A Canadian power company’s plan to bury nuclear waste 150 miles from Detroit and less than a mile from Lake Huron has Americans fearful the Great Lakes – and some 40 million people who get their drinking water from them – could be put at risk.
A Canadian advisory panel submitted a report Wednesday that concluded the project would cause no significant environmental harm — despite strong opposition by Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and several other lawmakers, who argue the waste plan is a major safety threat to the Great Lakes. The plan, if approved by Canada’s Minister of the Environment, would allow millions of gallons of low-level nuclear waste to be stored 2,200 feet below the earth’s surface.
Kildee roundly criticized the advisory panel, claiming it failed to fully examine other potential sites to bury nuclear waste in Canada.
“It’s hard for me to accept the joint review panel’s conclusion that a site less than a mile from Lake Huron is the safest and most appropriate place to store millions of gallons of nuclear waste when they failed to even consider other potential sites,” Kildee said in a statement. “Surely in the vast landmass that comprises Canada, there has to be a more sensible place to bury nuclear waste than right next to the world’s largest freshwater source, the Great Lakes.”
“Nuclear waste is hazardous material that will remain radioactive for generations, and no person, panel or country can ever say with absolute certainty that there is no environmental risks,” he said. “…if an accident were to happen on the shores of the Great Lakes, a nuclear radiation release could endanger the freshwater supply for over 40 million people, both in the U.S. and Canada.”
Kildee also seized on Canada’s past objection to a similar plan proposed by the U.S. decades ago.