Two dumps: Who is inspecting every load?


We — all of the Pontiac Journal’s readership — face two life-or-death decisions. Really! And they both are questions about building two dangerous projects. Dumps, basically.

First was the atomic research facility on the Ottawa River at Chalk River. That facility had one major melt-down, resulting in an entire atomic reactor dumped into a giant hole, covered with concrete.

Today’s issue is the storage of “low-level” nuclear waste, but on the surface, protected from tornados, storms, run-off, even earthquakes (they happen) with a fabric cover, no protective building.  This “geo-fabric” hasn’t been tested under actual conditions.

Meanwhile, Finland has just opened a nuclear storage dump deep drilled into solid rock, with one small entrance. Storage can be done safely!

So, how do we react to this project, which is going ahead no matter what we say. There have been years of hearings… all irrelevant, our political reps tell us in all honesty.

Question two is an “energy from waste” facility which will burn waste (not “garbage”) and which will generate, yes, a small amount of polluted aerial waste and even smaller amount of solid waste like “fly-ash”.  Pontiac has a site zoned for this from previous and different waste conversion projects. But this still puts some polluted material into our atmosphere and local soil & water.

The question is not whether these projects should go ahead — that’s a done-deal for the Chalk River dump. Both Harper, and now Trudeau, have promised it to a gigantic construction corporation with ties to the federal gov’t.

Today’s questions are based on the projects being approved and built.If Pontiac’s EFW waste conversion site is not built, fine! Let it go and focus on the radioactive dump site upstream. Our question is who checks every shipment to either facility to make sure waste materials are only “low level” dangerous. Chalk River will receive train – and truck-loads – from around Canada. There will be many loads per week. Who is checking every one of these loads for safe radioactive contents?  No one.

“We use spot-checks” I have been told.  “All illegal loads will be caught” — by divine intervention, I guess.

What do you say, dear Reader? Inspired?

The “official consultations” have had many sessions; we’ve heard so many concerns…. but few helpful responses. Especially no answer on our question of the thoroughness of both project’s environmental safety and security.Our alternatives: check each load… or just say no!