Ontario and Quebec First Nations are raising the alarm about a proposed nuclear waste dump on their ancestral land, saying it risks polluting the Ottawa River, which supplies drinking water to the country’s capital, with a radioactive substance.
First Nations chiefs are to travel to Ottawa Thursday to ask for an urgent rethink of the location of the storage facility – on a site the size of 52 soccer pitches – at the final project licensing hearing of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
They say, as stewards of the land, they are concerned about its potential impact on more than a million people who rely on the river for drinking water – as well as future generations.
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories wants to establish a storage facility for around one million cubic metres of low-level radioactive waste at its Chalk River site in Ontario. The new Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) would be built just over one kilometre from the Ottawa River and across from a historic Indigenous sacred site.
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