What's New With the DGR Project
April 5, 2017
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) issued a request for OPG to provide additional information regarding its proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for low and intermediate level nuclear waste. The information being requested relates mainly to questions of clarification, elaboration and some additional analysis on a few key elements of the project. This includes:
- Further description of the differences among three potential locations (the proposed location at the Bruce site and the two alternate locations that were studied), based on various technical, environmental or other criteria.
- Further analysis of potential cumulative effects of two repositories (OPG’s DGR and a separate facility being explored by NWMO for used fuel), if they were to be located in the same region.
To date, OPG has responded to 585 requests for additional information; the additional 23 requests bring the total to 608.
OPG will develop a timeline to respond to the request and submit this to the Agency. Once submitted the CEAA will issue its analysis and recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The Minister could then decide whether to approve the Environmental Assessment (EA).
If the EA is approved, OPG will then submit an application for a construction licence.
March 6, 2017
The public comment period closed on the additional studies provided by OPG in December 2016 to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. CEAA initiated its review of the studies.
January 18, 2017
On Jan. 18, 2017, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) announced it is inviting public comments until Feb. 17, 2017 on the additional information received from OPG on the DGR project. A resource document to assist participants in the preparation of submissions regarding the technical review is available on CEAA’s public registry.
The CEAA also announced it has allocated just over $146,000 to 10 applicants to assist their participation in the remaining steps of the environmental assessment of this project. For information on the DGR project, visit the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry website at canada.ca/ceaa, reference number 17520.
January 3, 2017
OPG has submitted three studies requested by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The three studies submitted to the CEAA include:
- The environmental effects of two feasible alternate locations in Ontario for a new disposal facility for low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste. One assessment considers a similar DGR in a sedimentary rock formation in southern Ontario. The second considers a similar repository in a granite rock formation in central to northern Ontario.
- An updated analysis of the cumulative environmental effects of the Project, assuming a used-fuel repository is located in close proximity to OPG’s DGR Project. A site for a used-fuel facility has not yet been determined by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.
- An updated list of OPG’s commitments to mitigate adverse environmental effects under CEAA 2012.
Based on the studies’ findings on environmental effects and other factors, OPG maintains that a DGR is the right answer for Ontario's low- and intermediate-level waste, and that the currently proposed Bruce Nuclear site is the right location.
An independent federal Joint Review Panel (JRP) recommended in 2015 that OPG’s project move ahead “now rather than later,” based on a strong safety case and to reduce risks to the environment.