Commentaires reçus : 2002 à 2005

Tout au long du processus d’étude, la SGDN a invité les Canadiens à participer et à nous aider à façonner l’étude des options de gestion des déchets. Prenez connaissance du point de vue d’autres Canadiens en lisant leurs commentaires ici. Vous trouverez ci-dessous en ordre chronologique (identifiés par le nom de la personne ou du groupe) les commentaires reçus pendant le déroulement de l’étude par le biais de la section Commentaires reçus de notre site Web.


    Une section distincte présente les commentaires reçus après la réalisation de l’étude.

    Nous avons également reçu des commentaires par voie postale et correspondance personnelle. Ceux-ci ne sont présentés ici qu’avec la permission de l’auteur. Tous les commentaires sont publiés dans la langue reçue.

    Griffiths Robert

    Thoughts on Nuclear Waste

    Ces commentaires ont été initialement reçus par la poste et sont publiés ici avec la permission de l'auteur.

    Submission on the topic: Choosing a Way Forward - Draft Study Report

    Shrives Ken

    The NWMO needs to get the Fuel bundles away from the city areas. It should keep the bundles until such a deep dispository area can be found. In the mean time, isolated areas should be chosen, such as northern Saskatchewan or Laborador, with concern for aboriginal people, Strict security should be prime, and deep geological shafts should be drilled such as other countrys have, ( Sweden,) and be retrieval for when technical advancements are made.

    Radiological monitoring should be in place at all times, and an important topic is to let people know what is happening. such as keeping people informed as to what is going on. As stated strict security should be in place at all times to prevent terrorism. Salt mines should be considered also. Respectfully submitted. Ken

    Robertson, J.A.L

    Response by J.A.L. Robertson to an “Invitation to Review a Proposed Process for Selecting a Site”

    Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

    I strongly support the proposed process in its broad scope but I consider that there are several areas deserving discussion.

    The report claims (p.15) that “The proposed process… draws from experiences and lessons learned from past work and processes developed in Canada to site facilities for the management of hazardous material”. In this submission I identify areas where relevant lessons seem to have been ignored.

    Most of my comments can be discussed within the agenda proposed for NWMO Multi-Party Dialogues planned for September. However, two fundamental questions need resolution before accepting an agenda based on the NWMO’s predetermined approach: these concern Compensation and Site Selection. These should be addressed in plenary session, either during the first evening or at the start of the day session.

    A good background for these terms is available in the 1995 “Deep River Community Agreement-in-Principle” published by the Low-level Radioactive Waste Management Siting Task Force (STF) and the Corporation of the Town of Deep River.

    • Mitigation includes protection of the water supply and control of noise and dust.

    • Remediation compensates for negative effects that cannot be avoided.

    • Compensation involves three components: 1) recognition of the principle that the community should finish better off than it was at the start, 2) recompense to the community for accepting a necessary task for the benefit of society as a whole but unattractive to many and 3) acknowledgement that the perception of a risk, however erroneous, can represent a harm.

    I assume that mitigation and remediation would be agreed between the NWMO and the community at Step 5. The report contains no mention of compensation yet this, I submit, is vital to gaining the interest of communities (Steps 1, 2 & 3), communities’ willingness to accept the project (Step 5) and selection of the preferred site (Step 6).

    The 2008 Annual Report (pp. 18 – 24) shows that the NWMO is already communicating its concept of the APM process widely. If compensation is not an integral part of this, communities and individuals may see nothing in it for them and be turned off at this early stage, Step 0.

    Agreement on the need for compensation is essential for resolution of the second fundamental question.

    Historically, governments having to locate an unpopular facility would select a site with little, if any, input from the affected community. This process has been characterized as the paternalistic DAD (Decide, Announce, Defend) approach. The usual reaction is antagonistic, NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), protests, law suits and even civil action. More recently, the need to involve the communities in the decision-making has been recognized. The NWMO stresses the collaborative nature of the proposed process. However the report shows that the NWMO, in selecting between qualified communities (Step 6), intends deciding what is good for the communities. It even uses the term “… foster the wellbeing of the local community” reminiscent of paternalistic foster parents.

    The assessment consists of two distinct parts, technical (Protecting Humans and the Environment, pp. 26 – 30) and social (Fostering Community Well-Being, pp. 31 – 32). The NWMO with its considerable technical expertise and access to expert reviews is best qualified to assess the technical factors: the community is best qualified to assess its own values and priorities.

    Acceptance of the need for compensation allows an alternative selection process that is more democratic and more attractive to potential communities. At Step 5 each community would develop its proposal, effectively a bid, for what it requires, including compensation, to host the project. The NWMO in Step 6 would select between the bids considering both the ranking of technical factors (not just Go/No Go) and the costs of social factors.

    This modified approach would address a serious omission from the Report – the need for cost-effectiveness. In the 2008 Annual Report President Ken Nash states: “Throughout the year, we remained accountable for the prudent management of the financial resources provided by the member companies for our operations.” However the NWMO has never demonstrated a commitment to seeking a cost-effective solution: it has given the impression of promising the “best” solution regardless of cost. Also, the funds of which it is custodian are from real electricity customers, only collected by the amorphous “member companies”. A page (p. 31) on “Ethical Framework” in the 2008 Annual Report commits the NWMO to economic feasibility but is silent on economic responsibility. A bidding process would help in this respect.

    The need for compensation and the relative merits of the two approaches to proposal selection should be discussed before responding to the invitation to review the NWMO’s predetermined approach in the report. In the Agenda for forthcoming Multi-Party Dialogues, “Overview of the Project” “Q&A in Plenary” represents more paternalism, not dialogue. As a minimum, The NWMO should explain why it has ignored the alternative approach that has been recommended to it several times.

    The importance of Step 1 should not be underestimated. Unless the NWMO succeeds in interesting some communities the process is dead before it starts. The NWMO must market its proposal effectively and to do this it should imagine itself in the position of a community – “What’s in it for us?”. This is one reason why the question of compensation is urgent. Communities should know from the start that compensation will be available and should be aware of the general nature and magnitude of the compensation.

    The NWMO should recognize that the fear of radiation and all things nuclear is widespread in the public and that there is a very competent network that opposes nuclear energy in any form. The initial information package should therefore anticipate these reactions by clearly identifying and quantifying both the risks and the benefits, the measures to limit the risks, and the monitoring to ensure that that these measures are effective. One way to achieve this would be to provide an illustrative (“boiler-plate”) agreement. The Community Agreement-in-Principle between Deep River and the STF is one example.

    The information package should provide a good balance between technical and social factors. The STF’s Community Liaison Group (CLG) received more technical reports (e.g., geology, engineering and pathways analysis) than its public wanted but could not obtain from the STF answers to the social questions (e.g., public communications, mitigation, remediation, compliance, monitoring and compensation) that it was asked. The CLG reported in its letter of unanimous resignation that at the end of its life: “We have as many unanswered questions today as we did when we started.” The information received on social questions was too little and too late. (For more lessons learned from Deep River’s experience with the STF see the Appendix to my submission dated 2004 October on “Understanding the Choices”.)

    A lesson learned from the failure of the STF was that “The process fails to recognize that most people form their opinions on public issues at an early stage before enough information is available for what experts would regard as an informed decision. These early opinions are largely derived from existing mindsets and messages conveyed by the media. Once opinions are formed it is very difficult to change them: new information is either used to reinforce them, or is rejected. As a result of this and the lack of balance in available information … many people had decided at a relatively early stage to vote against the proposal, and so were unreceptive to new information available through the CLG.” Throughout the process, starting at Step 1, the NWMO should monitor the media, especially local media, for false or misleading items on the process and be prepared to respond immediately.

    Even at this early stage the community needs to know if it would be eligible. The Initial Requirements (p.13) represent a good start but the NWMO should ensure that they are as complete as possible and should redraft them in more user-friendly terms. The first requirement, not mentioned, should be suitable geology, and the term should be explained. “Protected areas” and “heritage sites” should be explained and reference given to any relevant acts or regulations. The meaning of “groundwater resources” is unclear since all geological formations are liable to contain some water. Since some requirements are quantitative rather than absolute, this matter should be clarified.

    One of the causes identified for the failure of the STF process was the lack of any “proponent or champion in the volunteer community to balance the opponents that come out for any such proposal. … The STF stated that it could not act as a proponent: its terms of reference consist of six actions but do not include the objective of securing a disposal site. The mandate of the CLG (Community Liaison Group) is to be a neutral two-way conduit for information between the community and the STF.” In its Final Report (p. 85) the STF acknowledged the need for a champion.

