Nuclear waste group brings information trailer to South Bruce
TEESWATER, ONT. -- People are already starting to file through the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (N.W.M.O) mobile information trailer currently set up in Teeswater.
“Under normal circumstances we would have had it out much more over the course of the summer, of course the pandemic prevented that,” says N.W.M.O. Stakeholders Relations Mgr, Lisa Frizzell.
Locals are interested because over five million fuel bundles that used to power Canada’s nuclear stations could find a permanent home under 1500 acres of farmers fields north of Teeswater.
It’s down to South Bruce or Ignace, in Northern Ontario as the final destination for Canada’s highest level nuclear waste, that remains radioactive for centuries.
Tony Zettel co-ordinates a group of South Bruce residents in favour of the project, called South Bruce-Willing to Listen.
“The process has been underway since 2012 and frankly for most of that, there’s been a low level of interest, now there’s a high level of interest, which is great. We want people to be active, we want people to investigate, and understand it, and decide for themselves,” says Zettel.
Vocal opposition exists in and around South Bruce, as well. Michelle Stein founded a group calling themselves Protect our Waterways-No Nuclear Waste.
It recently sent out 50,000 flyers to area homeowners informing their neighbours about the potential dangers of the project. The N.W.M.O called the flyers, “misinformation.” Stein wants a commitment the community will vote on whether to allow the project or not.
“We have continually asked council, we have continually asked the N.W.M.O, what is a willing community. And they will not guarantee us a referendum. This is a decision that will entirely change the fabric of our community and I think each and every individual deserves the right to vote,” says Stein.
Municipality of South Bruce Mayor, Robert Buckle says no decision mechanism has been agreed upon, yet.
“I am not in favour of the council deciding whether it comes or not. It has to come from the public, but the public has to be well informed first,” he says.
Frizzell says that’s what the information trailer is for. It will be in South Bruce until September 29.
“We are continuing to work with two potential citing areas. And we’re on track, we believe for making a decision about a preferred site at approximately 2023,” she says.