1 ̶ Love It or Ship It
There are just over 2 million fuel bundles sitting outside Canada’s nuclear power reactors.
That’s right ̶ “outside”. Which is a good thing, because they are used fuel bundles. They are waste. Garbage. And each reactor has a temporary storage facility for this waste. “Temporary” can mean up to several decades. Note: nuclear waste experts use the term “interim”, not “temporary”.
This interim waste is carefully and lovingly monitored by on-site personnel to ensure that nothing explodes and that no one nearby is exposed to unreasonable amounts of lethal radiation. So far, so good.
But what NWMO wants is a long-term storage solution for this nuclear waste. “Long-term” may mean up to a million years. After all, after the reactor at Chalk River is absorbed by Greater Ottawa, or the one at Darlington becomes a suburb of Toronto, who wants a garbage dump in his backyard?
The NWMO solution (NWMO is Nuclear Waste Management Organization) is to ship this garbage to Northern Ontario. (Well, there is one community in northern Saskatchewan that is also a candidate host community. The rest of Canada is not interested.)
So NWMO is tasked by our federal government to find a willing host community. Greenstone is not a candidate community. Yet. But things change. Two weeks ago, NWMO visited Greenstone as guests of Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. Hyer is hosting a series of town hall meetings in his riding to inform people about the scenario (I almost said “scam” ̶ bad on me) proposed by NWMO.
As of today, candidate host communities in Hyer’s riding are Manitouwadge and Schreiber. Red Rock expressed interest, but NWMO deemed it a poor candidate because it has lousy rock. Nipigon, in a moment of clarity, opted out. Several other communities in NWO are still interested.
Which tells us that the smartest people in Canada do not necessarily live in Ontario. And possibly Saskatchewan.
Bruce Hyer’s position is that he is listening to all three sides ̶ those that support shipping nuclear waste to this riding, those who have still to form an opinion, and those who hate the idea.
At the Geraldton meeting, Hyer did state one point of view — he feels that the issue is not merely a single-community issue; it is a regional concern. People at the meeting agreed.
What exactly is this stuff?