    Despite a possible perception of conflict of interest – the NWMO is both proponent and arbiter – its primary responsibility is to secure a suitable site. To succeed it must provide champions for each interested community. At early steps one individual could serve several communities on a visiting basis: later a champion should be resident in each of the short-list communities.

    Thus history teaches the needs for both consumer-friendly information and a champion; and that both should be available from the start.

    The importance of knowing the NWMO’s position on compensation arises again in Step 5B. The NWMO apparently intends negotiating an agreement bilaterally with each community, at which stage compensation will be an issue. The Report states that the “NWMO and the community will work together” on developing the agreement. The integrity and the fairness of the process have to be questioned if the NWMO subsequently (Step 6) has to select between agreements in which the NWMO has been involved. At least in theory, the NWMO could manipulate the draft agreements to justify any desired selection. Later, the NWMO would be vulnerable to a legal challenge by a rejected community.

    The alternative, repeatedly recommended to the NWMO and its predecessor, the Blair Seaborn Panel, but ignored in the Report, is for the NWMO to assist, not “work with” the community to develop technical aspects of its proposal then leave the community to form its own assessment of its priorities and the compensation it would require. The communities would then effectively be submitting bids permitting the NWMO to make a hands-off selection between the submissions.

    The Report is silent on the role of costs in the proposed assessment and selection. In past Dialogues members of the public have demanded that the risk should be made as low as possible. Despite submissions showing that making any one activity much safer than others reduces the safety of society as a whole, because of the inefficient use of limited resources, the NWMO has not discussed this issue. It does not have a mandate to find a solution at any cost. The first Guiding Principle (p. 16) recommends that regulatory requirements be exceeded “if possible”. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is more responsible in its ALARA Principle that radiation doses should be As Low As Reasonably Achievable.

    The NWMO does not own the funds that it disburses: it holds them in trust for Ontario ratepayers. It therefore has a duty to ensure that the selection is cost-effective. Thus the first stage of the selection should be to check that the proposals are adequately safe: then the lowest cost bid should be selected. Step 6A (p. 23) on how the NWMO selects the preferred site contains no mention of costs. Cost effectiveness should also be a factor in designing the demonstration facility so that, if it is successful, it can be expanded into the final facility: at least the surface facilities should be capable of servicing the final facility.

    It is important that this aspect of the process be known from the start so that communities do not incorporate excessive safety in their proposals resulting in them being priced out of the competition. Should the NWMO reject this argument for adequate safety and decide to “evaluate” safety (pp. 28 – 31) the evaluation should be quantitative wherever possible. For instance, it is not enough just to ensure that “The volume of available competent rock … is sufficient” (p.28): the permeability of the rock must be known for comparison between sites.

    Either proposed selection process could be applied to the case where the NWMO has to select one proposal from several technically acceptable ones. Both processes would have difficulty if there exists only one acceptable proposal so that the NWMO has to negotiate an agreement with little bargaining power. The Report fails to provide a contingency plan for this case. Even more difficult would be no technically acceptable willing community yet again the Report contains nothing on this contingency.

    The agreement between the NWMO and the community will contain procedures for ongoing monitoring of the surrounding air and water even when the repository is closed. These should include two provisions:

    • On-line measurements of radiation levels in the air and water should be displayed somewhere the public can readily see them, e.g., in the sort of time and temperature advertising signs of some stores.

    • There should be predetermined and agreed actions, e.g., a shut-down of operations, should the measurements exceed predetermined levels.

    These provisions are intended to increase the trust in operation of the facility. The question of trust is further addressed in the final section.

    There is no recognition that the demonstration facility will probably require regulatory review.

    The CNSC normally requires separate licences for construction and operation. In conformity with Adaptive Phased Management it would be wise to treat these as two distinct steps.

    The Report’s failure to inform the public of all the work done on the responsible management of used fuel before the NWMO was created in 2002 (p. 9) is an insult to all those in the Canadian nuclear industry who had already provided the necessary research and development and who had been advocating a solution virtually identical to the NWMO’s Adaptive Phased Management for decades (see AECL Report AECL-5136 of 1975). Specifically, W.B. Lewis, “father of CANDU”, had initiated field trials of a potential means of safe disposal of the fuel-wastes in the early 1950s before any CANDU reactors were in operation.

    The relevance of this to the NWMO is that it affects public trust, something that the NWMO rightly considers important. During NWMO Dialogues participants have expressed distrust of the Canadian nuclear industry based on a false belief that it had built nuclear reactors without having considered how to manage the wastes. It is in the interests of the NWMO as part of that industry to challenge such misunderstandings and certainly not to propagate them.

    After Deep River and the STF agreed on a CAP the then federal Minister of Energy failed to endorse and implement it. This history may make communities reluctant to get involved in a protracted process that could prove futile. The NWMO has to assure communities that they can trust it to implement any agreement that is signed.

    To gain and maintain public trust the NWMO’s publications must be unimpeachable. Unfortunately, many of its publications, notably Background Papers, contain statements that have been challenged without the NWMO taking any position. To help improve future publications the Appendix provides detailed comments on the Report, each trivial in itself.

    2009 July 12

    Appendix – Detailed Comments



    It is wrong to describe the project as “high technology”. Construction of the repository represents little more than responsible mining. Also p. 11.


    The centre should employ engineers as well as “scientists, researchers and others”.


    “Any community that is selected” in the first bullet represents implicit assumption of the DAD approach.


    “Over an extended period” in the third bullet implies that at some time the wastes will be irretrievable. They will always be retrievable but with greater effort.


    NWMO publications repeatedly stress the “danger” of the wastes and that they will “remain dangerous” for thousands of years. This only reinforces public fears. Other wastes are called “hazardous wastes” not “dangerous wastes”. Electricity kills many people annually but insulated domestic wiring is not “dangerous”. Any danger is a product of the inherent capacity for harm and the accessibility.


    Before promising a viewing gallery the NWMO should ensure that it will not be prohibited for reasons of security. As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack AECL had to close to the public its Visitors’ Centre at Chalk River.


    The final paragraph is convoluted and speculative with “potential” (twice), “may” and “possibly”. It says no more than: “Any large construction project results in social and economic stresses that have to be managed responsibly.”


    A first bullet, “Suitable geology”, should be inserted.


    The value of this page is questionable since it raises questions and comments that are addressed in subsequent pages.


    The third bullet should be the first.


    There are repeated references to funding communities to help them in their relations with the NWMO, e.g., 6th Guiding Principle. Criteria for this funding need to be developed and published: for instance, will research already conducted and reviewed with public funds be duplicated, remembering the need for prudent disbursement of ratepayers’ funds (see Step 5)?


    This page duplicates the following ones and is irritating in that questions arising here are addressed later. If a summary is needed it would be better following p. 32.


    The same comments on the criteria bullets apply here as in Step 1.


    The final paragraph implicitly assumes one of the two models discussed under the role of the communities in site selection in the preamble to this response.


    Since the so-called Precautionary Principle is controversial (see my submission on the NWMO Background Paper on the subject) the phrase “acknowledge precaution” is meaningless: pedantically, sites cannot acknowledge anything.


    What conditions are intended in questions 3 and 5 that are not covered by other questions?


    This page, referring to a singular “site”, jumps from Step 3 to Step 8 without any mention of the vital selection between multiple sites.


    This page is confused by jargon. How can anything be “isolated” from its “environment” except by “containment”? The “environment” must have some special meaning here. What is “competent” rock and what are “unfavourable heterogeneities”?


    In 2.1 “future” should be “predicted”.


    Under “Evaluation Factors” there are several references to “adversely impact” that should not be worded as absolutes: some adverse impact can be acceptable. In 3. “should permit the safe construction”.


    6.1 seems to duplicate 6.


    The final paragraph again represents the paternalistic approach where the NWMO will decide what the community wants and what is good for it.


    Any poll would have to be very carefully designed, implemented and monitored. Experience in Deep River with a STF poll taught how misleading and inflammatory a badly organized poll can be. In a remote region many people may not have telephone service of any kind and polls would have difficulty sampling those with cell-phones.


    What are “communication products”?


    The NWMO should be prepared for the CNSC being unwilling to undertake “preliminary reviews” due to inadequate resources, as happened when AECL requested something similar for its advanced CANDU reactor.

