FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2012 (TORONTO) - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) should reconsider its decision to exclude presentations from the public when it holds the final licensing hearing for the country’s largest low-level radioactive waste cleanup project, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper argued in a written submission to the CNSC.
On October 24, 2012, the Commissioners will gather to review a licensing application from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). AECL is part of a billion-dollar effort to collect low-level radioactive waste from around Port Hope, Ontario, and consolidate it a long-term waste management site. Members of the public and nonprofit communities had expected the CNSC would hear from them at the one-day hearing, but Canada’s nuclear regulator opted to accept only written submissions. The deadline for those comments was earlier this week.
"Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, its staff, and its consultants have decades of experience helping regulators design waste management sites. We may even have more experience than CNSC Commissioners. We are trying to contribute valuable expertise to the process to help protect the community, so of course we are surprised to have been excluded," says Mark Mattson, President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
Waterkeeper is particularly concerned that the CNSC has failed to establish water quality limits to protect Lake Ontario or coordinated with the Province of Ontario to license the waste management operations.
“Waterkeeper believes that Port Hope deserves the best possible cleanup, so that environmental and health concerns can become things of the past and the community can move forward,” says Mattson.
In its written submission, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper recommended that the CNSC defer its decision on the licence decision pending coordination with the provincial government and stricter controls on water emissions.
For interviews with Mark Mattson contact:
416-861-1237 or firstname.lastname@example.org