Chalk River radioactive dump: revised!
CNL has announced that they will not include intermediate-level waste in the mega dump. CNL has reacted to public outcry and to the 200+ submissions. This is good news that public pressure is beginning to have an effect.
The public will is not victorious. There is (still) no clear definition of low- and intermediate-level waste. There will still be very long-lived materials in the dump. It is still against International Atomic Energy Agency standards, and it is still too close to the river. This news may make it easier for the dump to get approval, as some will think by removing intermediate-level waste there is no longer any danger. A big mistake!
If we listen to scientists, removing intermediate-level waste does not solve one of the biggest flaws with this proposal. Scientists tell us there is a great deal of harmful material, some with long-lived radionuclides, in what CNL calls low-level waste. In Canada, long-lived post fission wastes, such as plutonium, are considered low-level wastes as they do not require shielding for handling. There are also very toxic materials, including heavy metals, involved.
In no way should these materials be abandoned in an above-ground mound. The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a mound-landfill -- this Engineered Containment Mound -- is only suitable for very low-level waste. And CNL’s proposed facility (even for low-level waste) does not comply with international standards.
People must understand that low-level waste includes very dangerous material. CNL must also hear us, that we do not accept radioactive waste coming to Chalk River for disposal from other locations. And we must continue to tell CNL that the location beside the river is not acceptable.
Lynn Jones, Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area
Johanna Echlin, Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association
Ottawa River Valley