    Learning, James G.

    I am at present heading up a fledgling organization with the aim to educate Labradorians to the dangers of uranium mining. These proposed mines three in all will be attempting to get in on world markets within the next few years, thus adding to the misery of the already burgeoning uranium storage problems. Our end goal is "No uranium mining in Labrador. thus far we have the perception we live in the last bastion of pristine wilderness. Not really so I'm afraid.

    However, we need to build on the pristine in attempt to limit the dirt from spreading directly into our Territorial environment. This will probably be an impossible fight, but fight we intend to.

    As for my opinion about nuclear storage. One thing should be perfectly clear, people who allow this material and the nuclear plants unto their soil where ever it is in this country and the world, "should be responsible for storing it directly in their own back yards". The power generated in these plants are not for the whole country, nor is it GREEN, far from it. It is a deadly poison which creates TRITUM, thus poisoning any water systems it comes in contact with. You only have to look at the leukemia stats within the radius of any nuclear facility and the truth reveals itself. Why in the world do we want to create any more cancer victims, especially children? Cancer is the number one killer in the western world.

    There will come a time when we will have the materials to contain radiation. It is not here yet,much more research a development must be done to prefect such products, until then we are not ready for Man made Isotopes. We need to stop the deadly game we are playing with this material, in the name of clean energy. It is absolutely not clean, and what is worse uncontainable. How long has the nightmare of spent uranium storage gone on? The answer is far to long an thus far no solution. Spent uranium fuel will out last your hopeful committee by 500,000 years and beyond if uranium use continues. No. very definitely this material must be kept in the back yard of the user, anything else is wrong and unfair to the unsuspecting public who takes no time to see what this material really is. How educated people such as your committee can lower yourselves to even attempt to move this stuff outside of the users domain is callous and uncaring.

    Think about what you are saying when you even suggest Aboriginal peoples will be consulted on the ramification of benefits to such communities. First of all the National state of First Nation Peoples is deplorable, then you add your attempt to store this stuff on their lands. Talk about adding misery. Any of your members should be down right ashamed to even contemplate such a devious idea of storing it in any ones back yard.

    Let me know if you need any information from Dr Chris Busbee, the worlds leading nuclear independent research and his successful court cases against Nuclear power plant in Great Britain. His work is groundbreaking and enlightening. His credentials are impeccable and long. Mainly they are independent, not uranium industry driven. quite frankly the nuclear people fear this man and his work on the deadly effects of so called low level radiation.

    Educate your selves to this his work and then see if you have the stomach for the work you are attempting to do. Not likely, if you are absolutely honest with your selves.

    Thanks for the opportunity to express my views, hope you find them helpful.

    Cragg, Gregory

    A deep Depository could have problems in the future from weak rock and geological activity. Looking at another solution that can be located above ground in an area controlled by the government that answers all of the problems associated with nuclear waste as well a site to put and monitor this waste. My solution is very simple and inexpensive.

    Zimmermann, Detlef

    I would like to support the submission by Sorin - copied below. In addition if the ground up radioactive material was mixed with the slag of existing uranium mines , we could fill up depleted uranium mines or section of them. These location were low emission radioactive sites to start with.

    By putting existing slag with diluted uranium back down the old mines, are we just completing a cycle of returning uranium to its origin. These mines didn't leak into ground water before and contain radiation control elements such as lead. Was this approach ever considered? What is the down side?

    The natural gas industry uses old gas fields as storage by pumping gas back down old mines that are tested to not leak to build a distributed gas deployment system. This approach of using old uranium mines is similar in concept.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Ted D. Zimmermann - PENG

    "Name: Sorin Schwimmer

    Dear Madam/Sir,

    I would like to advocate again against storing nuclear waste in a centralized repository. A community willing today to host it may want to change its mind, which will be practically impossible. Besides, there is a better, proven way, to deal with radioactive material in a safe way: dilute it. We did not invent radioactive materials (except for some short-lived synthetic elements); all we do is to concentrate ore to be useful for our activity. In the diluted form, in which it occurs naturally, it is harmless. So, I suggest using waste from other mining activity to mix with nuclear waste, and spread the mix over large areas, ideally underground. I hope this helps.

    Truly yours, Sorin Schwimmer"

    Risdon, James

    A Response to Choosing a Way Forward: The Future Management of Canada's Used Nuclear Fuel

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization's Proposed Process for Selecting a Site

    By James Risdon

    June 18, 2009

    Bathurst, New Brunswick


    Good afternoon, Members of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. My name is James Risdon and I am a resident of Bathurst, New Brunswick where I operate a small business, called ACI Media Group. I am pleased to welcome you here. Since you have taken the time to come here to the Atlantic Host Hotel and Conference Centre in Bathurst to meet us, I trust this will be a true consultative process and that you will, in fact, listen to the people who come before you to express their views of nuclear waste storage in Canada.

    Although I find the science behind nuclear energy fascinating, I am not myself a proponent of nuclear energy. This form of energy is often described as "clean" but it is certainly neither clean nor environmentally friendly. Nuclear energy leaves us with a serious problem of nuclear waste which can cause deformities, illness and death. The magnitude of the problem is reflected in the current exercise before us that of finding a place to store all of this radioactive garbage produced by nuclear reactors in Canada. I personally would much prefer our energy to come from renewable and clean energy sources. So, if you were to ask me for my ideal method of disposing of nuclear waste, my answer to you would be: "Don't produce any. Shut down all nuclear reactors and stop spewing nuclear waste."

    Even though I prefer to use renewable and clean energy sources, I am however enough of a realist to recognize Canada already has a serious problem. There is already a vast quantity of nuclear waste in existence in Canada and it must be stored to avoid serious public safety, public health and economic repercussions. We do have to find a place to store this junk.

    With this in mind, I would like to offer the following comments on Choosing a Way Forward: The Future Management of Canada's Used Nuclear Fuel, which I understand to be the Nuclear Waste Management Organization's proposed process for selecting a site to store all of Canada's nuclear waste. The Greater Bathurst Region as a Potential Site for a Centralized Nuclear Waste Facility

    The summary of Choosing a Way Forward proposes that this nuclear waste be located underground in a rock formation in either the Canadian Shield or in Ordovician sedimentary rock. Now, the Canadian Shield encompasses much of Ontario and Quebec and a band of Ordovician sedimentary rock runs from just west of Bathurst to roughly Belledune and southwest to the New Brunswick-U.S. border through some of the most beautiful land in this province.

    Since the greater Bathurst region is within the area being discussed as a possible location for this nuclear waste, I feel the voice of Bathurst residents should be heard on this issue. In a nutshell, I do not want a centralized nuclear waste facility to be located anywhere within 500 kilometres of Bathurst. With the possibility of future contamination, anything less than a 500-km. buffer is unacceptable.

    The third point in your summary on Page 8 of Choosing a Way Forward is to seek an informed and "willing community to host the central facilities." Please, then, take note that I am not willing to host these central nuclear waste facilities. I hope my unwillingness to have this nuclear waste dump here will be considered in your decision-making.

    There is a troubling sentence on Page 3 of the summary to Choosing a Way Forward. On that page, the summary states: "the communities hosting the nuclear reactors have an expectation that used nuclear fuel will eventually be moved." Maybe so. But I would like to point out that anyone who moves to a community with a nuclear reactor already knows they are putting themselves at risk should there be a serious accident. People choose to live there knowing there is a nuclear reactor and radioactive material present. People who have chosen to live in Bathurst and the Chaleur region, on the other hand, are expecting this area will be free of nuclear waste and nuclear contamination. We are far away from nuclear reactors and many of us like it that way. I personally take some comfort in knowing my children will not die an agonizing death should Point Lepreau melt down. We could get to safety in time. I have no desire to see my home here in the Chaleur region suddenly be placed at risk by the nuclear industry.

    The Long-term Dangers of Deep Geological Disposal

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization's own report recognizes that once a community commits to taking this nuclear garbage in deep geological disposal, the die is cast and nothing much can be done should things go horribly wrong.

    The summary to Choosing a Way Forward admits that: Over the short term, the approach was judged to be less flexible in responding to changing knowledge or circumstances. There is some uncertainty about how the system will perform over the very long term because we cannot obtain advance proof of actual performance over thousands of years. Once this stuff is deep in the ground, we cannot know for sure exactly what will happen. And that means we cannot absolutely guarantee the safety of the residents of the region or their protection from harmful radiation.

