CNL’s 2-page ad – Does it tell the whole truth?

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“A safe solution”? Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for their proposed “Near Surface Disposal Facility” (NSDF) that uses “safe” 70 times and “safety” 405 times. Repeating words over and over does not make them true.

“A safe solution”? Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for their proposed “Near Surface Disposal Facility” (NSDF) that uses “safe” 70 times and “safety” 405 times. Repeating words over and over does not make them true.
“Proven technology”? CNL says “proven technology” means: “The effectiveness for
disposal of LLW and ILW has been demonstrated through similar facilities currently in operation globally.” (EIS, p. 2-24) “Effectiveness for disposal of waste” is not the same as protecting the environment. It could just mean “getting rid of” some waste. Large “similar facilities” in the US are located in the desert. “Proven technology” used in the wrong place can cause considerable health and environmental damage.
“Federal agencies set regulations and
provide oversight”? The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has never set any
regulations for permanent disposal or abandonment of radioactive waste. Why not?
“Waste Acceptance Criteria”? CNL will propose its own Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) for what goes in the dump. It hasn’t done so yet. These criteria may be “quantitative or qualitative.” (EIS, p. 13-8)
“Waste that does not meet the criteria will not be accepted”? CNL says, “In the rare
occasion that wastes do not meet the WAC, it may be further reviewed for acceptance through the WAC variance process.” (EIS, p. 3-13). Will wastes inappropriate for surface disposal be put into the NSDF?
“What will go in it”? CNL says where waste might come from (90% Chalk River, 5% Whiteshell and other federal facilities, 5% non-federal), but not what the wastes actually are. CNL provides no justification for shipping wastes from across Canada and dumping them next to the Ottawa River.
“Timeline”? CNL says “construction begins” next year. It sounds as if a decision was already made. In September 2015 the Harper Government signed a 10-year contract with CNL that says, “CNL shall seek the fastest, most cost effective way(s) of executing the DWM [Decommissioning and Waste Management] Mission, including disposal of all waste.” Bad decisions can and should be revisited.
Our tax dollars at work? Although the total dollar amount of CNL’s contract is unknown, Parliament appropriated over $500 million in the 2016-17 budget, and again in the 2017-2018 budget, to deal with nuclear decommissioning and waste liabilities. This is our tax money. Our elected officials should be accountable for how it’s spent.

Ole Hendrickson
RENFREW COUNTY