In 2023 Canada, after a long exhausting consultation period, will decide where they will build a repository for our spent nuclear fuel. Beginning with 22 sites, only two remain: a site about 35 km west of Ignace, Ontario and a second in the Municipality of South Bruce about 50 km southeast of the Bruce Power Nuclear facility.  
 
At the Rotary meeting of October 1, 2020 three representatives of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) Rachelle Davenport, Chantelle Gascon, and Norm Sandberg spoke to us via Zoom, about the safe transportation of spent nuclear fuel to the Ignace site. 
 
Although transportation is not expected to start until the 2040s NWMO began consultation this past August on a framework to coordinate a transportation plan which will occur either by rail or road. 
 
 
At this time spent nuclear fuel is stored in secure facilities attached to currently active and inactive nuclear sites. Sixty percent of those are in Southern Ontario, with the rest in Quebec, New Brunswick and one site in Manitoba.   
 
The transportation program is expected to extend over approximately 40 years or more, based on current anticipated volumes from nuclear facilities. If an all-road approach were taken, this might involve about 620 truck shipments each year, approximately one-to-two shipments per day. If an all-rail approach were taken, this might involve about 60 train shipments each year, approximately one shipment every six days. 
 
Canada has created stringent regulatory rules for the transportation of nuclear material based on 50 years of successful accident free moving experience in European countries. 
 
 
Sandberg discussed the planning objectives and principles. Some key points are: 
  • Safety is priority for NWMO; 
  • Transportation routes are not yet finalized as there are still two sites under consideration; 
  • Collaborative decision-making including input from Canadians which is why Norm would like us to complete survey at URL below.
Since 2016, the NWMO has engaged with thousands of people to ensure that future transportation plans are designed to reflect the public’s interests and feedback.
 
 
As you can see by this diagram. Sandberg’s speech is just Step 2 in the process. There is still a long way to go. 
 
 
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