Toxicity of planned wastes raises anxiety about Lake Huron nuclear dump scheme
Lake Huron nuclear dump scheme in trouble Hamilton Spectator by Thomas Walkom 7 Aug 14, Ontario’s plan to bury nuclear waste beside Lake Huron is running into heavy weather.
Ontario Power Generation, the Crown corporation behind the proposed dump site for low and intermediate level radioactive waste, has publicly acknowledged that its long-term safety plans are based, in part, on new technologies that have not yet been invented.
As the Star’s John Spears reported this week, that explanation hasn’t endeared itself to the small but politically important aboriginal communities near the proposed Kincardine dump site.
In a brief to the federal review panel that will eventually rule on the plan, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation reminds OPG of its assurance that no nuclear waste dump will be built without aboriginal consent
Will that consent be given? The first nation doesn’t say. But in its brief, it does express profound unease with what it calls OPG’s vague and open-ended scheme.
Plans for this so-called deep geological repository at Kincardine have been in the works since 2005.
Initially, the proposed dump was supposed to house waste such as the rubber gloves used by nuclear workers — items with relatively low levels of radioactivity.
Right now, nuclear waste from Ontario atomic power generating plants is stored on the surface.
But once federal hearings started last fall, OPG changed tack. It announced it wanted to double the size of the underground dump to roughly 400,000 cubic metres in order to accommodate waste that will be produced when the province’s existing nuclear plants are taken apart.
This so-called decommissioning waste, which includes components such as pressure tubes (but not nuclear fuel), will remain highly radioactive for thousands of years.
Critics cried foul. The three-member federal panel hearing the proposal ordered OPG to better explain how it would handle this more difficult waste.
It also told the Crown utility to look into why a similar U.S. nuclear waste facility near Carlsbad New Mexico — cited by dump proponents as a model — suffered two accidents in February……….http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/4737032-lake-huron-nuclear-dump-scheme-in-trouble/
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