Independent MP to consult communities that could see 50,000 tonnes of radioactive waste
October 26, 2012
OTTAWA – Independent Member of Parliament Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North) is launching a series of town hall style meetings in communities along likely transportation corridors for much of Canada’s nuclear wastes, mostly accumulated radioactive fuel bundles used to generate electricity.
“Many people won’t know it, but there is a stockpile of approximately 50,000 metric tonnes of nuclear wastes waiting to be stored in an interim or permanent nuclear waste repository,” said Hyer, a former Ontario environmental adjudicator.
“Canada’s nuclear industry is getting closer to picking a permanent site for that nuclear waste, but regardless of the location that’s chosen people in a number of communities are likely to see trucks or trains loaded with nuclear waste passing near, or through, their town someday. The communities on the transportation route will bear some risk on any potential nuclear waste spill or accident, so they should have a say sooner rather than later.”
“It’s one of the biggest decisions that these community residents will ever have to make,” continued Hyer. “Some of the wastes have half-lives of tens of thousands of years. I feel it is my job as an MP to help to make sure that they are aware of the options, and have early opportunity to learn and comment.”
The first leg of the tour, to take place in November 2012, will see public meetings held Parry Sound, Sudbury, and Sault Ste. Marie, and near the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant. Further details, and details of future legs of the tour, will be announced soon.
Says Hyer: “I don’t yet have a personal or professional opinion on the best long-term storage solution for nuclear wastes. However, I have been requesting for years that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization consult more widely, including along likely or possible transportation routes. NWMO has chosen so far to only consult the 21 communities that have expressed interest in hosting a long term nuclear waste repository. So I will be giving other citizens and groups – including NWMO – an opportunity to share information at my MP meetings”.
“I’m inviting all residents to come out to a meeting,” said Hyer “I’d like to hear their questions and concerns, and I hope to learn about their thoughts on the nuclear waste issue in their community.”