am a member of the Durham Nuclear Health Committee(DNHC) and would like to thank your organisation for a clear,consise and well-presented document. Obviously nuclear waste issues loom large on the DNHC horizon. This issue needs much thought, discussion, synthesis and ultimately DECISIONS MADE and ACTIONS TAKEN. From the onset of the nuclear era decision makers have been more willing and able to deal with the critical and exciting issues of producing nuclear energy for both war-time and peace-time uses than dealing with the ongoing, worrisome ,chronic problems of managing nuclear waste.
I think the first important decision to be made should be to stop any new nuclear plants until the issue of nuclear waste is finally dealt with.
The time span involved with the danger to all living things from nuclear waste is so vast that sane and rational decision making presents a great challenge. However decisons have to be made NOW. I therefore think that any decision must be flexible and amenable to change. Science, technology, climateolgy, social orders, natural and man made disasters will all affect our future.For these reasons I feel that nuclear waste should be retrievable nno matter whatstorage technology is used.
I think nuclear waste management plans are needed at the local, regional, provincial , national and international levels. I strongly feel that Canadian nuclear waste should be dealt with in Canada and a similar process be required for all countries. We literally have this waste in our back yards - the NIMBY syndrome is not appropriate when dealing with this issue.
I do not know enough about technical matters to comment on storage issues but I do not think an either/or strategem is disirable when looking at on-site or central storage. Probably both could be looked at given the technical storageconsiderations, the time span and future transportation technology. Maybe on site retrievable storage could be planned for some time with eventual transportation to a central permanent location if future technology does not present a better alternative.
Canada should press for international reasearch, action and agreement on seeking safe and efficient technology for the reduction, reuse and recyling of nuclear waste in the future.
Similar national and international activity on energy conservation, reduction, alternative generating methods(both hi and low tech)should be funded and seen as a vital part of dealing with the issue of nuclear waste. By reducing or elimanatiing the need for nuclear power we will hopefully be the last generation that has to deal with the awful and awesome reponsibility of dealing with nuclear waste issues.
Thank you for this opportunity of sharing my thoughts, unfortunately, I shall not be able to attend the DNHC meeting dealing with this issue so these are my own ideas but I am sure the meeting will result in much good discusiion and many useful ideas.
Yours Sincerely, Norma B Drummond