Save our Saugeen Shores (SOS) submission at JRP hearing

October 2, 2013


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Jill Taylor, President of Save our Saugeen Shores (SOS), presented a submission at the Joint Review Panel (JRP) hearings currently being held in Kincardine, Ontario.

The hearings are part of a process to determine not only the possibility suitability of a proposed deep geologic repository (DGR) at the Bruce Nuclear site but also to hear the concerns of citizens of the region.

SOS was organized in Southampton (ON) in protest against the proposed DGR in 2012 and, according to Taylor's submission, SOS represents people with diverse backgrounds and cultures, varying ages and economic situations and genders.

Among the many concerns raised by SOS were:

  • the polling method that was used to survey residents of Kincardine

  • a flawed process of consultation and communication

  • public attitude research

  • the Hosting Agreement

  • misrepresentation of information

  • use of 'on-side' experts

  • lack of informed consent & failure of democracy

  • open houses vs town hall meetings

  • the costs of the project

  • conflicts of interest

According to SOS, " ... there was not a clear understanding on the part of all residents of Kincardine and a sampling of residents from other communities of the fact that the repository was for radioactive waste."  In its submission, SOS also states that it considers that the process and results of the poll  "were skewed in favour of the DGR" after a telephone poll neglected to use the words 'nuclear' or 'radioactive' in the survey question (2003).  The group further contends that the poll and mail surveys " ... did not capture a significant percentage of the population, year-round or seasonal..."

"We believe the OPG justification for siting a DGR for low and intermediate-level nuclear waste in Kincardine is deeply flawed because of the following:

  • slip-shod interpretation of the project risk

  • over-simplification of risk

  • unsubstantiated conclusion that indicates that there is little to no affect" due to the design, construction, operation, decommissioning and monitoring over a 400-year period

  • an underestimation of construction time

  • an underestimation of overall project cost & no analysis of cost benefit

  • failure to examine the plan both in relation to recent accidents such as Fukushima, cutting-edge developments in the international nuclear industry or the effect of weather on malfunction and accident due to climate change

  • a complete failure to consider cumulative risks with relation to safety, human health, environmental impact and socioeconomic well-being of local communities

  • lack of understanding of the role of tourism and seasonal resident contribution and agriculture's importance to the economy and the community

  • lack of knowledge of stigma that this project will bring to this county and the locale

  • statistically inadequate samplings of opinion from 2002 to 2010 but in particular telephone interviews

  • manipulation of polls

  • misrepresentation of the poll of Kincardine residents in 2004 as a referendum or vote

  • use of money to obligate five municipalities and county to 2034

  • disenfranchisement of whole segments of the population

  • conflicts of interest, misrepresentation and non-disclosure of the educational and political process including secretive process and closed meetings

  • pattern by OPG/NWMO of buying compliance - pumping money into the area through payments to the municipalities and other local  organizations to achieve consent

  • lack of democratic due process in DGR planning


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Taylor also expressed doubt as to the qualifications set out by Dr. Hazel Lynn, Chief Medical Officer of Grey-Bruce Health Unit and referred to Dr. Lynn as an 'on-side' expert.  The JRP Chair, Dr. Stella Swanson, pointed out that SOS literature described Lynn as not an authority in the area of radiological standings and wanted clarification as to the description.

Taylor replied that Lynne is not an expert in radiological health.  "She is an expert in Family Medicine," said Taylor.

The Chair pointed out credentials would be clarified at a later date in the proceedings.


Jill Taylor of Save our Saugeen Shores

"No matter how  many OPG engineers stand confidently in these hearings to tell you this process will work," said Taylor, "we remind the panel ... first, they serve their masters, a government/nuclear industry alliance .... and thus it is their job to look at this scenario in a severely limited way - 'how can we make it work?' 'What can we ignore to make it work?'  Second, geology is not a predictive science and models are in danger of failure .... third, the expertise in this field is not well developed."

SOS in its final recommendation asked that the JRP reject the OPG Environmental Impact Statement as inadequate.

Survey Participate in our latest Kincardine Times survey Read More Survey Participate in our latest Saugeen Times survey Read More Survey Participate in our latest Walkerton News survey Read More

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013