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Group opposes County's decision on nuclear - council defensive

Port Dover Maple Leaf: LYN TREMBLAY - April 23, 2008

Representatives of the Nor-folk chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women attended last week's Council-in-Committee meeting to protest a nuclear plant at the Nanticoke Generating Station. Specifically, the group is not in favour of a resolution passed by Norfolk County Council last June to support an Environmental Assessment of the proposed Nanticoke Nuclear Power Facility.

In a lengthy presentation, members Anne Faulkner of Delhi and Stephana Johnston outlined a number of facts arguing against nuclear power and the effects they believe it will have on Norfolk County. The decision to put a nuclear plant in Haldimand will affect the sales of our agricultural products, our homes, our new industries, tourism, etc., stated Anne Faulkner.

The group compiled a number of `whereas' statements leading up to a proposed resolution they feel the county should adopt. Among them they asked Norfolk County to research alternatives to nuclear power and accused promises of transparency and openness in municipal government are being ignored in that taxpaying, voters have not been consulted to provide input to the decision process.

Councillors were obviously on the defensive in their responding comments.

Councillor Heidy Van Dyk noted there have been three public meetings (one especially for women) where people had opportunities to raise their concerns and the speakers in attendance had offered to speak to community groups.

Councillor Jim Oliver stated, I do take exception to the fact that you think we are not considering other sources of energy. We have embraced the concept of solar farms and wind farms. I feel Norfolk County is becoming a centre of excellence.

Mayor Dennis Travale explained it would not be logical to try to replace the Nanticoke Generating Station with other forms of power. If we were to replace it with wind turbines we would have to have 2,000 to 3,000 from Elgin to Haldimand and out on the lake. I can't see a number of solar farms because we are an agricultural community. If someone wanted to bring geo-thermal, well jiminy-crickets, we'd listen. There is nothing wrong with look-ing at it but no one has. Bruce Nuclear came to speak with us. They will be asking Haldimand if they will be a willing host. They will be going through the Federal government's EA process.

The group requested that council pass the following resolution, that Norfolk Council commission an unbiased survey of Norfolk taxpaying voters to ask whether they would willingly host a nuclear plant after they have been thoroughly educated about the scientific dilemma about transportation of nuclear fuel, the huge pools needed to store the hot radioactive waste, the circulation of cold water in and hot water out to Lake Erie, the effect this will have on the fishery, the risk of accidents, insurance issues, property values, the research showing higher rates of cancer around nuclear facilities and many other impacts.

Councillor John Wells ques-tioned, if we never start a study how are we ever going to find out if people are in favour or not? We need to know the pitfalls and until we do we are only looking at hypothetical situations. He later added, is this a NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) syndrome?

Councillor Charlie Luke responded, how are we going to know if the public is thoroughly educated? After we are being asked to have an unbiased survey, you list many negatives. I think it is better to educate by offering pros and cons. We have to present both sides to get an hon-est unbiased opinion.

Mayor Travale bristled, I find the resolution very negative. Nanticoke is closing. Six hundred jobs will be gone. Solar and wind are not going to replace Nanticoke!

Councillor Roger Geysens pointed out, the ultimate decision is with Haldimand County Council. I will say with 99% certainty, there will be a lot of public input.

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Concerned residents want more input on nuclear

PUBLIC ALREADY CONSULTED: COUNCIL

SIMCOE REFORMER: Kate Schwass - April 21, 2008

Norfolk needs to do an unbiased survey of residents to see whether or not people here are in favour of a nuclear plant, concerned residents say.

A survey should be conducted at arms length from Bruce Power, said Stephana Johnston of Port Rowan, a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women Norfolk. She said the survey is necessary to see if residents "are prepared to be willing hosts to a nuclear plant in Nanticoke."

Johnston and fellow CFUW mem-ber Anne Faulkner went before council last Tuesday night to ask for the the survey, saying Norfolk has been moving too quickly when it comes to the possibility of a nuclear plant in Nanticoke. They said the county has funded a study about the benifits of a nuclear plant. and has also given approval to start an environmental assessment of

the Nanticoke property, to see if it is an ideal location for a nuclear plant.

"The citizens of Norfolk need to collectively provide input so they are part of the solution, not passive recipients of a future flawed nuclear solution," Faulkner said.

Up until this point, the two women said, people have not had a chance to give their input.

Coun. Heidy VanDyk said she was aware of three separate open houses and she personally attended one of them.

"At the public consultation I was at, there were a lot of people there and some of them raised concerns and asked questions," VanDyk said. It concerns me that there are folks who think their voices have not been heard.

Both women asked Norfolk to do a survey that not only asked about nuclear power, but also about other energy sources.

Coun. Jim Oliver said he felt Norfolk was being progressive when it came to other sources of energy.

I think Norfolk County, in its own way, is becoming an energy centre of excellence, Oliver said. I happen to think this council is very much in favour of looking into alternative energy.

Mayor Dennis Travale agreed, pointing out there is Wind and solar energy already being produced in Norfolk.

"We have another possible solar project coming into Norfolk, he said.

The two women said asking for an environmental assessment (EA) for a nuclear plant on the Nanticoke site was the wrong way to go about the process, and instead a study should be done looking at all energy options.

Travale said if another energy producer wanted to consider the property, then he thinks the council would likely give approval to an EA for that alternative energy as well.

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