Joint Review Panel established for the deep geologic repository for low and intermediate level radioactive waste project

OTTAWA, Jan. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter Kent, federal Minister of the Environment and Michael Binder, President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), today announced the establishment of a three-member joint panel to review Ontario Power Generation's proposed project to construct and operate a facility for the long-term management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Ontario.

Dr. Stella Swanson has been appointed as the Panel chair and Dr. James F. Archibald and      Dr. Gunter Muecke have been appointed as members of the Joint Review Panel.  Biographical information on the chair and members is available in the accompanying backgrounder.

A joint review panel agreement establishes the mandate and authorities of the Joint Review Panel, its composition, as well as the procedures and timeline for the review.

Under the agreement, the Joint Review Panel will conduct an examination of the environmental effects of the proposed project to meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.  The Panel will also obtain the information necessary for the consideration of the licence application under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act to prepare a site and to construct the deep geologic repository facility.

Further details on the scope of the review can be found in the terms of reference contained in the agreement. The agreement, along with more information on the project, is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at , reference # 06-05-17520 as well as on the Web site of the CNSC at .

About the Project

Ontario Power Generation is proposing to construct and operate a facility for the long-term management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste at the Bruce Nuclear Site, located on the Bruce Peninsula, near the shores of Lake Huron in the municipality of Kincardine. The project will hold waste currently in interim storage on the Bruce Nuclear Site in the Western Waste Management Facility, as well as the wastes that continue to be produced by the operation of nuclear generating stations at Bruce, Pickering and Darlington. Low level waste consists of industrial items that have become contaminated with low levels of radioactivity during routine clean-up and maintenance activities at nuclear generating stations. Intermediate level radioactive waste consists primarily of used nuclear reactor components, ion-exchange resins, and filters used to purify reactor systems. Used nuclear fuel will not be stored or managed in the deep geologic repository.

About the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.

About the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment and to implement Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.




Stella Swanson — Panel Chair

Dr. Stella Swanson was born and raised on a farm near Rockglen, Saskatchewan. She received her BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Regina and her PhD in Limnology at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Radiation Ecology at the Saskatchewan Research Council.

Dr. Swanson's 30-year career has included management of the Aquatic Biology Group at the Saskatchewan Research Council, and consulting positions with SENTAR Consultants (now Stantec) and Golder Associates Ltd. She now owns and operates Swanson Environmental Strategies Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta.

Dr. Swanson's experience spans work for a wide range of industries as well as federal, provincial and territorial governments and non-governmental organizations. She has assessed the impacts of the nuclear fuel cycle on human health and the environment, including uranium mining and milling, nuclear power plants, and nuclear waste storage. She has conducted human health and ecological risk assessments of contaminated sites, operating industrial facilities and proposed future developments. Her recent projects focus on strategic environmental planning, public consultation, and expert review. Dr. Swanson has maintained her connection with the research community through supervision of graduate students, participation in academic research projects and membership on review committees for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Toxic Substances Research Initiative. She served on the Scientific Review Group advising the federal review panel on High Level Nuclear Waste Disposal in Canada (Seaborn Panel).

Dr. Swanson's recent experience has included serving as Chair of the Strategic Advisory Panel on Selenium Management; this independent Panel has published a strategic plan for the management of selenium discharges from Teck Coal operations. Dr. Swanson is a member of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, and the Canadian Association on Water Quality.

James F. Archibald — Panel Member

Dr. James F. Archibald is a professor in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, Queen's University at Kingston. He has knowledge and direct experience of both the federal and provincial environmental assessment processes, having been an appointed member of the federal-provincial review panel for new uranium mine developments in the Province of Saskatchewan. Dr. Archibald was also a technical advisor to the federal review panel that assessed nuclear fuel waste disposal concepts.

Dr. Archibald's current research interests include assessment of innovative forms of backfill media, development of rapidly deployable spray-on lining supports for underground hard rock mines and the use of similar spray liner agents for acid mine drainage control.

He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), Chairman of the Rock Engineering Society of CIM, Past Chairman of the Canadian Rock Mechanics Association, a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, and pursues an active career as a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario

Gunter Muecke — Panel Member

Dr. Muecke graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in Geology in 1963 and a Masters Degree in Structural Geology in 1964. In 1969, he received a D.Phil. in Geochemistry from Oxford University. Dr. Muecke started his career as a field geologist for Shell Canada (1960-1963) and became a lecturer in Mineralogy at Oxford University (1968-1970). He then pursued a teaching career at Dalhousie University, in the Department of Geology and Earth Sciences (1970-1985) and at the School of Resource and Environmental Studies (1985-1998). From 1998 to 2006, he assumed post-retirement appointments as Associate Research Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Studies and at the Faculty of Science (Geographic Information Systems).

Dr. Muecke holds additional professional experience as a consultant both at the international level (Hahn-Meitner Institute of Nuclear Studies, Berlin, Germany) and at the national level (underground thermal energy storage, Environment Canada). He has knowledge and direct experience of both the federal and provincial environmental assessment processes having been an appointed member of the federal-provincial review panel for the Whites Point Quarry and Marine Terminal Project (2004) and as a member of the review panel for the Kelly's Mountain Coastal Superquarry Project (1991).

Dr. Muecke is the author or co-author of research papers on geology, geochemistry, petrogenesis, geochronology and stratigraphic and magmatic evolution. He was an active member of departmental and faculty committees, such as the Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee, Department of Earth Sciences Curriculum Committee (chair) and Dalhousie Northern Studies Committee (chair). He was a member of international interdisciplinary technical journals, such as the Editorial Board of Lanthanide and Actinide Research.

Dr. Muecke has received numerous awards throughout his career, such as the University of Alberta Gold Medal in Geology (1963), Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1964), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship (1977, 1978, 1983), and the University of Alberta Endowment Fund for the Future (1982).

SOURCE Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

For further information:

Media may contact:

Lucille Jamault
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Tel.: 613-957-0434
Aurèle Gervais
Media and Community Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Tel.: 613-996-6860


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