Updated Storage Plan For Used Nuclear Fuel

A sketch of the planned underground storage for nuclear fuel (Provided by the NWMO)

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization [NWMO] has released its latest five-year strategic plan implementing the Adaptive Phased Management plan to store Canada’s used nuclear fuel deep underground.

The next five years will focus on identifying a preferred site for the project, to ensure the safety of people and the environment in the long-term.

Two Bruce County communities, South Bruce and Huron Kinloss, are still on the list of possible sites to store at least 5.2-million used fuel bundles expected to be produced to the end of the life of current nuclear plants.

The $23-billion, 500 metre deep geological repository would be continuously monitored, and include the potential for retrievability. The fuel bundles would be repackaged, into a bentonite clay buffer box, backfilled with bentonite pellets. It could also include a shallow underground storage area.

The project would create about 1,500 construction jobs and 2,200 operations jobs in the Stratford to Bruce economic region.

People can comment on the plan until July 20, and next year’s updated plan will reflect those comments and the latest developments.

Comments from last year’s update included concerns about the transportation safety for fuel bundles, and the need to educate residents about proposed shipping routes, and train first responders

The plan is designed to be implemented in phases over many decades, and constantly adjusted with new information, guidance, or science.  Construction would occur around 2040.

The plan is updated annually and is available at NWMO.ca.

The NWMO DGR is a separate facility from an Ontario Power Generation Proposed DGR for low and medium nuclear waste at the Bruce Power site in Bruce County.