Postby Oscar » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:33 am


On July 15th Canada’s nuclear regulator announced that the public had thirty days to comment on a project description for the first “small modular reactor” in Canada. The deadline is August 14th, 2019

(***NOTE: DEADLINE has been extended to SEPT. 14*****)

What are SMRs?

•“Small Modular Reactors” (SMRs) are theoretical nuclear power plant designs being promoted by the nuclear industry as the solution to the various problems of nuclear power; they are designed to produce much less electricity when compared to those currently operating for commercial power production

•dozens of theoretical designs are at various stages of development but have not yet been completed as they are not commercially viable

•Like the current fleet of reactors, SMRs will be expensive to build and will produce radioactive wastes that will have to be safeguarded in perpetuity; unlike the operating reactors in Canada, the designs are largely untested

•SMRs are proposed for multiple locations, including mine sites and in Northern, remote communities

What is being proposed?

•Canada’s first SMR design to be the subject of a license application is for what the proponent, Global First Power, is calling a “micro modular reactor”; it will be a high temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor, using enriched uranium as fuel and helium and molten salt for transferring heat

•Similar reactors have been constructed in the United States and Germany and these have had a poor track record and a history of accidents and failures; the wastes are highly radioactive

•The project is a partnership of Global First Power, Ultra Safe Nuclear Limited, and Ontario Power Generation, and will be constructed on federal land on the Ottawa River, 200 km northwest of Ottawa, on a site that is managed by a multi-national consortium of nuclear waste companies

•The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)is conducting the EA under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012; the review will include the EA and a license to prepare the site for construction

The deadline for comments on the project description is August 14th
[ ... ture=en-CA ]

What should I say in my comment on the project description?

1. What information is missing from the Project Description?

A Project Description is not expected to be a full detailed study of the project, but as you read through, consider whether the information provides even a basic understanding of the project and its potential environmental and social consequences. Does it describe the reactor design and technology? What are the impacts environmental and social impacts? What is the fuel? What are the characteristics of the radioactive wastes that will be generated and how they will be managed, including over very long periods of time? Do you agree with the terms used in the report?

2. What topics or information should be included in the Environmental Impact Statement?
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s staff will provide the Commission with “advice” on the scope of the Environmental Assessment. Include your thoughts on the “scope” of the environmental assessment, including: What topics do you think should be included & how much detail should the proponent provide? What is the need for the project, its consideration of sustainability, the long-term plan for its waste? What are the trade implications of having foreign companies constructing reactors in Canada, the competency of the proponents, the role of each of the “partners”, financing, etc?

3. What should the review process look like?
The CNSC’s review process can make participation challenging due to short timelines, brief presentation opportunities at hearings, and no opportunity to cross-examine or question the proponent, their experts or the information they are relying upon. Now, the CNSC is asking for your input on this EA review. Include in your comments what you think is needed to make public participation and the CNSC role more effective. What will produce a trustworthy process, with the review resulting in better and more informed decisions?

What’s next?

•Submit your comment by August 14th

•After this consultation CNSC staff will (1) provide the Commission with their advice on the “scope” of the EA, (2) release a summary of comments received and (3) release a schedule for the review process

Send your comments to:
Aimee Rupert, Environmental Assessment Officer
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
P.O. Box 1046 Station B, 280 Slater Street
Ottawa ON K1P 5S9
Telephone: 613-943-9919 or 1-800-668-5284
Fax: 613-995-5086

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is anticipated by September 2020; the Final EIS, hearing and licensing are currently expected in 2021

This Call for Comments in a PDF is HERE.
[ ... ly2019.pdf ]

A backgrounder is HERE.

[ ... ly2019.pdf ]
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