Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Ontario still aims to build a nuclear tomb

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Canada's Nuclear Waste Management Corporation could install its next nuclear tomb in this area near Ignace, in the North -Western Ontario.

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Groups opposed to the proposed nuclear tomb in Northwestern Ontario are disappointed with the provincial government's response to a petition that called for a change in approach which would avoid transporting this waste to the region to keep it underground.

The petition launched by the organization We the Nuclear Free North demanded in particular that Ontario adopts the principle of proximity in its waste management.

This principle would ensure that residues from nuclear power plants would be kept nearby rather than transported elsewhere and then buried.

What we are asking is that Ontario Power Generation asks companies to build safe, long-lasting and accessible basins near nuclear power plants to store nuclear waste, explains Charles Faust, spokesperson for We the Nuclear Free North .

But Energy Minister Todd Smith refused to acquiesce to the group's demands, even the petition, signed by more than 12,000 people , was officially tabled in the Legislative Assembly.

In a news release released by the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister Smith said responsible management of nuclear waste is the backbone of long-term planning for Ontario's electricity system. , which includes nuclear power plants.

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Energy Minister Todd Smith reiterated his support for building a nuclear tomb.

The Ontario government, in collaboration with the Nuclear Waste Management Corporation, is currently studying two potential nuclear grave sites, either at Ignace in the Northwest, or at South Bruce, in the South West.

The ministry says that the evaluation of solutions for the management of nuclear waste must include several criteria and that underground storage like what could be built in the region of 'Ignace is part of international best practices.

The final decision on the choice of the nuclear tomb should be made in 2024.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">But Mr. Faust says that his organization is not satisfied with this response and that he still wants the population to be heard.

I believe that they only listened to the opinion of the nuclear industry […] we are not surprised that they rejected our petition, we launched it so that citizens are aware of the plans of the industry in the region, he explains.

A delegation of 10 Ignace residents had the opportunity earlier in November to visit another nuclear waste storage location in Finland, similar to what could be set up in their area.

The delegation, which included municipal councilor Jodie Defeo, visited the municipality of Eurajoki, on the west coast of Finland, in a trip organized and paid for by the Nuclear Waste Management Company.

They visited the Onkalo underground nuclear waste storage site, the region's nuclear power plant, the nuclear education center and were able to interact with residents of the community, according to Ms. Defeo.

They told us that they felt safe, even though there was a site very close, that there were no fears and that we kept them informed, she says.

According to Jake Pastore, spokesperson for the canton of Ignace, the municipality is engaged in a process which aims to educate citizens.

They set up a committee to explore and try to learn as much as possible about the nuclear tombs. Delegates also participate in learning missions to bring this information back to the community, says Mr. Pastore.

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The canton of Ignace is trying to educate its population about the issues related to the arrival of a nuclear tomb in the region.

He says he understands the opposition of some groups to the project, but reiterates the importance of making reliable information available.

The council fully understands that there are several points of view on this issue, and that both sides of the coin must be presented so that the population can have a complete picture of the thing, he says.

No matter where the nuclear tomb will be built, construction should start in 2033 and end in 2040.

With information from CBC's Sarah Law

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