Action Alert: GE-Hitachi 1025 Lansdowne Ave Toronto Uranium Fuel Processing: Public Information Meeting November 19th
Thanks to community pressure, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will be holding a public meeting December 10-11 in Toronto to specially review the operation of GE-Hitachi’s 1025 Lansdowne Ave nuclear fuel processing plant. The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Yorkdale, at 3450 Dufferin Street. The plant processes yellowcake uranium powder from Saskatchewan into nuclear fuel pellets used in CANDU reactors.
Click here for more information on the meeting and the requirements of written submissions to be filed by November 15th.
In advance of that meeting, GE –Hitachi will host, together with the CNSC with the Ontario Ministry of Environment, a public information meeting Tuesday November 19th at a GE-Hitachi Community Open House 7-9pm November 19 Wallace Emmerson Community Centre , 1260 Dufferin Street M6H 4C3.
The CNSC acknowledges many samples of the soil surrounding GE-Hitachi are contaminated. The highest level of contamination recorded was 21.2 parts per million which is considerably close to the 23 parts per million residential soil limit and highly elevated in comparison to the background level of uranium in soil which they claim is 2.5 parts per million.
According to a CNSC spokesperson “Any uranium contamination in soil (above natural background levels) occurs through air emissions”
The release limits of the CNSC are notoriously liberal, GE-Hitachi’s licence allows for the annual release of a maximum of 760 grams of uranium into the air and 9,000kg of uranium into the sewer. GE-Hitachi claims to release only a fraction of these limits, which gives the public the impression that releasing uranium into a densely populated city is acceptable.
GE-Hitachi CEO Peter Mason claims the doses received by the public results in “practically zero health impacts”. This is the nuclear industry’s way of saying that if anyone’s health is impacted they will not be responsible.
GE-Hitachi records its own emissions data and provides it in summary in their environmental monitoring reports. GE-Hitachi claims an independent third party verifies their data, however when asked for proof this was their response:
"All third parties who analyze [verify emissions monitoring] for GE Hitachi are accredited for the type of analysis they do by government where required. We do not have permission from the third parties to release this information"
GE-Hitachi was requested to provide the Emergency Response Plan. Although it was provided a high proportion of it is censored and blacked out. The City of Toronto City Planning Department along with the CNSC have a responsibility to the people who live within a specific radius of the GE-Hitachi Uranium Processing Plant to ensure that residents know that there is a clearly known plan in the event of an emergency involving hazardous radioactive substances that are known to cause damage to our DNA. The CNSC’s claim that “…safety is in our DNA” is a reminder that it is our DNA they are risking.
The nuclear industry is notorious for down-playing the increased cancer rates that follow on the heels of any nuclear development. The rates have escalated in northern Saskatchewan since the uranium mines and mills opened yet the industry that works in a Community Vitality Monitoring Partnership with Saskatchewan Ministry of Health claims “there is no significant risk”. This pattern is repeated all along the nuclear chain while people are dying. The nuclear fuel cycle is high risk for Toronto – no amount of radiation is safe.
How can you take action?
Send a letter of intervention to the CSNC before the November 15th deadline, and indicate if you wish to make a 10 minute oral presentation at the December 10-11 meeting. Please note that all submissions are on the public record, and your personal information should be included on a separate page if you wish to ensure its confidentiality.