DGR A Puzzlement?   Read More


What am I for and what I know

 I'm for the selection of the safest spot for DGRs based upon facts including all the risks for long term storage of nuclear waste.  It's too important an issue to be derailed.

Further, I don't care where it goes as long as it is the best site geologically and strategically with risk minimized.  There are no scientific breakthroughs required.


Written for Canadian Community News by Mike Sterling

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Figure 1

This shows the picture of the proposed DGR site. This came from the OPG web site.  Note that the triangle formed is accurate to one decimal point numerically.  

Figure 2

This drawing shows Lake Huron to the Niagara escarpment.  The Bruce site has disappeared and is a tiny point on the graph as it should be.  It really is just another way of looking at things and one would like to zoom in on any area for detail.  Figure 1 is a typical zoom.

Figure 3

Map showing DGR extent as though it were in Downtown Toronto.  Above and below ground are not shown

Map submitted by Charles Hazell

Figure 4

This is a picture that Hazel does not like because it has a different horizontal to vertical scale due to the great distance it has to deal with west to east.  But, this is the way geologic maps are done when the geologist wants to show stratification.  This evoked Dr. Muecke's question which was:

"Just one point, here coming from a geologist because you puzzle me, okay.  If I have a sedimentary basin which is hundreds of kilometres and I want to show the strata on it, to illustrate which strata lay on top of it, how do you propose to do that without vertical exaggeration?"

Hazell's Presentation Volume 3, pages 277 to 314


Charles Hazell an architect made a presentation on the third day of the hearings to the Joint Review Panel on the low and intermediate DGR proposed for Kincardine. 

The testimony was a puzzlement to me and clearly to Dr. Muecke one of the 3 panelists. Dr. Muecke (For bio click  Read More) is a Canadian geologist educated in Canada, Oxford University and in Germany. He has vast experience in the disciplines covered by the panel

Dr. Gunter Muecke

Dr. Muecke  asks very precise and well thought out questions, not just to  Hazell, but to others.  He, like the other panel members does not ask a tornado of questions, but when he and they ask something, I lean forward..  True to form at the end of Hazell's presentation Dr. Muecke asked: 

"Just one point, here coming from a geologist because you puzzle me, okay.  If I have a sedimentary basin which is hundreds of kilometres and I want to show the strata on it, to illustrate which strata lay on top of it, how do you propose to do that without vertical exaggeration?"

 HAZELL responded:

" I understand the need to adjust vertical and horizontal scales for the purpose of representing specific goals. It is represented by an intent. That intent is made clear on the drawing.  If the intent is then taken and shifted, as it has been in the illustrations that Iíve shown, and used as a background for the CN Tower and a tiny DGR and the lake represented as a minor consideration to the left and 1.2 kilometres away, that takes the scale -- the intelligent and  obvious use of scale and it uses it for manipulative purposes. And that is the point that  I am making."

Hazell's analysis of the drawings makes him believe that they were produced more as marketing documents and are deceptive in intent.  I do not agreeI've seen these drawings and others like them for years used for many purposes.  Breakout illustrations like Figure 1 and Figure 4, have been used since the first large scale geologic maps were produced by William Smith in England.  In fact these illustrations predate Darwin in biology, but may have influenced him.  They allow clarity and precision to come into play.  They are "Ah, I understand now!" drawings.

They also show the relative depth of the lake and the CN tower as a visual comparison so that the viewer can interpret the information in a meaningful way.  This is done in both geology and archaeology wherein some familiar object is put forward to show size and/or depth.  Furthermore Figure 1 shows the direct distance from the storage site to the closest point on the lake

Hazell says they are misleading for the general public.  Since he included Figure 4 in his presentation, he must mean that one in particular..

I'm sorry, but I for one find the information clear and not misleading.  I've not found anyone who does not understand these drawings after looking at them seriously.  The Globe and Mail thought enough of them to include two of them in their September 13, 2013 edition covering two full pages. Read More   There are other illustrations on Hazell's submission.  They are all at the end of his written submission. The ones showing geologic strata are clear. I'm not sure he made his points on the other illustrations, but I did not study the population graphs closely.

