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Nuclear waste plan opposition mounts
TEESWATER, ONT. -- Michelle Stein and her husband initially thought plans to bury Canada’s most radioactive waste in their community might be okay.
But once they did some research, and went to some nuclear open houses, they changed their minds, quickly.
“There’s kind of a sense of betrayal. There seems to be a few people who are going to get a lot of money in the short term, and then rest of us are just collateral damage, I guess,” says Stein, who now leads a group called No DGR-South Bruce.
The Municipality of South Bruce, is one of two Ontario communities left in the running to host a massive underground facility to store Canada’s used nuclear fuel. The highly radioactive waste is currently stored above ground at nuclear power plants across Canada.
For the past 10 years, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization has been whittling down the list of proposed sites from 20, now down to two.
About 1,300 acres of land northwest of Teeswater has been optioned by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) as a potential site.
Darren Ireland, is one of the landowners, who have optioned their land for the potential project.
“This area has struggled for many years to keep things going. I look at this as something we could look forward to for five generations. That’s huge,” says Ireland.
The project would cost approximately $23 billion to build and could create as many as 2000 direct and indirect jobs during operation, which would last for approximately 50 years, before the site would be closed, and essentially covered over.
The used nuclear fuel bundles stay dangerously radioactive, forever. Robert Buckle, the mayor for the Municipality of South Bruce, supports the proposed project.
“We have to look at the safest possible site to store this. We believe and so do the scientists that it should be stored underground in the granite rock basin that we have below us,” he says.
A decision to bury Canada’s nuclear waste in South Bruce or Ignace is expected by 2023.
In the meantime, Buckle is imploring residents to gather information on the project, because the majority of people in the community will ultimately decide whether Canada’s nuclear waste is stored under South Bruce or not.