Rawlingson, Malcolm

Thank you for an excellent document "Understanding the Choices". The NWMO has done a good job of distilling it down to the three possible choices Canadian Society has available to deal with this problem. NWMO is quite correct in that there is no single solution that resolves all of the problem entirely. This is the case in many aspects of life and it is something we as human beings are accustomed to. We will have to make compromises based upon our ethical values and this is where the two branches of the NWMO strategy must come together. That is pick the best TECHNICAL solution that fits our ETHICAL VALUES. To determine which of these is the best fit we need to look at the limitations of each of the options and decide whether these limitations can be overcome (now or in the future)and how best to approach each limitation. For example. If we made the decision to leave the waste at the location where it was produced (by large and important bodies of water)long term geological changes may perhaps cause the fuel to be submerged at some point in the future. If we expect that to occur then we should identify how long we expect that change to occur...whether we would have any advance warning of such a change and put in place a plan to deal with that IF it does happen. I am not proposing this as a way forward necessarily but if you take each limitation of each scenario and identify strategies to minimise the impact then you will have developed a course of action for future generations to manage this waste. Could it be moved to higher ground if flooding is a problem? Could we transfer the fuel to other containers that last longer some way down the road or can remain submerged if flooding occurs? It seems clear to me that long term storage deep underground ethically is very difficult to deal with since it all but excludes future generations from safely accessing the waste. It is an "out of sight - out of mind approach that personally I don't find ethically correct. While I agree with the experts that it is probably the best TECHNICAL solution I do not think it is the best ETHICALLY. As I have said in earlier submissions the concept of this material being considered as "waste" is quite wrong. Future gennerations will likely not view it as such. It still contains significant quantities of fissile materials that future generations will (I am sure) be able to utilise with technolgy far superior to ours currently. So on ethical (not technical) grounds I believe deep underground storage is not the best solution. That means we need to work on reducing or mitigating the limitations of the other two options. In short we need to use ETHICAL considerations to rule in or rule out the three available options then use our current TECHNOLOGY to resolve as best we can at the moment the limitations presently foreseen. That will not be the easy way but it is the right way. Malcolm Rawlingson

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