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization's proposed solution to this is to keep this nuclear garbage in an optional shallow storage area at the central site and to continuously monitor the stuff. This sounds to me like a fairly clear admission that something could go horribly wrong and this nuclear waste might have to be quickly removed and an intensive clean-up operation undertaken. This hardly inspires confidence in me that this centralized nuclear garbage dump will be safe. On the contrary, it confirms my suspicions that even the organization planning this centralized nuclear garbage dump is worried about things going wrong.

    On Page 3 of its report, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization states its approach to this problem must be both safe and secure. Safe and secure. It must also be fair to both current and future generations. It is neither safe nor secure to attempt something knowing there will be a need for eternal monitoring just so things don't go horribly wrong. A process of monitoring is only as safe as the people who oversee it day in and day out. And, if history has taught us anything, it is that people and systems ultimately fail, sometimes spectacularly.

    Remember the Kobe earthquake of 1995? The light rapid transit system there was engineered to be able to withstand that earthquake and supposedly built to those specs. Everything seemed fine until the earthquake hit and a contractor's lack of adherence to the specifications became startlingly apparent. Pylons holding up tracks to a light rail transit system snapped in two, leaving the track on the remaining portion basically going nowhere. This is the kind of thing that can happen with something as simple as building concrete pylons.

    I shudder to think of what might happen with something as complex as a deep nuclear waste management facility filled with nuclear waste after a few hundred years of decay, the occasional earthquake, the possible bombs from future wars on the soil above, lightening strikes, and changes to weather patterns and groundwater and subsidence of soil due to global warming. A former Montrealer, I remember all too well the famous retractable roof which was to be built on the Olympic Stadium for the games. What a fiasco that was. Later, I learnt the very stadium is apparently sinking into the ground on one end. Bridges collapse, tunnels fill with water, buildings are shaken from their foundations by earthquakes.

    Contractors can skimp on materials. Engineers can make mistakes in their designs. Unknown factors come into play. Everything people build can be destroyed and usually is within a few hundred years. With this nuclear waste facility, we are talking of thousands of years. The likelihood of a disaster over such a long period of time is a virtual certainty.

    The Transportation of Nuclear Waste

    Anyone who has spent any time on New Brunswick roads in winter knows just how treacherous they can be. Four-wheel-drive vehicles routinely wind up in the ditch due to snow and icy conditions. Moose startle drivers who suddenly find themselves with an animal weighing 1,100 lbs. flying through their windshield. It is common knowledge that trains carrying material from mines derail fairly regularly in the middle of the night when the winter cold chills the tracks and makes this mode of transportation unreliable. Flights get grounded, ice fills up much of our waterways in winter and thunderstorms and downpours in the Miramichi area are among the most spectacular in all of Canada. I know. I've lived or worked in most Canadian provinces and I have never seen anything like the storms that hit Miramichi during the summer.

    With all of this, I find it staggering that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization can claim on Page 6 of the summary to Choosing a Way Forward to be "confident that used fuel can be transported safely." The report states that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization will "need to demonstrate the safety of any transportation system to the satisfaction of citizens." Good luck.

    Transportation accidents do occur. The Titanic, despite the claims of promoters, did sink and lead to the loss of life of more than 1,500 people. The Exxon Valdez did spew millions of gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, killing half a million sea birds, 5,000 sea otters, 300 harp seals and billions of young salmon, fish eggs and young juvenile fish. Closer to home, seven young basketball players and one teacher from Bathurst High School died last year when their school van fishtailed on the highway and hit an on-coming tractor trailer. As a Bathurst resident and a parent, I do not want to see any more of our young people die as the result of a transportation accident - and yet I know it will happen. It's a sad and tragic reality that as long as we choose to drive, there will be accidents. Radioactive materials don't belong on our roads. They don't belong anywhere where there may be accidents which will leave our citizens and our children exposed to deadly radioactive materials.

    Education: The Need for a Northern University

    Given the billions of dollars which will be spent on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization's centralized nuclear waste facility, I am under no illusions about the almost hypnotic effect the almighty dollar will have on some of our community leaders. I fully expect at least some of our elected officials and business people and maybe even just ordinary folks eager for jobs to line up and say, "Yes, please!"

    I wish to be absolutely clear: It is my view that it would be a mistake of unprecedented proportions for the people of the Chaleur region to a host a nuclear waste management facility here in the Bathurst area. However, I realize that I may lose this fight and that such a radioactive garbage dump may yet come to northern New Brunswick. If it does, I ask only two things.

    First, I ask that every conceivable precaution known or yet to be discovered be applied to the development and management of such a facility for the safety of the health of the people of this region.

    Secondly, I ask that a significant portion of these billions of dollars being spent for the nuclear waste management facility be invested in a full-service university with a specialization in nuclear physics and nuclear health to be built here in Bathurst.

    If a nuclear waste management facility is to be located in this region, it will need people educated and trained in operating it safely. It will need people capable of planning for the future. It will need people who can look ahead and develop new methods of disposing of nuclear waste and doing so safely. The logical place to have a training facility for such people would be in the region where the facility is built. In that way, people in the industry can teach courses, write papers, do research and stay abreast of the latest developments. They can become or remain the leaders in their field. Since there is no such university in northern New Brunswick and the region desperately needs a university to train and retain its young workers, it would only make sense to place a full-service university here where there are the most service industries already in place. Without such a university, I cannot see how a nuclear waste facility would be able to attract and retain top-quality professionals to operate its facility. As it is, hospitals in northern New Brunswick have difficulty attracting doctors and nurses and these are already less specialized in many ways than what is being proposed with this nuclear waste management facility. I certainly would not want such an operation to be staffed by anything but the best people in the field. That means we would need to train top-notch nuclear physicists, technicians and engineers. I propose this be done in a full-service university, complete with research and development facilities and post-graduate programs, as a small token of goodwill to the community which would host this nuclear waste facility.


    Members of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, I thank you for your time and consideration of this brief presentation.

    I hope you enjoy your stay in Bathurst and make a decision which will preserve the beauty and environmental integrity of this wonderful region.

    Thank you.

    Seitz, Tim

    Until we learn how to undo radioactive waste we should not be creating more. The nuclear Industry promised to solve this problem more than 50 years ago.

    We are still creating nuclear waste which will outlive our principalities. Our children and their children will be beggared by this growing responsibility.

    The amount of waste blown into the biosphere at chernobyl was less than one one hundred thousandth of what we are now storing. So do not try to convey a message that the nuclear waste we are storing is negligible.

    We have enough stored to poison the whole planet many times over. Our progeny will suffer far more than our generation will ever benefit.

    To create more nuclear waste is unthinkable. Because groundwater permeates the whole lithosphere there is no safe storage place. Nuclear waste will have to be permanetly attended to forever.

    My message to you is: Cease creating more of this waste ASAP.

    Tim Seitz

    McIsaac, Ronald

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization & Canada's nuclear waste -

    When I look at a map of Canada I would like to see a more CENTRAL/NORTHERN location,namely northern Saskatchewan for its central location in Canada & vast uninhabited northern lands as compared to New Brunswick for example that is so much smaller & almost completely inhabited in every area by comparison. & with Alberta possibly having nuclear power in the future a more central location makes more sense to me.

    Thank you.

    Ronald Mcisaac, Saint john, NB.

    Williamson, Scott

    I strongly urge you to faze out nuclear power because there is no true safe way to store nuclear waste. More effort should be put into developing renewable energy resources and reducing energy consumption

    Buckingham, Darlene

    After viewing your materials and presentation the dangers of high level nuclear waste have been whitewashed. The all white cover - small, small title of nuclear waste management organization is clearly showing you are downplaying the dangers of what you are doing. Blue and white is soothing and hiding the fact you are dealing with the most dangerous substance on the planet and that you are putting people and the environment at risk by producing and attempting to bury high level radioactive waste.

    All your materials must have a radioactive danger sign and clear indication you are dealing with high level radioactive waste or you are deceiving the Canadian people. If I do not see dangers signs on your material in the future I will write to every paper and magazine in Canada until someone pays attention - unfortunately people are too busy to take notice of the dangers around them. I know - you know. Protect the unsuspecting public and the children. Begin to let everyone know we have a very serious problem and if we do not solve it quickly and stop producing nuclear waste we are putting ourselves and our very way of life at serious risk. You are playing with a substance that harms and destroys life - I do not detect that you understand this or that you are being honest about the harm that high level radioactive waste can do to life. This harms all of us.

