The public has had its final say on whether it’s a good idea in principle to bury half a century’s worth of nuclear waste at the Bruce nuclear plant on the shores of Lake Huron.
A federal panel wrapped up one last round of public hearings Thursday on Ontario Power Generation’s proposal for the waste site near Kincardine.
The panel called the latest hearings after former OPG scientist Frank Greening said that OPG had severely understated the amount and level of radioactive material destined for the site.
But officials who appeared before the committee said that while some of OPG’s original work was incorrect, the built-in safety margins mean that the site remains safe for workers and the public.
Radiation doses in the case of accidents would still be within acceptable levels, they said.
OPG says it won’t proceed with the project over the objections of SON, on whose traditional territory the Bruce nuclear site lies.
The final word at the hearings from SON leaders was: You have not heard the last word from us.
Former chief Randall Kahgee – a lawyer who is now heading SON’s process for determining community support for the project – told the panel that the communities have formed a working group.
Thursday, Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow introduced resolution urging the U.S. administration to oppose the project. Stabenow also wrote directly to the Canadian government.
Earlier, Michigan state senator Phil Pavlov told the hearing that Canadian politicians including then-Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley and then-external affairs minister Joe Clark were publicly worried in 1986, when the U.S. considered putting a waste site near the Canadian border.
“We agree with the Canadian government of the 1980s that the permanent storage of nuclear waste has no place in the Great Lakes basin,” Pavlov said.