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Report recommends burying nuclear waste in Northern Ontario

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Section: Canadian News Geography: Ontario Topics: nuclear

January 30, 2006

Report recommends burying nuclear waste in Northern Ontario

by Katie Shafley

The NWMO report recommends burying the nuclear waste in the Canadian Shield.
Northern Ontario--along with sites in Quebec, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick--has been selected as a potential disposal site for nuclear waste. In a statement issued November 3, 2005, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) recommended burial as a disposal method for Canada's nuclear waste.

Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch, a coalition of environmental and social just groups in northern Ontario, said that Canada has accumulated 45,000 tonnes of nuclear waste. According to Lloyd, one of the main concerns of burial is leakage from the nuclear waste containers.

The NWMO report, the result of a three year study, specifies what it calls "Adaptive Phased Management" as the most feasible option for the waste. The report recommends burying all Canada's nuclear waste at one site, preferably in a rock formation. The NWMO specifies the Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario as the optimal site for the burial. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has voiced concerns about the location of disposal in a remote area, which could include First Nations land. The AFN also questioned the legitimacy of the NWMO, whose members are primarily producers of nuclear fuel, and raised the possibility that once Canada finds a "solution" for its nuclear waste, other countries will want to import their nuclear waste to Canada. The Minister of Natural Resources is expected to respond to the NWMO's recommendations by February 1, 2006.

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