    Please start telling the REAL truth and how we are playing with life by continuing to use uranium. I demand that radioactive danger signs be on all your materials and that people are dressed in radioactive protective clothing when handling fuel bundles - picking up a fuel bundle as if it is harmless is deceptive. Stop the whitewashing and the deception and let people know what is really going on. To do any less is a irresponsible and reckless behaviour putting life at risk. This has to end NOW. It is outrageous that you present such a dangerous subject in such an innocuous way. This deceptive PR has to stop. We are all going to pay for this whitewashing.

    Thank you.

    Malo, Andre

    The volume of waste produced in Canada must be large enough to consider more than one site. With more than one site an accident would be of reduced importance. Something like the actual situation with active nuclear power plant.

    Belcastro, Frank

    As long as there are nuclear power plants operating in this country, there will be high-level nuclear waste that cannot be moved to any ultimate storage facility and cannot be safely stored. Deadly radioactive waste is piling up at reactor sites across the country, with no environmentally-responsible means of disposal and no solutions in sight.

    Canadians must realize that most reactors will soon reach their age limil and that they are accidents waiting to happen. In the United States, the nuclear industry has been challenged to come up with a solution to nuclear waste; to date, they have not been able to do so because there is no solution to the problem except not to produce anymore. Consider the partial meltdown and radiation disaster at Three Mile Island (TMI) near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (USA) in early 1979. In 1980, Pennsylvania State Health Department authorities reported a sharp rise in hypothyroidism in newborn infants in the three counties downwind from the reactor. Late in 1979, four times as many infants as normal were born with the disease. In the county where TMI is located, infant deaths soared 53.7 percent in the first month after the accident; 27 percent in the first year. Best to phase out nuclear plants.

    There are three reasons for not having nuclear power plants.

    First, they are unnecessary; hundreds of people who study the subject closely have been confirming that a rational combination of energy conservation and alternative renewable energy technologies can give us far more power than nuclear at far less cost and risk.

    Second, in purely economic terms, nukes are a horrendous investment because no reactor can be guaranteed not to melt nor can any be protected from earthquakes and terrorism and no lending agency is willing to invest in them and no insurance company is willing to take the risk.

    Third, there is a moral reason: if people in Chernobyl are still dying from the long-term effects 23 years later, why take the risk of an explosion?

    Labrecque, Jean

    this population consultation (mostly private companies)is not very serious as Canada signed the Northcom, the thaughts of people from other countries being accepted and USA nuclear wastes will sooner or later be (imported or accepted) in Canadian soil.

    Cosby, Scott

    I am not infovour of developing new nuclear waste storege facilities. Nuclear energy is expensive and unnecessary. The risks associated with the waste produced only add to my concerns about this technology.

    In my view conservation and renewables can more than meet our energy requirements, if only we can agree, for a change, to be smart about energy use. At least 50% and probably as much as 90% of the energy we use is wasted. Renewable sources can meet our interim demands while we reconfigure our societies to make optimal use of our energy supply.

    Exponential growth of demand and supply is not a wise path to follow. Please don't dump your waste in my back yard. If it's so safe you should keep it for yourselves.

    Fitzpatrick, Gary

    I do not want the NWMO to store spent fuel rods in the community of Sudbury

    I would find it hard to believe that anyone would want them stored in there back yard no matter how much money they stand to gain form such a proposal these cells are active for years to come there is always underground blasting going on the ground shakes and can be felt above this cannot be good for storage of such a dangerous by product and I for One do not want it stored in Sudbury

    I am afraid of the side affects and the potential hazards such storage may have on this community for years to come.

    Blais, Elaine

    I've read your document outlining the process for the selection of a site for the establishment of " a deep geological repository and associated centre of expertise" for the long term "care" of "used nuclear fuel" and I would like to say NO to you ,to your team,(including the well-spoken blonde),to the Canadian government ( which, contrary to popular belief, is supposed to work for me not for corporations ) and to the advertising experts you consulted(at great expense , no doubt) who advised you to use the term "care" instead of " burying dangerous , toxic nuclear waste "in my community.

    I know why you are looking at the Sudbury area as a desirable nuclear waste dump.I know you think you can send people here armed with disingenuous sincerity and your carefully planned and thoughtful non-threatening presentation, who , radiating sincerity, will convince the local rubes that there isn't a thing to worry ! about. I mean nuclear waste is as safe as houses. We contain it so well that you could serve tea off of it to your grandchildren. Right? Nothing can go wrong. The experts all agree. And I'm sure you have expertise up the wazzoo. They will cite chapter and verse. You have studies and indisputable scientific facts to prove that nuclear garbage is GOOD for us, for our community and our economy.

    The best, wisest, most prudent course would be for us to welcome the opportunity to become your toxic nuclear garbage dump. ( I can see the tourist brochures now:Welcome to The Nickel Belt.We Glow in the Dark)We should embrace this opportunity to help you out with your little problem.This would , of course , make it so much easier for you to continue producing nuclear waste instead of finally facing reality. The reality being that ever since the first nuclear "facility" churned out the first ton of nuclear waste neither you, nor anyone else, has known what to do with it.

    There are now 438 of these deadly facilities worldwide and they all, I suppose ,have a clever marketing team busily at work convincing the locals that it would be a great idea to "care" for the lethal garbage somewhere deep down , hidden away, out of sight, hardly noticeable at all, under their houses for as long as the planet continues to exist or less time if something untoward and highly unlikely and almost guaranteed to never happen , happens.And after all it's only Sudbury after all. It isn't Montreal or downtown Toronto. That would be silly. Those people would never agree to "care" for nuclear waste and besides they don't have any old used up mine shafts or extremely stable geological formations just going to waste under their homes. They haven't got an environment that has already been decimated by corporate exploitation, greed and stupidity; an environment that has only recently begun to recover from the last assault against it. They haven't recently lost hundreds of good paying jobs because a foreign owner of one of their natural resources has had to pull out of the community because the profit base is eroding.(Sorry about that. Better luck next time Oh, that's right. There won't be a next time because you sold your natural resources and now they're gone.)

    They aren't ripe for some new short-term scheme to exploit their environment in exchange for some serious long-term pain. Canada may have a plan "for the safe and secure long-term management" of its deadly toxic nuclear garbage but I've got my own plan to "care" for the future of my family, my community and the fragile environment of this , struggling , exploited region . My plan does not include your plan. Instead I'll give you a new plan. Take all your money, power, influence, scientific expertise, vision, paid-for politicians,advertising and marketing specialists and come up with an innovative, efficient,non-polluting, implementable plan for numerous alternative energy installations all over this province. Make it a priority. Get cracking on it right now. Forget about the toxic waste dump thing. it's not going to happen. Not here. Not while there's breath in my body.

    Pharand, Guy

    Keep nuclear waste out of the Sudbury community.

    Angeloff, Judy

    I offer you a STRONG NO to your proposed dumping of nuclear waste in Sudbury Area Mines. Find another solution and another community.

    Sincerely, Judy Angeloff

    Noble, Lilly

    Please find somewhere else to put your spent rods. We have been polluting Sudbury's soil, water and air for over 100 years. We don't need the legacy of another 1000 years of radioactive rods beneath our feet to hand over to generations of our children too.

    If you can't find a place on earth to put the nuclear waste, may I suggest wind or solar energy as an alternative to your method of electricity generation. We must use sustainable methods of energy production!

    Demore, Jacy

    an issue has come up among the student population at my school. today teachers of math, science and english handed out patitions to oppose the dumping of nuclear waste in our community, much to the support of our students. yet it amazes me how our older more distinguished citizens know little or nothing of the matter. why is this. how is it possible that we know more about the "trouble" our local news station is in due to digital cable than the risk dumping of nuclear waste brings to our town. to choose a city with a considerable amount of blasting, mining and seisemic activity in the area, dumping toxins into our earth is unexceptable. what would happen in the event of a shaft collaps, how would we check to see if the waste has begun to seep. this leaves us open to a disaster that we are not willing to take the chance of having.

