Nuclear energy constituted 16.8% of Canada’s energy mix in 2014. There are stockpiles of nuclear waste with more adding up as we go. What to do with the radioactive waste whether low, medium or high levels of toxcicity are present.
There is a plan to bury low and intermediate level radioactive waste deep in the limestone rock on the site of the Bruce Power nuclear plant by Lake Huron. This facility would be the first of its kind in North America. Indeed, the first to store nuclear waste in a host rock formation of limestone. The vision is of 75 football fields of storage space at the bottom of 2 vertical shafts deeper than the CN Tower is high. The risks of storing this material on the surface are greater than if they were stored underground. The rocks in the area are very stable, and have remained stable over the past million years and 9 glaciations. It would take a drop of water 10million years to move 1 meter at the repository level.
Several Bruce area councils and the local Municipality of Kincardine have endorsed the $1 billion project. Jobs would be created and host fees would be paid. The down side is that if there were any leakage issues, a huge watershed could be affected, risking the drinking water of millions of people. Some of the medium level waste can contain Carbon 14 and Cobalt 60. Carbon 14 has a half-life 5,700 years, and can potentially turn into a gaseous form and escape through ventilation shafts. This possibility still needs in-depth study. There can be no short cuts in the design, construction, disposal, closure , and monitoring.
Jim Masse NDP critic voices concern..
The best way to handle nuclear waste is not to have any at all..but the reality is that we do have nuclear waste needs now and into the future. Burying the waste deep in Canadian limestone is not without risk, but storing the waste on the surface has more downside.
Australia Nuclear Waste Dumps are Filling.