Peters, Stabenow decry potential Canadian nuclear waste site on Lake Huron

    Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) of Canada has narrowed it down to two options for a nuclear waste storage facility, one of which is on Lake Huron. U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) are concerned about the environmental impacts.

    Debbie Stabenow at her Washington, D.C., office | Robin Bravender

    The facility will either be built in southern or northwestern Ontario after narrowing down possible locations from 22 municipalities and Indigenous communities, NWMO said in a news release. The potential site on Lake Huron is Huron-Kinloss/South Bruce in South Ontario. The other is in Ignace in Northwest Ontario.

    Safety is a primary focus, according to the vice president of site selection at the NWMO, Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel.

    “These are hard decisions and not made lightly, but ultimately, we are working towards identifying one area where we can implement Canada’s plan to ensure the protection of both people and the environment,” Belfadhel said.

    Stabenow said she hopes that the Canadian government can understand the concerns of Michiganders.

    “This makes no sense. Canada has as much at stake as we do in protecting our Great Lakes,” Stabenow said. “There is no justification for a nuclear waste site so close to Lake Huron to even be under consideration.”

    Sen. Gary Peters at the UAW picket line in Lansing, Oct. 1, 2019 | Laina G. Stebbins

    The Great Lakes provide drinking water to over 40 million people and must be protected for future generations’ welfare, Peters said.

    “I am extremely concerned about the possibility of hazardous nuclear waste being stored near the Great Lakes,” Peters said. “Any accident could have catastrophic and long-term consequences to the health and well-being of Michigan and the country.”

    Anna Liz Nichols
    Anna Liz Nichols covers criminal justice, the environment and the Legislature. She has reported for several publications, including MLive and Michigan State University’s award-winning student paper, the State News, where she covered the many tendrils of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. She is finishing up a degree in journalism and environmental studies at Michigan State University, graduating May 2020.