Montreal-area mayors unanimously oppose nuclear waste dump in Chalk River, Ont.
Mayors of 82 Quebec municipalities say they worry proposed disposal site could jeopardize drinking water
Dozens of mayors in Quebec have banded together to say they're against a proposal to create a nuclear waste dump site near a drinking-water supply.
The 82 mayors who belong to the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM) voted unanimously Thursday to adopt a motion opposing the development of a permanent nuclear waste disposal site in the municipality of Chalk River, Ont., which is about 180 kilometres northeast of Ottawa.
About 90 per cent of the radioactive waste that would be buried at the proposed site is located nearby, at the existing nuclear research centre in Chalk River.
The waste that would be buried at the site would be mainly debris from the demolition of about 100 laboratories that date back to the end of the Second World War.
The CMM motion calls on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to make sure that "that all possible options for the management of nuclear waste have been evaluated by prioritizing the well-being of the population and the protection of the environment."
The project has been managed since 2016 by SNC-Lavalin and four English-American multinationals.
The CMM's motion was sent to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Natural Resources Canada and the Quebec government.
Quebec Environment Minister Isabelle Melançon said it's a file that the province is watching closely.
"The Quebec government is very present. We have even asked for public consultations here in Quebec. We are really following this dossier," Melançon said.
First Nations leaders have also spoken out against the nuclear waste disposal project, saying they were not properly consulted and that nuclear waste should not be dumped so close to a river.