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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.


Safe Disposal of Canada's High Level Nuclear Wastes


David Shoesmith, Department of Chemistry, University of Western Ontario

Due to the need for emission-free energy generation methods, nuclear energy is again at centre-stage from a scientific and policy standpoint. Before a new generation of nuclear reactors can be built in Canada, Canadians will want reasonable assurances that nuclear wastes can be safely disposed of and stored.

Research into this major environmental challenge has been underway internationally since the late 1970s. The Canadian concept involves deep geologic disposal of the wastes in a stable granite formation, coupled with a system of multiple barriers to prevent the release of radioactive chemicals. Dr. Shoesmith’s research concerns the manufactured form into which the waste fuel is incorporated, the chemical changes that will occur within it over time, as well as the corrosion performance of the metallic container – all critical components of a safe storage system.

Dr. Shoesmith has been involved in research on nuclear waste disposal for 30 years and is presently the NSERC/Ontario Power Generation Industrial Research Chair in nuclear fuel disposal chemistry, at the University of Western Ontario. He also works under contract to, and as a consultant for, nuclear waste organizations in the United States of America, Sweden and Japan. He has received awards from The Electrochemical Society Inc., and The Metallurgical Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum for his contributions to electrochemistry and corrosion science.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

Sponsored by:

--the Speaker of the Senate, the Hon. Daniel Hays
--the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Milliken
--Science and Engineering Research Canada (NSERC)

DATE: Thursday November 24, 2005 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am