Waste shipments cause alarm
SARNIA Opposition groups are sounding the alarm as truckloads of liquid nuclear waste have started arriving in the United States, transported from Ontario’s Chalk River Nuclear Lab.
Between 100 and 150 loads of the highly radioactive material in puncture and thermal-tested casks are expected to move — potentially over the Blue Water Bridge — over four years, opponents say, in armed convoys en route to the Savannah River site in South Carolina for solidification.
Crossings into New York from Ontario represent the most direct path, but the United States Department of Energy has said the routes will be varied for security reasons.
“I wouldn’t want to be stopped in traffic sitting beside that,” said Joanne Rogers, chief of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation.
“What if there was an explosion? What if it got into an accident on the bridge? It goes into our water,” she said.
In February the Anishanabek Nation Grand Council — representing 40 communities in Ontario — and the Iroquois Caucus released statements opposing the plan by U.S. and Canadian governments to truck the 23,000 litres of nuclear waste south.
A memo made public May 12 from the U.S. Defence Nuclear Facilities Safety Board notes the first shipment happened the week of April 21, and one of the containers the waste was transferred into in South Carolina didn’t provide adequate shielding from radiation.