Public consultation on the long-term management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Ontario, Canada

During late 2002 and early 2003, Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) contracted Quintessa to undertake a preliminary assessment of the long-term radiological safety of four permanent repository concepts for the management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste at the Western Waste Management Facility on the Bruce Site, Ontario, Canada.

The safety assessment adopted the International Atomic Energy Agency's recommended approach to safety assessment and used site-specific information on the characteristics of the Bruce site. A reference scenario was devised to illustrate the expected evolution of the repository and the surrounding natural environment for each of the repository concepts. In addition, potential future human intrusion into the repository (e.g. borehole drilling into repository) was also considered in a separate scenario. The AMBER assessment tool was used to evaluate the scenarios and it was concluded that the "Deep Geologic Repository" concept could confidently be expected to meet Canadian and international safety standards.

On the basis on the safety assessment and other work commissioned by OPG, the Municipality of Kincardine has passed a Council Resolution affirming the Deep Geologic Repository ...as the preferred course of study in regards to the management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. During the remainder of 2004, the Council, with technical assistance from OPG, will provide the community with information on the proposed repository (see artist's impression to the right). In January 2005, an independent polling firm will contact each household by telephone to determine whether they support the Council Resolution. If the community supports the option, OPG will undertake further technical studies and develop a case for repository licensing, to be submitted to environmental regulators.