Other than radium and uranium mine wastes, no nuclear waste disposal facility of any kind has been sited nor built in Canada. Sweden, Finland, France, United Kingdom and USA, just to mention a few, have sited, constructed, licensed and are operating some select disposal facilities. There is still no facility, policy nor program in Canada to do so. Hollow, words include:
• Specific landfill disposal
• Near-surface disposal
• Facilities constructed in caverns, vaults or silos below ground level
• Borehole disposal
• Geologic disposal
• Disposal stabilized in-situ”
All the above examples are stabilized geologic disposal and should be reclassified as follows:
• Surficial disposal on or in soils
• Pit or near-surface disposal in soils
• Shallow rock disposal (open pit, underground excavation, boreholes)
• Deep rock disposal (underground excavation, boreholes)
The choice of disposal method is dependent on the nature and quantities of the waste, the quality of the available geology and the natural processes and events (e.g., ground water transportation, continental glaciation).
The example “Disposal stabilized in-situ” is a complete misnomer intended to obfuscate another term called “in-situ decommissioning” as used in the Decommissioning Discussion Paper, that tend to mislead the leaders and the public.
The usage of broad, non-descript terms such as “Existing licensed long-term management facilities include those related to uranium mines and mills tailings, as well as the Port Hope Area initiative projects” as described in the Waste Disposal Discussion Paper should instead use the term Disposal Facilities, to ensure clarity. But the introduction of the Port Hope Area Initiative projects into the Waste Disposal Discussion Paper and not into the Waste Storage Discussion Paper clearly implies that this Project has moved from Waste Storage to Waste Disposal without appropriate public hearings presenting this case. Nowhere in the Port Hope Environmental Assessment is the word “Disposal” used. Elsewhere on-line, the subject of water treatment from the “Storage Mounds” is mentioned. So, which is it, are the Port Hope Area Initiative Mounds classified as Waste Storage or Waste Disposal and are they still an Initiative or a “fait accompli”?
“For purposes of this EA, the term “abandonment” is interpreted to mean the cessation of all forms of planned, designed human intervention at the decommissioned LTWMF for the purposes of managing or controlling potential environmental or human health and safety concerns associated with it. Abandonment of the LTWMF prior to its decommissioning (i.e., with waste materials still contained within it) is not considered viable or responsible stewardship” (Marshall et al. 2005).
Marshall, Macklin Monaghan Limited. 2005. Port Hope Project. Environmental Assessment Study Report. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office LLRWMO-0