THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Environment North held their Annual General Meeting on Saturday with special guest speaker Dr. Gordon Edwards.
Dr. Gordon Edwards is a retired professor of mathematics and science. He serves as an expert advisor on nuclear issues and is the President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (visit CCNR.org). One of his many strengths is his ability to communicate with the public on the realities of radioactive risks, including the risks of nuclear waste transportation and burial.
Dr. Edwards shared a message about radioactive waste and the risks and concerns related to a proposal to transport and bury all of Canada’s high level waste in a single location.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is studying an area between Ignace and Dryden as a potential site for processing and burying all of Canada’s high level radioactive waste (irradiated nuclear fuel).
“What to do with the hundreds of different radioactive waste materials created by operating nuclear reactors is an enormous challenge”, said Dr. Edwards. “It’s not a simple problem and there is no easy answer, but it is a subject that each community can come to an informed view on, provided that they are given accurate information about the risks and not just self-serving messages from the waste producers.”
“In particular,” he added, “People must understand that the industry’s goal is mot to get rid of all this extraordinarily toxic material once and for all, but to keep on producing more radioactive waste indefinitely – new wastes that will be even more dangerous to manage.”
“It’s important that people in northwestern Ontario closely question the proposal the NWMO is promoting. The community discussions this week will support that questioning process. We encourage everyone to come out and be part of this conversation” commented Brennain Lloyd, one of the tour organizers.
Dr. Edwards told the Thunder Bay audience that one of the key components needed for the storage agreements to go forward is the informed consent of First Nations.