Ontario Power Generation (OPG) uses nuclear energy to power about one half of the Providence of Ontario. Although it is an ecologically friendly way of producing power as it produces nearly no greenhouse emissions, it does produce nuclear waste that must be managed. OPG is planning to create a deep geological repository (DGR) to store low and intermediate-level nuclear waste.
OPG has planned on placing the DGR in Kincardine, Ontario. This location is within a mile of Lake Huron across from the thumb of Michigan. Lake Huron holds 20% of the world’s fresh water. Below is a map showing the location of Kincardine.
Ontario Power Generation has a website dedicated to this project with information about the project and how the deep geological repository works. opgdgr.com
The storage of nuclear waste near Lake Huron is a cause for concern. The list of political representatives opposing this project continues to grow including many that represent us in Kimball Township. They include:
- US Senator – Debbie Stabenow
- US Senator – Carl Levin
- US Representative – Candice Miller
- Michigan Senator – Phil Pavlov
Although legislators in Michigan may oppose the project there is not much that can be done by the State of Michigan to prevent the deep geological repository from being constructed and used. Rather this needs to be fought at the federal level.
However, legislators can put pressure on the federal government including President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to engage the International Joint Commission to resolve the matter on the Kincardine proposal. The commission is a joint U.S.-Canadian agency to manage the Great Lakes and resolve lakes-related disputes. Counties and other municipalities in Michigan, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and New York have all passed resolutions indicating that they oppose the development of the DGR. Basically, every state boarding one of the Great Lakes has shown their opposition.
Understanding the value of the Great Lakes gives credence to the concern. The Great Lakes provide 24 million U.S. residents with drinking water and make possible Michigan’s $2-billion fishing, $4-billion boating and $18-billion tourism industries. Any type of contamination could have devastating effects on the health of millions of people and the economy of Michigan.
There will be much more to come on this project. There is certainly to be testimony on both sides of this issue.