DGR Another Deputation


Written for Canadian Community News by Mike Sterling

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At the Monday December 15th Saugeen Shores Council, John Mann of Saugeen Shores gave another deputation.  It was wide ranging.  Click Here to read it. (very large document ... long load time)

Sometimes Mann calls his deputations delegations.  I think he means deputation throughout.

Mann has established himself as the most persistent and leading opponent of any DGR solution.  He is the standard bearer and the ambassador without portfolio for the anti-DGR cause.

He was in daily attendance at the Joint Review Panel (JRP) meetings that took place over many months in Kincardine. 

These were part of the more than 10 year review process. Extensive testimony was given by experts and citizens.  The record of these hearings is voluminous and can be found on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission site.

At these review meetings Mann was the most vociferous questioner of both the panel and witnesses.

He also has given deputations before Saugeen Shores Council many times and in front of County Council.  It may not be of any importance to go over the history of Mr. Mann's deputations except some of them are interesting and should be made clear.   Here are some:

1. Mann believes that the whole 10 year process should be tossed out and replaced by a system that resembles a court procedure with adversarial cross examination and one supposes a jury.

This was not the form of the Joint Review Panel. The panel made this clear to Mann on many occasions. A simple reading of their mandate tells all how the proceeding were to take place.  This type of panel is standard.

The JRP heard expert and non-expert witnesses and heard questions from the interveners for and against the project.  Mann asked questions through the chair to any expert.  Every day he availed himself of this right to ask questions.  He was cautioned many times to get to the point and review the evidence already compiled.  This was done in a polite manner and Mann always followed directions after a subtle tussel.

But, to Mann's chagrin, the panel was never intended to be adversarial with a defense and prosecution.  The ultimate goal was to inform the panel and the populace.  The process was designed for clarity.

2.  Mann said at Council that Saugeen Shores had unsafe geology.  How can the geology be safe 12 km away in Kincardine?

This was not the decision.  Saugeen Shores was disqualified for the high level waste DGR because there was not a large enough footprint for the site, where the geology was sufficient. 

This was of course a high level DGR decision and had nothing to do with the low and intermediate DGR proposal before the JRP.

This was not the subject of the JRP hearings at all as they did not consider the high level waste issue.  It was not in their charter and continues to be confused.  Mann mixes the two for a reason or he just cannot grasp the issues. I think the latter.

3.  Mann has never understood the differences between low, intermediate and high level waste.  He constantly calls low level waste rags and mops and considers them of no importance. 

Because Mann has never understood the differences in the waste, he has never considered the entirely different processes involved and the safety issues which are mitigated by having two types of DGRs  It's all about process where safety is essential and human actions are regulated.

Would Mannn consider taking some of the 'rag's that he considers of trivial importance and having a quilt made from them for his personal use?  I don't think local quilters would take on that task.

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

3. Mann tries to preface his deputations or include somewhere in them the idea that he is not anti-nuclear.

We take him at his word on this issue.  But really, it does not matter at all whether he supports the industry or not.  It is of no importance and does not shed light on his views.  He does not use it fore or against until he ventures into other areas, which he has not studied.  He looks for some acceptable solution that will occur sometime in the future.

One wonders, if he would except a miracle solution.

The County is full of people who know the industry well and their opinions are noted for and against in preference to Mann's views which contain so much muddling of fact.

4,  We were uninformed! By this Mann means over the 10 year period leading up to the JRP hearings, the public was not made aware of the issues.

Who was uninformed and who was not is a  matter of conjecture.  I do know that my neighbors who work at the Bruce told me all about it as the study progressed.

What is not in question is that information was available both in depth and in volume.  Many of the non-expert interveners complained that there was just too much information.  Mann himself complained that no person could read it all. Information was hard to avoid with meetings, technical details, tours and the like over the last 10 years.

Working against this was a move to bring in anti-nuclear people to debate the experts that testified before the JRP.

An interesting sidebar to this comes from personal experience.

I tried to interest 2 local organizations in having OPG come out for more meetings with just these groups about 6 years ago.  There were no takers.  One person said that "nobody will come".  That person spoke from experience as it had been tried in the past.  They were right.

Another time at Pumpkinfest OPG had a huge manned booth across from a booth that I was in for two days.  Bored, I watched and wandered over to the OPG booth.  Over the two days less than a dozen people stopped at the OPG booth for an indepth chat, but information was put in everyone's hands who would take it as they walked by.

Now how about the interest in Mr. Mann's deputation on December 15?  I watched it on the excellent web cast available by the town to inform us.  The maximum number of links to the web site were only four during Mann's deputation.  Yes, that's right four unique links to the web broadcast.  I was one of them.

5.  Mann has harsh words for Mayor Smith and the past Council.  He says "Council had no interest".  He calls the money available for the communities involved as a bribe".

In contrast to Mann's words, he always gets in a few words of admiration for Mayor Smith and Council.  The contrast is chilling and not necessary.  It's a serious discussion and there is no need to interject words of praise that are not relevant.  These are better left personally with a handshake after the meetings.

6. Mann calls for an eventual Centre for Excellence for handling nuclear waste that would be situated nearby

Mann called for the use of what earlier he described as bribe money to do studies on how to handle nuclear waste via a Centre for Excellence.  One wonders?  Does he think the world was asleep for 10 years?

Who would be the experts in this endeavor?  Might they come from the extensive list of world experts called to testify before the Joint Review Panel?  Could it be that lots of information for a start over study would come from the volume of expert testimony, testing and scientific investigation?

Meanwhile, information, reports, scientific studies and interaction with the public continue.

A Centre of Excellence has a good chance of success, if the  low level waste site is approved by the JRP

So, why does Mann call for a start over for the DGR?  What specifics does he bring to the table?  Does he need further explanation about the differences between low, intermediate and high level waste? Does he have concrete questions presented in a meaningful form?

More Reading:

DGR Joint Review Panel closes the record on hearings into OPG's proposed DGR  Read More

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Saturday, December 20, 2014