Waste ship­ments cause alarm

Windsor Star - - CITY + REGION - TYLER KULA

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.

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