Nuclear-waste bunker decision to likely to fall to next federal government via The Guardian

TORONTO — The much-delayed and politically fraught decision on a proposed multibillion-dollar nuclear-waste storage bunker near Lake Huron now appears certain to fall to Canada’s next government.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna paused the process in August 2017 — the latest in a string of delays for the deep geologic repository — to ensure buy-in from Indigenous people in the area. However, members of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation have made it clear they are in no rush to give Ontario Power Generation their blessing for the proposed facility.


A key step is to decide how Saugeen Ojibway Nation gets to express its collective will, who in the community gets to have a say, and when. That includes deciding the role of young people, who must ultimately help implement whatever decision the community makes.


Currently estimated to cost a total of $2.4 billion over a planned 50-year operational cycle, the project calls for a bunker to be built at the Bruce nuclear power plant near Kincardine, Ont. Hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of low and intermediate radioactive waste — not spent fuel bundles but still toxic for centuries — would be buried 680 metres deep rather than stored above ground at the site as now happens.


Saugeen Ojibway Nation comprises about 5,000 members of the Saugeen First Nation and the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, many of whom live out of the area.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

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