OPG report on planned nuclear waste bunker blasted as 'inadequate'

OPG report on planned nuclear waste bunker blasted as 'inadequate'
  1. OPG report on planned nuclear waste bunker blasted as 'inadequate'
    TORONTO - Opponents of a planned nuclear waste bunker have hit back at a report affirming the Lake Huron shoreline as the best place to locate the facility. They also claim the federal government is trying to limit scrutiny of the Ontario Power Generation report and ignoring concerns about…

TORONTO - Opponents of a planned nuclear waste bunker have hit back at a report affirming the Lake Huron shoreline as the best place to locate the facility.

They also claim the federal government is trying to limit scrutiny of the Ontario Power Generation report and ignoring concerns about the project from the United States and elsewhere.

The report, done at Ottawa's request for more information, did not look at other specific sites but concludes it would cost billions of dollars and set the project back decades if it was forced to bury the toxic waste anywhere other than at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, near Kincardine, Ont.

One activist group called the report a "completely inadequate" response to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who must approve the proposal.

"This is the fifth time that OPG has side-stepped a specific government request to study alternative sites," Rod McLeod, a director of SOS Great Lakes, said in a statement. "At what point is the federal government going to stand up and do its job?"

Critics are also angry that the government is allowing just 30 days for public comment on a report OPG had the better part of a year to produce.

"It appears to me the government perhaps does not care to hear what the public thinks," McLeod said.

Scores of Great Lakes communities have passed resolutions or otherwise expressed opposition to OPG's proposed deep geologic repository, currently estimated to cost about $2.4 billion. The plan calls for about 200,000 cubic metres of low and intermediate nuclear waste to be stored in bedrock up to 680 metres underground about 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron starting in 2026.

American Congressman Dan Kildee, a vocal critic of the project from Michigan, said the risk of poisoning drinking water — despite OPG's insistence the rock bunker would contain the waste for thousands of years and is safer than above-ground storage — is simply too high.

"Surely in the vast land mass that comprises Canada, there must be a better place to permanently store nuclear waste than on the shores of Lake Huron," Kildee said in a statement.

The OPG report maintains that trucking the radioactive material — potentially from one end of the province to the other — would pose more of a health and safety risk than burying it at the Bruce site, where much of it is produced.

Critics, who argue similar storage bunkers elsewhere in the world have failed, are especially scornful of OPG's assertion — based largely on an analysis of…

Tags: #Huron
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