**** if you have problems submitting comments to Environment Canada, send them directly to Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca ****
The government of Canada is inviting comments on the “project list” for its new proposed and controversial Impact Assessment Act. The deadline for comments is Friday May 31, 2019.
This is important and will determine which nuclear projects are fully assessed as to potential impacts and which ones get a free pass, for years into the future.
Yielding to intense nuclear industry pressure, the government has exempted most nuclear reactors from the project list, meaning they will not have to undergo thorough impact assessment by an independent panel prior to licensing.
This is astounding, and very unwise. The new project list would allow so-called “small modular reactors” to be built anywhere in Canada without impact assessment. Consider that environmental contamination has still not been cleaned up from the 1952 partial meltdown of the NRX reactor (a very small reactor by today’s standards) at the Chalk River Laboratories. Radioactive wastes such as tritium, strontium-90 and carbon-14 are leaking into the Ottawa River from where the damaged reactor core is buried and liquid wastes from the accident were dumped.
Can you spare five minutes to tell the government NOT to exempt nuclear reactors from the Project List for Bill C-69? Here is a link to the webpage for submitting comments. You need to register but it just takes a minute to do so.
Your comment could be as simple as “Please do not exempt ANY nuclear reactors from the project list for the new impact assessment system”. You might add that every nuclear reactor has the potential to create devastating and deadly environmental damage. Of course you could say much more. There are other nuclear project exemptions that are problematic such as the ones for nuclear reactor decommissioning and transport of irradiated nuclear fuel and other high level radioactive wastes.
Please check out these links for background and additional information if you have more time and would like to know more:
1) Civil society groups condemn plan to exempt nuclear reactors from Bill C-69 impact assessment
2) Serious deficiencies in the Draft Project List for Bill C-69 create risks for Canadians ~ Draft CCRCA comments on the draft project list
3) Why it is imperative for all new nuclear reactors to undergo environmental assessment ~ Comments from Dr. Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
3) With Bill C-69, a weak environmental assessment system is about to get worse