MP hopes of better understand feelings toward nuclear waste transportation (November 2012)

2012-11-12 at NOON

By Jeff Labine,

Bruce Hyer has gone on tour to see how people feel about possibly transporting 50,000 tonnes of nuclear waste through their community.

The independent MP for Thunder Bay – Superior North started his tour of northeastern Ontario with a stop in Oshawa on Thursday then moved to Parry Sound. Hyer then continued to Sudbury on Monday where he will hold a town hall meeting.

His final destination will be in Sault Ste Marie on Tuesday.

Hyer picked Parry Sound, Sudbury and Sault Saint Marie because of the potential impact a nuclear disposal site could have on them.

He said the Nuclear Waste Management Organization hasn’t had discussions with communities about a transportation route.

“It doesn’t matter where it is because we’re talking about 600 more trucks a year or 60 trains a year for decades to transport all of these materials and its high level nuclear waste,” Hyer said.

“That’s a lot of waste. Many people are surprised by the amount and the frequency of the trucks.”

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is looking to finding a suitable spot for a nuclear storage facility. The multibillion-dollar infrastructure project will require a surface area of 250 acres for the buildings and a depth of 500 metres.

Hyer said he’s doing this tour on the transportation route because the NWMO has so far refused to do it.

The organization only held meetings in towns that were interested in being a host community and not in neighbouring communities that would be affected by the route, he said.

“What I am doing is not an adequate substitute by any means for the MWNO doing this in a more complete way,” he said. “I’m getting a sense of the general public’s feelings and what their concerns are and I’m also raising awareness.

“I’m hopeful that what it will do is to broaden the discussion and start a different kind of discussion. You can read a lot of reports but a first hand, live interaction I think is important. I’m listening more than saying. I’m not saying much other than the very basic facts.”

Hyer plans to head back to Thunder Bay once he finishes his town hall meeting in Wawa.

Hyer then plans to hold another town hall meeting in Thunder Bay over the weekend, but likely on a different issue — bringing Via rail back to the North.

That meeting is scheduled for Saturday at the 55 Plus Centre on River Street at 2 p.m.

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Where will the nuclear waste go? Local MP launches nuclear waste route tour (November 2012)

November 13, 2012
By Stephanie Simko, Staff Writer
The Argus (Thunder Bay Student Newspaper)

The nuclear industry in Canada is coming close to finalizing a site which will house the country’s accumulated waste -waste that will remain dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), responsible for approaching communities and pitching the potential economic benefits of housing nuclear waste while skirting environmental disadvantages, has settled on a list twenty-one potential communities. Thirteen of these perspective repositories are within the region of Northwestern Ontario, including Ignace, Nipigon, Schreiber, Wawa, Manitouwadge and Elliot Lake.

“It’s one of the biggest decisions that these community residents will ever have to make, and Northwestern Ontario will be greatly impacted,” says Independent MP Bruce Hyer, who launched his town-hall style tour earlier in November. Hyer will be holding meetings in Southern and Northern Ontario to hear from citizens, hoping to raise awareness of the opportunities and risks associated with nuclear waste. Though he maintains an ambivalent stance on his own personal or professional opinion about the long-term storage solution for nuclear waste, Hyer is choosing to focus his energies on getting the NWMO to consult communities along the transportation corridors of the nuclear waste.

“Regardless of the location that’s chosen, people in a number of communities are likely to see trucks or trains loaded with nuclear waste passing near-or through-their town someday.”

Hyer notes that many citizens are not aware of the fifty thousand metric tonne stockpile of nuclear waste waiting to find a permanent storage site. “The communities on the transportation route will bear some risk on any potential nuclear waste spill or accident, so they should have a say sooner rather than later.”

Officials estimate close to fifty-three shipments a month by truck, ship, or train could be seen over the next thirty years as more than two million used nuclear fuel rods – similar in size to a fire log – are transported to their final destination.

Hyer held his first meetings in Parry Sound, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie earlier in the week, and plans to visit the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant on Monday; more details and future legs of the tour will be announced within the month.

A visit to Thunder Bay will undoubtedly include discussion of Ontario Power Generation’s transition from coal-generatedto nuclear power, a conversion projected to be completed by 2015. “Shutting out people that will be impacted won’t help us come to a satisfactory solution. With the scale of this particular problem and long-term impacts faced, this is one decision that has to be done right.”

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SKB launches new nuclear fuel vessel (October 2012)

 30 Oct 2012

Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management company, SKB, has launched its new vessel, the  “M/S Sigrid”, at Galati shipyard, Romania.

The M/S Sigrid has been designed and built by Dutch owned Damen Shipyards which owns the Galati shipyard, for the transportation of nuclear fuel and radioactive waste from SKB’s nuclear power facilities in Oskarshamn and Forsmark.

The new vessel is somewhat larger than its predecessor, M/S Sigyn, measuring LOA 99.5m, with a top speed of 12 knots, allowing it to transport up to 12 nuclear waste containers and 20% more cargo than its predecessor.

Bo Sundman, director of operations, SKB, said: “The launch marks an important milestone in the project. 20 months ago, this vessel was nothing more than a drawing. Now she is a reality. The vessel is the result of hard work and good project management.”

SKB’s newest vessel includes a double hull, radiation protection, four engines and other multiple systems and is designed to operate more efficiently.

The M/S Sigrid is expected to arrive at the Port of Oskarshamn in summer 2013.

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