Community Questions and Answers

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APRIL 2016 Questions on Economic Modelling


On March 9th our CLC had a presentation done by M. Stemeroff, AECOM We were each given a written copy of the presentation. I tried to find this presentation on line but have not found it yet, but I did find a copy on line for the Huron-Kinloss area. http://www.huronkinloss.com/public_docs/events/Economic%20modelling%20presentation%20REVISED.pdf
My question is.. Why is there such a large difference in predicted jobs of this repository project from the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula Economic Region compared to the North East Economic region ?
and again there is a huge difference in job predictions in the Estimated Annual Average Employment – Area Near Huron-Kinloss compared to the Estimated Annual Average Employment- Area Near Hornepayne...
I can understand the spin off jobs would be different.. But I don't understand how the following could be so different:
..Siting & Initial Licensing
..Construction
..Operations

The Stratford – Bruce Peninsula economic region is a mature economic region with a broad spectrum of resident industry sectors and labour force capacities and skills. It is home to the largest nuclear plant in the world and it has had a long association with the nuclear industry not only in terms of plant operation but also for the provision of goods and services to the Provincial nuclear industry. It is also a region with a large population base resident in many large urban centres with manufacturing and construction industries. As a result of these capabilities and capacities it can be expected that a large portion of the APM labour force requirements will be able to be met within the Economic Region close to Huron-Kinloss without having to source workers from outside the region.

In the case of the Elliot Lake area its economic capabilities are not as large and diverse as those located in the Stratford-Bruce area but nevertheless they are substantial when Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury are taken into account. It is therefore expected that a substantial portion of the labour needs for the APM project will be able to be sourced from the surrounding area although not to the same degree as Stratford-Bruce Peninsula Economic Region and area near Huron-Kinloss.

In the case of Hornepayne on a relative basis to the above, the Municipality and surrounding area have a smaller economic base with a more limited labour supply. Although the APM project will employ a large number of residents from the Municipality and surrounding area there will be a need to also utilize labour from outside the region to meet the project needs. Hornepayne, White River and Manitouwadge are also located close to the Northeast Economic Region which begins just east of Marathon. If the project were to be located in the Hornepayne, White River, Manitouwadge area a portion of the economic benefits from the project will also likely fall within the Northwest Economic Region which contains Thunder Bay to Marathon. This would not be the case if the project were to be located in the Elliott Lake area.

On March 9th our CLC had a presentation done by M. Stemeroff, AECOM We were each given a written copy of the presentation.
My question is:
Why is there such a large difference in predicted jobs of this repository project from the Estimated Annual Average Employment – Northeast Economic Region on the Elliott Lake page compared to the Estimated Annual Average Employment – Northeast Economic Region in the Hornepayne Area?
Elliott Lake and Hornepayne are both under the 'Northeast Economic Region' So why would there be such a huge difference?
I can understand the spin off jobs would be different.. But I don't understand how the following could be so different.
..Siting & Initial Licensing
..Construction
..Operations

See above explanation, third paragraph.

In addition …

Location of the project within any economic region is important. When located near the transition to another economic region (such as that described above for Hornepayne, White River and Manitouwadge relative to the Northwest Economic Region) there will most likely be some benefit to other region. The difference you noted in the Economic Region estimates for Elliott Lake and Hornepayne are because of this. Although Elliott Lake is in the same economic region as Hornepayne, the location of Elliott Lake is too far from the Northwest Economic Region for much employment benefit to be source there. The close proximity of Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie for Elliott Lake and Blind River will draw more benefit to the Northeast Economic Region.

Look at the Estimated Annual Average Employment – Area near Elliot Lake chart. And look at the predicted years for all 5 Project Phases. Now, look at the 5 Project Phases year predictions for Hornepayne. Why the HUGE differences in the No. of Years?

The number of years in the Hornepayne presentation on March 9 was expressed differently. They should have been the same.

In the Hornepayne presentation, the number of years for each phase was stated. In the Elliott Lake presentation the start-end dates in years were stated. In both cases, the duration of each phase is the same. This has been corrected in the presentation provided for posting online to be consistent the Elliott Lake presentation.

There is no difference in the duration of the project; just how it was expressed.

JULY 2015 Questions


Once the repository is up and running, will it's capacity be made only to store what we have now and what we will have up until the time of opening? And, In the future will the repository be expanded to hold more waste as needed or will a new repository be built elsewhere?

The specific amount of used fuel to be placed in the repository for long-term management will be agreed with the community using the best information available at the time, and through an open and transparent engagement process involving surrounding communities and others who are interested and potentially affected. Regulatory review processes and approvals, which are required by law before the facility can be constructed and operated, will be based on a specific fuel inventory and will also involve an open and transparent licensing process.

Should there be a subsequent significant increase in the expected total used fuel inventories, there would need to be assessment by NWMO and the community regarding whether expanding this repository was appropriate to consider.  If not, then it is possible that a new repository built elsewhere would be considered.  Any changes to the fuel inventory would require technical assessments to demonstrate that the impact on the facility’s licensing basis, including the safety case, is acceptable before an expansion could be approved.  These changes would be considered in a similar open and transparent licensing process.

To date, Canada has produced about 2.6 million used fuel bundles. If Canada’s existing reactors operate to the end of their planned current lives, including planned refurbishments, the inventory of used fuel that will need to be managed in the facility could be about 4 million bundles or more, depending on future operating experience. For design and safety assessment purposes, NWMO has assumed a reference used fuel inventory of 4.6 million used CANDU fuel bundles from the existing nuclear reactor fleet in Canada.

SPRING 2015 Questions


When is the next Ice Age anticipated by experts in the field?

While we can’t determine exactly when the next ice age will begin, the first ice sheet advance over any potential repository site is not expected to occur within the next 60,000 years, with even longer delays (up to 500,000 years) proposed in some studies. This implies that a significant time period is available for radioactivity levels in the used fuel to decay before the next ice age begins.

The Canadian Shield has been covered by ice sheets for nine major glacial cycles over the past one million years. These cycles are believed to be largely related to variations in solar insolation and the location of the continents.

The continents will not change position significantly over the next million years, and the variation in solar insolation is predictable based on known earth orbital dynamics. Studies indicate that over the next 100,000 years or so, the amplitude of insolation variations will be smaller than during the last glacial cycle. Also, significant content of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could suppress the initiation of a glacial cycle for 50,000 years or longer. Beyond this time, a larger reduction in solar insolation is anticipated, and therefore a stronger trigger to initiate a new glacial cycle will occur.


How close do the fuel bundles have to be to support a nuclear fission reaction?

CANDU fuel bundles are made from natural uranium.  Uranium spontaneously fissions at an extremely slow rate; for practical purposes this is negligible.

Once removed from a reactor, CANDU fuel bundles cannot support a fission chain reaction regardless of spacing.  This is because natural uranium requires a special moderator, heavy water, which does not exist naturally in pure form.  Air, ordinary water, or rock will not work.

For a nuclear fission “chain” reaction to occur, three conditions must be simultaneously satisfied: There must be sufficient fissionable material present; the fissionable material must be surrounded by a reflector and a moderator (to both slow neutrons down to speeds at which fission reactions are favourable and to reflect neutrons that escape back into the fission zone); and the material must be appropriately spaced in a carefully arranged lattice (not too close and not too far). The exact spacing depends on the reactor design.  In current CANDU reactors, fuel bundles are placed in about 400 channels with a center-to-center spacing between channels of about 28 cm.


Conversely how far apart do they have to be to prevent fission reaction?

Once removed from a reactor, CANDU fuel cannot support a fission chain reaction as noted above.

After fuel is removed from a nuclear reactor, the main reason for separating fuel bundles is to allow for good heat transfer to disperse heat created by radioactive decay.  After they’ve been out of a reactor for several years, the decay heat has reduced sufficiently that they no longer require water cooling.  They’re then placed in dry storage and the surrounding air is sufficient to absorb and transfer the heat.


What preventative methods have been considered to keep people in the future from accidentally digging up the repository?

First the depth of the repository is selected so that it is unlikely that people would accidentally dig it up.

Second, an important criterion for a potential repository site is that the rock must not contain economically exploitable natural resources (including potable groundwater) as known today, so that the repository site is unlikely to be disturbed by future generations.  This is one key reason why old mine sites are not considered for the repository.

Permanent markers may also be installed at the site to inform future generations of the presence of the sealed repository.


What prevents a government in the future from seizing all of the financial assets currently and future identified for the care and maintenance of the DGR?

The NWMO is mandated with implementing Adaptive Phased Management, Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of our country’s used nuclear fuel. Financial surety is a cornerstone of this plan.

Government does not control the funds. Planning, development and implementation of the Adaptive Phased Management plan is funded by the major owners of used nuclear fuel in Canada: Ontario Power Generation, New Brunswick Power, Hydro-Québec and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. The Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA) requires each of these four companies to establish independently managed trust funds and to make annual deposits to ensure that the money to fund this project will be available when needed. Legislation provides that the NWMO may only access the trust funds for implementing the management program once a construction or operating licence has been issued by the regulator.

More information about funding is available in the backgrounder Funding Canada’s Plan for the Safe, Long-Term Management of Used Nuclear Fuel, which is posted at www.nwmo.ca/backgrounders.

The NFWA requires that the NWMO makes public the audited financial statements of the trust funds when they are provided by the financial institutions annually. They are posted at www.nwmo.ca/trustfunds.


