Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is focusing on reducing the amount of radioactive waste generated at the Pickering nuclear power plant, one of the world’s largest nuclear generation facilities, located on the shores of Lake Ontario.
The Pickering Nuclear site is home to 8 CANDU nuclear reactors.
OPG has created special programs meant to minimize low-level waste and increase the efficiency of waste volume reduction operations.
Scott Berry, a spokesman for OPG said said reducing waste “isn’t as glamorous as producing neutrons, but it is important…We need to ensure the public we’ve done all we can. We are a business and that’s a consideration.”
The utility believes the efforts will help money by reducing the amount of waste that must be handled and stored and by reducing the amount of tools and components that get contaminated during normal operations.
5 years ago, the Pickering nuclear power plant was generating 2,000 cubic meters of low-level radioactive waste each year. Over the last couple years that number has dropped to 1,700-1,800 cubic meters.
Low-level and intermediate-level waste generated at the Pickering nuclear power plant is transported to the Western Waste Management Facility also owned and operated by OPG.
Once the low-level radioactive waste is received at the Western Waste Management Facility it is processed and then stored in above-ground concrete warehouses. The intermediate-level waste is stored in steel-lined concrete containers set in the gorund.