Wednesday Night #1318 Postscript – Canada's Nuclear Waste

Written by  //  June 15, 2007  //  Environment & Energy, Nuclear, Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Canada Approves Plan To Bury Its Nuclear Waste
June 15, 2007 — By David Ljunggren, Reuters
OTTAWA — Canada said Thursday it had approved the idea of burying nuclear waste from its power plants deep in the ground at a single location, a proposal that green activists immediately condemned as too risky.

Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said that, although the idea was not perfect, he felt it was the best way to store spent fuel rods from Canada’s 20 functioning nuclear reactors.

The 36,000 tonnes of waste produced so far is stored above ground at nuclear power stations, which generate about 15 percent of the country’s electricity.

Lunn said the planned depository would cost billions of dollars but said the cost would be borne by the nuclear industry.

It would take 60 years to find a location, build the facility and then transport in the used fuel.

“This is a safe, long-term approach,” said Lunn, telling reporters that the waste would be monitored continually. It would also be buried in such a way that it could be retrieved if need be.

“I think there’s a strong likelihood in the years ahead that they’ll be able to reuse the spent fuel and recover more energy out of it,” he said.

One likely location for the depository is somewhere in the Canadian Shield, a vast layer of solid bedrock that covers much of northern Canada. …

Lunn has repeatedly said he favors building more nuclear power stations to help meet Canada’s energy needs and enable the shut-down of polluting coal-fired plants. More

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