U.S. senators call on John Kerry to get involved in nuclear waste debate
Published Friday, October 25, 2013 6:06PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 25, 2013 6:11PM EDT
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry may be wading into the controversial plan to bury nuclear waste near Kincardine.
Two American senators, Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, are urging Kerry to get involved and refer the project to a stringent international joint commission review.
They say Ontario Power Generation’s plan to bury 200,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste within 1.2 kilometres of Lake Huron is of great concern.
“We believe that the decision to store such large quantities of nuclear waste along the shores of an internationally shared resource must be thoroughly reviewed and considered by both countries,” the pair wrote in their letter to Kerry.
The project doesn’t require American approval, but OPG says as recent as 2012 their plans were vetted by both the Michigan equivalent of the Ministry of Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."
OPG has said both agencies believe the project will not adversely impact human health or the environment.
Beverly Fernandez, who has gathered nearly 40,000 signatures on a petition to stop the project, is still excited there are now powerful U.S. senators on board.
“This is an issue both Canada and the U.S. should be dealing with. Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump has been saying since its inception that this is an important national and international issue."
The City of London has recently passed a resolution against the plan.
“In fact, they are opposing any deep geological repository in the Great Lakes basin,” Fernandez says.
Some in Port Elgin, who will be living close to the proposed dump, are more concerned about a single wind turbine than they are about burying radioactive waste near their community.
“There are no willing host communities for wind turbines, but we have willing hosts for underground nuclear repository,” says Luke Charbonneau, the deputy mayor of Saugeen Shores.
“Isn't that interesting. Here we have some of the most dangerous material on earth and we have the foresight to go ask the people, ‘What do you think? Are you willing to host this project?'”
Canada's federal hearings into the project continue for three days next week.
Meanwhile, the U.S. senators are waiting to hear if John Kerry or anyone in the state department will get involved.
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