Masse to Table Motion Concerning Nuclear Waste Storage Near Great Lakes

 

Masse to Table Motion Concerning Nuclear Waste Storage Near Great Lakes

Ottawa, ON-- Brian Masse, MP Windsor West and Official Opposition Critic for the Great Lakes, announced today that he will table a motion raising concerns over the safety of Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) near Lake Huron’s eastern shore. The motion also addresses the validity of the Joint Review Panel and regulatory approval process for the project. Masse was joined by representatives from The Inverhuron Committee, Save Our Saugeen Shores (SOS), the Bluewater Coalition Against the DGR and Northwatch when he made the announcement on Parliament Hill earlier today.

 

“We’ve been monitoring this issue for some time and hearing from stakeholders on both sides of the border that the public consultations for this project failed to objectively address the concerns raised by residents and stakeholders in the Great Lakes Basin,” stated Masse.

 

The project, which would see intermediate and low level nuclear waste buried about 1km from the shores of Lake Huron, was vigorously contested during Joint Review Panel public hearings last fall. Early this year former OPG scientist Dr. Frank Greening indicated that some of the levels of radioactivity had been under-estimated by factors of more than 100. The only operational DGR in North America reported a release of radioactive materials this February, after 15 years of operation.

 

“Once the safety of this project was called into question by Dr. Greening and we learned of the incident in New Mexico, we knew we had to move forward with the motion.”

 

Masse emphasized the intent of the motion is not to open a debate on the merits of nuclear power, but to address concerns over the validity of the approval process and best practices for nuclear waste storage. Even though the Joint Review Panel has asked OPG for more information in light of Dr. Greening’s findings and the utility’s failure to consider alternate sites or waste-management options, Masse and the civil society organizations believe the process for regulatory approval needs to be re-examined. The Bruce Nuclear site was the only physical site considered for the project and there is a spiral of connections existing between Canada’s nuclear regulator and the nuclear industry.

 

“There are varying positions relative to the disposal of nuclear waste but I believe that this motion represents a balanced approach by highlighting the concerns that were expressed during the process and, if passed, will provide a foundation for future discussion and planning,” stated Marti McFadzean, chair of The Inverhuron Committee.

 

The concern and/or outright opposition to this project is reflected in resolutions passed by over 50 counties and cities in Canada and the U.S. representing over 10 million people, as well as an online petition by the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump Organization that has gathered over 56 thousand signatories from citizens in all Canadian Provinces and Territories and all 50 US States (see www.stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.com)

 

Masse closed by arguing that we must do all we can to keep our lakes great—even when that means taking a step back on this project, if only to get it right.

 

 

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