But, what Hazell really wants is to not so much deal with scale as with intent.  Scale and geologic maps are not his thing, anyway.  As pointed out by the panel he deals with scale depictions in his work, but not in geology.  Architects regularly fiddle with scale to exaggerate good features.

If we go inland let's say to the Niagara escarpment and we try to maintain a 1 to 1 scale, then everything of any vertical detail disappears. Now that is misleading for sure, if that is all there is to it. The old Southampton Town Hall clock would not be visible.  The grand Imperial Tower Lighthouse on Chantry Island would disappear and would not even be a speck.  The important sedimentary layers pancake down to a sliver. 

You can see that in Figure 2.  All detail disappears and detail is only revealed by use of both drawings.  Figure 4 shows 50 to 1 vertical scale to allow the stratification to come out.  All these drawings appear in OPG and NWMO literature.  They are clear and not misleading, when used together as they are all over the place on official sites and documents.  What was the intent?  It was clarity for sure.

Click the orange arrow to read the second column



Of course OPG and NWMO have not tried  to fool the public.  If they were so doing, then they missed the boat.  It could be that Hazell missed a meeting at the Saugeen Shores Plex wherein all this was explained

Many members of SRASOS were there.  They left quickly at the end of the impressive presentation, and did not stay around to quiz the expert presenters.  At the meeting on September 24, 2012, Robert Leech of AECOM pointed out the scale to the entire audience.

I said to myself.  Wow, they are really being careful.  The audience can appreciate the drawings and probably did not need anything pointed out to them, but to Leech's credit, he did.  It so impressed me that I put it as part of my write-up for the evening.  That's why I was so surprised by Hazell's feelings about intent.  He is just wrong about the history and presentation of those drawings.

If you click on the fast forward link, you will note that Leech took special care to point out vertical scale on the drawings, where applicable. Read More  Very neat and tidy.

So the scale issue was brought to the attention of the audience when the above drawings were presented.  I don't remember Hazell at that meeting, but it was well attended by SRASOS members.  He or they could have brought the issue forward then if they were confused by the drawings or the intent.  I don't think they were.

Now to be sure, including the CN Tower in the illustration shows that the DGR is very deep. That's a fact. There is no need to do much with scale there because the west to east distance is what the vertical scale is.  So is that clarified in some better way?  Dr. Muecke asked the question and as you can see, he did not get an answer.

To be fair, Hazell had a presentation that was 'scaled' more for an hour or more than just 30 minutes. (For Hazell's written submission Read More and his video version click the 18th on the calendar and find the video Read More  

Maybe he had good points, that were self edited out, by mistake or time constraints.  They don't jump out at me upon reading his submission.  He apologized at the start and proposed that he would self edit as he went along to fit in the time line.  He knew beforehand that he only had 30 minutes the same as the other speakers?  (some have only 10 minutes)  He seem startled when his time was up.

I read his original presentation which looks like it is a combination of a PowerPoint presentation more than a integrated document.  So reading his original document is not easy without his interpretation.

Hazell also took the underground footprint of the DGR and laid it on top of downtown Toronto.  I was watching the re-play video of this and got no visual feel for what he was talking about.  It was not on camera in the replay. He complained in person that the colours looked washed out.  I suppose he put his graphics together to make us see the larger than thought footprint.  See Figure 3.

Of course you can make that area look big or small in Google Earth.  Just zoom in or zoom out.  Everyone does that when using Google  Earth.  He made it look big I guess for those who know Toronto well, but I could make it look small by zooming out just a bit.  It's all intent and for sure his was to make it look big.

When I took the time to look at his original submission, I was surprised to see that it looked smaller than I thought from his words alone.  So much for intent.

So Hazell's presentation was a puzzlement to me.  As Dr. Muecke said: 

"Just one point, here coming from a geologist because you puzzle me, okay"

The drawings are clear. We should move on to the real geology.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013