THUNDER BAY – Nuclear Free Thunder Bay held a walk on Saturday in solidarity of other walks happening in Northwestern Ontario throughout September to protest the transport and burial of nuclear waste in the north.
The group of over 50 people gathered outside Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Hajdu's office before their walk and shared their concerns over the possible storage of nuclear waste in the region.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization currently has two potential siting areas the Municipality of South Bruce in southern Ontario and The Township of Ignace in northwestern Ontario.
The site selected will then be home of Canada’s deep geological repository where nearly 5.5 million spent nuclear fuel bundles from across Canada will be shipped to and then stored.
“We are opposed to it largely because there are all kinds of weaknesses with the DGR and no one can predict over the next hundred-thousands of years how safe it's going to be for your next generation and generations to come,” said Dodie Legassick, co-organizer of the walk.
“And we're also opposed because it is a real transportation issue. There's going to be two to three truckloads carrying UFTPs (Used Fuel Transportation Packages) per day for 45 to 50 years and there are going to be super loads in addition to that and they want to bring in.”
Charles Faust, co-organizer, says that they're also concerned with the lack of transparency from the NWMO.
"We have major concerns with the citing process that they've undertaken. Which is, as I said, not a legislative or regulatory requirement,” he said. “It's a public relations exercise, where they are looking for an impoverished community like Ignace to accept them as a willing host for this project."
The walk ended at the office of Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Lise Vaugeois’ to petition the Ontario Government to adopt the proximity principle which advocates that waste should be disposed of (or otherwise managed) close to the point at which it is generated.
“We've got a petition out that we've that we're getting signed to present to the Legislature of Ontario,” said Faust. “So, we're asking people to get involved, to tell their friends, to tell her family to walk with us, to take a sign and to write letters to the editor and basically to spread the word.”