Ontario to finish new studies on radioactive waste site by end of 2016

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) said April 15 that it has informed the Canadian federal government that it will complete further studies on its proposed deep geologic repository (DGR) by Dec. 31, 2016.

In February, the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change requested that OPG conduct three further studies into OPG’s low and intermediate level waste (L&ILW) DGR before making a decision on the environmental assessment. These studies are:

  • OPG will assess the environmental effects of two technically and economically feasible locations in Ontario for a new nuclear waste disposal facility. One assessment will consider a similar DGR in a sedimentary rock formation located in southern Ontario. The second will consider a similar DGR in a granite rock formation located in central to northern Ontario. Specific locations will not be identified.
  • An updated analysis of the cumulative environmental effects of the project considering the results from preliminary assessments undertaken by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization for used fuel. OPG will further study the cumulative effects assuming a used fuel repository is sited within the DGR study area.
  • OPG will undertake a review of its mitigation commitments and all mitigating actions. Any outdated or redundant commitments previously brought forward to the Joint Review Panel (JRP) will be identified.

OPG said it maintains that a DGR is the right answer for Ontario’s low and intermediate level waste, and that the Bruce nuclear plant site is the right location. An independent federal JRP has recommended moving forward with the project. OPG is confident further studies will confirm this.

The proposed DGR would be located at the Bruce nuclear facility in Kincardine. It would store about 200,000 cubic meters of low- and intermediate-level waste from operating Ontario’s nuclear stations. The DGR would permanently and safely isolate and contain the waste 680 meters underground. The local communities remain supportive of the project, and OPG said it is committed to ongoing work with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.