Sask. people should know truth behind nuclear industry PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 June 2008

As Saskatchewan gets shoved into a nuclear future, it would be good to at least get some clarification of who is who and what is what.

Bruce Power, which announced it will lead the charge for a nuclear reactor, is 31.6 per cent owned by Cameco which, as the world's largest uranium producer, exerts an enormous influence not only in Saskatchewan, but around the world.

Cameco was just recently cited in the New York Times as telling nuclear regulators that its refinery in Ontario may have leaked uranium, arsenic and fluorides into Lake Ontario.

Duncan Hawthorne, head of Bruce Power, says, "We are a company that truly believes in open and honest communication. It's a core value and we don't pay lip service to it, we live it." I think the unsuspecting residents of Saskatchewan need to see this in reality.

For example, tell us about tritium, which is produced in large quantities in CANDU reactors due to the irradiation of the (non-radioactive) heavy water inventory.

Because tritium is a hazard to workers and the environment, Ontario Hydro built a tritium reclamation facility at Darlington to remove the tritium from the heavy water moderator of various CANDU reactors.

SRB Technologies in Pembroke, Ont., started a business using the tritium from the Darlington facility to manufacture "glow-in-the-dark" exit signs and other products. It has been cited as a classic example of marketing radioactive wastes.

The SRB plant has been contaminating the air, ground water and locally grown vegetables with its tritium releases. In some years this has exceeded the combined tritium releases of all CANDU reactors in Canada.

There are now public hearings about this environmental disaster in Ontario.

The sad thing is that we will not hear about these real facts if the uranium companies and government have their way. The people of Saskatchewan should at least know what their future will be.

 -Don Kossick
(originally published in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, June 28)

 
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