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Three Lake Huron communities still being considered in Ontario for nuclear waste storage

Last week the Council of Canadians shared the good news that two Bruce County communities have been scratched from the list of possible sites for a high-level nuclear waste storage site. Neither Saugeen Shores nor neighbouring Arran-Elderslie were deemed ‘suitable’ by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). This was a great win for those two communities who expressed that placing nuke dumps by the Great Lakes is an act of insanity.

Unfortunately, the article also adds, “Eliminating the two communities still leaves three others in the area in the running (for this nuclear waste storage site): Brockton, South Bruce, and Huron-Kinloss.    

Christian Island resident and Beausoleil First Nation councillor Vicki Monague has started a petition to Ontario Power Generation and Minister of Environment Leona Aglukkak to honour the treaties and stop all nuclear waste dump sites off the shores of Lake Huron.

“Therefore, the undersigned implore the Ontario Power Generation and Canada to uphold the Rights of Indigenous People in Canada by respecting their rights and jurisdiction of the Great Lakes, its boundaries and water and withdraw their application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for a Deep Geological Repository for low-to-intermediate nuclear waste off the shores of Lake Huron.”

Monague recently stated that she, “finds it upsetting to think about a series of chambers carved into rock 680 metres deep and 1.2 kilometres from the shore of Lake Huron,” but she is, “furious, however, when she contemplates those chambers filled with 200,000 cubic metres of radioactive nuclear waste.”

“My major concern with respect to the health-and-safety issue is the possible leaching (of radioactive materials),” she said, noting she is speaking as a grassroots citizen only, and not on behalf of her community. “There’s never been a DGR tested to be effective because they haven’t lasted as long as the life of the radioactivity of the nuclear waste.”

The OPG has consulted two First Nations in the area of the proposed repository, said Monague, but not with others whose territories will be traversed by nuclear materials destined for the site.

“They haven’t sought out proper permission or consultation with the First Nations who could potentially be affected,” she said. “There are serious flaws in their plan, especially with respect to honouring the treaties.”

Monague – a leader of the successful protest against the County of Simcoe’s Site 41 landfill proposal – said the petition is intended to convince OPG to withdraw its plan peacefully before opposition resistance escalates.

When asked if this might entail a protest march, political sit-in or even a blockade, she did not rule out the possibility.

“This is a campaign that I am dedicated to focusing on until this plan is dropped,” she said. “I am prepared to do what I have to do to ensure this is going to be stopped.”

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. 

Further reading 
Win! High-level nuclear waste dump ruled out for Saugeen Shores
Council concerned by environmental impacts of nuclear waste
Two Lake Huron communities consider a nuclear waste dump
Why placing nuke dumps by the Great Lakes is an act of insanity
Join Save Our Saugeen Shores on June 30th, 2012 to protect the Great Lake
Bluewater Coalition against nuclear waste sites near Lake Huron formed