Monday, April 09, 2022
During the early development of uranium mines, probing questions were
asked, cartoons printed and spills reported in The SP. Now we constantly
get one-sided articles and front page headlines advocating uranium
mining and nuclear power.
When Cameco is
ordered to reduce releases of toxic selenium and molybdenum, only
appear as a "brief" item. Where is the
full story? Did anyone at The SP read the document that led up to this
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission decision? In it, CNSC cites a report
of "observed harm to lake bottom aquatic invertebrates and young
northern pike in the near fi eld (two kilometers) and harm to young
northern pike .... and to some aquatic mammals and birds as far as
10 km down stream to Delta Lake.
"These impacts are greater in magnitude and spatial extent than
forecast in the 1995 environmental predictions." It also reports
other problems. The Gaertner special waste and Dielmann tailings pits
are failing. There is "signifi cant sloughing," buttressing
is required to stabilize "unstable pit walls," and "bentonite
containment systems" in ore storage and two special waste areas "were
defective." As well, aging infrastructure has caused several spills
from a groundwater dewatering system.
According to CNSC,
at Key Lake, Cameco's "waste management subprogram
implementation is below requirements." Focus on reducing selenium
and molybdenum is not only about environmental dangers.
Cameco's plan to "import recyclable products" (wastes
containing selenium and molybdenum) from its Blind River and Port
Hope refi neries
cannot proceed until these elements are reduced in the milling process.
Nuclear waste from Ontario will be transported through Saskatoon,
milled and dumped into malfunctioning waste pits at Key Lake. There
is a lot more to this story than a mere four sentences. The public
deserves to know the full story.