Nukewatch Quarterly Fall 2020
Some 40 million Canadians and US residents who rely on the Great Lakes for fresh water are celebrating the June 24 cancellation of plans to dig a deep underground dump for radioactive waste near the shore of Lake Huron. The firm Ontario Power Generation (OPG) spent 16 years seeking approval for a dump on Bruce Peninsula northwest of Toronto, but it failed to sway public opinion or convince Canadian regulators that its half-mile deep “abandonment,” less than 1 mile from Lake Huron, could keep the waste’s radioactivity out of the drinking water.
After years of steadfast opposition by thousands of nuclear critics, scientists, community and political leaders from the Great Lakes region, hundreds of flaws were found in OPG’s applications and assessments and even the pro-nuclear Canadian government in Ottawa demanded better risk analysis from the firm.
Perhaps the last straw came Jan. 31, when the Saugeen Ojibway Nation overwhelmingly voted against the deep repository in a Community referendum. OPG earlier promised that it would not continue with the project if it did not have the First Nation’s backing.