We the Nuclear Free North
The scene is serene, beautiful and clean. But, all this is at risk of eons of contamination. Our voices, together, can prevent this.
NEW! For a quick introduction to the problem of nuclear waste, please view these two short videos from our alliance member Environment North. Learn why Environment North and many other groups and individuals oppose the proposed abandonment of all of Canada’s nuclear fuel waste in a deep geological repository in Northwestern Ontario. The videos feature an informative presentation given by Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
Plans are being made and studies conducted into burying highly radioactive nuclear fuel waste in the heart of Northwestern Ontario – on Treaty 3 lands – in “Sunset Country”. The decision could be made as early as 2023.
Our alliance is honoured to have received the name Tataganobin: looking far ahead into the future. Learn more about who we are, and the origin and meaning of this name.
Who we are
We the Nuclear Free North is an alliance of people and groups opposed to transporting and then burying highly radioactive nuclear waste in Northwestern Ontario. Read more.
Canada’s nuclear waste generators are organized as the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). The NWMO is studying the possibility of burying all of Canada’s most dangerous nuclear waste in one of two Ontario locations. One potential location is an area 40 km west of Ignace. If the NWMO plan goes through, an estimated 100,000 tonnes of highly radioactive nuclear waste would be shipped to the selected site, repackaged and buried. Learn more about the nuclear waste abandonment issue.
Our primary concerns
- The issue of informed consent, or “willingness”.
How is consent to be defined? What level of consent is needed? Who are the stakeholders?
- Lack of scientific evidence for safety of burial.
The stakes are high – can we experiment? A mistake could contaminate our waterways for hundreds of thousands of years.
- Dangers of transportation and repackaging.
Dangerous waste will be transported up to 2,517 km, and the highly radioactive and hazardous material unpacked and repackaged on-site.
We believe that responsible stewardship of these wastes close to the sites of their production is the best management alternative.
How am I at risk?
Those along the highway transport routes are at risk from both incidental gamma ray exposure, and consequences of container breach from highway collisions
Radioactive fuel waste will be repackaged on-site, an enormously risky procedure that could release radioactive material on the surface, where it could move into local waterways
Radioactive fuel waste will be buried in the bedrock (for the first time in the world) – if containment fails, radioactive material could be released into NW Ontario watersheds, eventually reaching Lake Winnipeg and Hudson Bay
Read more on Nuclear Waste and Health
Local residents are concerned
“The whole thing will fail.
It might take a thousand
years, but it will fail.
Because no matter what
kind of a container, no
matter how solid that
container you put into the
ground, sooner or later it
will rot and it will break.
And whatever is in it will
Elder Roy Ignace
Resident of Ignace, Ont.
- The NWMO is not an arms-length public agency – it is a group of nuclear power companies
- There are no operational deep geological repositories (DGRs) for nuclear fuel waste anywhere in the world
- The highly radioactive wastes will be transported by truck for thousands of kilometres
- There is no safe level of exposure to radiation
- Certain radioactive components of nuclear waste are water soluble.