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What Have We Learned

The Township of Huron-Kinloss has been learning about Canada's plan for the long-term storage of used nuclear fuel for several years. Both Council and the Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee (NWCAC) has heard presentations from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) on variety of topics, including transportation, safety, water and geology.

Canada's plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel includes transporting it from current interim storage facilities to a deep geological repository at a new centralized site.

The location for the new site has not yet been selected. However, plans are well underway for the development of a safe and socially acceptable transportation plan.

Transportation of radioactive material is a well-established practice. Over 50 years, there have been more than 20,000 shipments worldwide of used nuclear fuel, using road, rail and water transport. Canada has proven, and continues to demonstrate, its ability to safely transport used fuel, with hundreds of shipments made since the 1960s.

NWMO's Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation Video

NWMO Transportation Technical Work Program

Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation

What NWMO is Hearing About Transportation Planning

The deep geological repository (DGR) is a network of underground tunnels and placement rooms for used nuclear fuel containers. It is designed to safely contain and isolate Canada's used nuclear fuel over the long term.

The repository will be about 500 metres below the ground's surface. To construct the DGR, rock excavation would be done by controlled drilling and blasting.

A layout for a repository would require an underground footprint of about 2Km by 2Km (or 1,480 acres). The repository will also include areas for offices, maintenance facilities, services, monitoring and testing.

The repository design uses a multiple-barrier system, a series of engineered and natural barriers work together to contain and isolate used nuclear fuel from people and the environment.

Safety of a Deep Geological Repository

Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel involves containing and isolating it in a deep geological repository.

Safety of people and the environment is the top priority in the process for selecting a repository site. The NWMO will need to demonstrate that any site selected can safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel for a very long period of time.

The repository will be located deep underground in a suitable rock formation which must meet site selection technical criteria for the development of the safety case.

The repository uses multiple barriers that include the waste form, container, sealing materials, and host rock. The system is designed such that the failure of one component would not jeopardize the safety of the containment system as a whole.

The project will also be subject to a thorough regulatory review process, including an environmental assessment and a licensing review to ensure that it is implemented in a manner that protects people and the environment.

Once placed in the repository, the used nuclear fuel will be monitored for an extended period of time.

How will People and the Environment be Protected?

The purpose of placing used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository is to provide long-term safety and protection of the environment, including bodies of water. 

Today, used nuclear fuel is safely managed on an interim basis at licensed facilities at the reactor sites where it is generated; a repository provides an even safer way over the very long term to manage used nuclear fuel.

The NWMO must demonstrate that any site selected to host this facility is able to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel for a very long period of time, essentially indefinitely. A deep geological repository would be sited in a rock formation with little groundwater movement at a specific depth.

The Journey of Water

The Journey of Water Part 2

The international consensus is that both crystalline and sedimentary rock formations have properties that make either good for the safe containment and isolation of used nuclear fuel. Both of these rock formations are found in Ontario where all the study areas are located.

Overview of the Sub-Surface Geology in Southern Ontario

Interim Findings from Step 3, Phase 1

Initial Borehole Drilling and Testing in Huron-Kinloss

Interim Results of Geoscientific Preliminary Assessment, Sedimentary Sites, Southern Ontario

Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Symposiums

Huron-Kinloss recognized it was difficult for our residents to attend monthly Community Advisory Committee meetings to hear the NWMO presentations about Canada's plan for used nuclear fuel and how it the selected community would look if it was home to the DGR.

Council and the Community Advisory Committee coordinated with the NWMO to host two Nuclear Waste Symposiums, providing residents the opportunity to hear this information through a one-day event. The Symposiums were held during the summer of 2018 and 2019.

Presentations from the 2018 and 2019 Symposiums

NWMO's response to Nuclear Waste Management 2018 Symposium Public Questions

Overview of the NWMO's Site Selection Process

What is Used Nuclear Fuel?

How will People and the Environment be Protected Now and in the Future?

Partnership and Land Access Process

Safety of a Deep Geological Repository

Contact Us

Township of Huron-Kinloss
21 Queen Street
P.O. Box 130
Ripley ON, N0G 2R0

Phone: 519-395-3735
Fax : 519-395-4107

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