SON: Has Saved Lake Huron From a Nuclear Waste Dump

SON: Has Saved Lake Huron From a Nuclear Waste Dump

Postby Oscar » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:55 am

Saugeen Ojibway Nation Has Saved Lake Huron From a Nuclear Waste Dump

[ https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04 ... aste-dump/ ]

by JOYCE NELSON February 4, 2020

A major victory for Canada’s First Nations has just been won in Ontario. On January 31, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) overwhelmingly voted down the proposed deep geological repository (DGR) for storage of low- and intermediate-level radioactive nuclear waste next to Lake Huron. The DGR had long been proposed by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), but in 2013 OPG had committed to SON that it would not build the DGR without their support.

As Chief Lester Anoquot of the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation told the press on January 31, “This vote was a historic milestone and momentous victory for our People. We worked for many years for our right to exercise jurisdiction in our Territory and the free, prior and informed consent of our People to be recognized.” [1]

Out of 1,232 total votes, there were 4 spoiled ballots, 170 yes votes, and 1,058 no votes, indicating that 85% of those casting ballots had said no to a DGR at Bruce Power’s nuclear generating station in Kincardine, Ont.

Dr. Gordon Edwards, a long-time nuclear critic, has advocated a “policy of Rolling Stewardship” by which the wastes would be “constantly monitored and kept in a retrievable condition [above-ground] indefinitely,” as they are now.

According to BeyondNuclear.org, the SON had been offered $150 million by OPG “in exchange for SON agreeing to ‘host’ this DGR” [2] It cannot have been easy for a small First Nation to reject this much money, so the rest of us might consider ways to thank them. After all, there are 40 million people (on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border) who obtain their drinking water from the Great Lakes.

A brief summary of the sordid history of the DGR proposal shows just how much thanks are owed the SON.

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Oscar
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