Quill Plains chapter speaks against proposed small modular nuclear reactors

Quill Plains chapter activist Elaine Hughes

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter is speaking against small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in Saskatchewan.

CBC reports, "Researchers from the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan are looking into what it would take to build a small modular nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan. ...The project is meant to benefit countries considering adopting nuclear power, and aims to provide a comprehensive approach for adopting nuclear energy and siting nuclear power plants."

In addition, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has stated that nuclear energy could help Canada reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

In a letter to the editor published in the Wadena News, chapter activist Elaine Hughes writes, "While the rest of Planet Earth is developing FREE, SAFE, CLEAN, SUSTAINABLE and RENEWABLE energy sources, Saskatchewan residents are, once again, facing Wall's outdated attempt to bring us nuclear power plants via the harebrained use of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. This is not 'new technology'; SMRs have been on the back burner for years, waiting for this moment."

Hughes adds, "Now, disguised as 'research' and 'guided by the regulations and standards of the Canadian nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Saskatchewan universities and technical institutions have been sucked into this million-dollar 'backdoor' scheme. Undoubtedly, the uranium industry clings to the hope that this will provide them with even the tiniest bit of the quickly-disappearing market for their deadly product."

She then highlights, "Here's the thing: CNSC has certainly not found a safe way to dispose of nuclear waste – lethal for millions of years - so are we now to assume that the proponents of the SMRs have?  And, the insane suggestion of taking this technology into developing countries?! ...to islands?! Think of the convenience of dumping the waste into the nearest river or the ocean in that scenario!"

And she notes, "The answer, which is being ignored, to this abhorrent and irresponsible 'dream' of nuclear power in this province - or anywhere in this day of alternative energy - was determined in 2009 during the province-wide Uranium Development Partnership consultations and remains:  NO NUKES! ... regardless of the size of the reactors!!"

Hughes concludes, "So, we live in hope that - some how, some day – we'll have a government which will use common sense and discretion in their deliberations as if it were actually part of the 21st century and we can put thousands to work in developing 21st century energy projects!"

The Wadena News has a circulation of more than 2,600 readers.

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. Faced with climate change we recognize the need for a just transition away from a fossil fuel and nuclear dependent society.

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