(File)

Cannings: Nuclear waste regulations put Canadians at risk

Richard Cannings is in his second term as MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) should not approve a suite of regulatory documents on radioactive waste at its meeting June 18, 2020 and instead live up to the Liberal government’s commitment to openness and transparency for regulatory development.

Some of these regulations developed by commission staff are at best vague guidelines that leave nuclear waste policy decisions in the hands of private industry, instead of actually prescribing actions that are in the public interest.

These regulatory changes would pave the way for several controversial nuclear waste disposal projects, including a giant mound at Chalk River, Ontario, two entombments of shut-down reactors, and a proposed deep geological repository for the burial of high-level nuclear fuel waste.

This proposal does not meet Canada’s commitment to meeting or surpassing international standards for the handling of nuclear waste.

For example, the entombment of nuclear reactors is designated as “in-situ decommissioning”, a practice that the International Atomic Energy Agency says should only be used as a last option for facilities damaged in accidents.

Of further concern is the lack of clarity in the proposed regulations.

In many cases the licensee is directed to develop safety requirements with no explicit directions as to what those safety requirements are.

The giant mound at Chalk River is meant to contain up to 1 million cubic metres of low- to intermediate-activity nuclear waste but these activity levels are not defined and the private owner of the facility would get to decide what materials are stored in that mound of nuclear waste.

The Minister of Natural Resources has committed to consulting Canadians on a policy framework and strategy for radioactive waste. Instead we have this backdoor process with limited public input and no parliamentary oversight.

The minister should be conducting a public process to develop a Canadian framework for radioactive waste management that meets or exceeds international best practices, a framework that does not allow the nuclear industry to police itself.

Richard Cannings is NDP Natural Resources Critic and MP for South Okanagan-West Kootenay

Opinion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mural brings colour blast to tired Trail nook

The artwork was a partnership between the Trail and District Arts Council and VISAC Art Gallery

Trail RCMP report sabotage, a side-swipe and more

Briefs from Trail and Greater District police Sergeant Mike Wicentowich

Happy Hills Farm store opens in Rossland

The store sells various produce like herbs, berries and microgreens

Interior Health reports two more COVID-19 cases

IH: One person is in hospital. No one is in ICU with COVID-19.

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read