LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson has sponsored a bipartisan Senate resolution expressing concern about Canada’s proposed placement of an underground nuclear waste repository in the Great Lakes basin.
“Combined, the Great Lakes comprise the world’s largest body of fresh water — providing drinking water to 40 million people,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “The Great Lakes also support farming, fishing, boating, and tourism industries in Michigan and throughout the region. All of it would be jeopardized if Canada builds a giant dump of highly radioactive waste along Lake Huron. It’s a dangerous idea.”
Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization recently announced that it had narrowed its list of potential hosts for a permanent national repository for its most radioactive waste to two sites, one of which is near the Lake Huron shoreline.
If chosen, the Huron-Kinloss/South Bruce site in Ontario — east of Michigan’s Thumb — could host a repository for Canada’s entire spent nuclear fuel supply — almost 2.9 million used nuclear fuel bundles, or about 128 million pounds of highly radioactive material.
Senate Resolution 92 says that placing a permanent nuclear waste burial facility so close to the Great Lakes is ill-advised, and the potential damage to the Great Lakes from any leak or breach of radioactivity far outweighs any benefits that could be derived from burying radioactive waste at the site.
“This bipartisan measure is a way to proclaim that the health of Michigan families, the future of our agriculture and tourism industries and the ecology of the Great Lakes should not be jeopardized by selecting a site less than a half mile from Lake Huron for Canada to store all of its radioactive waste,” Johnson said.
SR 92 also notes that the site is approximately 120 miles upstream from the main drinking water intakes for Southeast Michigan.
If adopted by the Senate, copies of the resolution would be sent to the U.S. House and Senate leaders, the heads of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the premier of Ontario, and the prime minister of Canada.