Council of Canadians visits Owen Sound to oppose radioactive waste shipment

Bruce Power plans to ship 16 steam generators through the Great Lakes to Sweden. This shipment, the first of at least four, will set a dangerous precedent for future shipments and the 100 million pounds of radioactive waste that will be transported to Northern Ontario and Northern Saskatchewan. There has been a lack of consultation with communities including First Nations. The shipment fails to meet packaging requirements and exceeds the legal limits for radioactive levels set out by the International Atomic Agency by 50 times. The Great Lakes is a commons, public trust and protected bioregion. This shipment would threaten the drinking water of 40 million people in the region. For more information on the shipment, click here.

On Monday afternoon, Mark Calzavara, Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians, and I traveled to Kincardine and Owen Sound to explore the area and meet with locals concerning the radioactive steam generators.

Road coming into Owen Sound

Road coming into Owen Sound

We traced the proposed route from the Bruce Power Plant to the Owen Sound Harbour. The main road that the steam generators will have to take – the only road into Owen Sound – begins with an incredibly steep hill and turns into the street of the town. Concerns have been expressed about the safety of the transport route.

Mark Calzavara, Sharen Skelly from CARGOS and David Walton from Grey-Bruce Chapter

Mark Calzavara, Sharen Skelly from CARGOS and David Walton from Grey-Bruce Chapter

We met with David Walton from the Council of Canadians Grey-Bruce Chapter and Sharen Skelly from Citizens Against Radioactive Generators in Owen Sound (CARGOS). I also spoke with local media about our concerns.

Owen Sound Water Plant

Owen Sound Water Plant

We also visited the water plant where Owen Sound draws its water, which is within 2 kilometres of the harbour. The GLSLCI also noted that an accident with only one generator in Owen Sound Harbour has the potential to exceed Health Canada’s Drinking Water Action Levels by 6 times (if release rate is 100%). The Mohawks of Kahnawake have expressed concerns about the threat this shipment poses to the community’s drinking water. 

Many communities in Canada, the US and Europe are concerned about the shipment and the risk it poses. I will be traveling to Europe next month to meet with key European groups to build international opposition to these shipments. Stay tuned for more!

Owen Sound Water Plant

Owen Sound Water Plant