    Perhaps your "organization" should be re-thought, Nuclear toxins aren't just in need of management they'r! e in need of responsible management. for example selecting a populated area in which the forte is mining is reckless, not only that but i have longed to know why nuclear waste must be kept underground. is it to hide the amount of pollution this is causing? or is it just neglegence in the danger of possibly contaminanting our cities ground water. if you have enough money to pay off a city to poison its self then you have enough money to build a proper ABOVE GROUND facility to store it. not only would this bring comfort to the public but it also adds safety and ease of access, to make sure everything is running accordingly.

    with all due respect it is hard enough to trust big buisness to do their job properly when they are under close supervision let alone to travel four hundred feet underground to make sure that things are secure. thank you for your time not angered,disgusted ,

    Jacy Demore

    Buckingham, Darlene

    Another questions - How many fuel bundle are there per hockey rink so I know how many fuel bundles there actually are and who calculated how many fuel bundles per hockey rink - is there a running count of fuel bundles every day and where can this be accessed? i.e how many fuel bundles are there in Canada as of May 22, 2009?

    Are fuel bundles the only radioactive material to be buried in this DRG?

    Do you have another plan if nobody wants to accept a DRG in their community?

    Are are you ensuring that everyone in the potential host provinces are aware that a DRG is being planned in their Province - many people do not read , do not have easy access to newspapers, TV, internet?

    What % of the people of the host province is considered a majority of acceptance of a DRG in their Province?

    As there is a push for nuclear in other provinces - there has been a study of the feasibility of nuclear energy for Saskatchewan - why are they not being considered as a host province?

    Als! o there are many uranium mines in Saskatchewan - they benefit from the nuclear industry.

    Will there be a route and schedule available of the transportation of these high level radioactive waste through communities?

    What if a community does not agree to have high level radioactive waste transported through their community?

    What are you going to do to prepare small communites for a nuclear accident disaster? How much are the trucks transporting nuclear waste going to be insured for?

    How much is the DRG going to be insured for?

    How much is the host community going to be ensured for?

    I will post questions as they come to me.

    Thank in advance for your answers

    Orlando, Cathy

    What cites in Canada are being considered for the long term deep cite repository for nuclear waste?

    How much nuclear waste is expected to be stored there in the next 10, 20, 50 and 100 years?

    Are you investing in research to try to make nuclear waste not so dangerous? Are you working with particle physicists to try to figure out how to stabilize radioactive materials?

    What are the project costs of the deep storage wasted in the next 10, 20, 50 and 100 years?

    What communication tools are you using to transmit to future generations from now (1,000 years)to warn them of the potential of nuclear hazard?

    Porrill, Heather

    The adaptive phased management is not a long term solution to the nuclear waste problem. This is nothing more than sweeping dirt under the carpet for someone to clean up later, it is unacceptable, and I for one am not willing to be any part of it for the future generation that I am currently raising.

    We should be ashamed at the way we pollute the earth. Change needs to happen now and that change is, create no more nuclear power waste, period.

    Buckingham, Darlene

    What does it matter if I am female or male - what about if I am human and I will get sick if I ingest or breathe in uranium and will get sick and die if exposed to nuclear waste. I will also get sick if drinking water contaminated by nuclear waste. There is a lot of research on the dangers of ingesting and breathing in uranium at the mining stage, milling and processing stage and at the nuclear energy stage? What are you doing to ensure the safety of the Canadian people exposed to uranium through mining, processing, milling and production of nuclear waste? What are you doing to protect our drinking water and ground water sources from contamination? How do you know the containers are leak proof over a period of 100,000 years 1 million years how about even 100 year? There is already evidence of leaking of radioactive waste in the temporary containers.

    There are leaks in Port Hope - Chalk River, Pickering. How are you cleaning up these leaks? How would you clean up ! a leak if it happened in the deep geologic repository? What would happen to Stephanie if she picked up a used fuel bundle? Why are there no radioactive danger signs anywhere on your site or in your videos to acknowledge that you are dealing with radioactivity and chemically toxic uranium? Why does it cost approximately 4 billion dollars per hockey rink of nuclear waste to bury it.?You say there are 6 hockey rinks filled to the top with nuclear waste so that is a little over 4 billion per rink. What is the cost per hockey rink at 2009 prices? What will be the cost be per hockey rink in 2035 when this respository will supposedly be on-line and how many more hockey rinks of waste will there be by this time? What is making the cost per hockey rink so expensive - 4 billion per rink is a very large expense for something that you have claimed is safe.

    According to many nuclear energy is clean and safe - why is it so expensive to store the waste? Also what is the 63 million dollar ! 2009 budget of the NWMO going to be spent on? How is it that t! here is no operating deep geologic waste repository in the world when we have had nuclear energy for over 25 years? Where are the nuclear reactors going to be buried when they reach end of life? How are they going to be dismantled and how many hockey rinks will one nuclear reactor fill? Will the tax payers be paying for this on their hydro bill added to the debt we are already paying for built nuclear reactors? Will this be a new tax bill for us the taxpayers to pay to store waste.?Will the tax bill be shared by the host Province or by all Canadians? I would appreciate an answer to all the above questions. Thank you.

    Buckingham, Darlene

    Where are the radiation danger signs in your videos? What would happen to Stephanie if she was holding a used fuel bundle? Where is the information about what uranium is? What radioactivity is? What uranium does when inside the body? What uranium tailings are? What nuclear waste is? What tritium is? - Why nuclear waste is so dangerous? - Where is the information that would assist the public in making an INFORMED decision? - Why does nuclear waste have to be cooled for 7 to 10 years?- Why is there no place to store nuclear waste now? - What is taking so long if it is so safe?- Why are you drilling down into granite to store nuclear waste if nuclear energy is so clean and green?- Why is the process so complicated and taking so long? - Why do we need nuclear energy when only 15% of the world uses nuclear energy? - Why is renewable energy not being used? -Why is there no place to store nuclear waste after 60 years? Why do you have to find a host community? Why are p! eople not happy to host nuclear waste? Why do you even have to ask if it is so safe and not a problem? Why is there no discussion about weapons grade uranium and the role in nuclear energy and radioactive isotope production. What about discussion about the effect of uranium on the kidneys, lungs. What is radon gas? What would happen if there was an earthquake. What happens after 1,000 years of storage, 10,0000 years, 100,000 years 1 million years? How are you going to monitor this site for hundreds of thousands of years? How are you going to expand the site when more waste is produced? What is going to happen to the nuclear reactors when they reach end of life? What are the disaster scenarios and how are you protecting the public?How are you going to safely transport the nuclear waste?What are the disaster procedures if there is a transportation accident? What insurance costs are there? How long is this going to take and how much is it going to cost? Why is tritium being du! mped into our drinking water. Why are you not telling the WHOL! E STORY? What you have presented is not enough information to make a decision that explains the consequences of accepting this into a community.

    Anyone who made a decision based on what you have presented would not know or understand what they are getting themselves into. This must stop and the whole story told. We must get real and find a real solution. When I see Danger signs and the explanation of what uranium is, how nuclear energy produces electricity and what the waste products are and how they put us and the environment at risk I will know we are getting closer to a real solution. This deep geologic repository will never happen as it is a ludicrous proposition. THERE IS NOT ONE FUNCTIONING DEEP GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY IN THE WORLD. You are misleading people to believe this is a solution to a very serious problem. Yucca has been scraped. Every country you mentioned is nowhere near to building a repository. THERE ARE ONLY PROBLEMS. To continue with nuclear energy with such! problems with safely storing nuclear waste is madness. Until we find a solution nuclear energy must be phased out and renewable energy adapted as fast as possible. To find a way to neutralize nuclear waste would be an intelligent use of money and time. To bury nuclear waste will never work and is wasting precious time. Tell the truth and get serious about finding a real solution. Start replacing nuclear energy with renewables and PRAY for a way to neutralize nuclear waste and live in PEACE!

    With peace, light and hope, Darlene Buckingham

    Russell, Bill

    My Wife and I stand 100 % behind Nuclear power. It is a safe and clean source power generation. I wish there was some way to convince Canadians that the waste we can store (nuclear), is far better than the waste that is put into our air from fossil fuel plants.

    If there is any way we can help your organization, Let me know.

    W R Russell

    Charles Rhodes

    Company: Xylene Power Ltd.

    The DGR project, as presently envisaged, is so expensive that in my view it is unlikely to receive political approval. There will always be apparently more pressing priorities for a sum of that magnitude. If the present value of $8 billion is invested at 5% per year, and half of the resulting $400 million per year interest earned is applied to ongoing maintenance and replacement of dry above ground storage, can that storage be maintained indefinitely into the future?

