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OPG answers questions as requested on DGR

May 31, 2017
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Proposed nuclear waste facility being reviewed by Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has submitted its responses to 23 information requests from the federal government about a proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for the permanent disposal of low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste from its generating stations.

“We support a rigorous process of due diligence, to ensure that this important project is carefully examined before approval,” says Lise Morton, OPG’s Vice President of Nuclear Waste Management. Morton noted that, since 2011, OPG has responded to 608 information requests on the DGR. “We believe we have answered all questions in a thorough and timely manner.”

The latest information requests were made April 5th by the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency (CEAA). Earlier this year, it led a period of review by the public, Indigenous communities and several federal departments of three OPG reports completed in December 2016. The reports were about alternate locations for the DGR, cumulative effects of a potential nearby DGR for highlevel waste, and all environmental commitments made in OPG’s plan.

OPG’s responses are posted on the CEAA website.

The follow up questions were part of the normal review process. Most of the questions involved matters of elaboration or methodology in comparing three possible locations for the DGR. OPG’s preferred location is at the Bruce nuclear site, where ideal geology exists for safely isolating nuclear waste 680 metres below ground in stable, dry rock. Alternate locations in the Canadian Shield or Southwest Ontario, while technically feasible, would result in greater environmental effects and higher costs, as well as a project delay of 15 years or more, while offering no additional benefits in safety.

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OPG has a responsibility to future generations to safely and permanently dispose of the waste produced by 40 years of electricity generation from nuclear energy.

A federal Joint Review Panel, which held record-long hearings, concluded in 2015 that the Bruce site was appropriate. It recommended the project proceed “now rather than later.”

The CEAA will report its recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who is expected to decide in 2017 whether to approve the project’s Environmental Assessment. OPG generates safe, clean, reliable, low-cost power for Ontario. More than 99 per cent of this power is free of smog and greenhouse gas emissions. OPG's power is priced 40 per cent lower than power from other generators, which helps moderate customer bills.


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017