Ottawa approves plan to bury nuclear waste

ONTARIO - Trucks and trains carrying millions of tonnes of dangerously radioactive waste nuclear fuel will be rolling across Ontario within 30 years, the federal government confirmed in giving the go-ahead to a multi-billion-dollar industry scheme for long-term waste storage.

The vehicles would carry waste fuel, now stored at the province's nuclear power reactors, to a holding site about 50 metres below ground at what Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn called a "willing community."

Officials of the industry-led Nuclear Waste Management Organization said that site could be in one of the four provinces with nuclear activity – Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, all with reactors, and Saskatchewan, with uranium mines. After roughly another three decades, the nuclear waste would be shifted to a permanent mausoleum as far as a kilometre underground at the same location.

"There's a strong likelihood in the years ahead that they'll be able to reuse the spent fuel to recover even more energy out of it," Lunn said.

The decision effectively rubber-stamps the scheme proposed in 2005. The nuclear industry would pay most of the research, construction and maintenance costs, estimated at $24 billion.


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