A Canadian power company is looking at alternate options after members of Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) overwhelmingly voted against the company’s plan to bury waste from its nuclear plants on the Canadian shore of Lake Huron. The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) had to drop its plan to permanently store the waste in a deep underground chamber.
OPG communications manager Fred Kuntz reportedly said that the lessons learnt from recent development is part of their culture and they will continue to look for lasting solutions. The company’s preferred site was at the Bruce Power generating station but it drew widespread criticism from environmental activist due to its proximity with the lakeshore.
All radioactive waste continues to be held in safe, secure, environmentally sound storage facilities. @SaugeenOjibway’s decision on @opg’s repository for low and intermediate level waste has no impact on our regulated facilities.— Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (@CNSC_CCSN) February 1, 2020
OPG CEO and President Ken Hartwick had said that the company respects the decision of SON members and will now move forward to develop an alternate solution. Hartwick added that OPG will explore other options and will engage with key stakeholders to develop an alternate site-selection process.
Hartwick called for a responsible waste management technique to enjoy the benefits of low-carbon, low-cost and reliable source of energy with peace of mind. He said permanent and safe disposal is the right thing to do for future generations adding that nuclear energy remains a vital tool in fighting climate change.
“Over the years, OPG and SON have been building a relationship based on mutual respect, collaboration and trust. We look forward to continuing this relationship,” said Lise Morton, Vice President of OPG’s Nuclear Waste Management Division.
Morton said that the company’s priority is to continue the efforts in waste minimization including minimizing waste production at the source, innovations in waste processing to reduce the volume, and recycling of clean materials.
(With inputs from agencies)