Township assures community involvement in used-nuclear-fuel DGR process
By Liz Dadson
To Comment on this article Click Here
Huron-Kinloss is assuring its residents that there will be extensive community involvement in any decision about locating a used-nuclear-fuel Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) in the township.
At the Huron-Kinloss general committee meeting June 4, Jutta Splettstoesser, a farmer in Huron-Kinloss, said her main concern is how council plans to engage the public on the site selection process for the DGR.
"If the goal is to identify an informed and willing community for this project, we have a lot of work to do," she said.
She suggested three action items: involve the community now; engage the larger community, such as the people who share access to the Great Lakes; and provide independent sources of information beyond the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).
"The NWMO has a conflict of interest because it is representing the industry that produces the waste," said Splettstoesser. "Citizens deserve to receive information from more than one source because balanced information will lead to good decision-making. I hope we can invite different scientists and interest groups to speak to us in a public meeting and provide the opportunity to ask many unanswered questions."
She recommended starting the education process now by visiting the following websites:
"As a responsible citizen, I look forward to many respectful conversations in the future," she said.
Mayor Mitch Twolan thanked Splettstoesser for coming to council with her concerns. He said council has just embarked on the siting process, and is at only Step 2, gathering information.
"Once we have documentation to put before the community, we will make it available," he said. "We'll have it in the council chamber, the Point Clark Community Centre and the Lucknow Library."
He noted that the NWMO was appointed by the federal government to head up the siting process through Adaptive Phased Management.
It's a lengthy process, said Twolan, involving extensive public input, and a feasibility study to ensure the geology of the area is correct - that would determine whether the DGR could even be built in the township.
"We will hold public meetings in the Ripley Arena about this issue," said Twolan.
He added that there will be independent sources of information made available. For example, with the DGR for low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste, proposed for the Bruce Nuclear site in Kincardine, there have been peer-reviewed studies done on that project. The results were sent to Ontario Power Generation (OPG), owner of the project, and to the nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
"At the end of the day, this council will not be making the decision about hosting a used-fuel DGR," said Twolan. "That decision will be made by the residents of Huron-Kinloss. But we're not even close to that yet. We're on a fact-finding mission, as are 21 other municipalities across Canada."
He said that as a neighbouring municipality to the Bruce Nuclear site, it's important that Huron-Kinloss council learn as much as it can about the used-fuel DGR siting process.
Splettstoesser said it important to involve the community.
"Any suggestions you have for outreach into the community, we'd be glad to listen to them," said Twolan. "It's early in the process, but any information the community wants, we'll try and get it. We want this process to be as transparent as possible."
Scrolling stops when you move your mouse inside the scroll area. You can click on the ads for more
books, sports, movies ...
Tuesday, June 12, 2012