Opinion written for Canadian Community News by Mike Sterling
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A Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Greenpeace Canada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Northwatch. The original case had to do with continued operation of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.
These groups some of which are anti-nuclear had argued in part that the court had unreasonably failed to adequately consider the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste among other issues.
This decision is not unusual in itself, but the appeals court decision brought up a point to be noted.
The Courts decision, stated that:
“…the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is much better placed than a reviewing court to factually assess and determine what types of possible accidents are likely to occur at a nuclear power plant and how to conduct the assessment of the environmental impacts of potential accidents. It is therefore inappropriate for a reviewing court to second-guess these determinations through a detailed re-examination of the evidence as the appellants would have us do in the instant case.”
The Court had reviewed the evidence and did the right thing. Courts are not the place to debate established science and process engineering that has been developed and peer reviewed over decades by experts. The proper reviewing board is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Court noted this.
It is well to remember this. All too often lay people seem to forget the role of CNSC, their experience, skill and their decades of study and peer review.
Wise decision Court of Appeals!
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Saturday, April 16, 2016