Schacherl: Canada has a dirty, big nuclear secret at Chalk River

By Eva Schacherl, Ottawa Citizen, April 23, 2018

What makes Canada stand out in the world is unlimited natural beauty: miles of unspoiled forests, lakes, rivers, prairies and tundra. We are a green, clean country. Or so we like to think.

So it may come as a surprise that we plan to put 40 per cent of Canada’s radioactive waste in a gigantic dump at Chalk River, next to the Ottawa River. The dump will hold “low-level” waste that contains radioactive uranium, plutonium, cesium, strontium, iodine and tritium (among others).

Rain and melting snow will leach radioactive elements from the dump. Every year, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories estimates an average of 6.5 million litres of this water will be treated and discharged into a nearby wetland and thence the Ottawa River.

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