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Portrait de Ian Wigginton
jan 11, 2021 - 04:50

Canada and it's nuclear industry needs to continue it's efforts on waste minimization and indeed increase it. The waste hierarchy is a crucial element when dealing with ANY waste but certainly with regard to radioactive waste. It is wholly inappropriate to continually use new "virgin" material when it is possible to either reuse or recycle material that is presently considered to be waste. One of the aspects that needs to be taken into account is that much of the material which is considered to be radioactive waste is not fuel nor exceptionally contaminated. Large quantities of, for example, metal is relatively easy to either decontaminate or reduce the volume of and it is tragic that this material is not reused either within the industry or if proven to be clean, for general use.
The other factor that needs to be considered in the justification of waste minimization is the cost and availability of disposal sites. At present, there are no available disposal sites in Canada for waste which needs to be disposed nor is there likely to in the near future. The arguments for why this is the case are not really appropriate for discussion here but until such facilities are available, then interim storage is the only option and such storage facilities are quite expensive to construct to a standard that meets the safety and security standards for such materials. In addition the cost of building geological disposal facilities are exceptionally high and therefore it is imperative for both the environment and the Canadian Taxpayer that these facilities are as small as possible and reserved for material where there really is no alternative waste routes.

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