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NEWS: Wawa residents oppose nuclear waste dump near Lake Superior

The Toronto Star reported in February that, “Ottawa (is looking for) long-term solutions for the country’s nuclear waste (and) wants to build an underground mausoleum for millions of spent radioactive bundles that power nuclear plants in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. …The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) kicked off a process last spring to find a community willing to host an underground complex that would serve as a storage dump for all the country’s nuclear waste.”

The municipality of Wawa, Ontario is now considering whether it wants to ‘host’ the approximate two million highly radioactive bundles. Wawa is located in northern Ontario, on Wawa Lake, and just 9 kilometres north of Lake Superior. The Sault Star reports, “It was recently determined the area is suitable to host a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel waste, (Wawa city) council learned when the Nuclear Waste Management Organization released results of an initial screening process.”

“(But) not everyone is glowing about the prospect of Wawa participating. A petition, Take Wawa Off the Study List — We Do Not Want It, bearing some 800 names, was presented to Mayor Linda Nowicki earlier this month during the fourth day of NWMO’s open-house information sessions.”

“The Michipicoten First Nation (also) opposes the idea.”

“The town, along with Hornepayne, is among eight Canadian communities, to date, that have expressed interest in the site selection process. Hornepayne, about 400 kilometres northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, has been involved in the process for nearly one year and remains a player, passing the initial screening, while Wawa, 230 kilometres north of the city, seeks further information before entering the process.”

The Council of Canadians rejects nuclear power because it poses an unacceptable risk to people and the environment. It is neither clean, safe, peaceful, nor economic. Staff and chapters are currently campaigning against the proposed shipments of nuclear waste from the Bruce Power nuclear plant on the Great Lakes, the disposal of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan (also under this NWMO plan), the building of two new nuclear reactors on the north shore of Lake Ontario east of Toronto, and has expressed opposition to the relicensing of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick.

The Sault Star notes, “NWMO says the learning process cannot be rushed, and it will take years before a community to host a deep repository is identified. Site selection could take seven to 10 years. Current storage facilities have decades of remaining life expectancy, so an operational starting point is still more than 20 years away, 2035 at the earliest.”