Dear Ms. Levert,
Please find enclosed Lake Ontario Waterkeeper's submission to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regarding the Interim Licensing Report on Cameco Corporation?s Class IB Nuclear Facility in Port Hope, Ontario.
Waterkeeper is requesting that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission delay its mid-term review hearing for the Cameco Corporation facility in Port Hope, Ontario. Our reasons for this request are outlined in the attached submission.
In the event that the Commission is not prepared to delay the meeting prior to February 23, 2005, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper requests that it be allowed to present the enclosed submission at the public hearing. We request that our presentation be scheduled for the beginning of the meeting, to provide the Commission with a fair opportunity to respond. Waterkeeper also requests that the Commission provide all other interveners with advanced notice of our request for a delay/adjournment.
Thank you for your consideration,
Waterkeeper & President
Waterkeeper respectfully requests that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (hereafter, ?the Commission?) delay its mid-term review hearing for the Cameco Corporation facility in Port Hope, Ontario.
Waterkeeper submits that the report prepared by CNSC staff, entitled, ?Information from Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Staff,? fails to provide the information requested by the Commision in the ?Records of Proceedings, Including and Reasons for Decision? dated February 18, 2002. Waterkeeper also submits that the CNSC Staff Report fails to provide the public with enough information to offer informed comment on the overall performance of the licensee and facility with respect to the protection of the environment.
In making these submissions, Waterkeeper notes that the ?Records of Proceedings, Including and Reasons for Decision? of February 18, 2002 requires that CNSC staff prepare a status report at the mid-point in the five-year licence period. The status report was to be presented to the Commission at a future public proceeding of the Commission (estimated at the time to be August 2004). In particular, the document stated that, ?The status report will address the overall performance of the licensee and facility with respect to the protection of the health and safety of persons, the environment and the maintenance of national security and measures required to implement international obligations to which Canada has agreed.? (emphasis added)
Waterkeeper respectfully submits that the mid-term report, referred to as the CNSC Staff Report, fails to address the overall performance of the licensee and facility with respect to the protection of the health of the environment. Specifically, the report does not prove whether or not Cameco Corporation is fulfilling its duty to protect Lake Ontario.
Waterkeeper asserts that Cameco Corporation has a statutory duty to protect Lake Ontario, under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulations, and the Fisheries Act. Waterkeeper also notes that Cameco Corporation maintains an environmental protection policy to comply with all applicable federal regulatory requirements, as described in 4.2 of the CNSC Staff Report.
Waterkeeper?s concerns about wastewater discharge issues stem from two sources: Ministry of Environment compliance reports and the CNSC Staff Report. Ministry of Environment compliance reports for 2000 and 2001 indicate that wastewater effluent from the Cameco facility were toxic to rainbow trout and daphnia magna. (Compliance reports for 2002-2004 were not available to Waterkeeper at this time.) The CNSC Staff Report does not provide complete Facility Water Discharge Monitoring Results, presenting only an annual average for 5 parameters rather than the concentration of actual contaminant discharges. Because of this aggregate information, the public has no information about the actual quality of wastewater discharges at the facility.
For these reasons, Waterkeeper submits that no mid-term review of Cameco Corporation?s environmental performance can be conducted based on the information contained in the CNSC Staff Report.
Waterkeeper requests that the February 23, 2005 hearing be postponed until such a time as CNSC staff can submit proof to the public and to the Commission establishing whether or not Cameco Corporation?s wastewater discharges are clean every hour of every day, as required by law. Only then will we have sufficient information to comment on the facility?s performance.
Waterkeeper has included a copy of the Court of Appeal for Ontario?s decision in R. v. City of Kingston to assist the Commission. This decision defines what are clean, legal discharges into Lake Ontario.
In conclusion, Waterkeeper respectfully requests that the Commission does not receive the CNSC Staff Report at this time.