NPD project to provide "lasting solution"

Decommissioning the former NPD reactor at Rolphton will be done in a way that protects the environment and creates a “lasting solution.”

That’s the message from the general manager of the NPD closure project, in response to fears raised by an outspoken nuclear critic.

Kristan Schruder, who is managing the NPD project for Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, wrote recently to the “Madawaska Highlander,” a small community paper based in the Denbigh area, after it published an article by Dr. Gordon Edwards.

Edwards is president and co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and a self-described “consultant on nuclear issues.”

In his article, Edwards says that Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has chosen “sloppier methods” for managing waste and decommissioning than the methods previously proposed by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

“On paper, CNL works for AECL, but CNL is calling the shots – using taxpayer’s money to inflate bonuses, reward shareholders and to a quick and dirty job of waste management,” Edwards wrote.

In reply to Edwards’ comments, however, Schruder says the proposal to “grout” the remains of the NPD reactor in place would “remove the necessity to endlessly store and handle the waste from decommissioning.”

“Dismantling the structure and removing it from the site for disposal or storage was proposed more than 30 years ago,” Schruder said.

“Today, Canada does not have a final pathway for managing this decommissioning waste.

“We propose to manage the decommissioning waste in‐situ, or on site, because the facility has ideal features for isolating and containing the material.”

Schruder said that after the work is complete and the site is closed, “the radiation fields at the site would be the same as naturally occurring radiation on a street in downtown Ottawa.”

“The facility will not be ‘abandoned.’ The government of Canada will maintain ownership of the site, with responsibility for ongoing surveillance and environmental monitoring.

“The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission – Canada’s nuclear regulator – will maintain oversight as the independent responsible authority.”

> for the full story, pick up a copy of the Aug. 8 NRT…