"What Canada Wants To Do With Its Decades-Old Pileup Of Nuclear Waste"

"Canada plans to store spent nuclear fuel deep, deep underground near the Great Lakes. That is, if an industry group can find a community willing to play host"

"The final resting place of Canada’s most radioactive nuclear waste could be a cave about as deep below the surface as the CN Tower is tall.

If it happens, the chamber and its network of tunnels will be drilled into bedrock in the Great Lakes basin. Pellets of spent nuclear fuel — coated in ceramic material, loaded into bundles of metal tubes the size of fireplace logs, then placed into a metal container encased in clay made from volcanic ash — will be stacked in the underground chamber sealed with concrete 10 to 12 metres thick. Though the radioactive pellets will have spent several years cooling down in pools and concrete canisters, they will still emit so much energy that their presence will heat up the space where they sit for 30 to 60 years. The warmth will linger for anywhere from a few centuries to a few millennia.

But none of this will become reality unless the industry-backed Nuclear Waste Management Organization can find a willing host. Two Ontario towns are in the running: South Bruce, located about two hours’ drive northwest of Toronto near Lake Huron, and Ignace, roughly 200 kilometres north of Lake Superior, not far from the Manitoba border. The municipalities, along with 10 First Nations and two Métis councils, are awaiting the completion of dozens of studies as they mull whether the economic benefits of such a project outweigh the risks."

Emma McIntosh reports for The Narwhal January 19, 2022.

Source: The Narwhal, 01/20/2022