What is the anticipated population of the Province of Ontario in 30, 40, 50, 100 years from 2013? And of NorthEast Superior for the same periods?

Ontario population projection information is available from the Government of Ontario. If you are interested, below is a link to an Ontario Ministry of Finance report called Ontario Population Projection Update. The report, for example, indicates that “Ontario’s population is projected to experience healthy growth over the next 25 years, rising 32.7 per cent, or almost 4.4 million, from an estimated 13.4 million on July 1, 2011 to 17.7 million by July 1, 2036.” The report also indicates that the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is projected to be the fastest growing region of the province, while other regions of the province will grow more slowly and are projected to see their shares of provincial population decline gradually.

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/projections/projections2011-2036.pdf


Describe how far one human being would have to be from an unprotected pile of fuel bundles to be completely unaffected

When used nuclear fuel is removed from a reactor, it is considered a waste product, is radioactive and requires careful management. Used nuclear fuel is well-shielded from the time it is removed from a reactor until it is safely contained and isolated in a repository. There is no opportunity for exposure to an unshielded used fuel bundle. With simple shielding, one could stand safely nearby indefinitely.

The following figure, taken from the Safe and Secure Transportation of Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel brochure (available on the NWMO website: www.nwmo.ca/brochures), shows the dose rate 1 m from an unshielded irradiated bundle at varying decay times.

Without shielding, the dose rate near a fuel bundle is very high until about 1,000 years has passed, and would preclude other than very short exposure. After that, it would be sufficient to remain more than about 12 m distant from an unshielded fuel bundle.

We have not analysed the effect of a “pile” of unshielded fuel bundles. Generally the dose rate would increase as the number of bundles increased, but at some point it would level off because the additional bundles would be shielded by bundles in front of them, since uranium would provide good shielding.  It is primarily the bundles on the top of the pile that would matter.

Infographic of radiation levels of used fuel bundles as they decrease over time and where bundles are stored at each step in the management process


Describe how that distance is affected by adding a metre of clay, a metre of lead, a metre of granite

See answer above.  Although we have not done the calculations for these specific conditions to determine the exact distance, the materials you describe would all provide a significant amount of shielding.


If we piled up 6 Olympic ice hockey rinks of fuel bundles, completely open to the environment… how far away would humans have to be to not be affected?

Used nuclear fuel is well-shielded from the time it is removed from a reactor until it is safely contained and isolated in a repository. There is no opportunity for exposure to an unshielded used fuel bundle.


Under what conditions can nuclear radiation (the type we get from used nuclear fuel bundles) induce a radioactive state into another material?

Used nuclear fuel emits alpha, beta, gamma and neutron radiation.  Of these, alpha and beta radiation are confined within the bundles.   The gamma radiation is not energetic enough to induce a radioactive state in an adjacent material.  The neutron radiation could induce small amounts of radioactivity in adjacent materials if it were exposed for a long period of time.  However, the amount of neutron radiation from the used fuel also decreases with time.   In practice, induced radioactivity from used fuel is essentially negligible.

What is the difference between the uranium in the used fuel bundles and the uranium that is mined at the various mining locations?

Uranium is a heavy metal, and one of many naturally occurring radioactive elements. It is mined primarily in Canada, Kazakhstan, Australia, Niger, Namibia, Russia, and the United States. Canada supplies 16.7 %of global supply, second only to Kazakhstan. Most Canadian uranium is mined in northern Saskatchewan.

Canadian uranium ore is primarily in the form of a uranium oxide.  To make CANDU uranium fuel bundles, the uranium ore is separated from the rest of the rock and ore minerals, and then purified through several steps into a very pure and uniform uranium dioxide powder. This black powder is then pressed into cylindrical form, creating a ceramic fuel pellet. At CANDU-fuel manufacturing plants these pellets are inserted into zircaloy metal tubes, called pencils, which are then welded together and assembled into a cylindrical fuel bundle.

The natural uranium ores also contain radionuclides from the natural decay of uranium.  These are separated during the mining and milling stage and are not present in the fresh fuel bundle.  This natural radioactivity remains essentially constant over billions of years.

A CANDU fuel bundle stays in the nuclear reactor from 12 to 20 months, depending on where it’s located in the reactor core. When used fuel is removed from the reactor it is still primarily composed of unchanged uranium dioxide.  However the bundle is highly radioactive because it also contains radionuclides from the fission reactions.  This radioactivity decreases with time to that of the natural uranium, but used fuel will remain a potential health risk for many hundreds of thousands of years. This hazard needs to be appropriately managed.


 

2014 QUESTIONS


What if the communities get narrowed down to one community and that community says, ”no” would NWMO look back to the communities that were eliminated earlier in the process?

If an informed and willing host is not identified, then used nuclear fuel will continue to be safely stored at the interim storage facilities located at each nuclear reactor site and the NWMO would continue to work with Canadians to decide the best way forward including the role, if any, for communities that were eliminated earlier in the process.


Dec.2014-Question: Is life insurance or house insurance harder to get in communities that have nuclear generation or storage? Is there a nuclear premium?

You asked about insurance in communities that have nuclear facilities. Coverage for nuclear incidents is excluded in all insurance policies in Canada regardless of whether there are nuclear facilities in a community.  This is because coverage for damage or injury resulting from a release of radioactivity falls under the Nuclear Liability Act.  Under the Nuclear Liability Act, the NWMO would be liable for damage or injury resulting from the unlikely event of a release of radioactivity from its facility once it is constructed and licensed to operate. The current Act (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/N-28/page-1.html#docCont) requires a licencee to carry a prescribed amount of insurance to ensure that compensation is available for any such release. For claims that exceed that amount, the Nuclear Liability Act provides for a process under which the federal government would address such claims. The federal government has tabled new legislation to increase the limits of liability for organizations such as the NWMO to one billion dollars from the current 75 million dollars. (http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-22/)


Can solid High-Level Nuclear fuel rods Leak Radiation into the environment. (Land, Water, air?)
*How come HLW has to be isolated?
*Why are you constructing a multi-barrier facility? Why are the multi-barriers necessary?
*What is it being isolated from?
*How long does it have to be isolated for?

Isolating and containing used nuclear fuel

The Adaptive Phased Management (APM) plan for the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel requires that it be centralized in a single location and contained and isolated in a deep geological repository in a suitable rock formation.

Although its radioactivity decreases with time, the used fuel will remain a potential hazard for many hundreds of thousands of years. For this reason, used fuel requires careful management essentially indefinitely. Canada’s used fuel is now safely stored on an interim basis at 7 licensed surface facilities located at the nuclear power plants where it is produced. However, this interim storage requires ongoing care over the very long time frame for which used nuclear fuel needs to be managed.

The repository is a multiple-barrier system designed to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel from people and the environment over the long term. The design is based on the use of multiple durable barriers, including hundreds of metres of rock. This long-term management plan emerged from more than 30 years of scienti­fic and technical studies conducted in Canada and internationally. Most countries with nuclear power programs have selected a deep geological repository as their approach for managing used fuel; two countries (Sweden and Finland) have identified sites and are in the early stages of licensing the facility for construction.

Safety, security and protection of people and the environment are central to the siting process. The NWMO will ultimately have to demonstrate these characteristics in any proposal submitted for regulatory review, and the regulator will determine if a licence may be issued for the project to proceed.


Has the NWMO done any drilling in the Hornepayne Area? (Question from April 2014)

Drilling in the Hornepayne area

There has been no drilling to date in Hornepayne, and there is none currently scheduled.

The work completed in the first phase of Preliminary Assessment (Step 3) involved desktop studies only. These studies were designed to explore the potential to meet safety requirements and foster community well-being using publicly available information. If publicly available information had suggested that the area does not have strong potential to meet the safety requirements of the project or to foster the well-being of the community, then no further studies would be conducted. Early community learning about the project also included continued engagement and reflection with community members about its potential to fit with the community’s long-term vision. Outreach to surrounding communities and Aboriginal peoples has only now just begun and is an important focus of work.

Now that Hornepayne has entered the second phase of preliminary assessment, further studies are being initiated to better understand whether there is potential for the geology in the area to meet the robust safety requirements of the project. If these preliminary studies conclude that further investigations are warranted, then borehole drilling could occur in the future, perhaps two years from now. As with other studies, the NWMO would only proceed with these activities in collaboration with the people in the area.


Hypothetically, if ALL the barriers fail in the DGR, and the HLW somehow is no longer isolated, could the radiation be airborne and therefore contaminate the people at the surface?
Hypothetically, if ALL the barriers fail in the DGR, and the HLW somehow is no longer isolated, HOW would this problem be fixed?
Hypothetically, if ALL the barriers fail in the DGR, and the HLW somehow is no longer isolated, HOW would the contaminated things be cleaned up?
Hypothetically, if ANY of the barriers fail in the DGR, HOW long would it be before the NWMO knew about it?
*How long would it be before the community was informed about it?
*How would each barrier be fixed?

Hypothetical scenarios

You posed a number of questions concerning hypothetical scenarios and the ability to detect and correct failed barriers in a deep geological repository.

