First Nations Oppose Radioactive Waste Import-Export amendments to nuclear reactor licenses
By: Patrick Madahbee
Opposition to CMD 17-H109 Import Export amendments to OPG licenses
Comment to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:
The Anishinabek Nation and Iroquois Caucus reject CMD 17-H109, the nuclear power license amendments for the Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Power Stations which would allow the import and export of nuclear substances such as: waste/materials/ equipment/shielding/packaging/laundry between Canada and the US and other nations.
In May 2017 the Anishinabek Nation and the Iroquois Caucus issued the ‘Radioactive Waste Joint Declaration’ which states that “The import and export of nuclear wastes over public roads and bridges should be forbidden except in truly exceptional cases after full consultation with all whose lands and waters are being put at risk.”
We reject the import and export of nuclear power-generated radioactive—substances, equipment, shielding, packaging, laundry, or any nuclear wastes, materials, property, etc. because they are not in the public interest, allow certain but unknowable health risks, incur unnecessary radioactive transport and have not been subject of consultation with the Anishinabek Nation and Iroquois Caucus and other First Nations as required. The decision affects more than the industry and regulators. It impacts the public, which is why we need full public and open hearings on the proposals, additional time and interaction with the panel to be established to decide on this amendment.
We assert that the “Rivers and lakes are the blood and the lungs of Mother Earth. When we contaminate our waterways, we are poisoning life itself.” Radioactive waste must not be stored beside major water bodies such as Lake Ontario, of which Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Power Stations are situated.
We call on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to reject the import export amendment that would release and recycle radioactive waste through foreign processors as there is no limit on the number of shipments or the volumes and amounts of radioactivity the amendment would permit. The decision on this license amendment is NOT administrative. It opens the door to unlimited nuclear transport through the territory of the Anishinabek Nation and Iroquois Caucus Nations and other First Nations.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) states:
Article 29(2): States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.
We demand that free, prior and informed consent is required to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in First Nations lands and territories.
We call upon CNSC to reject the application.
Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee
on behalf of the Anishinabek Nation
and the Iroquois Caucus