Canada’s nuclear industry releases massive quantities of radioactive pollution on a routine basis. In 2008, Canada's nuclear reactors released 6.6 quadrillion becquerels of tritium. Radioactive tritium gets into our food and drinking water, exposing millions of people to a known carcinogen.
Radioactive tritium can be incorporated into our DNA – and that’s where it does its damage, from close range. Tritium decays within our body, ejecting beta particles that can disrupt our genetic code. Chronic exposure to tritium can increase rates of cancer and birth defects. A developing fetus is particularly susceptible to damage from exposure to radiation.
Manufacturers of radioactive glow-in-the-dark signs in Pembroke and Peterborough are also large emitters of tritium. Monitoring of fruits and vegetables around Pembroke and Peterborough have found radioactive potatoes, rhubarb and apples. There have been similar problems with radioactive contamination around the Bruce and Darlington nuclear plants.
We need safer standards to keep radioactive pollution out of our food and drinking water. Over the long run, we need to phase out nuclear power - and invest in safer alternatives. Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency will protect our health, and create tens of thousands of green jobs for Canadians.