For Immediate Release: Saturday September 11, 2021 - 9:00 AM
Green Party Candidate Chanté White
says no to BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada plant
(Peterborough) September11, 2021 - Today, the Green Party of Canada candidate, Chanté White, released her statement in support of Citizens Against Radioactive Neighbourhoods (CARN) and the local residents who live near the former General Electric plant at Monaghan and Albert Streets.
“I support Citizens Against Radioactive Neighbourhoods (CARN) in its legal challenge of the licensing decision by Canada’s nuclear safety regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC),” says White.
CARN is a Peterborough-based organization that advocates for the protection of human and environmental health from the threats of nuclear facilities. They are asking the Federal Court to strike the regulator’s issuance of a 10-year license which permits nuclear fuel manufacturer, BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc., to begin producing uranium fuel pellets at its facility located in downtown Peterborough, just metres from an elementary school and playground.
“After this election, I and local Greens will press the next federal government to ensure that the new Minister of Natural Resources Canada, the federal minister who oversees nuclear regulation in Canada, addresses the concerns raised by CARN,” promised White.
“Putting children and other neighbours in jeopardy this way is wrong.” In March 2020, public hearings before the regulator were held, with detailed submissions by the Canadian Environmental Law Association on behalf of CARN as well as expert reports, and hundreds of written and oral interventions from CARN members. On December 18, 2020, BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc.’s operating license was renewed by a panel of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The license authorizes BWXT to, if it submits in the future a facility-specific updated Environmental Monitoring Program and Commissioning Report, transfer the production of uranium dioxide fuel pellets for use in nuclear power reactor fuel bundles from its Toronto facility to its Peterborough facility. “Peterborough is not a dumping ground for a plant that was strongly opposed by residents in Toronto!” declared White.
The Commission’s mandate is to protect the environment and public health by scrutinizing license applications according to the requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the regulations under the NSCA, Regulatory Documents, and international law. The Commission identified serious deficiencies in BWXT’s application because no detail was provided about what fuel pelleting would look like at the Peterborough facility or how the surrounding community, including elementary school children at an adjacent school, would be impacted. Instead of applying the regulatory framework, the Commission decided to delay the analysis of details of BWXT’s application to move fuel pelleting to Peterborough until an undefined time and in an undefined process.
“This decision severely undermines public trust in the Commission’s process and does not meet mandatory legislative and regulatory requirements,” said White. “It is unreasonable. “ With the support of lawyers at the Canadian Environmental Law Association, CARN has applied to federal court to quash certain conditions (i.e. Conditions 15.1, 15.2 and 15.3) in BWXT’s license and declare them unlawful. “I fully support this federal court application. I will help in every way I can, elected or not, to ensure this case is addressed by our political and legal system,” declared White