Saugeen Ojibway Nation vote ends company’s plans to store nuclear waste near Lake Huron via Times Herald

Jeremy Ervin

An Ontario power company has announced it will no longer consider storing nuclear waste underground near Lake Huron. 

The decision came following years of Michigan lawmakers asking Ontario Power Generation to reconsider. It took the vote of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation of Ontario Friday to shift the discussions away from the lake. Of 1,232 ballots cast, 1,058 were against the site and 170 in favor. 

“We were not consulted when the nuclear industry was established in our Territory,” said a news release on the vote. “Over the past forty years, nuclear power generation in Anishnaabekiing has had many impacts on our Communities, and our Land and Waters, including the production and accumulation of nuclear waste.”

The release said that SON leaders will work with Ontario Power Generation “to find an acceptable solution for the waste.


Site had been sought since 2010
On Jan. 24, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization announced it had signed agreements with landowners east of Lake Huron in South Bruce, Ontario, which would allow land access for studies for the site. 


The NWMO is a nonprofit founded by Canadian nuclear power producers in 2002, according to the organization’s website. It is tasked with “designing and implementing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.” 

In January, southeast Michigan state representatives Gary Howell, R-Lapeer, and Shane Hernandez, R-Port Huron, issued statements against locations near Kincardine and Lake Huron. They said the Kincardine locations are too close to Lake Huron, and expressed concerns about drinking water and public health if something went wrong at the site. 

They called on the United States Congress to do everything in its power to stop the development. 

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