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J. Raye's picture

NB's Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, commissioned in 1983, has underperformed. It has cost billions of dollars to repair and maintain and has just completed its first year, since the early 1990s, without a shutdown. Its projected life is ending before fulfilling expectation. Potassium iodide pills were distributed when the plant was first built, to people living within 20km of the plant. The 20km radius includes marshland, a provincial beach & park & spreads into the Bay of Fundy, an area of diverse plant, bird, & animal populations; the plant itself was built on a live fault line, despite pleas from geologists to reconsider. Is there any wonder why there is a lack of trust in this technology or in the people who make the critical decisions related to it? I am concerned about the minimization hierarchy. I recognize there is as much, if not more danger posed by "cleared" levels of radioactive waste that are now considered acceptable & safe. The fact that there is no tracking system for this is a worry, particularly due to their far reaching & long term effects. Where do they go & how far? One example of waste being treated casually, is on page 23 of the Provincial Health Nuclear Emergency Plan itself that states:"...The SJRH decontamination system has the capacity to decontaminate 9 to 18 people before the cistern capturing waste water would need to be emptied." There is no specific information or further references regarding how this waste water is to be handled or disposed. In addition, some small surrounding hospitals that are under threat of reduction of hours or closure, are also factored into the emergency plan. The authors of this plan clearly did not understand that the 'solution is not dilution' of radioactive waste. What is now being done with spent fuel is basically unknown. Yet, we're expected to place trust in undeveloped SMR technology. The idea of recycling spent fuel has many security concerns ranging from transportation safety to threats of terrorism. Our government(s) need(s) to follow the calendar for decommissioning nuclear reactors and invest in green forms of energy. Further, owners or producers of pollution in any of its forms, need to take responsibility for it. Polluters do not pay and taxpayers are deeply discouraged by this. To be considered in the minimization plan is a need for improved trust, transparency, security, protection of health & environment, and a responsibility to leave a healthy environment for future generations to enjoy. As solutions go, the best way to minimize radioactive waste is to simply stop producing it.

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