Conference Proceedings Paper
RADIOACTIVE OPERATIONAL WASTE FROM CANDU REACTORS: A BILLION DOLLAR OPPORTUNITY
3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration - 2016 Sept. 11-14
P. Ottensmeyer (University of Toronto)
The intent of Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is to bury the low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste from the operation of its CANDU reactors in a $1 billion deep geological repository (DGR). The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) Joint Review Panel has examined the OPG proposal, but what has not been discussed is the full effect of the CNSC’s own Regulation of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” on such actions. Here we examine the raw material value of some of the components intended currently for burial. Among others they include steam generator steel shells and Inconel tube bundles, reactor pressure tube zirconium, as well as radioisotopes such as carbon-14 and tritium. Even a cursory assessment suggests that materials worth from a minimum of $120 million to several billion could be recouped for reuse, recycle and profit. To effect such a recovery would require the expansion of the “raison-d’être” of OPG from the efficient production of electricity to an even more responsible corporate citizen of today’s world. The effort could yield substantial profits and at the same time reduce the capacity requirements of longer-term storage facilities such as the DGR.
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