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DGR NEWS: Joint Review Panel Announces September 2014 Hearing
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DGR Hearing Restarts September 9 in Kincardine

Joint Review Panel Announces Deadlines and Location

June 3 - The Joint Review Panel appointed to evaluate Ontario Power Generation's proposal to bury nuclear waste beside Lake Huron announced today that the hearing will restart on September 9th for an estimated two weeks. Any wishing to make a presentation must fill out a completed Hearing Participation Form  by June 23rd. Written submissions will be required by July 21st and any supporting materials - such as presentation slides - must be submitted by August 25th.

The Review Panel has identified a short list of subjects to be addressed during the reconvened hearing. They are: the methodology used to determine the significance of adverse environmental effects; updates to the geoscientific verification plan; expansion plans for the DGR project; relative risk analysis of alternative means of carrying out the project; implications of revisions to the reference waste inventory; and  the applicability of recent incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to the safety case for the DGR project. The revised hearing procedures provide additional detail on the subjects to be addressed.

Public Notice
Joint Review Panel Announces Additional Public Hearing Days for Deep Geologic Repository Project

June 3, 2014 - The Joint Review Panel for the Deep Geologic Repository Project for Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste (DGR) has scheduled additional public hearing days to begin on September 9, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.  The hearing will continue over approximately two weeks and will be held at:

The Royal Canadian Legion
219 Lambton Street, Kincardine, Ontario

The public hearing will give participants, Ontario Power Generation and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission the opportunity to provide their views in relation to the subjects of the information requests issued by the Panel since November 2013. Any person may attend the public hearing as an observer.

How to Participate

Amended Hearing Procedures that describe how to participate are being issued by the Panel today. Participants may make a written-only hearing submission or an oral presentation to the Panel at the hearing. Oral presentations must be supported by a written submission.

Government departments, Aboriginal groups, members of the public and organizations that participated in the DGRpublic hearing in 2013 and wish to make an oral presentation on one or more of the hearing subjects are required to indicate their intention by providing a completed Hearing Participation Form to the Panel by June 23, 2014.

Anyone who did not participate in the 2013 hearing must make a request to the Panel to make an oral presentation on one or more of the hearing subjects by providing a completed Hearing Participation Form to the Panel by June 23, 2014.

As detailed in the Hearing Procedures, subjects that will be addressed over the course of the hearing days are the following:

  • Methodology used to determine the significance of adverse environmental effects
  • Updates to the geoscientific verification plan
  • Expansion plans for the DGR project
  • Relative risk analysis of alternative means of carrying out the project
  • Implications of revisions to the reference waste inventory
  • Applicability of recent incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to the safety case for the DGR project

Activities and Key dates

Activities Deadline
Hearing Participation Form
  • 2013 Participants: Intent to make an oral presentation
  • New Participants: Request to make an oral presentation
June 23, 2014
Written submission
  • Proponent and government participants
July 7, 2014
Written submission
  • All other participants
July 21, 2014
Presentation materials (optional)
  • All participants
August 25, 2014
Start of the additional hearing days September 9, 2014

The amended Hearing Procedures, which include the Hearing Participation Form, are available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, reference number 17520.  A preliminary schedule for the hearing will be available in August.  A daily agenda, including the list of presenters, will be available each hearing day.  If you have any questions about the review process or participating in the hearing, contact:

  • Debra Myles, Panel Co-Manager
    c/o Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
    Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
    Tel.: 613-957-0626 or 1-866-582-1884
    Email: DGR.Review@ceaa-acee.gc.ca
  • Kelly McGee, Panel Co-Manager
    c/o Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
    PO Box 1046, Station B –
    280 Slater Street, Ottawa ON K1P 5S9
    Tel.: 613-947-3710  Fax: 613-995-5086
    Email: OPG-DGR@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca

Documents submitted or generated as part of the review will be considered public and posted on the online public registry. Written transcripts will be posted to the public registry as soon as they are available. The public hearing will be webcast live through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission website at www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca .

About the Project

The DGR is a proposal by Ontario Power Generation to prepare a site, and construct and operate a facility for the long-term management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste at the Bruce Nuclear site, within the Municipality of Kincardine, Ontario. Low level radioactive waste consists of industrial items that have become contaminated during routine clean up and maintenance activities at nuclear generating stations. Intermediate level radioactive waste consists primarily of used nuclear reactor components, ion-exchange resins, and filters used to purify reactor systems. Used nuclear fuel will not be stored or managed in the DGR.

Ontario Power Generation's
"Deep Geological Repository"

Ontario Power Generation’s proposal is to bury 200,000 m3 of radioactive wastes in caverns they propose to carve in the limestone rock approximately 600 metres below the surface of the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, on the eastern shore of Lake Huron.
OPG filed its Environmental Impact Statement in 2011, and has replied to more than five hundred Information Requests from the Joint Review Panel. Together, these 17,000 pages plus described the proposed project prior to the commencement of the public hearing in September 2013. 

The 25 day hearing  wrapped up on October 30th with the Joint Review Panel announcing that more information would be required from Ontario Power Generation. The JRP issued two additional ssets of Information Requests, plus supplementary questions, directing Ontario Power Generation to provide additional information on several key issues, including a technical assessment of the doubling of the DGR to accommodate decommissioning wastes, a plan for how OPG would very the predictions of rock characteristics during construction and operations,  a "narrative" to explain who they have determined which of the long term effects of the project would be significant, and an assessment of the risk that might be associated with a range of alternatives to the project which OPG had previously not assessed. 
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