Nukewatch Quarterly Winter 2016-2017
Alarm bells have been rung about current members of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and their connections to the nuclear industry. In May, whistleblowers, most likely from within the CNSC, described grave reactor risk issues in a letter documenting violations such as underestimated seismic hazards. No independent investigation has yet been required to evauate the claims made by whistleblowers. An audit released in October by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development concluded, “The CNSC could not show that it had adequately managed its site inspections of nuclear power plants. …could not demonstrate that its inspection plans included the appropriate number and types of inspections, and that it had the staff needed to verify that nuclear power plants were complying with all applicable requirements, or that site inspections were carried out according to the CNSC’s procedures.” Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May said about the allegations, “People tend to sit upright when you tell them about a nuclear reactor that is not getting properly inspected.”
CNSC’s president Michael Binder has personally been accused of conflicts of interest. Like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy in the US, the CNSC appears to have been captured by the industry which it routinely promotes and protects. In the article “Liquid Nuclear Waste Convoys a Threat to the Waters of the Great Lakes,” Janet McNeill of Durham Nuclear Awareness refers to the CNSC as the “all-too-compliant regulator.” (See page 1.) Bruce Peninsula Environment Group, several Members of Parliament, and 30 other organizations sent an October 11 letter to Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, asking that senior CNSC officials including Binder be removed.
—Toronto Globe and Mail, Oct. 12, 2016; Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Oct. 4, 2016