This letter from the International Institute of Concern for Public Health is in response to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s proposal to expand the nuclear industry. An excerpt:
The genetic inheritance from the present use of nuclear power plants already exists and will soon become manifest as it increases with each generation.
- I think it is abundantly clear that low levels of ionizing radiation are not benign or beneficial. It is clear from the huge amount of scientifically based peer-reviewed information already available. More and more proof of the deleterious effects of low level ionizing radiation will come to light in the months and years ahead as those who have been affected become ill or pass on their damaged genes onto the next generation.
- The health hazards produced from the use of nuclear power to boil water to produce electricity, if fully understood by the general public from the outset, would have led to the rejection of the use of nuclear electricity power plants. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
- The mounting evidence of the health effects of low-level ionizing radiation calls out for a change in direction away from the use of nuclear power generation.
- The Institute strongly urges the government to call a properly constituted independent inquiry of the type suggested above before making any decision about continuing to use nuclear power for generation of electricity or for any other use.
As a people, it is time for us to look at the evidence with a dispassionate eye not blinded by the mantle of authority of the entrenched interests. The present format consists of day-long open houses followed by evening public input sessions. There is no way such a format can result in meaningful discussion of the concerns with the OPA report. The Canadian public are tired of these “public inquiries” that mean nothing. Only an open, public inquiry with a specific mandate with specific terms of reference to hear and take into account the views of a broad spectrum of experts and concerned citizens, presided over by a judge such as in the case of the Walkerton Inquiry, can satisfy the imperatives of our democratic right to full disclosure.
There is an alternative, and it is feasible. There is no need to build nuclear power plants or lengthy transmission lines! Alternative renewable environmentally benign sources along with conservation can result in less ionizing radiation being added to what has already been produced. Developing renewable energy resources throughout Ontario would lead to a cleaner environment for all. The leadership provided by Germany, Spain and Denmark should be an example. They have demonstrated the important role that government can play to bring about a strong renewable energy system. More and more of the public are becoming aware of the health effects of not only coal-fired plants, but also of nuclear power plants. In spite of the advertisements of the Canadian Nuclear Association to promote “NUCLEAR” as “CLEAN”, more and more people are coming to understand the dangers of low-level ionizing radiation.
The IICPH recommends that the present Ontario government move to phase out the use of nuclear power to generate electricity and move to renewable energy sources as soon as possible The current policies intended to support renewable energy should be greatly magnified. It takes political will at the provincial and federal level to achieve the rates of adoption of renewable energy that are possible and necessary in Ontario. The Province of Ontario could be the vehicle for bringing about the necessary change in direction. It would not be long until the benefits would accrue towards a cleaner environment. You would have the satisfaction of setting a trend that other jurisdictions could follow.
If we love our children and grandchildren, if we recognize that we are stewards of our biosphere, we must not turn a blind eye to the hazards from nuclear radiation. The health risks from even very low levels of radiation need to be recognized. No one is protected from the effects of ionizing radiation. In this 21st century, we are all at risk.
I like those bold-faced statements:
As a people, it is time for us to look at the evidence with a dispassionate eye not blinded by the mantle of authority of the entrenched interests.
There is an alternative, and it is feasible.
I am going to commit them to memory.
With thanks to Verbena-19