The NWMO has conducted a postclosure safety assessment for a conceptual repository in a hypothetical crystalline rock geosphere. This assessment is described in NWMO TR-2012-16 Used Fuel Repository Conceptual Design and Postclosure Safety Assessment in Crystalline Rock, available on our website: www.nwmo.ca/news?news_id=424

This postclosure safety assessment considers a variety of possible future scenarios. These scenarios range from what is most likely to occur to more extreme events in which degradation and failure of important barriers is assumed. When defining the possible scenarios, an important consideration is that they be physically realistic. So, rather than considering scenarios such as the disappearance of the geosphere and engineered barriers, a more realistic set of failures is assumed in which an unknown circumstance leads to significant deviations from the expected performance of key barrier materials.

Other scenarios identified in the postclosure safety assessment address the occurrence of unlikely events leading to possible penetration of barriers and abnormal loss of containment. Chapter 6 identifies “Inadvertent Human Intrusion”, “Failure of All Containers’, “Undetected Fault”, “Poorly Sealed Borehole”, “Fracture Seal Failure”, “Shaft Seal Failure” and “Container Failure” as disruptive scenarios to be considered.

The analysis shows the applicable regulatory limits are met for all scenarios addressed.

Regarding monitoring, during the preclosure phase, specific containers and repository elements will be instrumented to provide data to confirm their behaviours are as expected. Additional equipment, installed primarily for employee safety, will monitor such things as repository temperature, humidity, airborne contamination, etc. Ventilation associated with the above and below ground facilities will be monitored for radiological content and filtered as required. If an abnormality is detected, a corrective action plan would be developed, with the type of corrective action depending on the type of abnormality.

The repository will be designed to protect people and the environment over a very long time period in a passive manner, without relying on the need for active maintenance and monitoring. Because of the overlapping layers of protection provided by the multi-barrier system, once the repository is backfilled and closed, NWMO TR-2012-16 shows that it would take many tens-of-thousands of years or more for any contaminants released from a failed container to reach the surface environment where they may be detected, and even then the impact would be well within regulatory limits due to their very low concentration.

With respect to reporting, the Licence to Operate will contain requirements for reporting abnormal events and events of public interest to the regulator. The manner and degree to which these events would be shared with the local community and other members of the public would be determined via consultation with community representatives. An emergency plan would also be in place, and would further identify (and address) response requirements and notifications.  Note that the Licence to Operate will not be granted until after the site selection process is completed and the NWMO has demonstrated all regulatory requirements will be met.


If the DGR fails to isolate the HLW, and the community were to be exposed to radiation, would NWMO be financially liable in any way?
* If we had to evacuate because the community was no longer habitual, would NWMO purchase our houses and all our other damaged property?
* I read the Industry is only required to pay 1 Billion dollars in liability. Is this to each citizen? Or to the Community as a whole? Or is it JUST for the facility?
* When it is determined that a community is willing, are they legally saying that they are “willing to live with the risks”? If so, we should be presented with the risks. Many have come to believe that none exist!

Financial liability

Under the Nuclear Liability Act, the NWMO would be liable for damage or injury resulting from the unlikely event of a release of radioactivity from its facility once it is constructed and licensed to operate. The current Act (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/N-28/page-1.html#docCont) requires a licencee to carry a prescribed amount of insurance to ensure that compensation is available for any such release.  For claims that exceed that amount, the Nuclear Liability Act provides for a process under which the federal government would address such claims. The federal government has tabled new legislation to increase the limits of liability for organizations such as the NWMO to one billion dollars from the current 75 million dollars. (http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-22/)


In what step will NWMO start transporting the waste to the selected site? I can’t tell if it’s in Step 8 (during the construction of the shallow cavern) or after that?
Will the waste be transported to the selected site before or after the NWMO obtains an OPERATIONAL licence in Step 9?

Timing for transporting used nuclear fuel

Transportation of used fuel bundles to the repository would begin after a Licence to Operate is obtained. The NWMO will need to demonstrate the safety and security of the transportation system to regulatory authorities before transportation of used nuclear fuel can begin. Transportation of the material will need to meet stringent requirements set out by Transport Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. For more on the topic of transportation, we would recommend reviewing Safe and Secure Transportation of Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuelwww.nwmo.ca/brochures


How can the community be sure the HLW will not stay in the shallow Step 8 cavern?

Optional Shallow Storage

Temporary shallow storage at the deep geological repository is optional. It is not expected to be required and is not currently included in the NWMO implementation plan.


What will the life long cask be made of? Has it been designed yet? Does it have the ability to isolate the Used Fuel rods for 1 Million years?

Containers for used nuclear fuel

The NWMO is examining several designs for used fuel containers for the deep geological repository and will further study and refine these designs over time. This is explained in section 4.2.1 of the document Description of Canada’s Repository (www.nwmo.ca/brochures) for Used Nuclear Fuel and Centre of Expertise, which is published on the NWMO web site at nwmo.ca/brochures. This brochure also features a clearly marked example of a used fuel container for reference. The important features of the container design are corrosion resistance, mechanical strength, geometry, capacity and compatibility with surrounding sealing materials such as bentonite clay.


Will the waste be taken out of the transportation cask and repackaged into the Life Long cask on site at the DGR?
If so, what risks will this pose to the community?

Packaging used nuclear fuel

The used fuel packaging plant (UFPP) is an important facility for transferring Canada’s used nuclear fuel from interim storage to a deep geological repository. It will be designed to receive and repackage used nuclear fuel into long-lived corrosion resistant containers for placement in the repository. Used nuclear fuel will be loaded into specially designed and certified transportation packages and shipped from interim storage facilities to the site, where it will be received at the used fuel packaging plant for repackaging into long-lived, corrosion resistant used fuel containers for placement in the underground repository.

The repository and associated facilities will be subject to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) comprehensive licensing system, which covers the entire life cycle of the repository. This licensing system is administered in cooperation with other federal and provincial government departments and agencies in areas such as health, environment, transport and labour.

This would be a Class 1B facility as defined by CNSC regulations. For more information about the regulations you can follow this link to the CNSC’s Web site: www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/acts-and-regulations/regulations/index.cfm

For more details and an example of the UFPP concept, we would encourage you to review Chapter 4 of the document Used Fuel Repository Conceptual Design and Postclosure Safety Assessment in Crystalline Rock which you can link to on the NWMO Web site: www.nwmo.ca/news?news_id=424.


Does High Level Nuclear Fuel rods pose the same risk to human health as natural occurring radiation? Are they the exact same?
How dangerous to human health is High Level Nuclear waste? I read humans would receive a lethal dose of radiation if they stood directly next to a High Level Nuclear rod for a total of 15 seconds. Is this true? Is this also true of natural occurring radiation?
Some local “experts” have been informing some in our community that the waste will be decayed to a safe level in 200 years, is this true?
In your estimation, Is the plan to bury High Level Nuclear waste 100% safe? 90%? 80%? 70%? There are some in our community who believe there is absolutely no risk involved in hosting HLW..is this correct?
What are the risks that come with hosting HLW that the communities should be concerned with?

Radiation

You also posed a number of questions about radiation and health risks.

As noted earlier (in the section of this letter about containing and isolating used nuclear fuel), although radioactivity decreases with time, used nuclear fuel will remain a potential health risk for many hundreds of thousands of years. It requires careful management essentially indefinitely.

The following figure, taken from the Safe and Secure Transportation of Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel brochure (available on the NWMO website: www.nwmo.ca/brochures), compares the dose rate 1 m from a typical unshielded irradiated bundle with that for a shielded irradiated bundle at varying decay times.

Used nuclear fuel is well-shielded from the time it is removed from a reactor until it is safely contained and isolated in a repository. There is no opportunity for exposure to an unshielded used fuel bundle. With simple shielding, one could stand safely nearby indefinitely.

The types of radiation emitted by used nuclear fuel are the same as those emitted by natural sources, these being primarily gamma rays, alpha particles and beta particles.  Differences arise because the intensity and energy distribution in used nuclear fuel are different, as are the exposure pathways.  For example, naturally occurring radioactive materials are part of the food chain and are naturally present in air and building materials, whereas nuclear fuel is always sequestered and shielded once it is removed from the nuclear reactor.

You were also wondering if the radiation from used nuclear fuel is equivalent to microwaves. There is some equivalency, because both microwaves and gamma rays (emitted by used nuclear fuel) are a form of electromagnetic radiation. An important difference is that gamma rays are ionizing whereas microwaves are non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation has enough energy to create ions (electrically charged particles) when it interacts with matter and can therefore disrupt the chemical bonds between atoms (and thereby damage tissue and DNA). Non-ionizing radiation does not have enough energy to create ions.  Used nuclear fuel also emits particles such as alpha particles and beta particles. These are not electromagnetic waves and are therefore not present in microwave radiation.

Infographic of radiation levels of used fuel bundles as they decrease over time and where bundles are stored at each step in the management process

 

Risks

The safety assessment of a repository must consider a broad range of factors that could potentially affect the evolution of the deep geological repository, any release of contaminants from it, the migration of contaminants from repository depth to the surface and the potential impact of these contaminants on people and the natural environment over very long periods of time.  These factors may be featuresof the repository or site (e.g., waste type, repository depth), events (e.g., earthquakes, climate change) or processes (e.g., sorption), and are known collectively as FEPs. They are used as input for scenario identification and subsequent conceptual model development for the safety assessment.

