Ottawa Votes: Most Ottawa candidates oppose nuclear dump at Chalk River

By Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, October 19, 2018

Most of the Ottawa council candidates who answered a survey by Ecology Ottawa say they oppose construction of a low-level radioactive waste facility at Chalk River.

Six incumbent councillors — Riley Brockington, David Chernushenko, Keith Egli, Mathieu Fleury, Jeff Leiper and Catherine McKenney — declared their opposition to the dump. Incumbent Mayor Jim Watson’s campaign did not respond, while candidate Clive Doucet declared opposition.

Ecology Ottawa says 73 candidates responded that they would oppose the structure, six said they would not, and 34 did not respond.

The disposal facility will contain a variety of low-level waste such as lab clothing, mop heads, debris from future demolition of aging buildings, and contaminated soils. Opponents say the waste facility is too close to the Ottawa River and could spread contamination downstream. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories says the groundwater at the site runs away from the river, not toward it, and the facility will be covered with a watertight cap. Activists however present an analysis that says the water would leak eventually and would drain into the river.

Ottawa Riverkeeper also opposes construction.

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