Too risky to bury nuclear waste near Great Lakes

As seen in the Detroit News:

A recent Detroit News editorial “Burial is the best option for nuclear waste,” argued that the gains of burying seven million cubic feet of radioactive waste less than a mile from Lake Huron outweigh the potential risks.

Both sides agree that nations must responsibly care for the waste they produce, particularly when that waste is radioactive. Michigan law provides protections in banning any radioactive waste facility from being located within ten miles of a Great Lake, but U.S. federal policy has failed in this regard by not completing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

Unfortunately, Canadian policy regarding this site is 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 standards for nuclear waste storage set in 1986, when the Canadian government opposed a potential nuclear site in Maine within 25 miles of the border because it presented a threat to the welfare of Canadians.

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

Why would anyone 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?

Thankfully, Canada has delayed their decision on whether to proceed with this plan until after their federal election in October.

I hope this delay means Canada is seriously considering the risks associated with this project and the strong public opinion against it from their American neighbors and their own residents.

State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair,

25th District