    Perhaps the project cost could be significantly reduced through the use of ceramic or glass rather than copper based storage containers. Perhaps the storage container could be made more reliable by evacuating air from a container containing a fuel bundle, and then filling the empty space with an inexpensive low melting point material like sulfur. This material would protect the container from being crushed by external pressure.

    I suspect that one container per fuel bundle would be less expensive. Then high volume glass container technology adapted from the food and beverage industry could be applied. The main issue is that the entire process must be made more economical, or it will never happen.


    C. Rhodes, P. Eng., Ph.D. Xylene Power Ltd. 

    Gauthier, Denis

    It seems that the NWMO Board chose Saskatchewan as a disposal site with no input from its citizens. Our Premier Mr. Calvert found out this week following his comments, where the people in this province stand on this issue when he stated he would consider such a site. I found it interesting that Calvert stated that his comments were misinterpreted. I find it hard to believe that anyone could misinterpret the premier’s voice stating that he would “consider a nuclear waste facility.” Calvert seemed to be arrogant enough to speak about the subject and then had to attempt to repair his position (because of an onslaught of correspondence and phone calls from outraged citizens) and by placing blame on the media that his comments were misinterpreted. Furthermore he then stated it was unfair for Stephanie Lanagenager(sp?) to ask such a question when he had no time to review the report. If Calvert was ill prepared to speak on the subject as he said then why wouldn’t he say just that. This banter between Calvert and the media is suspicious at best and could be construed as a policy already considered by his caucus.

    It was mentioned in the interview that there is a moral responsibility and issue because we mine uranium. I feel that our moral responsibility is to the environment first and last. The communities or other countries that make the choice of using nuclear power must accept the pros and cons! They also must accept that they are responsible for the waste products they are creating and should not expect any other country or provinces that are promoting wind power and small hydro projects to eliminate its coal-fired generators, to be expected to take another countries nuclear waste.

    In no other industrial cycle are the companies producing raw materials (from mining iron ore for making of steel products, wood for paper products or even aluminum) to be responsible for disposing the end product. The end user of the end product is responsible for recycling or disposal and must pay for it. If you want all the so called benefits of nuclear generated power then you must bear the responsibility for your own waste.

    I was surprised to see representatives for the nuclear energy companies on the NWMO board of directors but no representation for the environment. Only on the advisor committee who are not privileged to attend the “in camera” sessions of the Board meetings have connections to groups concerned for the environment.

    Furthermore the idea of targeting first nations communities who suffer to near third world conditions are expected to make life altering decisions which pay high profits now have no information to protect them from potentially devastating their environment. The domino effect following a leaking fuel cell could and would contaminate all the major fresh water supplies here in Saskatchewan, not to mention the Artic Ocean.

    I simply can not accept the argument and will never support this initiative.

    Denis Gauthier

    Regina, Saskatchewan

    United Church of Canada

    Attached is the response of the United Church of Canada to the final report and recommendation from NWMO. It is published here with the permission of the organization.

    Submission on the topic: Choosing a Way Forward - Final Study Report

    Robertson, J.A.L.

    This editorial was submitted by Dr. J.A.L. Robertson in cooperation with the author Dr. Richard V. Osborne. It is published here with their permission. The editorial has been published in the Bulletin Canadian Radiation Protection Association as follows: A Cautionary Tale (À propos de précaution), Richard V. Osborne, Bulletin Canadian Radiation Protection Association, Volume 26, No. 4, pp 16-19, December 2005. Dr. Osborne is the Founding President of the Canadian Radiation Protection Association.

    Submission on the topic: Choosing a Way Forward - Draft Study Report

    Van Vliet, Pieter

    Ces commentaires sont publiés avec la permission de l'auteur.

    Submission on the topic: Response to the United Church of Canada submission to the NWMO

    Sorin Schwimmer

    Dear Madam/Sir,

    I would like to advocate again against storing nuclear waste in a centralized repository. A community willing today to host it may want to change its mind, which will be practically impossible. Besides, there is a better, proven way, to deal with radioactive material in a safe way: dilute it.

    We did not invent radioactive materials (except for some short-lived synthetic elements); all we do is to concentrate ore to be useful for our activity. In the diluted form, in which it occurs naturally, it is harmless.

    So, I suggest using waste from other mining activity to mix with nuclear waste, and spread the mix over large areas, ideally underground. I hope this helps.

    Truly yours, Sorin Schwimmer


    What I would like to know is what peer reviewed science has been done on the issue of nuclear waste and its safe containment? Already I see waste containment itself as necessary, but also good money after bad. The fact that it is going to cost $16 to $24 billion dollars just to build such a site is staggering. To me, nuclear is still nasty. Just because there is no Co2 emissions, all of a sudden, nuclear is sexy again.

    What I want to know is what peer review scientific bodies like AAAS and NAS have to say about nuclear waste, nuclear power and containment of waste? What guarnatees are there that this waste will not render the planet uninhabitable? What about future generations?

    They will have to deal with the sorry mess we have made by starting up nuclear power in the first place. Pandora's box has been opened and sadly, we are now committed. It is my personal opinion, which is shared by organizations like greenpeace, that throwing more money into nuclear is short sited. Renenwable and safer forms of energy like Wind and Solar, as well as tidal power are much less dangerous to us and future generations.

    So, where is the peer reviewed science behind this? Is there any peer reviewed science on the safety of nuclear power and waste? Specifically, the two most credible scientific bodies on the planet are the ones we need to here from. AAAS and NAS.

    Robertson, J.A.L.

    Comments on NWMO's Draft Transparency Policy

    Submission on Draft Transparency Policy 2008

    Gionet, Amy

    March 18, 2009

    I believe that with having all these mine closures that happened within 10 yrs in my surrounding area would be a great opportunity. I believe the general public needs to be more aware of the saftey process and procedure.

    Buckingham, Darlene

    Submission on: Moving Forward Together: Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

    December 21, 2008

    My greatest concern now with these discussions is that our government will think there is a solution for nuclear waste and go ahead with allowing more open pit uranium mines, processing of uranium, building more nuclear reactors and selling this technology to other countries like China and Saudi Arabia. From your discussion paper it is clear there is not a solution to storing nuclear waste. It is all speculation. There is not one such deep geologic repository site that is successful on the planet at this moment. The whole process is plagued with problems. The time lines involved in this project does not speak to the increasing amounts of nuclear waste accumulating at an accelerating pace. To continue down a nuclear path without a safe way to contain the waste is putting us and the environment at SERIOUS risk - it is no longer a small risk. Every day waste accumulates with no safe way to store it is putting us at risk for leaks and a serious accident. There is no urgency in your discussion or clear that we are putting our water, air and earth at risk every time nuclear waste is created either from uranium tailings, processing of uranium, nuclear waste from reactors and the use of depleted uranium weapons. There is no danger signs on your literature - no people wearing protective clothing or the sense that nuclear waste can kill us. Finding a willing host community that is told the truth about nuclear waste and understands fully and completly what they are agreeing to is unrealistic. The only other way is to force people to accept a waste site as the only way uranium mines, processing and nuclear energy is continuing is through misinformation or force. I will continue to tell people the truth about the dangers of uranium in all the stages of production - it is unconscionable to continue to allow this to happen. Most people do not know the risk they are being put in for an energy we do not truly need. How can we have a vibrant healthy place to life and grow when we are telling lies about uranium? The children and the elderly are the most vulnerable - a measure of a civilizations greatness is how they treat children and the aging. We are harming children and the elderly by continuing to say there is a safe way to live with uranium as a source of energy. It is best left in the ground - in granite where it is naturally found. When you return it to granite it is in a much more dangerous form than when you removed it. Even granite will be unable to protect us and the envirionment. Tell the government that until we deal with the huge problem we have created, all mining for uranium must stop, nuclear processing cease immediately and all nuclear reactors be decommissioned and all funds go to renewable technologies we now have available. To continue with this madness holds us back from creating a renewable sustainable future. To use the words renewable and sustainable to discuss nuclear energy is harming us. Uranium is neither renewable or sustainable. We are leaving a terrible legacy if we continue to walk down this road. Once you know something either your can resist it, deny it or do something about it. Resistance and denial will only dig us deeper with more serious consequences. Its time to acknowledge we have created a very dangerous technology deal with what we have created and walk into a renewable clean healthy vibrant future. Thank you. With peace, light and hope Darlene

    Buckingham, Darlene

    It is far too dangerous to store nuclear waste near the Great Lakes - the source of drinking water for millions. Money for research must be given to bioremediation and find a biological way to deal with nuclear waste. To store nuclear waste is impossible the way you are proposing - we do not have the technology to build an impermeable structure that will last for hundreds of thousands of years.Future generations will have to pay for this storage method. We have a responsibility to future generations to stop right now producing any more nuclear waste until we have a biological solution. To store waste as you have proposed will not stand the test of time. Begin decommissiong of nuclear reactors NOW - spend the money saved on research to find a natural way to neutralize nuclear waste. It is a crime against future generations to store nuclear energy under the earth - it is doomed to fail. Please do not let a nuclear disaster force your hand or subject the future children to a future nuclear disaster. Start now. Thank you.

