Community Matters: September, 2021

On behalf of everyone at Bruce Power, we hope that all readers of this corner were able to enjoy your favourite pursuits with your families and friends this summer around Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.

Given the challenges we’ve faced since late winter of 2020, having some time off to spend at the beach, the park, the golf course, or the tennis and pickleball courts has been so badly needed as we all keep working with our public health leaders and others to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror.

As we look ahead to fall, we’re doing so with attention to several initiatives including our ongoing Unit 6 Major Component Replacement Project, the continued production of medical isotopes and collaborating with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation on economic programs around those isotopes. We are also focused on working with partners like the Nuclear Innovation Institute, Ontario’s nuclear supply chain and government at all levels on pushing Canada towards at net zero 2050.

Nuclear has a critical role to play in using innovation with new technologies to support existing operations. At Bruce Power, our focus is on creating clean, safe, reliable energy for future generations. Our strategy for the future includes making sure there’s a safe, secure place for storing used nuclear fuel. Canada is a global leader in the management of used fuel and is well advanced with managing it in dry storage containers on an interim basis. The country is moving ahead with its plans to select a community willing to be the host for the permanent storage of used fuel in a deep geological repository. Several countries around the world, including Finland, Sweden, Japan and the United Kingdom, are following the same plan for the long-term storage of used nuclear fuel with a mandate to protect people and the environment.

Bruce Power, Ontario Power Generation and other members of the country’s nuclear industry support this plan, which is the responsibility of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and includes oversight from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The Municipality of South Bruce and the community of Ignace in northern Ontario have been selected for consideration to host a DGR that – based on science – is safe and secure, and has a willing and informed host.

The DGR debate in South Bruce has too often involved the distortion of facts that plays on people’s fears when it comes to nuclear, and has, sadly, led to divisions within the municipality. To be clear, NWMO is conducting due diligence in both communities to determine if the sites are suitable to safely and securely host a DGR. NWMO is committed to working with municipalities and Indigenous communities, including Saugeen Ojibway Nation. A process that began 11 years ago with 22 municipalities and Indigenous communities expressing interest in exploring their possible involvement as hosts of this project is scheduled to end in 2023 when the NWMO identifies the preferred location for the DGR.