The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has approved a 10-year extension to the aged Pickering Nuclear Station’s operating license, meaning it could potentially operate until 2028 on the north shore of Lake Ontario north of Niagara Falls. The CNSC dismissed dozens of comments pointing out Pickering’s terrible location surrounded by millions of people, the lack of adequate emergency planning despite 50 years of operations, and the absence of isolation plans for the tons of radioactive waste stockpiled at the site. Instead, the CNSC sided with Ontario Power Generation which claimed that no one has been harmed by the massive radiation releases from the Fukushima disaster, and that “some radiation” is actually good for you!
The CNSC also ignored the findings of nuclear risk expert Dr. Gordon Thompson about the ever-growing volume of highly radioactive waste on the Pickering waterfront—next to the Great Lakes, source of drinking water for 40 million people. Somehow it is OK with the CNSC that Pickering continues to produce close to 20,000 bundles of radioactive waste fuel every year despite a lack of fully secure storage facilities onsite, or any viable long-term plan for dealing with this deadly waste. We need an unbiased review of the true costs and benefits of continuing to operate this high-risk facility, which should have been closed years ago. Please email energy minister Greg Rickford and tell him that closing Pickering now is the best way to cut electricity costs while ensuring the safety of millions on both sides of the border.