The NWMO has prepared two pre-project reports that illustrate our approach to conducting safety assessments for a conceptual used fuel repository within two hypothetical rock settings; one in crystalline rock in the Canadian Shield and the other in sedimentary rock. They are posted on the NWMO Web site: www.nwmo.ca/news?news_id=424. These reports build on the series of postclosure safety assessments for a deep geological repository in a hypothetical setting in Canada, and include examples of conceptual repository designs at hypothetical sites and safety assessment methods. Their purpose is to show how the illustrative postclosure safety assessment approach is consistent with CNSC guidance outlined in CNSC G‑320 (Assessing the Long Term Safety of Radioactive Waste Management).

As noted above, Hornepayne has recently moved into the second phase of preliminary assessments, which are conducted in the third step of the site selection process. Preliminary assessments are completed in two phases, and involve geoscientific and community well-being work in collaboration with the community. This work will identify and assess potential risks and opportunities associated with the project.

Preliminary findings for Hornepayne were made available at the end of Phase 1 of Preliminary Assessment studies, and will be examined in further detail in subsequent studies should the community continue further in the site selection process. You can find more information about the studies completed to date on the NWMO’s web site: http://www.nwmo.ca/sitingprocess_phase1-hornepayne

The NWMO will need to demonstrate to regulatory authorities that the project can be implemented safely, meeting all regulatory requirements.  After detailed studies have been conducted, the community will also need to be informed about the project and be willing to host it.  This is a fundamental component of the siting process.


If the DGR is built in our Community, What is the absolute worst case scenario for:
* environment (soil, water, air)
* The community of Hornepayne (human health)
* wildlife
* tourism
* economy
We are well aware of the best case scenarios.
Some believe the radiation from HLW is equivalent to our microwaves, if given the chance what would you say to those people in regards to this?
How much has NWMO spent to date (April 15, 2014) to have Hornepayne in the Learn More Process?

Funding for the Township of Hornepayne

The NWMO has committed that no municipality will be out of pocket for its participation in the site selection process. Participating communities in the site selection process are eligible to receive resources (funding and expertise) from the NWMO to enable the community to learn about the project, reflect on its interest, encourage local discussion, and engage with the NWMO throughout the conduct of studies.

You can read more about available resources here:

Between 2011 and 2013, Hornepayne has accessed approximately $75,000 to offset costs incurred such as hiring a part-time community coordinator to facilitate activities related to the town’s participation in the site selection process and expenses associated with the work of the Community Liaison Committee. In addition, the NWMO contributed a total of approximately $1,500 to support local activities that included the 2013 Fishing Derby, the 2013 Queen of Green Hockey tournament, the upcoming Hornepayne Bike Rodeo and uniforms for the Hornepayne High School Volleyball team. The NWMO has also covered costs associated with community representatives visiting an interim storage facility and meeting with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to learn about the regulatory framework which governs this project.


I read a community vision committee and report was part of the process. Did you receive that report from Hornepayne? If so, I would like a copy of it.

Community vision

As outlined in the site selection process document (www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1545_processforselectingasiteforcan.pdf), the NWMO encourages communities, early in the site selection process, to consider this project in the context of their long-term interests. It is our understanding that Township of Hornepayne had completed a strategic plan in 2011, and therefore chose not to undertake a separate visioning process. For more information about the Township’s strategic plan, we would recommend you contact the municipality.


Are there any kind of rock formations that are NOT suitable for a DGR?

Geology

You asked if there are any kinds of rock formations that are NOT suitable for a DGR.

The different rock types in each community are evaluated for their potential to meet the criteria described in the site selection process. In the Hornepayne area, the initial screening identified that the Manitouwadge-Hornepayne greenstone belt rocks are not suitable for hosting a deep geological repository. These are very old volcanic rocks that have been subject to considerable heat and pressure which caused them to become very deformed and metamorphosed. As a result, they are complex and difficult to characterize.  In addition, rocks in greenstone belts often have potential for natural resources, which also makes them unsuitable.

The initial screening document which further describes how this conclusion was made and can be found here:  www.nwmo.ca/uploads/File/Hornepayne—Full-Report.pdf

Community willingness

The studies required to explore the potential to meet robust safety requirements will take many years and will involve progressively more detailed investigation of the rock in the area. This is an opportunity for the community to ask questions about safety and risk in light of the findings from studies, and for the community to build understanding to support informed decision-making. We are still at an early phase of work; by the end of the studies some years from now and before the community makes a decision on its interest in hosting the project, it will need to have a good understanding of both benefits and risks associated with the project.

Best practice suggests that much time is required for people to learn about the project, to ask questions and to assess their interest in it. Communities will be encouraged to identify processes which both meet the specific needs of the community and demonstrate clearly to the NWMO whether the project has the support of residents.  A demonstration of willingness is not expected to be required for several years. We expect that communities will want to see the results of detailed studies so they can make an informed decision.

Currently, 15 communities are involved in the early stages of the process for selecting a site. Over time and through increasingly detailed studies it will become clearer which communities have the strongest potential to safely host the project. The preferred site must meet robust technical requirements focused on safety. It must also be appropriate, considering the social, economic, cultural and spiritual practices and preferences of those in the area. And, as already noted, the project will only proceed with the interested community, Aboriginal peoples in the area, and surrounding communities working in partnership to implement the project.


I was just curious as to whether or not the amount and length of power outages we have here would affect the repository in any way? We have had outages lasting more than 30 hours here and they happen quite often. Would this affect a repository in any way?
(Question was submitted via CLC webpage).

Independent power supply strategies are a requirement of the review and approval of the site design, and will be part of the supporting documentation to be presented to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for a license to develop the site. The Description of Canada’s Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel and Center of Expertise (available online at http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2011_projectdescriptionbrochure-english.pdf) provides additional details on page 14.


Would the highways coming into Hornepayne have to be four laned to accommodate traffic if we were to get the DGR?
(Question posed to project coordinator).

When a community moves into Step 3 of the site selection process the NWMO examines the regional transportation system around the potential host community. This includes a corridor analysis of alternative routes to a potential repository site. A comprehensive review of the design, load requirements, and proposed traffic volume would be assessed as part of the assessment of potential transportation routes, and any changes and upgrading to existing roads and highways would be specified as part of the project description. The NWMO will need to demonstrate the safety and security of any transportation system to the satisfaction of both regulatory authorities and citizens before transportation of used nuclear fuel to the repository can begin. For more information please see Safe and Secure Transportation of Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel (available online at http://www.nwmo.ca/brochures)


In the future when the site is decommissioned and back filled will the site be monitored continually? What assure can be given to community members that after the site is decommissioned it will not just be forgotten about?
(Question posed to project coordinator).

The nature and duration of post-closure monitoring will be decided in collaboration with the host community and regulators several decades into the future. The approach taken will be designed to ensure that it does not compromise the passive safety of the repository. A conceptual post-closure monitoring system is described in Section 5.6 of the Description of Canada’s Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel and Center of Expertise (available online at http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2011_projectdescriptionbrochure-english.pdf).


What assurance can NWMO give the Hornepayne community that it will only be storing Canada’s used nuclear fuel and not buying or storing any other countries used nuclear fuel?
(Question posed to project coordinator).

No used fuel from outside of Canada will be placed in the facility. During the study period (2002-0-05) Canadians were clear that Canada should not import or export used nuclear fuel. The Adaptive Phased Management approach was designed, recommended and approved on this basis.


What is the worst case scenario regarding the site. If you can, will you put this question to the experts in your organization. If they can, would they address the transport and the storage facility. The concern is if the containers will break down, what is the end result, and should an event occur during the transport of the material, what would be the worst case effect.
(Question submitted by Chair).

The safety of the deep geological repository and used fuel transportation system is built upon a system of natural and engineered barriers that are designed to contain and isolate used nuclear fuel from people and the environment. The robustness of the transportation casks, used fuel containers and repository sealing systems, plus the stability of the geosphere over time, protects against natural events such as earthquakes, climate change, and extreme events like glaciation.
For more about the multiple-barrier system and provisions to anticipate climate change, please go to: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1963_backgrounder_ planningforclimatechange2012.pdf.
For more about the regulations and safeguards governing the transportation of used nuclear fuel, please see: www.nwmo.ca/videosf/video:36/Transportation—English and http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2010_transportationbrochure-english.pdf


I read in the paper, an article about the NWMO and I was hoping you can clear something up. It says that $100 million will be spent on each project area. Does that mean $100 million in Hornepayne? That must include the entire cost of construction and operational costs over the life span of the project. Can you verify what is included?
(Question submitted by committee member)

Once the site selection process is narrowed down to one or two potential sites, detailed site characterization will begin, at a cost of $200 million over five years for each site. Only after that detailed site characterization is complete would a community be asked to decide whether they are willing to accept the project. The total cost of the project itself is estimated at $16 to $24-billion.
Detailed cost estimates are published among technical reports on the NWMO website at: www.nwmo.ca/technicalresearch
A summary cost estimate is posted at: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1924_apm-rep-00440-0011_apmcostestimatesummaryreport_r0h.pdf


 

2013 Questions


What conditions would there be for a release from licensing?

A release from licensing typically occurs after the facility has been decommissioned, by which all the buildings have been dismantled and removed, no nuclear material remains, and there is no risk to the health and safety of the public or environment.
Currently regulatory regime does not allow removal from licence control, since nuclear material (used nuclear fuel) would remain above the current exemption quantities. The applicant would have to request an exemption from the Commission. The Commission would examine on a case-by-case basis the proposed institutional controls for the long-term safety. The proponent will have to prove they have met all safety requirements and meet decommissioning objectives. Example, have at least 200-300 years of data on health and environment. Have a plan to protect against human intrusion. The applicant would have to demonstrate that there is no risk to the health and safety of the public or environment.


