Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Dealing with Nuclear Waste: Canada Opts for Volunteerism

Posted by K.E. White on December 21, 2009

Should America emulate Canada when it comes to storing nuclear waste?

This Christian Science Monitor article explores Canada’s attempt to store its growing quantities of nuclear waste. Seeking to avoid Yucca Mountain fiascoes, Canada’s privately controlled effort hopes communities will volunteer to store nuclear waste.

From the article:

In the US, site selection has been a top-down affair, with politics playing a central role. In 1987, Congress passed a law ordering the Department of Energy to explore only one location, Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which billions in studies subsequently showed to be problematic. Nevada vehemently opposed the plan, as did Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada. President Obama canned the project earlier this year, leaving US nuclear waste policy in limbo.

Canada’s plan aims to avoid local resistance by requiring communities to ask to be considered as hosts for an underground repository. Volunteers will be given extensive information on the ecological risks and economic benefits of the repository, which is expected to cost between $16 billion and $24 billion. After public endorsement via referendum or other means, the community would become a candidate for extensive technical review.

“The only way that a community will be involved in the process is by it choosing to be involved,” says Mike Krizanc, spokesman for the NWMO, the entity charged with finding the site. “It will be an informed and willing community.”

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