As reported by the Globe and Mail of Ottawa, Ontario, a Canadian judge's ruling in favor of an environmental coalition's legal challenge against new reactors proposed at the Darlington nuclear power plant on the Lake Ontario shore east of Toronto has dealt a setback to provincially-owned Ontario Power Generation's nuclear expansion plans.
'A federal judge has invalidated Ontario Power Generation’s licence to build new reactors at its Darlington site, saying the federal regulator did not sufficiently consider the potential for a severe accident or waste issues involving spent fuel.
Justice James Russell ordered the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to re-establish a review panel and address the “significant gaps” in its assessment of chemicals on site, the risk of an extreme accident, and the disposal of spent fuel.
Greenpeace Canada, which launched the judicial challenge, welcomed the decision, saying it will force federal regulators to consider controversial aspects of nuclear construction projects that have typically been left to later assessments. “It’s unprecedented for any nuclear project in Canada to face the kind of regulatory scrutiny the court is demanding,” Greenpeace campaigner Shawn-Patrick Stensil said Thursday.
Justice Russell noted the review panel had acknowledged that “no solution has yet been implemented for the long-term management of used [radioactive] fuel,” but that it failed to adequately assess the implications of that situation.'
And, as the article concludes:
'[E]nvironmental groups have also challenged the regulator’s environmental assessment of OPG’s plan to refurbish existing reactors at Darlington, a project that is the cornerstone of the Liberal government’s long-term energy plan.'
There are currently four reactors at Darlington. At one point, OPG proposed adding four more, but more recently scaled back its expansion plans to two additional reactors.
Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, served on Northwatch's expert witness team in spring 2011. He challenged OPG's risky plans for high-level radioactive waste on-site storage associated with its proposed new reactors at Darlington. The Canadian federal regulatory review panel hearings took place in late March 2011, amidst the surreal aftermath of the beginning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe.