Feds eyeing Chalk River site for nuclear waste burial
A warning sign is posted at the AECL plant in Chalk River, Ont. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007. (Fred Chartrand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA - Enough nuclear waste to fill more than a hundred Olympic-sized swimming pools could be buried in an underground chamber near the Ottawa River.
The federal government is eyeing the site of the Chalk River nuclear reactor, 160 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, as a radioactive waste site.
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. says 267,000 cubic metres of low- and medium-level nuclear waste is now stored above-ground in metal containers at the Chalk River site.
The Crown corporation is looking at building an enormous depository 500 to 1,000 metres underground to bury the detritus of six decades of nuclear testing at the Chalk River site.
In May 2009, the Conservative government announced plans to spin off AECL's commercial reactor business from its research division.
The government sold AECL's Candu nuclear reactor business to SNC-Lavalin in October for $15 million.