After spending almost two decades seeking out a permanent DGR location, Ontario Power Generation is working on next steps following a vote by Saugeen Ojibway Nation in January to not support an underground nuclear waste storage facility.
Senior Manager of Corporate Relations Fred Kuntz says OPG is moving forward to develop alternate solutions for low and intermediate level nuclear waste.
The first step involves engaging with key stakeholders to develop a site selection process.
Any site selection process will engage Indigenous people and municipalities.
As for the timeline, Kuntz admits that this project could delayed by an entire generation,
However, he says this is not uncommon around the world for projects such as this one to take 25 to 30 years to complete.
Kuntz says in the interim, OPG will continue to store low and intermediate nuclear waste onsite at the Western Waste Facility which he calls a centre of excellence that is rigorously regulated.
The waste facility contains about 100 thousand cubic meters of low and intermediate level nuclear waste collected across the Province over the last half century.
This is about half of the nuclear waste that would have been destined for the DGR.
As OPG moves forward to develop alternate site selection solutions, he says efforts in waste minimization will remain a priority.
In the meantime, OPG will be closely monitoring the Federal Government’s upcoming review of its Radioactive Waste Policy framework.
Kuntz says OPG will participate in the Natural Resources Canada review in the extent that it can to see if that review identifies solutions for intermediate level waste.