Volunteers from across the Niagara region come together every couple of weeks to make mats for the homeless out of milk bags. It takes about 5 hours and 135 milk bags to make one mat.The mats roll up like a sleeping bag and they are light and easy to carry. The community drops off their outer milk bags at the new Apostolic Church Niagara in Thorold.The group encourages the public to drop off their milk bags and they say they are always looking for new volunteers no experience necessary. All the mats are distributed in southern Ontario.
Upon the approval of the construction license for the spent nuclear fuel repository at Olkiluoto, Finland is now the most advanced country in the world in spent nuclear fuel repository planning and implementation, according to Saanio & Riekkola (S&R). “Finland’s parliamentary decision confirms the commitment to a world leading nuclear waste management program. It also says something about the values of this Nordic state which other nuclear powered countries will now keenly observe”, says Fionán O’Carroll, Project Manager for International Operations at S&R.ONKALO, the underground rock characterisation facility situated at Olkiluoto, Finland, will be a part of the first spent nuclear fuel repository worldwide. The application for the Olkiluoto construction license was submitted on December 28, 2012 by Posiva, the organisation responsible for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Finland. If the project continues to progress according to schedule, the disposal operations at Olkiluoto will begin in early 2020s and the final closure of the facility will be in the 2120s. The total estimated cost of the project is €3.3 billion euros.Spent nuclear fuel will remain radioactive and harmful for over 100,000 years and so a primary task of the project was to conduct extensive planning and safety analysis. This way the safety of humans and the environment could be ensured for thousands of generations to come. S&R became involved in the early stages of the project in the 1980s providing expertise on site selection, rock engineering, layout-design and cost estimates for the project and in the 2000s providing the expertise in long-term safety and production of the safety case for the construction license application. After several decades of design planning and long-term safety analysis, S&R is proud to see the deep geological repository project advance to the next level.According to the Finnish legislation and regulations, the responsibility for waste management and decommissioning of nuclear power plants is with the waste generators themselves. In 1988, a fund was established for collecting nuclear waste management costs under the Nuclear Energy Act. Waste generators pay into this fund annually according to the fund target. There is no set fee per kWh like in other countries, rather, the fund is being recalculated systematically every year based on the liability of waste producers.In Finland, spent nuclear fuel is currently being stored in spent fuel pools. In the future as the project progresses the spent nuclear fuel will be disposed in the deep geological repository. The spent nuclear fuel will be encapsulated and deposited deep in the bedrock of Olkiluoto and the repository will be backfilled.Finland’s nuclear waste management program is now the most advanced in the world. The safe disposal of spent nuclear fuel is highly important since nuclear power will be central to future global energy needs. “Nuclear new build countries and those still developing nuclear regulations stand to benefit hugely from following the Finnish example. Creating a national nuclear waste management program is a long term commitment”, O’Carroll adds.S&R is the world leading specialist in the most demanding nuclear waste management projects. It works on both low and intermediate level waste and spent nuclear fuel projects globally and has actively assisted Finland’s nuclear waste management program since 1979.