Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CoC chapters oppose nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan

Council of Canadians
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The Toronto Star reports that, “Ottawa (is looking for) long-term solutions for the country’s nuclear waste (and) wants to build an underground mausoleum for millions of spent radioactive bundles that power nuclear plants in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. …In the ongoing search for a nuclear waste site (to store about two million highly radioactive bundles at a single site)…the federal government is paying close attention to public opinion (and has detected some openness for such a site) in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.”

“The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) kicked off a process last spring to find a community willing to host an underground complex that would serve as a storage dump for all the country’s nuclear waste. …Obtained by The Canadian Press through Access to Information laws, (a NWMO) document summarizes public opinion in the four provinces that have nuclear-related industries and are the most likely sites of the underground repository. …(While noting opposition in Quebec), the report cited a more receptive climate for the multibillion-dollar project in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.”

“The NWMO says seven communities across the country have formally expressed interest in hosting the underground repository: Creighton, English River First Nation and Pinehouse in Saskatchewan, and Ear Falls, Ignace, Schreiber and Hornepayne in Ontario. But these communities have only just reached the second stage of a nine-step process that will ultimately decide the repository’s location. At this point, they are entitled to receive information about what the project entails and are then vetted for suitability. …But before moving forward, officials will check the suitability of communities against criteria that could rule them out — including the presence of groundwater, fault lines or natural resources.”

“(NWMO communications manager Mike) Krizanic (has said that the) process was designed to incorporate as much input as possible from a wide variety of sources. This includes towns through which nuclear waste would pass on its way to the repository, and aboriginal groups whose treaties may be affected by the repository’s construction.”


Our statement on nuclear power says, “The Council of Canadians rejects nuclear power because it poses an unacceptable risk to people and the environment. It is neither clean, safe, peaceful, nor economic. We are opposed to the further expansion of nuclear power in our country. Faced with climate change and diminishing energy resources globally, we recognize the need for a just transition away from a fossil fuel and nuclear dependent society, while ensuring Canadians access to basic energy needs, to sustainable, publicly funded and publicly delivered energy alternatives that benefit both workers and their communities. We support renewable, non-invasive energy sources (such as solar and wind power), energy efficiency and conservation.”

Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatchewan are organizing against the plan for nuclear waste to be transported from southern Ontario and dumped in their province. Prairies organizer Scott Harris highlights that, “Council of Canadians chapters are part of the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan, which is pushing for a nuclear waste ban in the province. As part of efforts to keep a nuclear waste ban out of Saskatchewan, chapters and the coalition have organized speaking events with nuclear expert Dr. Jim Harding, author of Canada’s Deadly Secret, in Wynard, Prince Albert, Saskatoon and La Ronge.

The next presentation on the threat of a nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan by Dr. Harding is taking place in Regina on Friday, March 11 at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre (2900-13 Avenue). Doors are at 6:00 pm, potluck at 6:30 pm, with the presentation beginning at 7:00.”

Concerns are also being raised about the route the nuclear waste would need to take. For instance, nuclear waste would need to travel approximately 2,896 kilometres from a nuclear plant in Clarington, Ontario to a possible dump site in Creighton, Saskatchewan. There are undoubtedly many communities, as well as numerous lakes, rivers and streams along this route that could be potentially affected by the transportation of these hazardous materials.

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