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Urgent Action Alert - Say No to Biased Nuclear Environmental Reviews

Please respond by 12 noon on June 18, 2008.

Why should I be concerned?

The Canadian government wants to put fox in charge of the hen house and have the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) decide the fate of two significant nuclear projects that will threaten humans and the environment for thousands of years to come.

The CNSC has always had a cozy relationship with the industry it regulates. It is not an independent and unbiased regulator.

The Canadian government, however, is proposing that the CNSC oversee the environmental assessments on proposals to build new nuclear stations and a deep geological waste dump at the Bruce Nuclear. It is accepting public comments on the Joint Panel Agreement until June 18th.

How can I get more information?

Below youll find a short synopsis of the with the Canadian governments proposed Joint Panel Agreement (JPA). Attached you will find detailed comments by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and a letter to the federal government opposing the JPA.

How can I help?

Endorse the attached comments produced by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) on the Joint Panel Agreement by noon on Wednesday, June 18th.

Please send your name, title, organization and electronic signature to Kaitlyn Mitchell at articling.cela@lao.on.ca by 12 noon Wednesday, June 18th.

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Background Information:

JOINT REVIEW PANEL AGREEMENT ABSTRACT

The draft Agreement to Establish a Joint Panel for the New Nuclear Power Plant Project by Bruce Power within the Municipality of Kincardine, Ontario (the draft JRPA) suffers from the following three main problems:

1 - Panel Membership - The JRPA as-drafted provides the President of the CNSC with almost complete control over the appointment of members to the JRP. The Minister of the Environment should be given more control in this respect, so as to ensure that the members of the Panel are experienced and knowledgeable regarding the environmental impacts of nuclear developments, and that they are unbiased and independent in their approach the Review process. In order for the Review to be conducted in a comprehensive and precautionary manner, the members of the JRPA must embody these important characteristics.

2 - Procedural Fairness - Individuals and groups must be accorded sufficient procedural rights, so as to ensure full, meaningful, and comprehensive public involvement in the Hearing process. Means by which procedural rights can be adequately provided for include expanding the definition of a Party to the Hearing, authorizing cross-examination of witnesses by Parties and/or Intervenors, and eliminating time restrictions placed upon presentations made by Intervenors at the JRP Hearings.

3 - Inadequate Terms of Reference As with the draft EIS Guidelines, the draft JRPA contains a project description which lacks a significant amount of information that is central to the full and precautionary assessment of the Projects environmental and health effects. The scope of the EA as set out in the Terms of Reference should also be amended so as to explicitly state that (1) cumulative effects are to be considered in the Review, and (2) the Review must include consideration of the Projects potential to cause transboundary environmental harm.

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