NWMO sets up Independent Technical Review Group



    TORONTO, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO)
Board of Directors has established a standing Independent Technical Review
Group (ITRG). The ITRG is comprised of independent technical specialists to
provide unbiased reports on NWMO's technical program. The group held its
inaugural meeting recently in Toronto.
    "The ITRG will provide us with valuable outside counsel and make sure we
adopt the best technological practices to achieve our mandate, which is to
implement the Adaptive Phased Management approach in a safe and transparent
manner," said NWMO President & CEO Ken Nash.
    The ITRG will annually assess the appropriateness of NWMO's scientific
and technical approaches and methodologies in comparison with international
practices. At this stage of the implementation process, the group will
determine whether the NWMO has the necessary resources to address technical
issues which may arise during the siting process.
    In addition to annual reviews, every three years the ITRG will focus on
the technical component of the Triennial Report the NWMO is required by the
Nuclear Fuel Waste Act to submit to the Minister of Natural Resources. All of
the ITRG technical review reports will be posted on NWMO's website.
    "These technical specialists bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise
from their diverse backgrounds," said Frank King, NWMO Vice-President of
Science and Technology.
    The ITRG members are from Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and the United
Kingdom. They are internationally recognized specialists in their fields and
have significant experience in the technologies associated with the
implementation of nuclear waste geologic repository projects. Members of the
ITRG are appointed by the NWMO Board on a three-year basis and may be
reappointed.

    Based in Toronto, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was
established in 2002 by Ontario Power Generation Inc., Hydro-Québec and New
Brunswick Power Corporation in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act to
assume responsibility for the long-term management of Canada's used nuclear
fuel.


    Backgrounder

    Appointments to new Independent Technical Review Group for NWMO

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) Board of Directors has
appointed members to a newly created Independent Technical Review Group
(ITRG). The members are independent technical specialists in the
implementation of geological repositories and will annually assess NWMO's
technical program.
    Allan Hooper is the Chair of the ITRG. He is an independent consultant
who specializes in the safe, long-term management of radioactive waste for UK
and other national programmes since 2007. He also currently acts as the Chief
Scientific Advisor to the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Radioactive
Waste Management Directorate.
    On joining the electricity supply industry, Hooper researched the
operational safety of advanced reactor designs before transferring into early
research on decommissioning nuclear power stations and radioactive waste
management. He joined Nirex, the UK radioactive waste management agency in
1988, holding a number of senior management positions including Director for
Science. Hooper holds a Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in Chemistry from
Nottingham University, UK.
    Kaj Ahlbom has 30 years of experience in the Swedish radioactive waste
programme concerning site selection, site characterisation and interaction
with stakeholders. Since 2002, he is the Site Manager for SKB's (Swedish
Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) site investigation for a repository
for spent nuclear fuel at Forsmark, Sweden. He has been involved in all
aspects of site selection from formulating site selection critera to
participating in the site selection process and investigating candidate
municipalities and sites. All phases of this process have involved
interactions with stakeholders such as government agencies, municipal
officers, the geoscientific community, nearby residents, landowners, general
public and media.
    Mr. Ahlbom received his bachelor's degree in Precambrian Geology from the
University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and master's degree in Applied Geophysics
from Imperial College, UK.
    Lawrence Johnson is a senior scientist and research and development
coordinator at Nagra (Swiss National Cooperative for the Disposal of
Radioactive Waste), where he has worked since 1999 on various aspects of
engineered barriers performance.
    Mr. Johnson received a bachelor's degree in Chemistry with Great
Distinction from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1977. He joined the
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) at Whiteshell Laboratories in 1978,
where he studied the dissolution of spent fuel and vitrified high-level waste
for several years before becoming Manager of Engineered Barrier Studies in the
Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program. He also managed the technical
studies of durability of spent fuel in interim wet and dry storage.
    He is the author of over 110 reports and journal papers covering many
areas related to materials performance aspects of engineered barrier systems,
as well as a number of studies dealing with long-term safety assessment. A
member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the CEA PRECCI
Programme, Mr. Johnson conducts research on the long-term evolution of spent
fuel packages.
    Derek Martin is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental
Engineering at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, since 2000. He started his
career as Engineering Geologist for I.D. Engineering Company, Winnipeg; then
moved as Geotechnical Engineer for B.C. Hydro, Vancouver; and later became
Senior Geotechnical Engineer for EBA Engineering Consultants, Edmonton.
    Dr. Martin was also Senior Advisor to the Director of the Canadian
Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program, as well as head of the Geotechnical
Research Section of AECL's Whiteshell Underground Research Laboratory. He then
assumed the roles of Associate Director of the Geomechanics Research Centre
and Professor in the School of Engineering at Laurentian University, Sudbury.
    Martin holds a bachelor's degree in Geology from Memorial University, St.
John's. He obtained both his master's degree and doctorate in
Civil/Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and
the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, respectively. He has reviewed nuclear
waste programs for countries around the world. He is a scientific advisor to
the Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management program, as well as member of
the Geoscience Review Group for Ontario Power Generation's Deep Geologic
Repository project for Low and Intermediate Level Waste.

    Based in Toronto, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was
established in 2002 by Ontario Power Generation Inc., Hydro-Québec and New
Brunswick Power Corporation in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act to
assume responsibility for the long-term management of Canada's used nuclear
fuel.





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For further information: Media contact: Mike Krizanc, (647) 259-3043

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