(OTTAWA) - The Green Party of Canada urges Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq to defend Canada’s Great Lakes and reject Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) plan to create a nuclear waste dump on the shores of Lake Huron.
“Our Great Lakes are relied upon by over 40 million people in two different countries, which is why we cannot afford to take the risk of locating high-level nuclear waste – material that remains dangerous for the next quarter of a million years – anywhere near Lake Huron,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Saanich – Gulf Islands). “The entire assessment process of this project was riddled with interference from our not-so independent nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). I call on Minister Aglukkaq to reject this flawed assessment and stand up for our Great Lakes.”
“We should all be concerned about the long-term storage of high-level nuclear wastes anywhere in the Great Lakes watershed, which holds 20% of Earth’s fresh water,” added Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Thunder Bay – Superior North). “We must phase out the production of additional nuclear waste with half-lives of thousands of years as soon as possible.”
OPG is seeking approval to build a nuclear waste dump one kilometre from Lake Huron that would extend approximately 400 metres beneath the surface. The CNSC released a report today, recommending that Minister Aglukkaq approve the project; her final decision to accept or reject it is expected before September 3, 2015.
“The science is clear – nuclear waste is a source of contamination and very dangerous due to its long half-life,” concluded Daniel Green, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and candidate (Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs). “It is unthinkable that the CNSC would approve of storing such contaminants near the Great Lakes basin, a densely populated area and one of the largest water basins in the world. The storage of nuclear waste remains a serious problem, which is why it is imperative to reduce our reliance on nuclear power plants and uranium mining.”
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