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Kincardine mayor sets context
for decision to host DGR, during Joint Review Panel hearing

By Liz Dadson

DGR/Kincardine council

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Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer gave a brief history lesson, Monday afternoon, during his half-hour presentation to the Joint Review Panel at the first day of the hearing into Ontario Power Generation (OPG)'s proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste at the Bruce Nuclear site.

The hearing runs for the next three weeks at the Kincardine Legion before moving to The Plex in Port Elgin for the week of Oct. 7-11.

In his presentation, Kraemer said the Kincardine community has always been supportive of nuclear which is one of the major industries in the area, along with agriculture, retail and tourism.

In 2000, Kincardine was facing an indefinite shut-down of the Bruce A generating station, along with privatization of the Bruce Nuclear Power Development, creation of a new generating entity which later became Bruce Power, and the loss of nuclear steam (which came from the defunct Bruce A station) for the Bruce Energy Centre.

At that time, said Kramer, while there was discussion by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) about finding a site for long-term management of used nuclear fuel, there was no discussion about the long-term storage of low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste, all of which was being stored at the Bruce site.

Kincardine council debated the issue at its meetings, with some in favour of negotiating with the nuclear industry for a hosting arrangement, acceptable to the community, said Kraemer.

"We agreed that it was highly unlikely that other communities would come forward as an informed, willing host community to accept nuclear waste," he said, "and we agreed that temporary storage was not a solution."

Kincardine approached OPG and eventually drew up a Memorandum of Understanding in 2002, to study a proposal for long-term storage of the low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste at the Bruce site, located in the Municipality of Kincardine.

After research and visits to other sites around the world, it was agreed to go with a Deep Rock Vault for the storage of this waste.

In 2004, Kincardine and OPG drew up a 30-year hosting agreement that expires Dec. 31, 2035, and provides property value protection, lump sum payments to Kincardine and the surrounding communities, payments in lieu of taxes, and co-operation to establish vocational schools and a centre of energy excellence.

A telephone poll was conducted of the residents of the municipality, ages 18 and older, stating: "Do you support the establishment of a facility for the long-term management of low and intermediate level waste at the Western Waste Management Facility?"

 

The poll results showed 60 per cent in favour, 22 per cent against, 13 per cent neutral, and five per cent who didn't know or refused to answer.

Kincardine council continues to support the DGR project, said Kraemer, and during election time, many council members have spoken in favour of the project and been elected.

"All forms of energy generation are controversial," he said. "Denying a licence to construct the DGR does not make it safer for the Kincardine community. The site in Kincardine is the best in class. It's the right thing to do for future generations. We support OPG's DGR project in Kincardine."

Dave Hardy of Hardy Stevenson and Associates Ltd., then outlined the third-party, independent review the consultant completed on the DGR project.

In an interview during the break, Kraemer told the Kincardine Times that the questions posed by the public, asking why OPG did not study any other sites, are nonsense.

"Why weren't these people paying attention over the past 12 years?" he asked. "We have gone through a very public and open and transparent process. We did the research, and we found that only one other municipality would host this type of facility and that was Deep River but it wasn't really all that willing to do it.

"Over the past 12 years, not one other municipal government has offered to take on this project in our stead."

The hearing continues Tuesday at 9 a.m., at the Kincardine Legion.



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Monday, September 16, 2013