Update on Deep Geologic Repository

Kincardine Council/Sciencecontinued)

Kincardine council heard an update on the deep geologic repository (DGR), compliments of Marie Wilson, media relations manager for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) which is overseeing the regulatory approvals process for the project. This came on the heels of a presentation by Pat McNeil of Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at the May 20 council meeting.

At the meeting June 3, Wilson clarified that the DGR project is completely separate to NWMO's adaptive phase management plan for the long-term storage of Canada's used nuclear fuel. The DGR, to be built at the Bruce site, will store all of Ontario's low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste.

Mark Jensen, manager of geoscience with OPG told council that four borehole drilling/coring sites have been complete, down to a depth of 860 metres which is equal to 1.5 times the height of the CN Tower. Two more sites are in progress, with samples being collected.

The key findings, he said, include: the predictability of the material below the surface, multiple natural barriers, no groundwater flow so contaminates won't migrate, and the area is seismically quiet. "The site is proving to be extremely promising for the DGR," he said.

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08/06/2009 05:23 PM


As for the project, Wilson said the Environmental Assessment (EA) final guidelines were presented in January and a review panel is to be appointed and participant funding allotted next year. In 2011, the Environmental Impact Study will be submitted to the review panel, with public comments over six months. A public hearing will be held in 2012 and it's expected approval for site preparation and construction would follow in 2012-13. Construction takes five years and, once approval is received, the DGR would start receiving nuclear waste in 2017.

"It's a long process," said Wilson, "but we want to ensure that the public is aware of what's going on."


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