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article imageOp-Ed: OPG says we don't care about nuclear waste dump site — Wrong!

By Karen Graham     Jan 4, 2017 in Environment
Kincardine - An Ontario Power Generation (OPG) report, done at the request of the federal environment minister, claims relocating a nuclear waste bunker from its proposed site near Lake Huron would cost billions and increase the risks to health and the environment.
The OPG's proposal to build a nuclear waste bunker on the site of the Bruce nuclear site near Kincardine, the world's largest nuclear power complex, has seen a number of delays in getting a decision from the federal government.
The OPG report, besides saying the cost of moving to another site would be prohibitive, also claimed the public didn't care about the proposal for a nuclear waste site, anyway, according to CTV News.
"There is little interest among the general public regarding the DGR project," the report states. "Ontarians are not looking for information on nuclear-waste disposal in large volumes. This topic is not a popular one nor is it generating large volumes of curiosity."
The public is interested in the proposed nuclear waste site
While it is a mystery where OPG got the idea that no one cares about nuclear waste or where it may be dumped, they need to be reminded that in 2014, Digital Journal reported on the opposition to the proposed nuclear waste repository being built near Lake Huron.
At that time, the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump group said burying such highly toxic wastes in limestone next to 21 percent of the world’s fresh water “defies common sense.” In July 2014, the group had over 62,000 signatures on a petition to stop the building of the dump. Today, there are over 150,000 names on petitions to stop the construction, according to ABC News.
In addition, many cities and communities around the site have signed resolutions opposing the dump. These include the Canadian cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Kingston, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor and more. Local governments in the states of Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and Ohio, as well as The United Tribes of Michigan, representing 12 First Nations, are also opposed.
Question of other suitable sites
Now, OPG is saying that while no suitable sites are really advantageous to their plans, they do mention that vast stretches of much of southern and southwestern Ontario could be used, but it would cost the company $1.4 billion to truck all their accumulated nuclear waste almost 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles), adding a considerable amount of risk.
"Relocating the DGR project to an alternate location would require approximately 22,000-24,000 radioactive shipments resulting in over a million kilometers of travel on public roadways throughout the duration of the transportation campaign," the study states.
The study adds: "The incremental conventional transportation risks are estimated to be between three and 69 road collisions. It would also add a small but incremental risk of exposure to radioactivity to the public and workers."
OPG also says that constructing an alternate nuclear waste bunker would "hurt wildlife habitat and cause environmental damage." I guess this means that we should believe a site in Kincardine won't create any environmental risks.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will now review the report, allow time for public comment and come up with its own recommendations for Environmental Minister Catherine McKenna in the fall. Even then, there could be additional delays, depending on if the agency needs more information.
But OPG says it's time to get on with the digging. "Deferring costs to future generations, when a safe, cost-effective option already exists, is not necessarily in the best interests of society," the report states. "OPG, therefore, concludes that the DGR project at the Bruce nuclear site remains the preferred location."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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