Letter to the Editor from Cornwall Ontario City Councilor Elaine MacDonald – Transporting Nuclear Waste on St. Lawrence River too great a risk – October 11, 2010

Regarding Bruce Nuclear’s application to ship decommissioned reactors to Sweden via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River System, there are pressing reasons for adjoining communities to just say no. The Great lakes are the source of drinking water for cities and towns with over 40 million people, including 45,000 in Cornwall. For all of us, the risk is simply too great.

As a city, we are poised to celebrate our removal from list of the “areas of concern” along this same route. We are slowing recovering from massive degradation of our river that is the legacy of our industrial past. We are entertaining great hopes for a revitalized waterfront. We don’t need to incur a new hazard instead.

We spent a summer watching the debacle of the Gulf crisis and we’re spending the Thanksgiving weekend watching the spoiling of whole villages and river systems in Hungary by a toxic spill. We’d be fools to accept assurances that nothing can happen, or, if it does, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence have the capacity to dilute harmful effects.

Currently, Canada has a policy of storing nuclear waste on-site until safe disposal processes can be developed here. Until that day, on which the work will be done in Canada by Canadian workers, with Canadian technology, let’s collectively and individually say no to this alternative. Enough already!

Elaine MacDonald  – Cornwall Ontario

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

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13 Responses to "Letter to the Editor from Cornwall Ontario City Councilor Elaine MacDonald – Transporting Nuclear Waste on St. Lawrence River too great a risk – October 11, 2010"

  1. Jason Setnyk   October 11, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    An article on this has been on the front page of the Standard Freeholder recently. I am proud that the Cornwall Free News got the scoop way back in July with a freelance article I worte:

    http://cornwallfreenews.com/2010/07/plans-to-ship-radioactive-waste-through-st-lawrence-seaway-to-sweden-by-jason-setnyk-cornwall-ontario-july-15-2010/

    I agree 100% with Elaine MacDonald on this issue. I am glad some people on council are being vocal about this!

  2. Rony   October 11, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    Really Elaine?
    Perhaps a little research on your part? The transport of this type
    Of ‘waste’ runs little risk… There is a far bigger risk letting it decompose in our backyard.
    Sweden wants to re-process it into a safer form… ‘re-cycle, re-use’

  3. I Like It   October 12, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    The Cornwall Standard Freeloader what a joke nothing in the darn thing Cornwall Free News all the way Keep up the good work

  4. Old Mafiosi   October 12, 2010 at 6:09 AM

    “Currently, Canada has a policy of storing nuclear waste on-site until safe disposal processes can be developed here. Until that day, on which the work will be done in Canada by Canadian workers, with Canadian technology, let’s collectively and individually say no to this alternative.” Yeah, let Canadians keep the bad stuff here and sit back and wait a couple thousand years before the radioactivity wears off, instead of accepting Swedens offer and letting the Swedes sit back wasting their time. This was an offer we couldn’t refuse, but did!

  5. admin   October 12, 2010 at 6:14 AM

    Old M the shelf life for nuclear waste has improved dramatically and will continue to improve. Also the uses of spent matter and the technology to transport it have improved.

    If any company or use of Nuclear use is allowed then what to do after should be considered as well. Moving it to someone else’s back yard,passing through others homes and waterway is something many including myself am not comfortable with.

  6. smee   October 12, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    Elaine
    You are currently wasting your time on stopping an unstoppable procedure. If not by sea then it will travel by land. Spend time working on a solution for the existing waste, this statement sounds atypical for someone running in an election.

    This is a make money statement.

    “Until that day, on which the work will be done in Canada by Canadian workers, with Canadian technology, let’s collectively and individually say no to this alternative. Enough already!”

    If they already have safe disposal processes in Sweden, what do we have to work on? Just build it here.

    Admin and Old Mafioso.
    Do either of you have experience with the nuclear industry?
    Take a look at what is transportable before commenting, unless the CNSC is again being told to bypass legislation and transportation laws the system is safe.

    Leaving the material on site is not the best solution either. This is energy producing facility. If they build what is necessary to retain nuclear waste where do you think the money will come from. You can bet it is not from existing revenue. The rates will rise the corporation will cry loss of revenue and the Ontario government will bail them out. With our tax dollars that is. Then so long as the revenue is satisfactory there is no encouragement to find a better way nor to work on a system to safely dispose of nuclear waste.

    Also Admin and Elaine as well, take a look at the Port Granby Area. Eldorado Nuclear (a Canadian Government Facility) use to dump uranium in the Port Granby area combined with a fair amount of contaminated equipment after the extraction of Radium gas. You can also imagine just how safe the dump site is having being built in 1943 approximately.

    Is transporting materials all that unsafe opposed to what it will cost to keep on site?

    They currently transport, across land, the refined product on the back of trucks.

    http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/pet_232_e_30304.html

  7. Old Mafiosi   October 12, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    I was being facetious Dr.Smee….a little Italian humour

  8. makinsense   October 15, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Just wondering if anyone knows how many sinkings of ships on the great lakes have occured since the famous Edmund Fitzgerald around 1975 verses transport trucks between the nuclear plant and the closes port of transportation to sweden since 1975 . Also how many trains have derailed spilling there contents into rivers since 1975 once this is researched then we all can make the best decision of course the only thing I would think is they schedule the shipments by ship is before the gales of NOVEMBER !!!

  9. Cornwall Harry   October 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    makinsense: beware the Ides of March

  10. Richard Komorowski   October 15, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    I think all shipping in the lakes should be banned in November, so we don’t get another 15 hour Gordon Lightfoot epic.

  11. smee   October 16, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    The 15 hour Gordon Lightfoot song could have been avoided if the crew had only fastened the hatch properly.

  12. Richard Komorowski   October 16, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    More than likely, Smee, although even properly fastened hatch covers are not 100% secure. Also the severe seas could have caused the cargo to shift, which itself, in that weather, might have been fatal in itself.

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