What happens if the licence is revoked?

To revoke a licence means to either replace or remove the licence. A licence may be revoked if the licensee was in non-compliance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, its associate Regulations and conditions of the licence. For example, the CNSC could replace the operating licence with a licence limiting activities or issue orders for legal compliance.


How is a CNSC order enforced?

An order is a legally binding document by which the licensee must comply with. CNSC staff use a graduated approach to compliance, where inspectors have a variety of enforcement tools available to them to bring a licensee back into compliance before issuing an order.
As an example, an inspector could issue an order to a company renovating a building that is found to contain nuclear contamination. A stop order would be issued by the CNSC until the nuclear contamination is cleaned up to CNSC standards.


Due to the complexity of the potential DGR’s construction, how often would CNSC inspectors be involved with the actual construction?

During the construction phase, there would be no used nuclear fuel on site.
If a construction licence is received from the CNSC Commission, CNSC staff would perform inspections, where there is no limit on the number of inspections. Typically, CNSC staff coordinates inspections with key points in the construction, like drilling the shaft. Additionally, there is a possibility of having full time inspector(s) on site, as this is a practice performed for many of the CNSC’s major licensee’s, like the Nuclear Power Plants.


Does the CNSC perform risk assessments? What does the CNSC look at during an inspection? How often?

CNSC inspectors can perform as many inspections as necessary to ensure that the licensee is compliant. CNSC inspectors will verify compliance through routine inspections, audits, desk top reviews. Inspections occur at all stages of licensing, even if there is no used nuclear fuel on site, which would be the case for preparing the site and construction of a deep geologic repository for used nuclear fuel. Inspections include interviews with workers, taking verification samples, reviewing records, and observing operations. Based on the risk of any non-compliances found, CNSC staff can use a series of enforcement tools to bring the licensee back into compliance. This may include increasing the frequency of inspections, orders and if needed issuing fines and/or prosecution.


Transportation of used nuclear fuel to and through remote areas, how would safety be ensured?

The CNSC is mainly responsible for certifying the design of the package used to transport the used nuclear fuel and for regulating all aspects of the used nuclear fuel’s physical security. Safety in the transport of used nuclear is in the packaging – combined with safety marking, quality control, proper training and an emergency plan. The used nuclear fuel is packaged in containers which are very large and robust – designed for truck and rail transport.
Vehicle accidents will happen, which is why the CNSC ensure the package design is extremely robust. A vehicle accident occurred, a number of years ago near Dryden, Ontario, where a head-on collision between two trucks, one containing nuclear material. This was a very serious accident, with the vehicles engulfed in flames and a fatality, but there was no release of any nuclear material, and the package containing the nuclear substance remained fully intact.
There is used nuclear fuel being transported today. CNSC transportation regulations are adopted from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and are the same regulations that exist worldwide.
In addition to the transportation package, a Transportation Program must be in place. The program includes things like: training of workers and emergency responders, an approved transportation route, and response plan.


How will the used nuclear fuel and canisters perform in a million years?

Firstly, there is no approved canister design in Canada because there is no licence application. Additionally, after approximately 1,000,000 years, the radiation levels of the used nuclear fuel will be comparable to the radioactivity of the natural uranium ore deposit.
The canister is not the only line of defence; the concept of a repository for used nuclear fuel is relying on a multi-barrier approach, which included back-fill material and the surrounding host rock, to contain and isolate the waste and not just the safety of the canister.
The current proposed canister design is made of copper and similar to concepts used in other countries, like Sweden and Finland. As part of our international collaboration, CNSC staff are involved in many research activities to predict how a canister will perform in the very-long term.


Will there be heat in the DGR that will be vented to outside?

During the stages of construction and operation there would be ventilation for worker health and safety. This would include the removal of heat due to working at deep depths.
It is not expected that there will be significant heat generated from the actual used nuclear fuel during the operation of a deep geologic repository that it would require to be vented outside as the DGR should be designed to isolate and contain the used nuclear fuel from the public and the environment. However, the applicant will need to demonstrate this in their safety case and they will also have to look at how the heat being generating from the used nuclear fuel may affect the barriers such as the canister, clay and host rocks.


 

2012 Questions


I am wondering if the NWMO will continue with frequently asked question section in the Jackfish Journal newspaper? How often?
(Question posed to project coordinator)

Yes, the NWMO is in the process of planning a re-launch. Once it is back up and running, the ads are expected to be published about once per month in the Jackfish Journal.


Where can I find a complete list of questions that the committee has forwarded to NWMO? How many have been answered? How many have not been answered yet? How many can't be answered at this time? I've been told they are printed in the paper but I've seemed to have missed it. Could they be included on the website?
(Question was submitted via CLC webpage)

The NWMO is answering each of the questions sent to us through the Hornepayne community liaison committee (CLC).


With the recent flooding in Wawa and area, how can this be prevented from happening anywhere the repository goes?
(Question was submitted via CLC webpage by committee member from Facebook –rebuild Hornepayne page).

Once the preferred site has been selected, it must meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The NWMO will have to demonstrate that the project meets or exceeds strict regulatory criteria to protect the health safety and security of Canadians as well as the environment. This includes the management of surface waters on and adjacent to the site.
The project site description will contain detailed design components which will address all aspects of physically siting the project activities and infrastructure in the context of known and anticipated natural processes and conditions. The detailed design will also have to meet all provincial and other appropriate design requirements designed to address these issues. The management of possible flooding adjacent to the site would be considered and protective measures incorporated in the physical design of the site.


How do citizens have a right to vote for the repository if it's on crown land and not in their town district?
(Question was submitted via CLC webpage by committee member from Facebook –rebuild Hornepayne page)

Depending on where the site will ultimately be located, the NWMO may have to acquire Crown land or private land. Both possibilities raise a range of considerations for the NWMO and the community. The NWMO is working with provincial ministries in both Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well as with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, to achieve a full understanding of the factors that will apply to use of both private and Crown land.
As outlined in the site selection document Moving Forward Together: Process for Selecting a Site for Canada’s Deep Geological Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel, 2010 (http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1545_processforselectingasiteforcan.pdf), municipalities or Aboriginal communities interested in exploring the suitability of surrounding Crown land would be considered an “interested community” in collaboration with the provincial government. The provincial government could also be considered an interested community in the case of Crown land and unorganized territory in consultation with potentially affected Aboriginal peoples and nearby municipalities.


The key questions related to safety, community well-being, potential community interest and the well-being of surrounding communities will be explored. Do we know about these 4 keys things yet?
(Posted on rebuild Hornepayne facebook site)

Each of these aspects of community life is addressed in the preliminary assessments conducted during Step 3 of the site selection process. There are two phases to the preliminary assessments, and the results of the first phase will be provided to communities through their community liaison committees (CLCs) in 2013. Additional details are to be found in the NWMO draft implementation plan Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2013-2017.


I have a question say another community hosts the nuclear waste repository and the used fuel is transported by train and it goes through Hornepayne would the community be advised of this fact?
(Posted on rebuild Hornepayne facebook site)

When a community enters Step 3 of the site selection process, the NWMO begins to examine the regional transportation system around the potential host community and will undertake a corridor analysis of alternative routes to a repository site. Decisions regarding the appropriate transportation routes and modes will require engagement and input from all groups and communities which are potentially affected by future transportation and have questions or concerns. The NWMO will need to demonstrate the safety and security of any transportation system to the satisfaction of both regulatory authorities and citizens before transportation of used nuclear fuel to the repository can begin. For more about transportation, we’d encourage you to review on our web site the brochure Safe and Secure Transportation of Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2010_transportationbrochure-english.pdf


My questions to the Hornepayne Mayor and Council are: Where and how are you going to house the people that will be hired to work the co-gen plant? Or, are they going to work here and commute from surrounding communities, like some do now? It would be nice to see the monies kept in our community, which would help our economy. Besides the focus on the Nuclear Repository, what other avenues are being explored to ensure the growth of our community? What if WE’RE NOT CHOSEN, we’re right back to where we started. (Posted on rebuild Hornepayne facebook site)

Different approaches to the location, size, duration and scope of facilities required to support the construction process will be discussed with communities. There are several possible approaches. These include distributing or sharing of facilities among a number of communities; developing legacy uses for any infrastructure required that would be to the benefit of communities following the construction period; and timing activities to best meet the needs of the community.
Similarly, there are numerous options for the location of other activities related to the project that would not need to be constructed in the protected area of the site itself. For example, the proposed Center of Excellence might be located in a community that is not host for the repository, thus providing benefits for a number of communities. Additional information on the construction and operation of the repository can be found in the Description of Canada’s Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel and Center of Expertise (available online at http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2011_ projectdescriptionbrochure-english.pdf).


Will there be a regional vote? Say White River is selected will Hornepayne get a vote or say?
(Question posed to project coordinator)

An informed and willing community is an integral part of the Adaptive Phased Management (APM) approach. During the initial study conducted by the NWMO between 2002 and 2005, Canadians explicitly said that Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel must seek a host community that is informed and willing. The requirement is reflected in all key planning documents of the NWMO, including the design of the site selection process. Citizens of neighbouring potentially affected communities must have their questions answered and their concerns addressed.


