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E-M:/ Battle Looms on Bruce Radioactive Waste Dump



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For immediate release ? Friday October 20, 2006
 
Battle Looms on Bruce Radioactive Waste Dump
 
Kincardine, Ontario -  At public hearings on Monday in Kincardine, Ontario, Greenpeace Canada will urge the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to say ?no? to a low-level environmental assessment on Ontario Power Generation?s (OPG) proposed radioactive waste dump, less than a kilometre from the shore of Lake Huron.
 
?The unprecedented proposal by Ontario Power Generation to dump radioactive waste beside Lake Huron will make the Bruce region into a permanent nuclear sacrifice area and affect future generations in Canada and the United States for hundreds of thousands of years,? said Dave Martin, Greenpeace Canada Energy Coordinator.  ?Any proposal for these radioactive wastes demands the highest level of scrutiny and independence ? not the low-level environmental assessment proposed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.?
 
The battle has been joined by 19 American environmental groups who have expressed concerns because of possible transboundary radioactive contamination of the Great Lakes. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) has written to the CNSC and Environment Minister Rona Ambrose expressing his concern about the proposal. Stupak represents Michigan?s First Congressional District with half the state?s landmass and 1,613 miles of shoreline.
 
Some of the Canadian organizations fighting the radioactive waste dump include: Greenpeace Canada, Northwatch, Citizens for Renewable Energy, Sierra Club of Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Great Lakes United, and the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. The Saugeen Ojibway Nations are also calling on the CNSC for the proposed low-level environmental assessment to be upgraded to a Panel Review, the highest level environmental review under federal legislation.
 
Greenpeace Canada is calling on the CNSC to delay this assessment process, since it would, in effect, allow the nuclear industry to decide Canada?s policy for the long-term management of non-fuel radioactive wastes. This contravenes the federal government?s 1996 Radioactive Waste Policy Framework, which stipulates that this responsibility lies with the federal government. Greenpeace Canada filed a complaint with federal Environment Commissioner regarding OPG?s radioactive waste dump proposal in June 2006.
 
Greenpeace has also called on the CNSC to include decommissioning waste in planning for the Bruce facility; expand the study area to include downstream communities on the Great Lakes in Canada and the USA; extend the assessment timeframe to one million years because of the long lifetime of radioactive elements in the waste; include a worst-case accident scenario involving leakage of radioisotopes from a deep underground dump; examine the safety of radioactive waste transport from the Pickering and Darlington sites to the Bruce site; and consider alternatives to radioactive waste incineration.
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For more information:
 
Dave Martin, Energy Coordinator, Greenpeace  cell: 416-627-5004
Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace cell: 416-884-7053 (English/French)
 
Notes:
The CNSC hearing will be held on Monday October 23, 2006, 8:30 a.m., Davidson Hall, 601 Durham Street, in Kincardine, Ontario. The hearing is on the scope for the environmental assessment on OPG?s proposed deep underground dump for low and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the Bruce nuclear site. The scoping document defines the issues that will be addressed by the environmental assessment.
 
Greenpeace Canada?s petition to the federal Environmental Commissioner can be viewed at:
http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/domino/petitions.nsf/viewe1.0/5F5B5644AE764522852571CC007A8B4B