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Radioactive dump plan near Ottawa River is meeting growing opposition

Opposition mounts to radioactive waste near Ottawa River NEWS Oct 02, 2017 by Derek Dunn  Arnprior Chronicle-Guide The number of groups and individuals opposed to a planned radioactive waste disposal facility near the Ottawa River continues to mount.

A recent letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by 35 scientists, doctors, elected officials, and leaders of public interest groups and First Nations, urges him to “stand up for the health and safety of Canadians” by suspending what opponents call a giant surface mound about a kilometre from the river.

Multinational corporations have formed Canadian National Energy Alliance to build the disposal facility in Chalk River. It would house contaminated materials from more than 100 buildings on the nuclear laboratories site. It would also contain a small volume of mixed waste from offsite sources.

For 90 years there has been nuclear activity on the shores of the Ottawa, with no solution in place for permanently safeguarding the radioactive waste that is continuously generated. The five-storey high mound would contain mostly low-level waste, starting in 2020, taking up to 1 million cubic metres of waste by 2070.

However, groups like Ottawa Riverkeeper and Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, worry about leachate from the site making its way into the drinking water for 1 million people.

……McNab/Braeside Coun. Mark MacKenzie, a former Green Party of Canada president, has attended several meetings on the topic. He has also looked closely at the issues involved.

“I’ve got a lot of concerns about it,” MacKenzie said. “That it’s not deep underground tops the list.”

He said by calling it a “near surface” facility, the alliance is attempting to deceive.

The project also doesn’t conform to international standards, he added. And that while only one per cent of the waste is considered of medium level, it will persist for hundreds of thousands of years.

“Any percentage above ground that is supposed to be underground is too much.”

The landfill-grade liner proposed is also a concern, he said. It will eventually break down.

Then there are the players involved: SNC-Lavalin is in court for fraud and corruption; others are British and U.S., hence “not here for the long haul,” MacKenzie said. He said nuclear waste is a Government of Canada problem, not for private corporations.

“I’m not convinced these companies have the long-term interest of the Canadian public in mind.”


October 4, 2017 - Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, wastes

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