Thursday, February 26, 2015

A deliberately misleading anti-nuclear hit-piece from Canada's former national newpaper

I'm angry. if you don't want to be angry, don't read on.

In early December, 2014, I had the opportunity, provided by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), to see how spent nuclear fuel in Canada is handled, given a history lesson on what planning had been done on handling it long-term, and the current structure of waste handling responsibilities and funding.
irradiated fuel in DCS, just like farmer Tony McQuail's "shit"

I see little attempt to communicate reality in the hatefully misleading Inside the race for Canada’s nuclear waste: 11 towns vie to host deep burial site posted to the Globe and Mail's site. This piece enters the same competition as the Toronto Star's fear inducing anti-vaccination crap.

If this were a news story by a reporter, it would note both Sweden and Finland are progressing with deep geological repositories (DGR), and Finland's regulator just this month approved the next steps towards implementing one.

From the Globe's poison pen piece:
In 2005, after a low-profile consultation with 18,000 Canadians (roughly one in 2,000 of us), the NWMO decided that a deep repository was the answer to its mission.
These weren't the first 18,000 Canadians consulted, nor the last.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited had been studying waste management since the 1970's.

From 1998's presentation of a report by the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept Environmental Assessment Panel :
In accordance with the terms of reference announced in October 1989, the Environmental Assessment Panel has completed its review of nuclear fuel waste management and a disposal concept proposed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.
From that 1998 report's executive summary section:
In a 1978 joint statement, the governments of Canada and Ontario directed Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to develop the concept of deep geological disposal of nuclear fuel wastes. A subsequent joint statement in 1981 established that disposal site selection would not begin until after a full federal public hearing and approval of the concept by both governments.
In September 1988, the federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources referred the concept, along with a broad range of nuclear fuel waste management issues, for public review. He made this referral under the federal Environmental Assessment and Review Process Guidelines Order. On October 4, 1989, the federal Minister of the Environment appointed an independent environmental assessment panel to conduct the review.
You are now far more educated than you were if you believed any of the Globe story.
Here's the portion of that 1998 report that takes one into the establishment of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and the approach developed regarding a deep geological repository (DGR).
Key Panel Conclusions:
  • From a technical perspective, safety of the AECL concept has been on balance adequately demonstrated for a conceptual stage of development, but from a social perspective, it has not.
  • As it stands, the AECL concept for deep geological disposal has not been demonstrated to have broad public support. The concept in its current form does not have the required level of accept-ability to be adopted as Canada's approach for managing nuclear fuel wastes.
There you have the decades long examinations leading to a focus on a DGR - and the presentation that what stopped the DGR in 1998 was the social acceptability.

That is a barrier that's difficult to address.

For a person like me, the NWMO is a bizarre organization. Think about what we just covered: from 1978-1998 options for handling irradiated fuel were studied, 4 years later an act was passed forcing the creation of the NWMO who took another 3 years to settle on developing a DGR as a preferred solution ... and that was a decade ago and they're just at a stage of communicating with areas that think they might be interested... and may be decades away from actual starting construction.

I've gotten in trouble for being a day late.
If I have a decade to work on something, I've got more than 9 years and 11 months of free time before cramming. I know this isn't good - just say'n, me and the NWMO aren't a great fit.

More urgency doesn't appear to be necessary.

The dry storage containers (DSC) pictures above are virtually indestructible, probably for a century. If you live in Ontario, by which I mean if you have some concept of at least the distances between Windsor, Kingston, Ottawa, Ft. Francis, Kenora and Kapuskasing (and that's only half of it), the few warehouses storing DSC seem a controllable issue - if not entirely irrelevant.

Considering 17 years have passed since the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept Environmental Assessment Panel reported, and still years away from selecting a site to design a DGR specifically for, the Globe's headline "Inside the race" is starkly idiotic.

The NWMO is financed well enough to defend the particular stupidities of Charles Wilkens lousy writing. What I wish perplexed me was the Globe's publishing it.

The article has "shit" right in the first paragraph:
What they’ve done,” McQuail says, “would be like me piling up decades’ worth of my operation’s waste, which is to say shit...
This didn't alert an editor to the trashy alarmist nonsense they were reading?
No thoughts like:
  • what is this shit
  • I can't believe this shit
  • there's no need for this shit
  • I can't print this shit
No alerts going off upstairs editor person?

When Bruce Power was a logical outcome of Hiroshima, nuthin'?

When the Cold War would surely target Chalk River, and then the Chalk River reactor would somehow manage to "explode" , nuthin?

Scared by technology you don't understand? Fine Globe, but don't deal with it by spreading poorly informed terror.

You're acting like the Star.

No comments:

Post a Comment