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.
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 Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has revised the siting decision date to 2024.
Our alliance is honoured to have received the name Tataganobin: looking far ahead into the future. Learn about who we are, and the origin and meaning of this name, which may be used by all people working together to protect Aki (Mother Earth).
WTNFN’s Wendy O’Connor releases Song/Video: “The Span of Half-Lives”
Wendy O’Connor, a member of WTNFN, Environment North and Nuclear Free Thunder Bay, has released a song / video, “The Span of Half-Lives.” You will recognize the tune. The words send a strong message in opposition to nuclear fuel waste burial and abandonment in NW Ontario. Please share widely!
Kenora Nuclear Waste Forum:
Proposed Deep Geological Repository for Nuclear Fuel Waste in Northwestern Ontario
In this October 30, 2022 forum, Chief Jeff Copenace (Sabaskong F.N.) and other presenters and participants from NW Ontario describe concerns about the proposed DGR west of Ignace. Many thanks, chi miigwetch to the organizers, spiritual advisors and participants.
Who we are
We the Nuclear Free North is an alliance of people and groups opposed to transporting and then burying all of Canada’s nuclear fuel waste in Northwestern Ontario. Read more.
Canada’s nuclear industry makes up the members of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). The NWMO is studying the possibility of burying all of Canada’s nuclear fuel waste in one of two Ontario locations. One potential location is an area 40 km west of Ignace. If the plan goes through, an estimated 100,000 tonnes of highly radioactive nuclear fuel 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 spread.”
Elder Roy Ignace
Resident of Ignace, Ontario
- 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.