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News Release: NWMO sets up Independent Technical Review Group

October 20, 2008

Toronto, Ont.

By the NWMO

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TORONTO, October 20, 2008 - The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) Board of Directors has established a standing Independent Technical Review Group (ITRG). The ITRG is comprised of independent technical specialists to provide unbiased reports on NWMO's technical program. The group held its inaugural meeting recently in Toronto.

"The ITRG will provide us with valuable outside counsel and make sure we adopt the best technological practices to achieve our mandate, which is to implement the Adaptive Phased Management approach in a safe and transparent manner," said NWMO President & CEO Ken Nash.

The ITRG will annually assess the appropriateness of NWMO's scientific and technical approaches and methodologies in comparison with international practices. At this stage of the implementation process, the group will determine whether the NWMO has the necessary resources to address technical issues which may arise during the siting process.

In addition to annual reviews, every three years the ITRG will focus on the technical component of the Triennial Report the NWMO is required by the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act to submit to the Minister of Natural Resources. All of the ITRG technical review reports will be posted on NWMO's website.

"These technical specialists bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise from their diverse backgrounds," said Frank King, NWMO Vice-President of Science and Technology.

The ITRG members are from Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. They are internationally recognized specialists in their fields and have significant experience in the technologies associated with the implementation of nuclear waste geologic repository projects. Members of the ITRG are appointed by the NWMO Board on a three-year basis and may be reappointed.

Based in Toronto, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was established in 2002 by Ontario Power Generation Inc., Hydro-Québec and New Brunswick Power Corporation in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act to assume responsibility for the long-term management of Canada's used nuclear fuel.

Backgrounder

Appointments to new Independent Technical Review Group for NWMO

TORONTO, October 20, 2008 - The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) Board of Directors has appointed members to a newly created Independent Technical Review Group (ITRG). The members are independent technical specialists in the implementation of geological repositories and will annually assess NWMO's technical program.
Allan Hooper is the Chair of the ITRG. He is an independent consultant who specializes in the safe, long-term management of radioactive waste for UK and other national programmes since 2007. He currently acts as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Radioactive Waste Management Directorate. In 2008, Dr. Hooper was also appointed Visiting Professor in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London.

On joining the electricity supply industry, Dr. Hooper researched the operational safety of advanced reactor designs before transferring into early research on decommissioning nuclear power stations and radioactive waste management. He joined Nirex, the UK radioactive waste management agency in 1988, holding a number of senior management positions including Director for Science. Dr. Hooper holds a Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Nottingham University, UK.

Kaj Ahlbom has 30 years of experience in the Swedish radioactive waste programme concerning site selection, site characterisation and interaction with stakeholders. Since 2002, he is the Site Manager for SKB's (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) site investigation for a repository for spent nuclear fuel at Forsmark, Sweden. He has been involved in all aspects of site selection from formulating site selection critera to participating in the site selection process and investigating candidate municipalities and sites. All phases of this process have involved interactions with stakeholders such as government agencies, municipal officers, the geoscientific community, nearby residents, landowners, general public and media.

Mr. Ahlbom received his bachelor's degree in Precambrian Geology from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and master's degree in Applied Geophysics from Imperial College, UK.

Lawrence Johnson is a senior scientist and research and development coordinator at Nagra (Swiss National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste), where he has worked since 1999 on various aspects of engineered barriers performance.

Mr. Johnson received a bachelor's degree in Chemistry with Great Distinction from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1977. He joined the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) at Whiteshell Laboratories in 1978, where he studied the dissolution of spent fuel and vitrified high-level waste for several years before becoming Manager of Engineered Barrier Studies in the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program. He also managed the technical studies of durability of spent fuel in interim wet and dry storage.

He is the author of over 110 reports and journal papers covering many areas related to materials performance aspects of engineered barrier systems, as well as a number of studies dealing with long-term safety assessment. A member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the CEA PRECCI Programme, Mr. Johnson conducts research on the long-term evolution of spent fuel packages.

Derek Martin is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, since 2000. He started his career as Engineering Geologist for I.D. Engineering Company, Winnipeg; then moved as Geotechnical Engineer for B.C. Hydro, Vancouver; and later became Senior Geotechnical Engineer for EBA Engineering Consultants, Edmonton.

Dr. Martin was also Senior Advisor to the Director of the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program, as well as head of the Geotechnical Research Section of AECL's Whiteshell Underground Research Laboratory. He then assumed the roles of Associate Director of the Geomechanics Research Centre and Professor in the School of Engineering at Laurentian University, Sudbury.

Dr. Martin holds a bachelor's degree in Geology from Memorial University, St. John's. He obtained both his master's degree and doctorate in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, respectively. He has reviewed nuclear waste programs for countries around the world. He is a scientific advisor to the Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management program, as well as member of the Geoscience Review Group for Ontario Power Generation's Deep Geologic Repository project for Low and Intermediate Level Waste.

Based in Toronto, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was established in 2002 by Ontario Power Generation Inc., Hydro-Québec and New Brunswick Power Corporation in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act to assume responsibility for the long-term management of Canada's used nuclear fuel.

About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
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the NWMO

The NWMO is a not-for profit organization established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA).

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