Chalk River Mound

 


The multinational consortium, Canadian National Energy Alliance, plans to emplace and eventually abandon one million cubic meters of radioactive wastes in a giant mound on the side of a hill, next to a swamp, less than one kilometer from the Ottawa River at Chalk River, Ontario in unceded traditional Algonquin territory. As we and many others have stated, in comments on the environmental assessment for this misleadingly named “Near Surface” Disposal Facility, the proposed giant mound flouts international guidance, would exceed public dose limits for radiation for 100,000+ years and would contaminate the Ottawa River, Canada’s most recently designated Heritage River, which provides drinking water for millions of Canadians downstream all the way to Montreal.

The dump would be owned by the taxpayers of Canada but created and managed by the consortium which currently operates the Chalk River Laboratories and other federal nuclear facilities, under a 10-year contract negotiated by the former conservative government.  PDF version of one-page fact sheet “Who owns AECL anyway?”

 Check out our fact sheet (produced in collaboration with the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association):
References for this document are here.
See the Ottawa Riverkeeper’s recent blog posting on the proposed dump here dated March 17, 2017.
So, is a mound a good way to handle radioactive waste? Not according CCRCA’s researcher, Dr. Ole Hendrickson who reviewed standards published by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S.and concluded: “…the NSDF proposal would not meet the US EPA standard even for temporary storage of hazardous wastes.”   PDF of one-page fact sheet “Is a mound a good way to handle radioactive waste 
Other problems: 
The NSDF would contain several very long-lived radionuclides with half lives in the millions of years and four isotopes of plutonium. See the table prepared by Ole Hendrickson and Gordon Edwards using information extracted from the dump proponent’s Environmental Impact Statement here.
Read about the ways the NSDF would leak, as described in the draft Environmental Impact Statement
The proposed NSDF flagrantly disregards safety standards for radioactive waste disposal published by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Rather than isolating radioactive wastes from groundwater and surface water, and disposing of them in stable environments ensuring long-term safety, it would use a design similar to a municipal landfill, in which wastes would routinely be allowed to come into contact with the environment, including rain and snow.
Read about the five fatal flaws of the NSDF, any one of which is ample justification to halt the “so-called” Near Surface Disposal Facility.
See what other concerned citizens have said about the NSDF
You can read comments to date from the public on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website. You can also read CNL’s project description and Environmental Impact Statement on the CEAA website. The current period for comments from the public ends on August 16, 2017.  Comments can be submitted via the CEAA website.