Caution is required

As published in the Windsor Star

Re: We must dispose of nuclear waste here, Star editorial, May 30.

This Windsor Star editorial argues that the apparent gains of burying seven million cubic feet of radioactive waste less than a mile from the shore of Lake Huron outweigh the potential risks.

However, when those risks involve putting the world’s largest supply of fresh water in peril, we must proceed with the utmost caution to protect the millions of Canadian and American citizens who depend on the safety of that water.

Both sides agree that nations must responsibly care for the waste they produce, particularly when that waste is radioactive. U.S. federal policy has failed in this regard in not completing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

Unfortunately, Canadian policy regarding this site has been far worse. It fails to account for the dump’s impact on the health of the Great Lakes basin, it infringes on the rights of a neighboring country, and it has been politically motivated to place the site in Kincardine, Ontario, rather than in a more suitable location far from the Great Lakes.

Canada is also failing to adhere to its own governmental standards for nuclear waste storage set in 1986, when Canada’s secretary of state for external affairs opposed a potential nuclear site in Maine within 25 miles of the border because it presented a threat to the welfare of Canadians.

Some insist that this site location is the best possible one.

They must answer this question. Is any manmade facility meant to store nuclear waste for thousands of years mistake proof? The obvious answer is no.

The next obvious question is why would anyone then conclude that the best possible place to bury this nuclear waste is Kincardine, within a half mile of the world’s greatest source of fresh water?

PHIL PAVLOV, State Senator, 25th District, Lansing, Mich.