The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission invited the public to comment on a draft follow-up program for the refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Power Plant. Here's what we said:
In 2011, Ontario Power Generation initiated an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposal to refurbish four CANDU reactors currently operating at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. This refurbishment would extend the life of the reactors by 30 years.
In early 2013, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission accepted the EA. The Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment and Continued Operation Environmental Assessment Follow-Up Program describes specific actions that OPG must take in order to “mitigate” adverse environmental effects of the project, with particular focus on effects on water quality and aquatic life.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has concerns about the Project, the Follow-Up Program, and this review process.
We are very concerned about the environmental impacts of the Project, and we are not at all satisfied that the Follow-Up Program will protect Lake Ontario.
Furthermore, we are dismayed that the Program was released for public comment and may be approved while this Project is still being challenged in federal court. A judicial review process is still underway. Arguments have yet to be heard and no decision has been issued. This case may have implications for the nature and scope of this Follow-Up Program.
For these reason, we believe that it is premature and inappropriate to undertake consultation or to approve a Follow-Up Program at this time.
If anything, the Follow-Up Program document reinforces our concerns about the Project’s impacts on Lake Ontario and, in our view, displays no true commitment to protecting and improving Lake Ontario.
- the issues canvassed in the Follow-Up Program should have been dealt with in the EA process;
- the Follow-Up Program would have benefited significantly from the government-funded independent experts retained by Waterkeeper during the EA process;
- the Follow-Up Program is thin and resembles the “plan to make a plan” approach that has plagued the EA and regulatory process.
Read Waterkeeper's full comment here.