    Elvish, Robert J.

    good afternoon

    my query, (and i have yet to recieve an adequate pesponse), is, what steps or studies are being used to attempt to find a way to neutralize Nuclear waste?

    too much is made (in my view ), of how we will store this waste, and too little Public information finds it's way to the general public. i fully agree that Nuclear Power is the way of the future, i only hope that EVERY avenue of storage , and in the long run, the ability to render the waste harmless , is being looked at.

    as my submission starts out, "what are the possibilities of Neutralizing Nuclear Waste"? and, are we studying the possibility?

    thank you for your time


    Robert J. Elvish 

    Robbins, Walter

    Submission on: Moving Forward Together: Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

    December 12, 2008

    Please see attached submission on design of siting process

    Walter Robbins - December 12, 2008

    HAKLI, Don

    I have read your Final Study, Choosing a Way Forward. Having done so I still have a major concern which you have not addressed in the material.

    The Adaptive Phased Management plan which is going to lead to a centralized storage facility and deep geological repository may appear to be the best solution.

    The problem I find is that if this concept is not proven to be safe there is no backup plan as an alternative. It appears that the final decision has been made.

    Considering the money that will be spent in the lead up to the point of centralized storage and testing there will be no turning back.

    In other words there should be an added section to the plan which clearly states that if the deep geological repository cannot be proven to be safe another "Safe" alternative should be found.

    Without this important section being added to the plan all of your hard work and planning will have been for nothing or at least lacking in a important safeguard.

    Lawson, Tom and Patricia

    Submission on: Moving Forward Together: Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

    December 15, 2008

    Please see attached submission on design of siting process 

    Tom and Patricia Lawson - December 15, 2008

    Robertson, John A.L.

    Comments on NWMO’s Draft Plan by J.A.L. Robertson

    “The road to Hell (somewhere unknown deep underground) is paved with good intentions.”

    The proposed planning in the Draft Plan is necessary and laudable but I am concerned that there is not yet any open discussion on the siting process. The primary purpose of these comments is to urge urgency on the NWMO in preparing an information package before mention of any specific location, including those considered for only research.

    This recommendation is based on painful experience. In the 1970s proposed geological field research, notably a site near Madoc, Ontario, had to be abandoned in the face of public protests. In a mass meeting in a school auditorium about a thousand people opposed the research fearing that it would lead to a repository. As one of a handful of those trying to explain the proposal, I found the atmosphere threatening.

    In the 1990s the Siting Task Forces (STFs) for Low-Level Radioactive Wastes Management ran into similar trouble, largely attributable to inadequate preparation. The result was that antagonistic attitudes were established in communities before the nature and details of any proposal were known. Social scientists, e.g., Fischhoff and colleagues, claim that how people digest new information may depend on their preconceptions: it either reinforces existing opinions or is rejected. Opinions, once formed, are hard to change.

    The lesson to be learned from these experiences is that any potential host community should have available a fair account of what is proposed before opposition arises. In any community there will be some people who will oppose the proposal and they will be quickly reinforced by well organized anti-nuclear groups with prepared material. The NWMO must anticipate this if it is not to repeat history.

    The generic information package should contain, in language intelligible to the public, an illustrative description of a repository, essential and desirable geological criteria, an explanation of why it is believed to be safe, an unbiased list of the advantages and disadvantages to the host community including illustrations of mitigation and compensation, and how safe operation would be ensured. This should be available before any approach is made to specific communities and, ideally, before the siting process is announced publicly. While such a generic proposal would not be perfectly suited to any community, it would be better than the alternative, a vacuum.

    Another lesson from the STFs was the need, from the start, for a proposal champion. Because the STFs and their Community Liaison Groups (CLGs) wished to be seen as facilitators and unbiased sources of factual information they did not promote the proposal. The communities and their media were subjected to much criticism of the proposal with nobody identified to defend it. The NWMO will have to accept that in its implementing role it is no longer unbiased and has to champion the proposal actively.

    The STFs experience also demonstrated that the question of what constitutes the affected community is a difficult one that deserves serious discussion before approaching the public. To avoid causing intercommunity antagonisms the negotiation for benefits and the compensation package should ensure that these are attractive beyond the host community as defined on a narrowly legal definition. Ideally, the attractiveness should extend to all communities that perceive themselves to be subject to the risks. The possibility of having zones of different radius for different purposes should be considered. The need for surrounding communities to learn the positive as well as the negative aspects from the start should be recognized in preparing the generic proposal.

    A lack of definition of “community” was one of the factors responsible for the STFs’ first-referendum fiasco in Deep River. This experience demonstrated that any referendum must be carefully planned and managed to ensure its integrity.

    CLGs can serve a useful function but, like “community” their composition and terms of reference require advance consideration. The objective should be to have the affected communities feel that their CLGs truly represent them. Direct election, to replace nomination by elected councils, is a possibility. Constitution of a CLG as a committee of council would encourage the council to take a greater interest in the process but would exclude surrounding communities. Having councillors from all affected communities on the CLG might be an acceptable compromise but would impose an additional burden on busy councillors.

    The Deep River CLG’s frustration culminated in a mass resignation. Part of the cause was a failure to obtain answers from the STFs for the communities’ questions. STF activities were heavily weighted to the technical while the community sought more information on the social side. Based on STF experience, the NWMO will have to maintain control over its scientific and engineering staff that may, by reason of their training and culture, favour a more technocratic approach. (Some professional codes of ethics require the practitioners to do what is best for their clients, which can be interpreted as requiring them to ignore public perceptions where these differ from their own professional assessments.)

    The single page (p.22) of the Draft Plan devoted to the “Siting Process” provides little information on the NWMO’s approach to this vital activity, one on which many previous proposals have foundered. The wording is reassuring in its talk of collaboration. However, reference to “The site selection process…” (stress added) suggest the old paternalistic (DAD) approach of Decide, Announce, Defend. I strongly recommend that the NWMO include in its considerations the voluntarism principle, whereby communities, having been provided with the information package and any desired follow-up, state the conditions under which they would be prepared to accept a repository. The NWMO would still be responsible for selection but only after establishing what communities would require for them to accept a repository in a free market. The selection should be based not only on technical optimization but also on community acceptance. This process was working in Deep River until the relevant federal minister failed to endorse an agreement reached with one of her officials.

    2008 April

    Cuttler, Jerry M.

    Submission on: Moving Forward Together: Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

    December 13, 2008

    Please see attached submission on design of siting process

    Dr. Jerry M. Cuttler - December 13, 2008

    Terrell, Betty

    First of all, stop spending millions trying to brainwash civilians into hating nuclear power less. If you're serious, use the money to really find a use for the waste you produce so as not to have it come and bite our future generations...or stop producing it.

    Chernobyl ring a bell?

    Secondly, how can you justify increasing production of nuclear power when it also produces waste at the same rate?

    Could you not use your scientific minds to find an economical and safe way to use sun and wind, which I believe do not produce waste? Is it really all about money? Money, to many thinkers, really translates into the rape and eventual destruction of our earth. Just contemplate.

    Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

    Submission on: Moving Forward Together: Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

    December 15, 2008

    Please see attached submission on design of siting process.

    Nuclear Decommissioning Authority - December 15, 2008

    United Church of Canada

    Please post the attached submission, which is a response to Pieter Van Vliet's comments on the past submissions of the United Church of Canada to NWMO.

    Submission on the topic: Response to Pieter Van Vliet

    Wheeler, Edna

    Submission on: Moving Forward Together: Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

    December 15, 2008

    Please see attached submission on design of siting process

    Edna Wheeler - December 15, 2008

    Continuer la lecture

    An icon of two gears.

    Le plan canadien

    Le choix du plan canadien
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    Choix du plan canadien

    La planification de l’étude