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Quill Plains chapter opposes nuclear waste dump in South Australia

Photo by AAP

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains chapter has signed an Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) petition against a proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

In February, ABC reported, “A nuclear dump in South Australia could take 13 per cent of the world’s waste, meeting a ‘global need’, and be operational by the end of next decade, a [Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle] inquiry has found. …Commissioner Kevin Scarce said there were 390,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste in worldwide inventories, and nearly 10 million cubic metres of intermediate-level waste — all of it produced from nuclear power generation. …The Government said it would require a minimum contract of 15,500 tonnes before it proceeded with establishing a facility, and would not take a tonne of waste until such a target was met.”

The storage facility would have a capacity of 138,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste.

ANFA says, “A group of politicians and business-people are developing a plan to build an international high-level nuclear waste dump in South Australia. The plan is strongly opposed by many South Australians and by an overwhelming majority of Aboriginal people. The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, representing Aboriginal people from across Australia, calls on nuclear nations NOT to dump nuclear waste in Australia. The nuclear industry has a track record of Aboriginal dispossession and environmental pollution − from the atomic bomb tests to uranium mining to nuclear waste dump proposals. We call on nuclear nations NOT to dump nuclear waste in Australia.”

To sign the petition, please click here.

Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatchewan were active in opposing a proposed high-level nuclear waste dump in Creighton. The grassroots fight against a nuclear waste site in northern Saskatchewan was led by the Committee for Future Generations and the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan. In March 2015, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization ruled out that site as a potential location for a nuclear waste dump.

And the Council of Canadians has been calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject a plan to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste near Lake Huron. If the Trudeau government approves this controversial project, nuclear waste that is considered hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years would be stored just hundreds of metres from the Great Lakes, the source of drinking water for about 40 million people in two countries.

In 2011, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow signed a World Future Council statement that said, “The large amounts of radioactive wastes that are created by nuclear power generation will remain highly toxic for many times longer than human civilization has existed, and there is currently no long-term solution to dealing with the threats these radioactive wastes pose to the environment and human health.”

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. We are opposed to the further expansion of nuclear power in our country. Faced with climate change and diminishing energy resources globally, we recognize the need for a just transition away from a fossil fuel and nuclear dependent society, while ensuring Canadians access to basic energy needs, to sustainable, publicly funded and publicly delivered energy alternatives that benefit both workers and their communities. We support renewable, non-invasive energy sources (such as solar and wind power), energy efficiency and conservation.