2005 May 26
To the Editor,
The Globe and Mail:
Murray Campbell's claim that "nobody has a clue" what to do with used nuclear reactor fuel (2005 May 25) repeats a myth that hopefully will be dispelled as the Nuclear Waste Management Organization's (NWMO) communication efforts reach more of the public.
In fact Canada has safely managed its used nuclear fuel for over sixty years, and has spent the last three decades developing a technology for passive, deep-underground disposal. A ten-year Environmental Review process found this technology to be technically sound, but lacking in public support.
In response to this finding, the NWMO has spent the last two and a half years engaging the public. Their draft recommendations, now available for comment on the web (www.nwmo.ca), incorporate elements of the disposal technology with centralized storage, and an Adaptive Phased Management approach that maximizes societal control.
Issues to be decided by future generations will include whether to permanently dispose of the used fuel at all, or recycle it for the immense emission-free energy potential it retains.
Nuclear waste management is a vital debate that needs to go forward as Canadians make larger decisions on how to responsibly generate electricity, including the future use of nuclear power.