Nuclear waste flyers heading to 50,000 households in Grey-Bruce
WINGHAM, ONT. -- Roughly 50,000 homeowners in Grey and Bruce County will be getting some unexpected mail this week.
“South Bruce is not a willing host to a nuclear waste dump” flyers will be showing up in people’s mailboxes thanks to a group of concerned landowners near Teeswater, where Canada’s highest level nuclear waste could be permanently buried.
Michelle Stein leads the group, Protect Our Waterways-No Nuclear Waste.
“Why would we want to take that kind of a risk with our water and the Great Lakes basin. Anything that happens in the Great Lakes Basin happens to our Great Lakes. We need to protect our water,” she says.
All of the highly radioactive fuel bundles are currently stored in above ground warehouses at Canada's nuclear reactor sites, right now.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has two proposed sites to permanently bury over 5 million used nuclear fuel bundles, that once powered Canada’s nuclear reactors. One near Ignace, in Northern Ontario, and another north of Teeswater, in Bruce County. All of the highly radioactive fuel bundles are currently stored in above ground and near ground containers at Canada’s nuclear reactor sites, right now.
With $25 billion worth of refurbishments to Canada’s current nuclear fleet underway, John Gorman from the Canadian Nuclear Association, says it’s time to find a permanent home for the byproduct of years of nuclear power production.
“We’re committed to nuclear and that means we have to change to a permanent course for storage and managing this waste. I do think there are technologies, even small modular reactors, some of which use spent fuel as their fuel, and other technologies that will help neutralize the spent fuel, but I think that the prudent thing we’ve decided to do is keep on the course of a permanent solution,” says Gorman.
Stein says people far and wide should know that the NWMO plan includes walking away from the underground facility and the waste, after 50 to 75 years of operation, leaving the radioactive waste in the ground, forever.
“There is no country in the world with an operational high level spent fuel DGR (deep geological repository), and history shows us that the low and intermediate level DGR’s have had failures, accidents, and leaks,” she says.
“No member of the public in Canada has ever been harmed by the storage or transportation of waste, and the entire process around identifying and building deep geological repositories is led with a focus on protecting the environment and the people. A site is never imposed on a community,” says Gorman, from the Canadian Nuclear Association.
The Nuclear Waste Management wants to have a site selected, either South Bruce or Ignace, by 2023.