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The Globe and Mail

OPG seeks approval for underground vaults to store nuclear waste

The Bruce Power nuclear generating station in Kincardine, Ont., is seen in an August 2003 file photo.

J.P. Moczulski/The Canadian Press

Ontario Power Generation is seeking federal approval to build underground vaults near Kincardine, Ont., to store low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste.

OPG submitted 12,500 pages of documents to support its claim that the Deep Geologic Repository "will not likely result in any significant adverse environmental or public health effects."

The vaults would be 680 metres down, beneath a 200-metre-thick layer of low permeability shale that OPG says will safely isolate and contain the nuclear waste.

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However, Greenpeace Canada says "OPG is trying to bury it's biggest public relations problem: radioactive waste."

The utility wants to build the nuclear storage facilities about one kilometre inland from Lake Huron near Kincardine.

The NDP say that's too close to the drinking water source for millions of Americans and Canadians.

The underground vaults would be used to store everything from mops and used protective suits to irradiated core components from refurbished reactors at the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce stations.

They would not be used to store used nuclear fuel.

There will be a public hearing into the project, expected in 2012, and OPG says the earliest the vaults could begin to receive nuclear waste would be around 2018.

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