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Long-Term Spent Fuel Management in Canada

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Long-Term Spent Fuel Management in Canada

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  1. Long-Term Spent Fuel Management in Canada International Conference on Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors Vienna, Austria May 31, 2010

  2. Spent Fuel Arising in Canada • 42,000 tonnes of spent fuel in interim storage from: • 22 power reactors in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec • Research reactors Manitoba and Ontario

  3. Interim Spent Fuel Storage

  4. History of Long-Term Spent Fuel Management • 1980: Governments of Canada and Ontario initiates Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Program. • 1998: Federal Environmental Assessment Panel concluded: • Geologic disposal technically safe • Public support not demonstrated • 2002 Nuclear Fuel Waste Act requires NWMO be formed. • 2007: Government of Canada approves Adaptive Phased Management with end point of isolation in a deep geologic repository. • 2010: NWMO initiate site selection process.

  5. 2002 Nuclear Fuel Waste Act • Nuclear Energy Corporations to: • Form and fund NWMO • Contribute to trust funds • NWMO • Conduct study of alternatives and make recommendation • Implement government decision • Define contributions to trust funds • Report annually to parliament • Government of Canada • Approves NWMO recommendation • Approves trust fund contributions

  6. NWMO Study of Alternatives (2002-2005) • NWMO led three-year study - engaged nation-wide: • 18,000 Canadians including 2500 Aboriginal people • 120 information & discussion sessions • 500 experts • Canadians told us: • Safety and security is top priority • Take action now • International standards • Approach must be adaptable

  7. Adaptive Phased Management APM emerged from dialogue with citizens and experts – best met key priorities A Technical Method A Management System Flexibility in pace and manner of implementation Phased and adaptive decision-making Responsive to advances in technology, research, Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge, societal values Open, inclusive, fair siting process - seek informed, willing host community Public engagement and site selection focused in 4 nuclear provinces • Centralized containment and isolation in deep geological repository • Continuous monitoring • Potential for retrievability • Optional step ofshallow underground storage APM proposed by NWMO; approved by Federal government June 2007 6 NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION | Page 6

  8. Deep Geologic Repository: National Infrastructure Project • High technology, national infrastructure project • Investment of $16-24 billion • Operate as centre of expertise • Provide thousands of jobs • Sustainable over more than 100 years • Highly regulated – strict criteria ensures safety • Partnership between NWMO and community • Fosters community well-being

  9. NWMO’s Implementation Plan • Build relationships and engage Canadians in decision making • Collaboratively design and implement process for site selection • Further develop repository designs and safety case • Research alternative methods and societal values • Ensure sufficient funds • Continually improve governance structure and organizational capacity

  10. Building Relationships and Involving Canadians in Decision Making • Aboriginal People • Forum of Elders and Working Group • Aboriginal Organizations • Municipal • Forum of Municipal Associations from four provinces • Canadian Association of Nuclear Host Municipalities • Public • Citizen Panels • Open houses, web-based dialogues, surveys • Interest Groups: • Multi-Party Dialogues • Federal and Provincial Governments • Cross-functional forums with Governments

  11. Repository Design and Safety Case Refinement and Development • Refine designs for repositories in crystalline and sedimentary rock and complete pre-licensing review • Exchange agreements with Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and France • Joint international projects • Projects in eleven Canadian universities • Independent Technical Review Group

  12. Collaborative Design of Process for Site Selection • Project Description • Nine step process • Evaluation criteria • Community chooses to participate and has right of withdrawal • Inclusion of surrounding community and Aboriginal people • Partnership approach • Role of independent third-party and regulatory review

  13. Recurring Themes from Dialogues • Safety, security, environment • Visible presence of federal government • Early and active role for regulator • Supportive role of provincial governments • Community benefits • Recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights and duty to consult and accommodate

  14. Next Steps and Possible Timelines • May 2010: Initiation of site selection process • 2010-2011: Build awareness and respond to interest • 2012-2018: Feasibility studies • Regional studies • Detailed site evaluation • Community expresses willingness to host • 2018: Initiate regulatory review process • 2035: Deep Geological Repository in-service