Opting out of nuclear meetings

Owen Sound Sun Times:Frank Barningham - October 16, 2007

Over a period of several years, I have attended open houses and a variety of workshops at the invitation of Ontario Power Generation, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Bruce Power.

Some of these have been costly affairs, sometimes with high-priced officials brought in from Toronto for a meeting with only a handful of people.

Despite all their best efforts, I have yet to be convinced of the necessity, efficiency or safety of nuclear power. A safe decommissioning of a nuclear power plant has not yet taken place anywhere on the planet. Vast quantities of toxic nuclear waste continue to accumulate without a safe means of disposal. The building of a nuclear plant is hugely expensive in energy and materials and money, yet they run for such a short time before being "refurbished" or "mothballed" because nobody knows how to decommission them.

I know that many local people are employed by Bruce Power, OPG, etc., but I feel that Ontario is missing a wonderful opportunity for retraining and diversifying into the burgeoning, lucrative and safe field of renewables.

I have attended these many workshops and open houses because I felt it was important to bear witness to what is happening, to ask questions and for at least a lone voice of concern to be heard. I have, however, now decided to decline any further invitations to attend the open houses where there are as many representatives of the nuclear industry as there are members of the public.

I do not wish these representatives of the nuclear industry to be able to count my attendance at their functions as proof of their having engaged and consulted with the public. I regret that so much of our tax money (yours and mine) is being squandered on glossy paper handouts, a vast blight on the shores of Lake Huron and the storing up of an everlasting unsolvable problem for our grandchildren. And why is all this happening? So that as a society we can continue to consume more, allow ourselves to be persuaded by the myth that nuclear energy is "clean" or "low cost."

Not me!. I shall continue enjoying the billions of years of uninterrupted service of my major power supplier - the sun!

Thank you to Ontario Power Generation, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and to Bruce Power for all your invitations, for the refreshments in non-recyclable poly cups, but please don't send me any more. I have chosen not to participate in a process which may legitimize a contribution to the destruction of our environment for your grandchildren.

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