The president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) wrapped up a tour in Northwestern Ontario this past Sunday, April 23rd, at Castlegreen Community Centre. Gordon Edwards made a presentation in Kenora, Dryden, and Thunder Bay. His presentation: “Nuclear Wastes – The Questions Multiply”.
Gordon graduated from the University of Toronto in 1961 with two gold medals and went on to complete two master’s degrees at the University of Chicago and a PhD in mathematics at Queen’s University in Kingston. In the early 1970s, Gordon co- founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR), asking questions about the risks associated with nuclear energy.
In addition to his teaching career, Edwards has been tireless in increasing awareness about the risks of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. In spite of the unresolved problem of what to do with nuclear waste, governments have permitted the nuclear industry to continue producing waste for decades.
In 2002, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) was founded by Canada’s three nuclear fuel waste producers, including Ontario Power Generation. The board of directors are appointed by these founding members. The NWMO has been conducting a site selection process over several years and there are two potential sites remaining, the Revell site between Dryden and Ignace, and in South Bruce near Lake Huron.
The NWMO is a classic case of conflict of interest. NWMO is the fox guarding the hens. It is determined to bury decades of nuclear waste in the Canadian Shield. Dozens of candidate sites have been dropped, either because faults were found with the sites, or local citizens and municipalities opposed the concept. NWMO proposed a disposal site a kilometre from my home in Geraldton and offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes (that’s one way NWMO operates). During the public hearing, I said to the PhD leading the meeting that I would withdraw my objection is she agreed to live on the nuclear waste dump herself. She declined. We all declined.
In 2020, Environment North joined with Northwatch and many others to create the alliance We, The Nuclear-Free North (WTNFN) which intensified public awareness of the risks of burial and transportation of nuclear fuel waste. In 2014, I wrote a 7-article series about the issue titled “How to Stop Worrying & Love Nuclear Waste”, which I will soon republish on this site. The facts are 10 years out of date, but in 10 years, more terrifying facts have come to light.
Did you know that the Manhattan Project was only possible because of Canada’s uranium? Yes, Canada enabled the world’s first atomic bomb. And Canada’s uranium was actually in the bomb. In this age of political correctness and endless blaming, how long will it be before countless countries, looking to dispose of their nuclear waste, bring the chickens back home to roost, and demand that Canada dispose of all the world’s nuclear waste? The idea has come up.
Did you remember the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan in 2011? About 1.25 million tons of radioactive waste water is stored in more than 1,000 tanks at the plant site. The water accumulates at a rate of about 170 tons a day. On April 12th of this year, the government decided it will dump it all in the Pacific Ocean. Our entire west coast borders the Pacific Ocean.
Did you know that Germany has ordered the decommissioning of all 17 of its nuclear reactors? Henceforth it will derive power from wind generation. But, they will still have the problem of disposing of all the waste.
The best legacy for future generations is, Gordon Edwards believes, “rolling stewardship”, i.e., carefully managing the waste near its site of production, and not in any “deep geological repository” as NWMO insists on. This would also eliminate transporting the waste for hundreds of kilometres through numerous communities, including Thunder Bay.
After the presentation and the Q & A, the seventy-odd people gave a standing ovation to Dr. Gordon Edwards.
One thought on “AFTER THE CLIMATE CRISIS, THEN . . .”
A bit scary to say the least !