What's New With the DGR Project
Aug. 21, 2017
OPG is reviewing a new request for information from the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change on its proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for the permanent disposal of its low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste.
The Minister has asked OPG to update its analysis of potential cumulative effects of the DGR Project on physical and cultural heritage, through its ongoing process with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON).
OPG committed in 2013 that the DGR would not proceed to construction without the support of SON, whose traditional territory includes the proposed location at the Bruce nuclear site.
OPG has been engaged in respectful, ongoing dialogue with SON and that will continue.
June 28, 2017
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) announced on June 26 that it was satisfied OPG had adequately answered all questions, following a requested study in 2016 on alternate locations. The study showed that building the DGR elsewhere in the Canadian Shield or Southern Ontario is technically feasible, but would result in greater environmental effects, higher costs and a delay of 15-20 years or more – with no additional benefits in safety compared with OPG’s preferred location at the Bruce nuclear site.
May 26, 2017
OPG has submitted additional information about its proposed DGR project to the CEAA. The CEAA has posted OPG's submission on its website.
The submission is OPG's response to 23 additional questions from the CEAA resulting from an extensive review of OPG’s studies in 2016 on alternate DGR locations and environmental commitments. The review, which involved the public, Indigenous communities and several federal departments, took place in the first quarter of this year.
The CEAA will now complete its analysis and draft recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The CEAA draft report, expected this summer, will be followed by a public comment period, a final version of the report and then the Minister’s decision on the Environmental Assessment (EA). If approved, OPG will submit an application for a construction licence.
April 5, 2017
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) issued a request for OPG to provide additional information regarding its proposed 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.
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.