The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) held public hearings in Ottawa September 28-30 to consider Bruce Power Inc's request to ship 16 radioactive generators across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to be recycled overseas.
"Do we really want the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence to become routine transportation routes for radioactive debris for decrepit nuclear reactors?" asked Kevin Kamps, a researcher for Washington-based Beyond Nuclear.
Environmental groups, opposition politicians, aboriginal leaders and mayors of 100 towns and cities along the proposed route through Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence seaway, fear contamination of lakes that provide drinking water for 40 million people in Canada and the United States.
Gordon Edwards of the Great Lakes United Task Force on Nuclear Power and Green Energy highlighted the dangerous precedent allowing this shipment would set. "This is just the tip of an enormous iceberg because once they ship these 16 steam generators, they're going to be shipping more and more and more radioactive waste," explained Edwards.
"We're talking about 200,000 kg of nuclear waste, transporting it several thousand kilometers. Melting it down for recycling will result in some radioactive material getting into the general recycling of metals around the world." said John Bennett, Sierra Club of Canada spokesperson.
"Canada's policy for nuclear waste is that the waste remains where it is until there is an ultimate solution for Canadian waste. This is just a way to reduce costs for Bruce Power," Bennett said.
View CNSC Hearing Documents
View September 27, 2010 Toronto Sun article
View September 28, 2010 CTV News article
View September 28, 2010 Toronto Star article
View October 2, 2010 Chatham Daily News article
View July 27, 2010 London Free Press article
Sources: CNSC, Toronto Sun