Key milestone upcoming for Canada’s nuclear waste
A critical milestone is on the horizon for Canada’s 175-year-long plan to bury its nuclear waste underground, with two pairs of Ontario communities set to decide if they would be willing hosts.
Late next year, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization plans to select the site for Canada’s deep geological repository, where millions of bundles of used nuclear fuel will be placed in a network of rooms connected by cavernous tunnels, as deep below the Earth’s surface as the CN Tower is tall — if the process goes according to plan.
The sites are down to the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario. The municipalities and First Nations are planning votes for next year, the culmination of a years-long information gathering process that some say has left deep divisions within their communities.
The process to move ahead with a deep geological repository is already more than 20 years along. The NWMO was established under legislation in 2002 and is funded by the corporations that generate nuclear power and waste, such as Ontario Power Generation and Hydro-Quebec.