Webinar: Willing or not? Nuclear Waste Burial and Community Consent

Canada’s nuclear industry is engaged in a multi-year process to secure a burial location for all of Canada’s high level radioactive waste.

After a decade of investigation, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization has now shortlisted two candidate sites, one in each of northwestern and southwestern Ontario. Claiming throughout this process that their search is for an “informed and willing host”, the NWMO has still not defined how “willingness” will be measured, or who makes up the community that can grant consent.

This webinar explores questions around consent and willingness in the context of the very long term challenge of nuclear waste. Who decides? And who decides who the decision-makers are?

This webinar took place on July 28th, 2021.

To download the Presentation Slides click the following link: Community Willingness_Presentation_Slides
To view this webinar online click the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm0z5ubPUeo


Kerrie Blaise is a staff lawyer for Northern Ontario at the Canadian Environmental Law Association and a member of the Canadian and International Nuclear Law Associations. Kerrie practices energy law specific to nuclear regulation and frequently represents public interest litigants at environmental assessment and licensing hearings before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Ms. Blaise has also published in peer-reviewed, international law texts on the topics of civil nuclear emergency preparedness and sustainability impacts of small modular reactors. Ms. Blaise will be co-presenting with Cassandra Eby, Student-at-Law, Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.

Cassandra Eby is a second-year law student at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University. During her first year of law school, she completed her Pro Bono Students Canada placement with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Environment North. During this time, she conducted legal research on ethics and environmental justice within the context of Canada’s nuclear waste storage plan in Northwestern Ontario. Cassandra’s background in global health, with a Master of Science from McMaster University, and Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, informs her research and studies in the areas of environmental health and environmental justice, among others

John Jackson has worked for the past 40 years with citizens’ groups on a wide-range of waste issues, including radioactive wastes, municipal garbage, and industrial hazardous wastes. This work has involved him in many siting processes, e.g., the effort of an Ontario crown agency to site a centralized industrial hazardous waste incinerator and landfill in the Niagara Peninsula, Toronto’s repeated efforts to ship its garbage to municipalities throughout Ontario, and the NWMO’s siting for radioactive wastes. In this session, John will share with us the lessons learnt from these and other siting efforts. John has taught waste management at the University of Waterloo for over ten years. In various roles, he serves the Citizens’ Network on Waste Management, the Toxics Free Great Lakes Binational Network, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, among others. John is a member of the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board, and an advisor to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.