Local council receives update on cancelled Deep Geologic Repository project

Kincardine council received an update from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) regarding the recently cancelled Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) project.

Plans have been in the works for decades to construct the DGR at the Bruce Power facility in the Municipality of Kincardine to permanently store low-intermediate level nuclear waste.

OPG had stated that they will not go through with their plans without support from Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), as the site is located on their traditional lands. SON voted against the DGR in January.

Until OPG can find another willing host community, and eventually construct the DGR, the nuclear waste will continue to be stored in interim storage containers above land at Bruce Power, as it has been since the plant was built.

OPG Senior Manager Fred Kuntz said the end of the DGR project also means the end of the DGR hosting agreement.

OPG was compensating Kincardine and neighbouring municipalities, and now they will no longer be paying those annual fees, and council said the town could now be losing close to $500,000 due to this. However, Kuntz said the company still pays its dues.

“OPG’s current operation at the Western Waste Management Facility continue, and OPG pays substantial sums to the municipality in property taxes and creates local employment.”

Mayor Anne Eadie said perhaps a new agreement should be made, as Kincardine has been the host of the interim storage units for about 50 years, and it’s unknown how long it could take to create the DGR at another location.

Councillor, Laura Haight said council still supports OPG nevertheless.

“I’m not annoyed with OPG. I’m annoyed at the process, and how the rules were changed towards the end of it. Populism is not how you determine these things. This was always supposed to be science-based, and the idea that this has gone to a populous political thing over several governments just annoys me to no end.”

Haight believes a federal policy needs to be implemented so populous votes aren’t held in a higher regard than scientific data.