2009-11-19 at 19:20
Ignace a long way from making nuclear decisions
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Officials in Ignace say they're still a long way from reaching a decision to apply to be a host site for Canada's nuclear waste.
Ignace has taken the initial steps in exploring the possibility of hosting an underground repository for used nuclear fuel. But the decision to move ahead might not be Ignace’s alone. Thunder Bay Mayor Lynn Peterson said such a proposal would require extensive public consultations in both the host community and every town that the nuclear material would pass through.
Wayne Hanchard, the administrator for the township of Ignace, says the community is still a long way from making a formal application of interest with the nuclear waste management organization. The agency is mandated by the federal government with finding a "suitable and willing community" to become a host site for a deep geographical repository of the country's used nuclear fuel.
Hanchard said they still don't know if Ignace would be a suitable site for the estimated $20-billion project.
Hanchard said if Ignace goes forward with an expression of interest next summer, then studies into the geography and technical issues involved would be undertaken as part of determining Ignace’s suitability as a potential host site.
In Thunder Bay, Mayor Peterson said she doesn't believe the city would ever consider a nuclear repository within the municipal boundaries, as it would be better suited in a remote location. But with the struggling economies across the Northwest, she's not surprised that other communities in the Northwest may be considering the idea.
She added that she wouldn't oppose the nuclear waste being transported through Thunder Bay.
Ignace Coun. Dianne Loubier said she expects council to pass a resolution in the next month or so formally requesting the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to go ahead with an independent feasibility study, which begins by collecting data on the area's potential.
Ignaces's next council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 25, and Loubier said the public is welcome to ask questions about the proposal at that time.
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