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Nuclear waste seeks a home via the star.com

Twenty Canadian communities have said they’ll consider volunteering to host the storage site.

That list is about to close. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization, whose job it is to find and build the site, will stop taking new names on Sept. 30.

The impending cut-off is ratcheting up the pressure on the technocrats charged with selecting a site; on the boosters who want to snare the multi-billion-dollar repository for their community; on the activists who harbour deep suspicions about safety; and on the aboriginal leaders who say they’ve been cut out of the process.

Adding urgency is another nuclear decision hanging over Ontario: Whether to proceed with building two big new reactors at the Darlington nuclear station.

Progress in finding a secure, permanent storage site for the country’s nuclear waste might give the province more comfort in continuing down a nuclear path.

The Star visited some of the communities who have expressed interest in the site.

THE PROJECT

A fuel bundle for a Candu nuclear power reactor is about the size of a fireplace log. As of June 30, 2011, Canada had 2,273,873 used fuel bundles stored at its nuclear plants in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Another 85,000 or so have been added since then.

In total, they’d fill about six NHL hockey rinks, stacked up as high as the boards.

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