The 2005 NWMO Final Study created a shortlist of provinces that is recommendsfor a centralized shallow storage and deep geological repository of nuclear waste(5). The provinces include Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick based on thefact that they utilize nuclear power, and Saskatchewan, based on the amount of uranium extracted from the province. The principal idea in this case being thatcosts are matched with rewards. The NWMO identifies, along with other sites,northern Saskatchewan's geological properties (Ordovician sedimentaryformations and Canadian Shield) as ideal for a long-term storage site. The FinalStudy listed option 3 with adaptive phased management (meaning the policy isdynamic and stages of management are phased in as need arises) of the reportas the best option. The areas of Saskatchewan in the report that were identifiedas possible locations for a centralized facility under option 3 are: Regina - MooseMountain, Swift Current - Moose Jaw, Saskatoon - Biggar, Yorkton - Melville,Prince Albert, and "Northern." While these locations may be technically viable,social attitudes on the subject are mixed. If the reception is similar to that of proposed uranium processing/refining plants in Saskatchewan (of which 95% of respondents were highly in favour of such a project in their community) then theNWMO and the Government of Canada will have little trouble convincing localcommunities to adopt the new facility (6).
The federal government retains jurisdiction over all aspects of the nuclear industry in Canada, including the disposal of radioactive waste. The regulatorybody responsible is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The currentNuclear Fuel Waste Act only outlines considerations that must be made whendealing with the long-term storage of radioactive waste, and does not yet specifyguidelines regarding technology, location, expenditure, or risk. Assumedly,following the NWMO's studies and reports, the CNSC will create a policydictating the specifics regarding the storage of high-level nuclear waste, of whichorganizations such as Ontario Power Generation, Hydro-Quebec, and NW Power must adhere to. The industry is almost exclusively government controlled, fromboth sides. The three main owners of spent nuclear fuel are crown corporations(though OPG was originally planned to be spun off as a commercial entity uponthe 1999 breakup of Ontario Hydro) as is Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd; the mainexception to this being the 2000 lease of the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station toBruce Power (a partnership of which Cameco and TransCanada Corp. aremajority shareholders). The federal and provincial governments both see thisissue as important, though for very different reasons.There are several reasons this issue is of vital importance to the federalgovernment. The storage of nuclear waste is not of vital importance at themoment - the current facilities are adequate in the short term - but the issue is