Target: Leona Aglukkaq, Canadian Minister of the Environment
Goal: Prevent approval for proposed nuclear waste dump that will be less than a mile away from freshwater supplies
A proposed nuclear waste site will sit threateningly close to the Great Lakes, an invaluable water source for eight U.S. states as well as Ontario, Canada. The Ontario Power Generation is seeking approval for a site to dispose of low-level and medium-level waste from their facility. The waste will be buried in storage for 100,000 years, or so the supporters of this site guarantee. With such close proximity to the Great Lakes, a recreational and municipal necessity for surrounding communities, this nuclear waste site must be stopped.
The 7.1 million cubic feet (200,000 cubic meters) of waste will be buried in 53,000 containers. The waste will be in a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) approximately 2,200 feet (680 m) below the surface near the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant in the Municipality of Kincardine in Ontario, Canada. The site has been deemed worthy because of its relatively stable seismic history but years of nuclear waste near such a large water supply can’t be the best solution. The Ontario Power Generation has yet to seriously look into other possible sites for the waste.
Storage procedures for the waste facility require monitoring of the waste for up to 10 years. After the 10 years, the waste is then sealed for “long-term” storage with minimal monitoring, if any. But nuclear waste sites are never without their dangers. Low-level and medium-level waste poses such threats to workers and their families as exposure to toxic chemicals from clothing or work supplies that touch highly contaminated nuclear reactor parts. Once a reference of success for the nuclear waste facility, New Mexico’s 15-year-old Waste Isolation Pilot Plant leaked in February 2014. Thousands of civilians oppose this plant and the scare in New Mexico only intensified this opposition.
The Great Lakes host 21% of the world’s fresh surface water. The Bruce Power Plant’s proximity to the lakes already pose enough threat without the added concern of hosting nuclear waste for years. Please take action to protect the Great Lakes by demanding Canada’s Minister of the Environment deny the request for this nuclear waste facility.
Dear Minister Aglukkaq,
The nuclear waste facility, proposed by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), threatens citizens of two countries by its proximity to the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes supply water to 40 million people. Considering the immense risk of hosting nuclear waste at this site, this proposal should not be approved.
The recent mishap in a New Mexico nuclear waste facility reminded us that the possibility of a leak is all too real. Please take action to deny OPG’s request to bury radioactive waste in a deep geologic repository near 21% of the world’s freshwater supply. Consider another site instead of one that could potentially destroy surrounding communities, water, and wildlife.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Melikamp via Wikimedia Commons