Kincardine nuclear waste site gets federal seal of approval – by John Spears and Lauren Pelley (Toronto Star – May 7, 2015)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Deep Geologic Repository proposed by Ontario Power Generation at its Bruce site is “not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects,” report concludes.

A federal panel has given an overall seal of approval to the controversial nuclear waste disposal site proposed for a subterranean crypt below the Bruce nuclear station near Kincardine, Ont.

“The Panel concludes that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects” given the measures contemplated to curb them, says the report by the Joint Review Panel.

The panel’s favourable view of the project, proposed by Ontario Power Generation, overcomes a major regulatory hurdle in the construction of the Deep Geologic Repository, or DGR in industry jargon, which would see nuclear waste buried hundreds of metres underground near the shore of Lake Huron.

Supporters and opponents — there are 152 communities opposed to the project, including Toronto and Chicago — were poring over the report after it was released late Wednesday, examining closely the conditions that the panel says should be imposed before the project can proceed.

OPG released a brief statement saying it is generally pleased with the report.

“OPG developed the DGR with one goal in mind: to create permanent, safe storage for Ontario’s low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste,” said senior vice-president Laurie Swami. “We are pleased with the Panel’s conclusion that the project will safely protect the environment.”

However, environmentalists in Canada and the U.S. are likely to step up their opposition. Dozens of municipal councils around the Great Lakes are on record against it. Resolutions have also been presented in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

Beverly Fernandez, of Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, said late Wednesday that based on a perusal of the report’s executive summary, she was “deeply disappointed” by its recommendations.

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