Ontario Power Generation wants to store more radioactive waste near Lake Ontario

The Darlington Nuclear Station on the shore of Lake Ontario. (Photo courtesy: Google Maps/Alex Drozwik)


There should be more storage space for radioactive waste along the edge of Lake Ontario, according to the Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

The organization is seeking permission from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to both continue storing high-level radioactive waste on the shore of Lake Ontario and to build new waste storage buildings even closer to the lake.

The radioactive waste is currently held at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, near Bowmanville, Ont. 

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCA) is urging the CNSC to reject the proposed plan, pointing to “a much more secure solution” that has been adopted by German nuclear stations. 

They suggest using above-ground, attack-resistant reinforced concrete vaults for nuclear waste storage, according to a release on their site. 

“OPG has the cash: According to a report prepared for OPG, the total capital cost of building reinforced concrete vaults at Darlington would be approximately $333 million,” reads the OCA release. “Meanwhile, OPG’s nuclear waste storage fund has a market value of $11.3 billion.”

In a shocking statistic, the OCA says the total radioactivity of the nuclear waste stored at the Darlington station is more than 150 times greater than the total radiation amount released by the catastrophic Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011. 

“It is time for Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson to remind the CNSC that it is not its job to protect OPG’s profits,” the OCA stated. 

The Great Lakes Water Quality Board urged the decommissioning of nuclear power facilities 

near lakes, in a Nov. 2021 report. 

The OCA is asking concerned residents to contact Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, as well as the president of the CNSC, Rumina Velshi, to voice their concerns. 

They’re calling on residents to demand the OPG to immediately build above-ground, attack-resistant, reinforced concrete vaults, away from the Lake Ontario shoreline.



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