Chalk River Radioactive Waste Disposal Site; Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors Call for Caution
Chicago, August 15, 2017 – The mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative issued comments today regarding the proposed Chalk River Laboratory Waste Management Facility. The proposed facility would store low-level radioactive waste and would be located approximately 0.6 miles from the Ottawa River, a major tributary to the St. Lawrence River. In its written comments, the Cities Initiative calls for caution, primarily for the sake of protecting drinking water and public safety.
The Cities Initiative addressed concerns around water protection, operational safety, long-term responsibility and accountability, remediation and financial compensation, and emergency preparedness. A few key points from the comments include the recommendation that Canadian Nuclear Laboratories be held accountable for the entirety of the project through the creation of a long-term operation and maintenance contingency fund. The organization also calls for CNL to clearly state the acceptance rules for waste so that no liquid radioactive waste is accepted. Furthermore, municipal leaders call for the identification of zero-risk management methods to ensure environmental and public safety.
Finally, the mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region require commitments around the coordination of all entities involved in emergency response measures, their training and the exchange of information in the event of a disaster. Adequate compensation for the costs incurred in managing a potential environmental accident must also be ensured.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational coalition of 131 cities in the United States, Ontario and Quebec representing over 17 million citizens. The mayors work with governments, First Nations and Tribes, and non-governmental organizations throughout the basin to protect, restore and enhance the world’s largest source of freshwater.