Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a corporation wholly owned by the Province of Ontario, is asking the federal government to approve its proposal to bury and abandon low and intermediate level radioactive nuclear waste under the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant site, directly on the shore of Lake Huron, in the Municipality of Kincardine, Ontario.
Called a Deep Geological Repository, DGR or Nuclear Waste Dump, the 31 burial caverns are planned to be 680 metres below the ground carved out of limestone, and will extend to approximately 1 kilometre from shore of Lake Huron.
Low level radioactive nuclear waste includes contaminated mops, rags and industrial items. Intermediate level radioactive nuclear waste contains resins, filters, and irradiated components from within the nuclear reactors themselves. Intermediate level nuclear wastes are highly radioactive and many remain radioactive for over 100,000 years.
The Nuclear Waste Dump will be very large – OPG's updated estimates indicate it will be approximately 74 acres on the surface and about 100 acres underground. The Dump will entomb very large amounts of radioactive
OPG's original estimate was that 200,000 cubic metres (7.1 million cubic feet) of nuclear waste in 53,000 containers will be buried in the Dump over 35-40 years. However during the public hearings OPG admitted that they intend to double the size of the Dump to 400,000 cubic metres to also bury and abandon decommissioning nuclear waste leftover after Ontario's nuclear plants reach the end of life and are dismantled. The Dump will eventually be sealed with a sand/clay mixture and concrete, and the plan is that within a decade of closure it will no longer be monitored for radioactive leaks. Ten years of pre-closure monitoring will be followed by potentially 300 years of institutional control, and then abandonment. OPG calls the period following institutional control the "Long Term."
OPG suggests that the Nuclear Waste Dump will safely hold its radioactive contents for 100,000 years. Is it reasonable to conclude that an unmonitored Nuclear Waste Dump will contain its radioactive contents for 100,000 years? The Great Lakes were created only 12,000 years ago.