Ontario site offered for nuke wastes

Dec. 11, 2011 at 9:33 PM

SAUGEEN SHORES, Ontario, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- City officials in Saugeen Shores say the community on the shore of Lake Huron in southern Ontario might be willing to be Canada's nuclear waste repository.

The City Council approved a resolution this past Monday requesting "an initial screening be undertaken to determine whether the municipality is a candidate" for storing spent nuclear fuel hundreds of feet below ground, the Owen Sound Sun Times reported.

The project is separate from another plan currently being reviewed by regulators to store low and intermediate level radioactive waste at a facility near Kincardine at the Bruce nuclear site.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith told the newspaper city officials were just being pragmatic.

"We have the biggest nuclear power site here in Canada in Bruce County very close to our home and about 40 percent of the fuel is there," Smith said Tuesday. "So any long-term, where ever it goes, it's going to involve the county and our community.

"From my perspective I think we just need to learn more about it, about the final solution for it, or the ultimate solution for it."

Nuclear waste has been stored at the Bruce site for years, Smith noted.

The Sun Times said Saugeen Shores is one of 10 communities that have expressed interest in the long-term storage project, though it is the only one in southern Ontario. Three are in Saskatchewan and six are in northern Ontario. A seventh northern Ontario community didn't make it past initial screening.

Smith said Saugeen Shores isn't committed to going after the $16 billion to $20 billion storage facility.

"We haven't said we're interested in hosting it. We've simply said could we even be considered as a host," he said. "I'm not sure where council would go."

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