10 more years of Pickering nuke hazard?

Does the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) care what you think about keeping the aging Pickering Nuclear Station running for another 10 years?

MP Jennifer O'ConnellTheir actions strongly suggest they don’t. The CNSC has quietly arranged for hearings on the Pickering licence extension to take place in an obscure location on the far eastern edge of the GTA, in Courtice, Ont.  Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O’Connell calls the CNSC’s choice of location “extremely shocking and inconsistent with the goal of ensuring that communities most affected can attend and share information.”

She also questions the CNSC’s claim that it could not find any other suitable location, noting that her staff quickly reserved a meeting space for the week the hearings are scheduled in the Pickering Recreation Complex, which has been previously used by the CNSC for hearings. In fact, despite the CNSC’s claim that it looked far and wide for a suitable hearing location, Pickering Councillor Maurice Brenner says he could find no evidence that any formal request for space was applied for through staff in Pickering.

Fortunately, as Ms. O’Connell also helpfully noted, the CNSC seems to have made next to no effort to publicize the hearing, which means that changing the location shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s time for all of us to join Jennifer O’Connell, M.P., and Maurice Brenner, Pickering Councillor, in calling on the CNSC to come out of hiding and face the public on this issue. The last thing we need is another rubber stamp approval for operating a dangerous nuclear plant surrounded by millions of people. It is time for an open debate on the merits of keeping reactors with the highest operating costs in North America running versus turning to lower-cost and safer options like importing power from Quebec.

Please email federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr (Jim.Carr@parl.gc.ca) – the CNSC’s boss – ask him to tell the commission to choose a more appropriate location, and tell him what you think about the proposed Pickering nuclear extension.

You can find more details here on why we should close Pickering in August when its license expires.

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Angela Bischoff, Director