The crazy plan to “entomb” a nuclear reactor beside the Ottawa River

The multinational consortium that brought us the plan for the giant radioactive “Chalk River Mound” now wants to entomb a defunct nuclear reactor right beside the Ottawa River at Rolphton, Ontario, 200 km upstream of Ottawa-Gatineau. Essentially “entombment” means to cover over with cement and grout and hope for the best.

This plan is just as crazy as the mound, if not more so, since it would be situated a mere 400 meters from the Ottawa River. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says “entombment” is not a decommissioning strategy and should only be used in the case of a severe accident.

Cement and grout, in the Upper Ottawa Valley climate with freeze-thaw cycles and abundant precipitation can only last a small fraction of the time during which the witches’ brew of toxic man-made radioactive substances, contained in the defunct reactor, will be hazardous to all life. IAEA says such materials need to be kept out of the biosphere for as long as the hazard persists which is more than 100,000 years.

Do you have a half hour to help prevent this crazy plan from going forward? If so, your assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Comments are needed on the Environmental Impact Statement for the project. The deadline is February 13, 2018 at midnight. So far there are only 13 comments posted on the public registry. We need more comments from concerned citizens and groups to show that we will not stand by silently and allow such irresponsible abandonment of nuclear waste beside the Ottawa River.

If you can help, step one would be to read some background materials (see below) and step two would be to write a short letter outlining your concerns and send it to: Lucia Abellan, Environmental Assessment Officer, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Email: The subject line of your email should read ” Comments on the EIS for the Nuclear Power Demonstration Closure Project”

Key points to mention are 1) retired nuclear scientists such as Dr. J. R. Walker  have raised very serious concerns about the proposal (you could include one or more quotes from the  Walker submission) and 2) that you would like remind/urge the regulator to insist that long-lived radioactive wastes be stored in state-of-the art facilities, well away from drinking water sources, to ensure that they are kept out of our air and drinking water for as long as they remain hazardous.

Here are some useful background documents:

1) Nine quick facts on the crazy plan to “entomb” a nuclear reactor beside the Ottawa River

2) NPDRolphton ~ overview of important information and links produced by the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

3) Submission by Dr. Gordon Edwards on the Whiteshell 1 reactor (a similar “entombment” on the Winnipeg River)

Thanks everyone for your ongoing support. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments!

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