Think Fast!

My brother liked to throw things at me shouting “THINK FAST!"Now I’m doing it to you! August 29th is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's (CNSC) deadline for comments on its “Hypothetical Severe Nuclear Accident and Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures" report. You can send yours here.Sorry for giving you so little time.Back in 2012 we all urged the CNSC to consider what would happen if a Fukushima-scale accident took place in Canada. Would the CNSC's emergency measures have been effective?Now we knew we would get a big pile of assurances that all is well and don’t worry, but we thought we might get a legit review in light of the disaster in Japan. However, CNSC hasn’t looked at a Fukushima-scale accident scenario. The report conveniently picked a less dramatic “hypothetical" accident to examine.Well…actually it started off well, but the results looked so scary–so scary, in fact, that it was the subject of an email discussion between Ontario Power Generations and the CNSC:“I have taken a quick look at the draft submitted; indeed, this will become the focal point of any licence renewal, and despite brilliant attempts to caution readers, this document would be used malevolently in a public hearing. It’s a no-win proposition, whatever, whatever we think the Commission requested…"The email was obtained through a Freedom of Information request by our good friend Shawn-Patrick at Greenpeace.The report was subsequently changed to be more palatable for the pesky public. Not surprising behaviour for the CNSC, but disturbing nonetheless.Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility pointed out the study: "says nothing about the actual deposition of radioactive materials on roofs, walls, gardens, trees, and soil, leading to stubborn radioactive contamination that delivers lingering radioactive exposures to citizens over a very wide area – contamination that lasts years or even decades after the accident, preventing reoccupation of evacuated areas for two years or more, and requiring extensive and expensive decontamination efforts that are only partially successful."Read all Dr. Edwards' comments here.This is but one glaring problem with the revised study, but it's the most concerning. CNSC was supposed to investigate the implications of Fukushima-scale accident — one of those events that just couldn’t happen according to the engineers and governments. But we all know it did.So those who want to use nuclear power should fully understand the implications and share all the facts. You can read the entire report here.Again…think fast! The deadline is August 29th. Just click here and you can do it now, today!Thanks for your support — together we might just avert another nuclear disaster.Sincerely,John Bennett, National Program DirectorSierra Club Canada Foundation1510-1 Nicholas StreetOttawa, Ontario K1N 7B7jb@sierraclub.caJohn on Twitter / Bennett Blog