Canadian energy company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is not budging on its plans to dump nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron, despite objections from hundreds of communities in the U.S. and Canada that fear water contamination.
The utility issued a lengthy analysis on Friday reaffirming its favored option to bury low to intermediate radioactive waste at the Bruce Power nuclear complex near Kincardine, Ontario. OPG assures that the lake would not be threatened since the waste would be encased in rock.
“The Bruce Site is the safest, most appropriate site for a Deep Geological Repository (DRG),” company spokesperson Kevin Powers told CBC News.
The repository would contain 200,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste products buried 2,230-feet underground.
Powers told Michigan Radio that other sites options would be too expensive (about $3 billion more than the current site), take between 15-30 years to develop and would provide no additional safety.
Trucking the waste to another location could risk also radiological accidents and pollution, the analysis found.
The Great Lakes provide drinking water for nearly 40 million people. Opposition group Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump calculated that 217 communities on both sides of the border have passed resolutions expressing opposition to OPG’s proposed nuclear waste dump.
“Burying this nuclear waste anywhere in the great lakes basin is completely inappropriate,” Beverley Fernandez, spokesperson for the group, told CBC News. “It’s not up to us to decide where this should go, but we know one thing for sure: The last place it should go is right beside our drinking water.”
According to the AP, Canadian environment minister Catherine McKenna is expected to decide this year whether to approve the plan.