Nuclear dump meeting
My wife and I attended the presentation on the radioactive materials dump planned upstream from Aylmer/Gatineau/Ottawa. There were only a dozen or so people there, with almost as many employees of the dump project. Very expensive presentation, two large screens projecting, one English, one French, and simultaneous interpretation. My impression is that most people want nothing to do with this project – and many don’t even want to think about it, which would be a real shame, especially once the radioactive xxxx hits the air and water currents after a big storm. Our family members had read about the meeting but didn’t want to hear about it!
One scientist who questioned the project asked about “exceptional circumstances”. I did not know this but AECL, CNL, NRCan and CNSC have all decided that they are excused from following international agency guidance (IAEA) in their nuclear waste projects because of “exceptional circumstances”, a term used by IAEA to refer to severe accident scenarios... but our Canadian custodians have decided to expand the definition of exceptional circumstances to let themselves off the hook to follow IAEA standards. That is not encouraging at all, but they are hoping it is all too complicated for people to notice.
The councillor who organized the meeting actually read from an essay he did in university on medical isotopes, which has nothing to do with this project, but gave him reason to defend the dump. I had always thought he was an environmentalist, at least on city council. So, if he gets elected we can expect even worse from a new government. (I am trying to be impartial!)
Last point – the federal government just announced a juicy grant to “keep the river healthy” (while they pile radioactive material alongside it). I can only see this as an election plum, offered to Environment Minister McKenna’s supporters in Ottawa. We did not feel good leaving this meeting, but were glad we went. Thank you for promoting it. I hope your reporter will be more impartial than that councillor.
R. Zalinski, Aylmer