Opposition group launches education campaign against nuclear fuel bunker in South Bruce

People in communities near the Municipality of South Bruce may receive a leaflet from the group Protect Our Waterways-No Nuclear Waste with information on the proposal to store used nuclear fuel deep underground near Teeswater.

Spokesman Michelle Stein said 50,000 leaflets were sent out this week to let people know some of the group’s concerns about the plan to store Canada’s nuclear waste in a Deep Geologic Repository or DGR.

Stein said the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is assembling land in the municipality of South Bruce to store irradiated nuclear fuel from 4.6 million spent fuel bundles.

“The proposed site includes the Teeswater River flowing through it, and that leads to Lake Huron. And 40 million people get their drinking water from Lake Huron,” she said.

“It’s a decision that is going to affect so many people, and change our community in such a large way, I think each individual deserves to have a vote,” she added.

Stein says 1,600 residents of South Bruce signed a petition opposing the proposed DGR.    Stein wants to see a referendum on the issue, as both the Nuclear Waste Management Organization and the municipality have stated that the project needs broad community support to go ahead.

“If the proposed nuclear waste dump is approved there will be two loads of spent nuclear fuel travelling by truck every day for forty years from Canada’s nuclear reactors. And if there is a radioactive leak underground it could affect 40 million people in Canada and the US,” said Stein.“People need to know the risks. Nowhere in the world is there an operating DGR for high-level nuclear waste as is being proposed here. Underground storage sites for low-medium level nuclear waste in the US and Germany have leaked radioactive material and required multi-billion-dollar clean-ups”, says Stein. “I encourage everyone who lives in a community near South Bruce to contact their own Mayor and tell them you oppose NWMO’s proposal for a nuclear waste dump.”

POW-NNW believes that the “rolling stewardship” method of managing nuclear waste is better because it maintains it in a monitored and retrievable state at all times, with continual improvements to packaging and environmental protection.

Stein added that ongoing scientific studies examine how spent nuclear fuel can be reused, reduced, and even neutralized. In its initial report to Parliament, the NWMO did not say that on-site storage at the reactor sites was unsafe or not feasible.