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Canadians Deserve World-Class Nuclear Waste Policy

radioactive waste

Original article published In Otter News, March 24, 2021

NGO, Ottawa Riverkeeper has been hard at work building a series of recommendations for what needs to be included in a new nuclear waste policy that meets international standards. They are on the cusp of making their submission to the consultation process, including criticisms of how it is being handled.

On February 18th, I participated in an eye-opening public discussion called Radioactive Waste and the Ottawa River: Your Questions Answered. Prior to that, I knew it was bad but had really no idea how terribly dire the nuclear waste situation was here in Canada.

According to Ole Hendrickson, a scientist and researcher for the group Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, as it stands, if the current proposal is approved, the Ottawa River would be contaminated forever. Clearly, the need to raise public awareness and support the work of our NGOs to create sound policy is essential.

A summary of the areas of concern covered by their recommendations can be found below, and to read them in full we have made our official submission to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) available here

The list of priorities includes:

• Issues with the consultation process and implementation of changes to policy

• That new policy ensures interjurisdictional cooperation

• That foundational principles of environmental law are included in updated radioactive waste policy

• That updated radioactive waste policy integrates the public’s right to know

Members of the public have the right to know how nuclear waste, waste management facilities, and policies affect the health of their environment. Public access to environmental performance data, and the clear and uniform application of regulations and guidance documents are crucial components of this public right to know.

Public Consultation Process extended to May 31, 2021

The original end date for the consultation process with NRCan was March 31st, and part of our submission asked for an extension of this process. This morning, we learned that the consultation has been extended, with the new final date to submit now May 31st.

With more time for public voices to be heard, we strongly encourage you to participate in the consultation. There are multiple ways to do so, such as comments on each of the discussion papers, via email, or in the NRCan discussion forms. We welcome you to use, adapt, or reference our recommendations as part of your own submission.

Original update from the Ottawa River Keeper
Modernizing Canada’s Radioactive Waste Policy (Government of Canada)

Reactor’s neighbours alarmed over radioactive toxins in river

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