Question: What authority; what right does the Municipality have over sites of land that are not within its jurisdiction? Hornepayne does not have enough land within our Town limits, so, the DGR will be build outside of it. Does our Municipal Council really have a say?
(Question sent via contact form on Hornepayne CLC Web site)

An accountable authority is typically an elected representative body. It may be a municipal council of a community, an Aboriginal government, the community establishing a new group involving community leaders, or another group as deemed appropriate by the community for learning more about the project. An accountable authority can express interest on behalf of a community to learn more about the project. And they must do so at each of the early steps in the process.
In the case of Crown land, accountable authorities must work in collaboration with their provincial government. The provincial government could also be considered an interested community in the case of Crown land and unorganized territory in consultation with potentially affected Aboriginal peoples and nearby municipalities. Although Councils may trigger the learning process (Step 2, 3, and 4), they cannot express willingness to host the repository (step 5 in the site selection process) without the support of community members demonstrating willingness in a compelling way at a grass-roots level.
Communities will be asked to provide a significant demonstration of willingness to continue in the process. This is true even if a potential site is located on Crown land, in which case provincial authorities and agencies will also be involved in any discussions.


I was reading some of your NWMO Board of Directors Meeting Minutes. I noticed that the last meeting minutes were for Feb 2012. Will the minutes from March until now (Nov) be posted on your site any time soon?
(Question sent via contact form on Hornepayne CLC Web site)

NWMO Board meetings are held quarterly. The minutes of each meeting are posted approximately 120 days after each meeting. This delay provides opportunity for the Board to approve its previous meeting minutes at its subsequent meeting. The most recent minutes posted are from the June 14, 2012 meeting. The minutes from the September 27 meeting will be posted after January 27.


Minister's Statement on NWMO's 2008-2010 Triennial Report The Nuclear Fuel Waste Act requires that Canada’s nuclear energy corporations — Ontario Power Generation, Hydro-Québec, NB Power Nuclear and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) — ensure there is enough money to pay for the full costs of implementing the plan. Since 2002, waste owners have been contributing to individual trust funds, which today total more than $2 billion. The NWMO can only access these funds once a construction or site licence is issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/sources/uranium-nuclear/nuclear-fuel-waste-Bureau/1309. Q. Where is the NWMO getting all their funding from right now?
(Question sent via contact form on Hornepayne CLC Web site)

The NWMO’s annual operating budget is provided by the waste owner organizations through an annual business planning process with the Board of Directors consistent with an agreed cost-sharing formula. These operating costs are separate from the trust funds the owners are required by the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act to establish to finance the long term management of nuclear fuel waste.
The trust funds will accumulate and may only be used for the purpose of implementing Adaptive Phased Management once a construction or operating licence has been issued under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. The NWMO makes public the audited financial statements of the trust funds when they are provided by the financial institutions annually.
Further information is contained in Financial Surety and Updated Lifecycle Cost Estimate for Adaptive Phased Management (available online at www.nwmo.ca/backgrounders).


What are they going to do with all of the contaminated water? Meaning, the liquid pools that the rods are currently sitting in. Are they planning on sending that stuff our way too?
(Question sent via contact form on Hornepayne CLC Web site)

The deep geological repository will rely on a multiple-barrier system to isolate and contain used nuclear fuel bundles only. All low and intermediate level wastes are the responsibility of the individual waste owners and are managed at the nuclear power plants where they are produced. Water in the cooling pools is continually circulated in a closed circuit and filtered through resins. These resins are regularly removed and are classified as intermediate level waste.


On Facebook I asked if they are planning on sending the contaminated water (from the pools) with the rods to be stored in the DGR. A committee member stated that she already asked that question but I did not receive an answer. I was looking for a simple yes, no or maybe- whatever NWMO told her. The question has already been asked so why do I have to ask it again to know the answer? We're in a learning process and yet we have to jump through hoops to get any answers. It's frustrating. As a committee are your questions getting answered? Do you have a long list of unanswered questions? Are you feeling educated about this? As a community member I can say that I'm not. True, I haven't been to meetings or to an open house. Are they mandatory in this learning process? Do you all have at least ONE thing that concerns you? In all of your learning has anything caused you to say wait a minute!. Have you ever experienced a moment where you thought maybe we shouldn't do this? Are you able to look at this objectively? Let me ask you this: would you consider Nuclear Waste if it only meant 10 jobs that paid $30,000 a year? If all the great promises were not attached to it would we still consider this? Do you know what your own personal deal breakers are? If they say they say the DGR is only 85% safe from leaks- would that be enough of a risk to pull out of this? What would it take for you to completely turn your back on this?
(October 31, 2012 - Question sent via CLC webpage)

Regarding contaminated water, the deep geological repository will rely on a multiple-barrier system to isolate and contain used nuclear fuel bundles only. All low and intermediate level wastes are the responsibility of the waste owners and are managed at the nuclear power plants where they are produced. Water in the cooling pools is continually circulated in a closed circuit and filtered through resins. These resins are regularly removed and are classified as intermediate level waste.
With regard to answering questions, the NWMO is working with the Hornepayne community liaison committee (CLC) to help answer questions received through its Web site.
There will also be more open houses in the future where you can have your questions answered, so don’t worry if you’ve missed them so far as there will be many more opportunities to engage going forward.
Our commitment remains that this project will only be implemented in an informed and willing host community and in a way that will help foster the long-term well being and sustainability of the community and surrounding area.


My question is {when they remove the fuel rods to be transported what do they do with the water it’s been in all that time}?
(November 1, 2012 - Question sent via CLC webpage)

The deep geological repository will rely on a multiple-barrier system to isolate and contain used nuclear fuel bundles only. All low and intermediate level wastes are the responsibility of the waste owners and are managed at the nuclear power plants where they are produced. Water in the cooling pools is continually circulated in a closed circuit and filtered through resins. These resins are regularly removed and are classified as intermediate level waste.


How do citizens have a right to vote for the repository if it's on crown land and not in their town district?
(This mail is sent via contact form on Hornepayne Community Liaison Committee Nov 4, 2012)

Communities will be asked to provide a significant demonstration of willingness to continue in the process. This is true even if a potential site is located on Crown land, in which case provincial authorities and agencies will also be involved.
In the case of Crown land, accountable authorities must work in collaboration with their provincial government. The provincial government could also be considered an interested community in the case of Crown land and unorganized territory in consultation with potentially affected Aboriginal peoples and nearby municipalities. Although Councils may trigger the learning process (Step 2, 3, and 4), they cannot express willingness to host the repository (step 5 in the site selection process) without the support of community members demonstrating willingness in a compelling way at a grass-roots level.


What authority; what right does the Municipality have over sites of land that are not within its jurisdiction? Hornepayne does not have enough land within our Town limits, so, the DGR will be build outside of it. Does our Municipal Council really have a say?
(This mail is sent via contact form on Hornepayne Community Liaison Committee Nov 12, 2012)

Communities will be asked to provide a significant demonstration of willingness to continue in the process. This is true even if a potential site is located on Crown land, in which case provincial authorities and agencies will also be involved.
In the case of Crown land, accountable authorities must work in collaboration with their provincial government. The provincial government could also be considered an interested community in the case of Crown land and unorganized territory in consultation with potentially affected Aboriginal peoples and nearby municipalities. Although Councils may trigger the learning process (Step 2, 3, and 4), they cannot express willingness to host the repository (step 5 in the site selection process) without the support of community members demonstrating willingness in a compelling way at a grass-roots level.


Is this right? If it's approved, more than 600 shipments of nuclear waste would be transported annually to the new long-term disposal site.
(This mail is sent via contact form on Hornepayne Community Liaison Committee Nov 13, 2012.)

The logistics of transportation will depend on the location of the centralized site. The options for transportation routes could be very limited for some potential sites, while for others a number of alternatives might be explored. Multiple routes might be used.
For long-term management, the estimated number of monthly shipments of used nuclear fuel from the reactor sites to a central facility during the operating period would be approximately 53 by road. If rail is used, there would be approximately five shipments a month plus approximately 36 road shipments. Additional information is contained in Safe and Secure Transportation of Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel (available online at http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2010_transportationbrochure-english.pdf).


In Pat NcNamara's letter, He says: It was announced at the meeting last night that NWMO has decided not to go to the surrounding communities to educate them. Instead, the CLC will perform that function. Will the CLC in Hornepayne perform this function as well? Will they be communicating with Hearst? Will our surrounding communities have a say? How will Hearst be educated? And when will it start? Will their opinion be a considering factor?
(This mail is sent via contact form on Hornepayne Community Liaison Committee Nov 18, 2012.)

As communities progress through Step 3, the NWMO and the consultants it retains to conduct preliminary assessments will initiate conversations with regional groups, organizations and communities. The goal of these conversations is to develop a better regional understanding of the project and to involve neighbouring communities in learning more about it. The design and implementation of these regional outreach activities will be based on discussions held with community liaison committees, and in the case of Hornepayne would include Hearst.
The way in which outreach activities will be conducted is spelled out on page 21 of Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2013-2017. Specifically, “Accountable authorities in the surrounding area, including aboriginal communities are engaged to identify questions and concerns that will need to be addressed. The NWMO and accountable authorities work together in this engagement . . . Accountable authorities in the surrounding area including aboriginal communities are engaged in a regional study to explore and assess potential aspects on the well-being of the broader region as well as potential interest in the project. The NWMO and accountable authorities in the community work together in this engagement.”


