A group representing seven First Nations in Ontario and Quebec says it’s opposed to a plan to truck highly radioactive liquid from the Chalk River Laboratories in Deep River, Ont., to a site in the United States.
In a statement Wednesday, the Iroquois Caucus condemned the plan to transport 23,000 litres of the material from the facility northwest of Ottawa, across the border to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, using public roads and bridges.
It says, depending on the route or routes chosen, there is the potential for a devastating spill or spills into waterways flowing into the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River or one of their many tributaries.
The ecosystem provides drinking water for an estimated 40 million people on both sides of the border.
Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict says there is no reason to continue with a plan that puts people at risk when alternatives already exist.
He also says the caucus strongly encourages all the people, communities and organizations that share its concerns to stand together to ensure that “common sense prevails.”
The Iroquois Caucus consists of elected councils from Akwesasne, Kahnawake, Kanesatake, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (Tyendinaga), Oneida Nation of the Thames, Six Nations of the Grand River and the Wahta Mohawks.
Calculations using Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission data have shown that one litre of the Chalk River liquid would be enough to ruin the entire drinking water supply of any city in North America, according to Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
“The water would be rendered undrinkable because it would exceed the maximum permissible level of radioactive contamination permitted for drinking water,” Edwards said.
(CJOJ, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press