Aboriginals keeping close tabs on Bruce Power’s plans to ship nuclear waste north are reiterating their opposition to the idea in the wake of revelations that Canada has shipped at least one load of uranium to the U.S. along the same waterways. And they are wary of Canadian government plans to store nuclear waste on their territory.
“We always hear non-Native communities saying they don’t want certain projects or developments in their backyard. Well, First Nations don’t want nuclear waste in our backyard,” Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee said in a January 5 statement, referring to the saying “not in my backyard,” or NIMBY. “Representatives from Chiefs in Ontario have been attending information sessions held by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, and this is not the proper consultation we are entitled to.”
Meanwhile opponents of Bruce Power’s plans to send 16 bus-sized loads of nuclear waste up the St. Lawrence Seaway and into northern Canada for transfer to recycling facilities in Sweden have gained a respite because the permits that the company received in February 2010 expire on February 3, 2012. With the Welland Canal officially closed until the spring shipping season begins, Bruce Power will have to reapply all over again once the canal reopens in March, as Rabble.ca reports.
Madahbee’s statement referred to the storage of Canada’s nuclear waste, enough to fill six hockey rinks, but his statement came out just after CTV News reported in late December that Canada has been shipping weapons-grade uranium to the U.S.
Those shipments are so sensitive from a security standpoint, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission told CTV News, hearings will not be held, and the communities along the shipping route will not be notified. They stem from a deal signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama in 2010, CTV News said, and addresses the need to keep bomb-making materials out of terrorist hands.