(Nov 25, 2012 - Questions sent via CLC webpage)
How many jobs will exist during the Monitoring Phase? I see from the chart above that annually, less dollars will be spent during the Monitoring Phase than what is being spent today.

You might be interested to review the Description of Canada’s Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel and Centre of Expertise, which you can find on the NWMO Web site: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2011_projectdescriptionbrochure-english.pdf. Many of your questions are explored further in this document.
You can also find a brief, high level summary of a range of economic benefits associated with hosting the deep geological repository in a document on our Web site: http://www.nwmo.ca/sitingprocess_economicbenefits
We’ve grouped your questions by topic, and provided a response to each below.


Exactly how many jobs will exist during each Phase? How many jobs will exist during the Monitoring Phase? I see from the chart above that annually, less dollars will be spent during the Monitoring Phase than what is being spent today.

In collaboration with the community, the NWMO will conduct detailed studies and evaluations at the site to confirm whether it is suitable in terms of safety and community well-being and to support the regulatory approval process. Site selection will take approximately 10 years and involve 10 to 20 workers with a range of skills, including technical and social scientists, equipment operators and other skilled workers and technicians.
Once a location has been selected as the preferred site, the NWMO must successfully complete an environmental assessment, as required by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and obtain a license from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for site preparation and construction. This work will take approximately five years and involve 50 to 250 workers with a range of skills, including engagement, geosicence, drilling, engineering, technical support, biology, safety assessment, social science and communication.
After receiving agreement from a willing host community, successful completion of an environmental assessment review and receiving site preparation and construction licenses from the CNSC, construction of the project can begin. Construction of the underground demonstration facility and deep geological repository will take approximately 10 years, and involve about 400 to 1,200 workers per year on site with a wide range of skills. Significant direct employment opportunities will also be created for a variety of support services, such as transportation, catering and equipment supply.
After receiving agreement from the community and an operating license from the CNSC, operation of the facility can begin. Operation of the facilities will have a duration of about 40 years or more, and employ 700 to 800 workers with a wide range of skills at the site. This work will also create annual employment in the community by the many businesses that will be required to support direct ongoing operations at the facility.
The NWMO will work with the community, and others, to conduct monitoring of the repository to support data collection and to confirm the long-term safety and performance of the repository system. Future society will determine the appropriate form and duration of monitoring. The regulator will be involved in all decisions made about how monitoring will be conducted at the site. Extended monitoring will have a duration of potentially 70 years or more, and involve 100 to 150 workers with a wide range of skills at the site.
The NWMO will work with the community and others to decommission the facilities. Future society will determine the manner of final closure of the repository. Once a decision is made to close the facility, the NWMO will apply to the CNSC for a decommissioning license, and an environmental assessment would be conducted. The NWMO will remove underground equipment, and backfill and seal the access tunnels and shafts. Surface facilities will also be dismantled, at a pace and in a manner determined collaboratively with the community, regulators and other interested individuals. Decommissioning activities will have a duration of about 30 years, and involve 200 to 300 workers with a wide range of skills.
Future society will determine the form and duration of monitoring to take place after the repository is closed. The community and regulator will be involved in all decisions about how monitoring will be conducted at the site.

Some believe the economic benefits will last for generations but looking at the above chart, am I wrong to determine that the majority of the jobs will only exist for 40 years? After the Operations Phase ends won't the economy suffer greatly because of the great number of lost jobs? When the Monitoring Phase ends, is it true that not one single job will exist at this facility? Out of all the generations who will live in Hornepayne after the DGR is built, how many will reap the economic benefits?

For communities considering hosting the project, one of its benefits is the predictability of its various phases. Unlike most industries APM is not subject to the vagaries of commodity markets. Nor can its operations be outsourced. Knowing the various phases, and when they will occur, provides communities and the NWMO with time to plan how to best leverage wealth that is created during the operational phase in a manner that will drive future growth, capabilities and expertise in a way that will sustain a host community over time.
The number of direct jobs in the local community hosting the repository and in the surrounding general region will depend in part on the location of the repository, and the capacity of the community, region and province to support the project. Investments can be made in such areas as labour training, supporting infrastructure, business incubation, strategic hiring and procurement that can alter the amount of economic benefits captured in the local community and surrounding region.
In accordance with objectives identified by Canadians, the Adaptive Phased Management approach is designed to provide passive safety over the very long time frames that used nuclear fuel must be isolated and contained from humans and the environment.
The NWMO is committed to working with communities to implement APM in a way that fosters the well-being of the host community and region. By working with the NWMO, action plans can be established to ensure that the well-being goals that the community has set for itself help guide decision-making at each phase of the project, from construction through operation and long term monitoring to the benefit of the community.

How long will the Waste be active? How many generations is that?

Although its radioactivity decreases with time, chemical toxicity persists and the used fuel will remain a potential health risk for many hundreds of thousands of years. For this reason, used fuel requires careful management essentially indefinitely. Canada’s used fuel is now safely stored on an interim basis at licensed surface facilities located at the nuclear power plants where it is produced. This interim storage requires ongoing care and management and would not be suitable over the very long time frame for which used nuclear fuel needs to be managed. The Adaptive Phased Management (APM) plan for the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel requires that it be contained and isolated in a deep geological repository in a suitable rock formation.

This is my understanding of the length of the 4 Phases: Preparation: 20 years (and we're 6 years into it). Construction: 10 Years. Operations: 30 Years. Monitoring: It's my understanding that money is being put aside for a total of 150 years. Can I assume that the Monitoring Phase may last for 90 years? If the other Phases cost more than what is expected, will the Monitoring Phase be cut short? Exactly how long will the Monitoring Phase last?

APM is a multi-generational project that will be developed in phases. The deep geological repository and used fuel transportation system will be sited and constructed over two to three decades, operated over four decades or more, and then monitored for an extended period of time prior to decommissioning and closure of the facility.

  • In total, the site selection and regulatory approvals phase is expected to require about 12 to 15 years to complete. At a later stage, regulatory approvals would be sought to begin the transportation of used nuclear fuel.
  • The construction phase will require about 10 years.
  • The operation phase will require about 40 years, assuming a used fuel inventory of about 4.6 million bundles.
  • The extended monitoring phase could last several decades (70 years has been assumed for planning and financial purposes). The actual duration of this monitoring period will be decided many decades from now in collaboration with the community and regulatory authorities.
  • The decommissioning and closure phase will require about 30 years.

Once the repository is sealed, all buildings and facilities are removed, and the area is shown to meet regulatory limits for the agreed-upon end-state land use, the site would be landscaped to promote natural vegetation growth consistent with the community. An environmental management plan specific to this phase of the project would be implemented, along with continued worker safety programs.
Following site restoration and with community agreement, a licence to close the site would be obtained. In this regard, “closing the site” means that the site would not require ongoing regulatory controls and licensing by the CNSC. The repository system would enter a phase of passive safety.
While further monitoring may not be required, monitoring could be continued depending on arrangements with the community. It is anticipated that permanent markers would be installed to inform future generations of the presence of the sealed repository.
Regarding your question about financing, Canadians have made it clear they expect that the money necessary for Canada’s plan for the safe long-term management of the country’s used nuclear fuel will be available when it is needed. In 2007, the government of Canada selected Adaptive Phased Management (APM) as that plan. Financial surety is a cornerstone of this plan. The NWMO, the organization mandated with implementing APM, must ensure funds are available to pay for the plan. The Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA) (2002) provides the legislative framework for the program funding, and sets statutory roles and responsibilities for the NWMO and the owners of the used nuclear fuel. The used fuel owners are responsible for all the costs.
The NFWA requires that the planning, development and implementation of the project are funded by the major owners of used nuclear fuel in Canada. Under this Act, Ontario Power Generation, Hydro-Québec, New Brunswick Power and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited are required to establish independently managed trust funds and make annual deposits to ensure that the money to fund the project will be available when needed.
You can find the audited financial statements for the waste owners’ trust funds on the NWMO web site at: http://www.nwmo.ca/trustfunds. You can find more answers to questions about financial surety on our web site, here: http://www.nwmo.ca/askthenwmo?news_id=412

Submitted Dec 8th 2012 Subject: Living arrangements
Message: When a town decides to go ahead and is the suitable place for the repository, what is stopping the construction companies from setting up temporary living arrangements (trailer parks) at the site of the repository? How could this benefit any town?

Community well-being is a critical component of Adaptive Phased Management.  Ultimately, the vision for the community and the extent to which the project contributes to this vision in an acceptable way is a matter for the community to discuss and assess.  The site selection process requires the NWMO to work collaboratively with potential host communities to develop a plan to manage social and economic pressures to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the community and region.
Different approaches to the location, size, duration and scope of facilities required to support the construction process will be discussed with communities. There are several possible approaches. These include distributing or sharing of facilities among a number of communities; developing legacy uses for any infrastructure required that would be to the benefit of communities following the construction period; and timing activities to best meet the needs of the community.
Similarly, there are numerous options for the location of other activities related to the project that would not need to be constructed in the protected area of the site itself. For example, the proposed Center of Excellence might be located in a community that is not host for the repository, thus providing benefits for a number of communities.
Additional information on the construction and operation of the repository can be found in the Description of Canada’s Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel and Center of Expertise (available online at http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2011_projectdescriptionbrochure-english.pdf).
Community well-being is further discussed in section six of the site selection document: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1545_processforselectingasiteforcan.pdf

Submitted Dec 8th 2012 Subject: Repositories operating around the world. Message: At the NWMO site I found this statement: NMWO in its Ask the NWMO topic What Is Canada’s Plan claims: Deep geological repositories have been constructed and are operating around the world for various types of radioactive wastes. Can you tell me where these repositories are, what countries? Are you talking about high level or low level waste repositories? If it is both, which country has which type of repository?

