Environmental Assessment Panel
on High Level Radwastes
says "No Go"

Southam News
Friday, March 13, 1998

Geologic Disposal Not Acceptable to Public

After $7 million and nearly a decade, an independent panel assessing a plan to bury nuclear fuel waste deep in the Canadian Shield has handed the issue back to the government.

Panel chairman Blair Seaborn said yesterday the plan conceived by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) appears technically sound, but the Canadian public is not buying the concept.

In 1978, the government of Canada and Ontario directed the AECL to develop the concept of deep geological disposal. Three years later, a statement was issued saying that a disposal site could not be selected until after full public hearings. In 1988, the federal government referred the concept to public review and in 1989, Seaborn's panel was appointed.

Nuclear Not a Solution

According to a U.S. study, every dollar invested in energy efficiency displaces seven times as much CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions as the same dollar invested in nuclear power (Keepin and Kats study). In addition, the Royal Society of Canada found that "improved energy efficiency is the key to stabilizing energy-related CO2 emissions over the next two decades" (the COGGER Report: Committee On Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions). Nuclear power is not even mentioned in the Royal Society study as a viable alternative energy source to fossil fuels.

Irene Kock of the Nuclear Awareness Project stated, "Nuclear power is not a solution for climate change. It is a cynical gambit on the part of the global nuclear power industry to save itself from being phased out. In addition to the risk of catastrophic accidents, nuclear power is hazardous because of pollution from day-to-day operations. All stages of the nuclear fuel chain, including uranium mining, processing, refining, fuel fabrication, reactor operations and nuclear waste handling, emit radioactive, carcinogenic pollutants."

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