Inside the race for Canada’s nuclear waste: 11 towns vie to host deep burial site

Readers of this article, who have been conditioned over many decades to fear all radiation, should consider a few facts to help put their fears in perspective. While the Canadian nuclear industry does not yet have a permanent site to dispose of its spent fuel, it is the only industry that sequesters and accounts for all of its waste. By contrast, the major worldwide technologies used for electricity generation, coal and natural gas, simply release their waste to the atmosphere.

In addition the radioactive emissions from the burning of coal are far higher than any nuclear plant in the world, since all coal contains some uranium. While used CANDU nuclear fuel is highly radioactive when it comes out of the reactor, within a few hundred years it is no more radioactive than the ore from which it was mined, most of which comes from Saskatchewan.

For those concerned that geological structures cannot be guaranteed to remain intact for 400,000 years, consider that the world’s most radioactive underground ore deposit, near Cigar Lake Saskatchewan, has been relatively intact for over 1 billion years, since before the Rocky Mountains were formed. Technologies proposed for encapsulation of used CANDU fuel are simply engineered improvements of what nature has shown us can work.

Dr. Michael Ivanco
President - Society of Professional Engineers and Associates
2275 Speakman Drive Unit 2
Mississauga, Ontario L5K1B1
Tel: 905-823-3606