I FIND that Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continues to waste ratepayers’ money (Possible Waste Site Has ‘Stable Geosphere’ — CJ, Feb. 25).

The nuclear power generating operators provide contributions into a coffer that supports the efforts of NWMO to seek and select an optimum deep geological repository site. Obviously, these nuclear power generating operators can only forward their contributions from revenues received through the billing of their customers — the ratepayers.

So why continue with drilling operations near Ignace when Bruce County can host a deep geological repository site?

In an article published in NWMO’s News (Vol. 17, Issue 3, page 9), Dr. Erik Kremer discusses findings from the seventh case study, “. . . which assesses the long-term safety of a deep geological repository in sedimentary rock formations, similar to those in southern Bruce County.”

So why spend more money for drill tests in the Ignace area? It would make perfect sense to construct a deep geological repository near nuclear power generating plants, which will reduce costs for transportation and avoid any potential vehicle mishap causing catastrophic environmental impacts and danger to people if used nuclear waste is sent to (or near) Ignace.

The author’s comment of the Feb. 25 article in the C-J stating that: “Meanwhile, the concept is no longer considered a taboo subject in the North,” has a number of hair-raising and chilling concerns.

Firstly, in a two-part segment viewed on APTN Investigates, a reporter interviewed residents on First Nation reserves asking questions about NWMO’s Learn More process. Many residents did not know about the Learn More process. However, some knew about NWMO wanting to search for a storage site on their lands.

Secondly, as seen in the second segment, one of the elders literally began crying during the recording, begging NWMO to leave their land. It was heart-breaking to view. If this is not opposition to NWMO’s presence, I truly do not know what is.

First Nations people want their land kept pure and unspoiled as much as possible. For this to happen, non-First Nations people, with commercial and industrial motives need to stay clear of their lands.

Thirdly, I have sent letters to politicians requesting support for a referendum should Ignace be considered as a host community for the deep geological repository, and I have not received any support to date. One can only conclude that the $23 billion infrastructure is more of a lure than the safety and well-being for our people of the North.

As a suggestion, people should look into what ‘small modular reactors’ are. There is much information published in journals and reports regarding small modular reactors. Also, the province is focused on erecting one small modular reactor (possibly more) in remote Northern regions of Ontario.

Do we actually have a say about used nuclear waste stored in the North? If it is left to politicians and big corporations, I doubt it.

Ed Dunnill

Manitouwadge

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(Originally published March 9, 2020)

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