Lakeside nuclear waste a risk worth protesting

Background:
 
London is the largest city in Southwestern Ontario, situated
about 100 kilometers due east of Sarnia and about 150 km
south of Kincardine — where Ontario Power Generation (OPG) 
wants to dump all of the nuclear waste from all of Ontario’s 
20 nuclear power reactors (except for the irradiated nuclear 
fuel) into a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) that is destined 
to become, in actual fact, a Deep Underground Dump (DUD).
 
OPG has the stated intention of abandoning the nuclear waste 
there, in a limestone/shale formation, less than a mile from 
Lake Huron.  (Mm-mm-good.  Lots of water nearby.  Just the
thing for spreading nuclear waste far and wide.  Share the
wealth, I always say…. Hmmm.)  
 
London is a pretty conservative little city, a retirement haven
for many, and it is one of many municipalities that has passed
a resolution against the proposed Lake Huron nuclear waste
dump. And the London Free Press editorial staff has seldom 
if ever advocated protesting against anything, which makes 
the accompanying article all the more remarkable.
 
–Gordon Edwards.

from: London Free Press

Lakeside nuclear waste a risk worth protesting

It’s our source of drinking water and a natural wonder of the world.

But soon land near Lake Huron could become the host for buried nuclear waste whose radioactive risks would last 100,000 years.

Ontario Power Generation is seeking federal approval to bury enough nuclear waste to fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools on the Bruce Power site. Its computer models predict the waste can be safely contained beneath layers of shale and limestone 700 metres below ground and one kilometre from the lake.

Kincardine and other nearby communities would be paid $35 million by 2035.

But not everyone shares in the optimistic forecasts of Ontario Power Generation, a company owned by the province that provides about 60% of Ontario’s electricity, much of that through nuclear generating plants.

Environmental groups point out the Great Lakes were formed by glaciers only 10,000 years ago so it’s problematic predicting what will happen to them the next 100,000 years, whether seismic forces powerful enough to create the lakes might someday rip them apart.

Even if shale and limestone make a solid vault, environmentalists ask about the shafts that would be bored through them to place the nuclear waste — can those shafts be effectively plugged?

Taking the questions together, at their core is this critical inquiry: Will burying nuclear waste pose a risk to Lake Huron and all of us who count on the great, natural body of water to sustain us?

That question has sparked a flurry of activity across the border. Both U.S. senators for Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, have sent a letter to United States Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to intervene and demand an inquiry by a panel of Canadian and American scientists set up to protect the Great Lakes, the International Joint Commission.

With so much at stake, it only makes sense that we in Southwestern Ontario look after our backyard.

Do some research.

Write to your MP.

Attend a public meeting set for London Nov. 20 at the Central Library.

Don’t take the health of our lake or our need for reliable electricity for granted

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