The attached document summarizes underground radioactive waste repositories that are operating around the world. These facilities are operating for various types of radioactive waste. This list only includes repositories for radioactive waste that are currently operating, under construction, or about to start operation. There is a range of different depths, capacities, host rocks and waste types.
We should note not all these repositories are considered “deep” geological repositories based on the definition of the World Nuclear Association, and we are working to clarify this language in our materials.
For used fuel specifically, a number of countries are pursuing DGRs. Some, like Canada, are in the early stages of their siting process. Sweden is further along, and are currently going through a licensing process, while Finland has started construction. In July 2011, the European Union adopted the “Radioactive waste and spent fuel management Directive”, which asks Member States to present national programmes, indicating when, where and how they will construct and manage final repositories guaranteeing the highest safety standards. You can find more information on the European Commission Web site: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/waste_management/waste_management_en.htm
There is a backgrounder on our Website at the following link that also might provide a helpful reference, it is called Status of National Used Fuel/High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Programs: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1968_backgrounder_statusnationalprograms2012.pdf

Submitted Dec 11th 2012
1. We’re continually reassured that the citizens of Hornepayne will have the opportunity to vote on NWMO’s proposal to bury nuclear waste in our community. Could you please forward the details of the vote? a. When will this vote take place?
b. How will take place? Will it be a show of hands? A referendum? Will it involve the community members or just the CLC, or Mayor and Council?
c. What will be the stipulations of the vote? Will it be 50%+1? Will it be 70%? Will there have to be a minimum amount of voters represented?

There is no proposal to bury used nuclear fuel in Hornepayne or any other community.  21 Canadian communities have expressed interest in learning about Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used fuel.
It will be up to a community itself to determine how it demonstrates willingness to host the facility.
Best practice and experience suggests there are a range of approaches a community may use to demonstrate willingness in a compelling way.  These include documented support expressed through open community discussions or town hall meetings, a telephone poll, online meetings or surveys and/or a formal referendum. New approaches may also emerge over the intervening years as societal expectations and decision-making processes continue to evolve. Communities will be encouraged to identify processes which both meet the specific needs of the community and demonstrate clearly to the NWMO whether the project has the support of residents. The concerns and expectations of surrounding communities and regions as well as transportation communities as a large group with shared interest will be identified, addressed and help shape any path forward. The NWMO will provide support to these communities to assist their participation.
In terms of timing, Hornepayne has recently chosen to move into the preliminary assessment phase, or step 3. Preliminary assessments are expected to take two or more years and will involve geoscientific and community well-being work in collaboration with the community.  At the end of this step communities with relatively low potential to be suitable will be screened out.  One, possibly two communities that wish to continue on may be selected for the next step.
In step 4, the NWMO, working collaboratively with communities that decide to continue, will conduct detailed field investigations over a 5-year period involving geophysical surveys, characterization of the existing environment, drilling and sampling of boreholes, field and laboratory testing and monitoring activities.  Studies will also be conducted to identify and assess the potential environmental, social, economic and cultural effects associated with implementing the project in the community.  Step 4 is expected to require an investment of $200-million over the five-year period for each of the one or two communities involved.
After this work is completed and if there is a sufficiently high level of assurance that the site meets all of the required safety considerations, a community would be asked in step 5 to confirm whether they are willing to accept the project, and provide a compelling demonstration of willingness to proceed.
In addition to the information provided here, you can get more detail on the NWMO Web site: http://www.nwmo.ca/sitingprocess

2. If NWMO builds a facility in Hornepayne we are told that there could possibly be many jobs. When it comes to infrastructure, a. Specifically, what will have to be upgraded to support the influx of people?
b. How much will the infrastructure upgrades cost the taxpayer?
c. Since the majority of the jobs will last for approximately 40 years (Construction + Operations Phase), will the tax dollars that are generated during that time cover the costs of the upgrades that will be needed to be done?
d. The upgrades will have to be done long before Construction starts, when will that process start and how will the funds be acquired?

Community well-being is a critical component of Adaptive Phased Management.  Ultimately, the vision for the community and the extent to which the project contributes to this vision in an acceptable way is a matter for the community to discuss and assess.
With a project of this size and nature, there is the potential to contribute to social and economic pressures that will need to be carefully managed to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the community. For example, pressures may arise with the potential influx of temporary workers associated with the construction phase of the repository, possibly increasing demand for social and physical infrastructure services. There may be requirements for road upgrades, health-care, educational or recreation facilities.
In order to avoid or minimize social costs of this type, and to help communities to adapt to the opportunities and challenges linked to the project, the need for assistance in areas such as job training, affordable housing and needed infrastructure need to be examined and addressed. The site selection process requires the NWMO to work collaboratively with potential host communities to develop a plan to manage social and economic pressures to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the community and region.
The economic impact of the deep geological repository project will vary from community to community, depending on a number of factors, including what infrastructure currently exists and what will have to be upgraded or put in place. Assessing these needs is a key component of the assessments the NWMO and potential host communities collaboratively conduct beginning in step three of the site selection process.
The construction and operation of facilities and the infrastructure associated with the project are expected to have significant economic benefits for a community over many decades. An indication of possible economic benefits to a host community is described in the report A Preliminary Assessment of Illustrative Generic Community Economic Benefits from Hosting the APM Project available on the NWMO website at: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1497_nwmosr-2010-09_preliminary_ass.pdf

Submitted Dec 11th 2012
Message: What happens if midway through construction of the repository, someone discovers a way to reuse nuclear waste and there is no longer a need for a DGR? Would the construction come to a halt? If so, what would happen to the unfinished site?

Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel emerged from a three year study of options, which engaged Canadians in every province and territory on the issue. The plan, called Adaptive Phased Management (APM), was approved by the Government of Canada in 2007. Importantly, the plan is adaptive and can be adjusted to respond to changing societal values or technological innovation.
Reprocessing used nuclear fuel was an option that was considered during the three-year study. Although citizens concluded it was not appropriate for Canada at this time, there was considerable interest in the technology and the NWMO committed to keeping a watching brief on international scientific developments in the field. You can find it posted on the NWMO web site: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/2047_watchingbriefonreprocessingpartitioningandtransmutation-2012update-en.pdf  Additional information about reprocessing nuclear fuel can be found in the backgrounder posted here: http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1965_backgrounder_usednuclearfuelreprocessing2012.pdf
It is important to note that in any known possible future reprocessing or advanced fuel cycle scenario, there will be long-lived radioactive waste that will require a deep geological repository (DGR) for safe, long-term management. Even for those countries that do reprocess their used nuclear fuel, a deep geological repository like the one we are pursuing in Canada is still needed for long-term management of residual high-level waste generated by reprocessing.
Current reprocessing technologies are prohibitively expensive, especially for un-enriched CANDU fuel, and do not provide any material benefit to radioactive waste management. Reprocessing results in numerous chemically complex waste streams, including liquid wastes, that are often more difficult to manage than the original used fuel.
The DGR planned as an endpoint of APM also provides for used fuel to be retrieved if necessary. This allows for the potential for recycling used fuel should it ever become viable in the future. At the same time, APM meets the priority of Canadians to take action now to provide a long-term solution for the used fuel currently stored in Canada on an interim basis.
Decommissioning and closing any nuclear site in Canada requires regulatory approval which would include approval of plans for decontaminating, dismantling and removal of surface facilities.

Submitted Dec 12th 2012
Subject:Community Vote
Message: Can you please show me, where in your site it states that, in the end, it will be the citizens of the chosen community that get to vote on the final decison as to wether to accept this project or not? I cannot find it and i would like to be able to post it on my facebook site to reassure everyone that it is there.

The process by which an informed and willing community to host a deep geological repository will be identified is outlined in the document  Moving Forward Together: Process for Selecting a Site for Canada’s Deep Geological Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel.  It is available on the NWMO website at:  http://www.nwmo.ca/uploads_managed/MediaFiles/1545_processforselectingasiteforcan.pdf
The document clearly states that “although accountable authorities will speak for communities in the initial stages of the siting process, ultimately a compelling demonstration of willingness will be required involving residents of the community in order to host this project.” This demonstration of willingness at a grassroots level is required at step five of the process after a detailed five-year site characterization study has been completed and all of the necessary information is available.
Best practice and experience suggest there are a range of approaches a community may use to demonstrate its willingness in a compelling way. These include documented support expressed through open community discussions or town hall meetings, a telephone poll, online meetings or surveys and/or a formal referendum. New approaches may also emerge over the intervening years as societal expectations and decision-making processes continue to evolve. Communities will be encouraged to identify processes which both meet the specific needs of the community and demonstrate clearly to the NWMO whether the project has the support of residents.