flat tires; false log; damaged air lines; and driver with no dangerous goods training.

Critics of the Kincardine waste project have said not enough attention has been paid to the transportation of radioactive material.

A federal panel is considering a proposal by Ontario Power Generation to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in chambers carved out of limestone 680 metres deep.

The billion-dollar depository would be constructed at the site of the Bruce nuclear plant on the shore of Lake Huron, north of Kincardine.

The site would not contain used fuel (although a separate process is considering sites for a used fuel disposal site in the area, as well as in other regions of Canada.)

The material destined for the site would range from mops and protective clothing – much of it incinerated – to components from reactor cores, which will remain dangerously radioactive for many thousands of years.

Some opponents of the site have closely questioned planners about transporting material to the site, which will contain waste from the Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations as well as the Bruce plant.

That material is already being trucked to the Bruce site, and stored in warehouses or shallow underground vaults.

Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch said in an interview that the number of trucks pulled over until defects are remedies is “shocking.”

“It only heightens the need for a real substantive discussion on transportation and what are the transportation safeguards,” she said.

The lack of detail in the statistics adds to the need for further information, she said.

“I think it raises more questions than it retires, for sure,” she said.

Toronto city council joined the ranks of municipalities calling for the project to be halted this week.

In a motion adopted unanimously, councillors urged that “neither this proposed nuclear waste repository near Kincardine, Ontario, nor any other underground nuclear waste repository, be constructed in the Great Lakes Basin, in Canada, or in the United States.”

Councillor Mike Layton, who made the motion, said it’s impossible to guarantee the depository won’t leak over the millennia.

“We have a massive endowment of fresh water,” he said in an interview. “We shouldn’t be putting it at risk.”



Written  03 April 2013

Ontario News North

MANITOUWADGE, ON – At their regular meeting of March 27th, 2013 Manitouwadge Town Council unanimously passed a motion to continue to learn more about the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s site selection process for a deep geological repository for long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

The general public had the opportunity to attend Open Houses held by the NWMO at the Rec Centre auditorium March 5th and 6th at which a team of NWMO representatives, including scientists and public relations and communications personel, were on hand to answer questions and walk people through the Open House. In addition to members of the public, among the groups who attended the Open Houses were the Manitouwadge Outdoor Enthusiasts, emergency services/first responders personel, and Town Council. (CLICK HEREfor full article, including Open House interviews/video). Editor Karina Hunter spoke with many of those who attended the Open House as they exited and all seemed to agree that Learning More would definately be their recommendation to Council.

Manitouwadge is the last of 6 communities in the region, still involved in the Site Selection Process, to pass a resolution to continue to Step 3 and keep learning more; the community joins Wawa, White River, Hornepayne, Schreiber, and Nipigon in Step 3. It is important to understand this is an “Adaptive phased management plan” with an emphasis on adaptive – communities decide which resources they will take advantage of to continue learning more and still have the option of removing themselves from the process should they come to realize at any point that this is not a project which would fit their town.

Read More

Dryden mayor curious about nuclear storage benefits

Mayor Craig Nuttall and counsellors will travel to Darlington Nuclear Plant for information

CBC NewsPosted: Mar 27, 2013 8:22 AM ET

Dryden’s Mayor says he wants to learn more about nuclear waste, particularly if nearby Ignace is chosen as a disposal site.

Craig Nuttall said he wouldn’t want to store the material near his city, but said he is approaching the issue “with a very open mind. I am not saying I am for nuclear waste or against it but I’d like to learn more.”

Nuttall, two councillors and a hospital representative will all visit the Darlington Nuclear Plant next month.

“There’s going to be a lot of jobs available,” he said. “I think this is probably 15 or 10 years away, and I’m really interested in the job part.”

The trip to southern Ontario will be paid for by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

“We’re going there as a learning curve,” he said.

“There [are] at least 1,200 construction jobs and the benefit for us is that all the jobs, I understand, are over a $100,000,” he said.

“Where is Ignace going to get all these people for construction and so on, so I think it’s important that we look at it.”