Decision delayed on Ontario repository

20 December 2016

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has extended the deadline for a decision on a proposed deep geological repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the Bruce NPP site in Tiverton, Ontario, CNSC said in a statement on 16 December that the deadline will be extended by 243 days. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) began the repository project in 2005 and submitted an application for a site preparation licence in 2007. The proposed repository would store about 200,000 cubic metres of waste from Ontario’s NPOPs. OPG owns and operates the Pickering and Darlington plants, and owns the Bruce nuclear station, which is operated by Bruce Power.

In May 2015, an independent federal panel recommended going ahead with the project and in February 2016, the government asked OPG to carry out three further studies into a repository before making a decision on the environmental assessment. The studies, which OPG expected to be completed in 2016, include investigations of rock formations at alternative sites in Ontario. Canadian media report that the government has extended the deadline for a decision several times since the independent panel report was published. Initially, a decision was expected by September 2015, but the outgoing conservative government moved the deadline to March 2015 to allow for the federal election that brought the liberal government of Justin Trudeau to office.

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