Federal hearings continue on controversial nuclear dump
Published Friday, September 20, 2013 6:09PM EDT Last Updated Monday, September 23, 2013 11:13AM EDT
Is it burying the problem or simply safe storage? That's one of the main questions being discussed at federal hearings in Kincardine this month on a proposed nuclear waste disposal site.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) wants to bury 200,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste near Lake Huron, but they also plan to eventually abandon the underground facility.
Gordon Edwards with the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility has spent the better part of 35 years researching nuclear energy - and the waste left behind.
He contends it's simply wrong to bury nuclear waste on the Bruce Power site, and then after 300 years, walk away from the facility.
"But to abandon this waste, which is part of their plan, we think is unethical, we think it’s unscientific and we don't want the panel to be fooled into approving something which they think is merely a waste management proposal, when in fact it’s a proposal for abdicating responsibility forever."
OPG is defending their plans to bury low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste 680 metres underground on the Bruce Power site in front of a federal review panel for the next three and half weeks.
They say they have a decade of studies and rock samples which suggest their proposed site is the right one.
Heather Kleb, of the Canadian Nuclear Association, says “People draw their water here closer to 100 metres below ground, in addition it’s about over a kilometre away from the lake and those two water tables do not mix and they've managed to establish that."
But some residents like retired lawyer John Mann don't understand why there isn't more talk about recycling the waste.
"Recycle, recycle is the thing. Put the money, the billions of dollars, put the money into research and development and figure out how to use this stuff productively rather than burying it and saying ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ It makes no sense."
The hearings continue Saturday and for the next three weeks.
On Sept. 30, State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood, and State Representative Sarah Roberts from Michigan will be in Kincardine.