Since day one, Ottawa Riverkeeper and many other groups have pointed out that the inclusion of ILW in this project was not compatible with international standards. This is a good decision – and in our opinion, a reversal that shows the power of strong public involvement and scrutiny. That said, we still have many concerns about the project.
Today’s announcement doesn’t mean any changes to the near-surface technology being proposed, and the site near the Ottawa River is still problematic. Moreover, we are still waiting on more detailed information about the Waste Acceptance Criteria – what exactly will and won’t be accepted as waste – these unknown details are crucial for CNSC to determine whether the project would have significant adverse environmental effects.
We will soon be conducting an on-site visit to further our work on this file. Next steps are the finalization of the environmental impact statement (EIS) by the promoter, then the CNSC’s Environmental Assessment in the spring of 2018 – followed by public hearings in which we’ll of course be participating.