DGR: Kincardine Area Resident Speaks Out

Dec. 15/13: ** Find Webcast & transcripts at this spot on CNSC Web site. p.s. on November 6/13 -- I shld have linked to a posting on the film 'Into Eternity' - a film about the deep repository being constructed in Finland.

* DGR = Deep Geologic Repository

** This is the submission given to the DGR Panel on Tuesday, September 24th, by Ralph Splettstoesser. In my view, it's an awesome & articulate indictment of the DGR planning process. I am posting it here with Mr. Splettstoesser's permission. (It was his submission, btw,  that prompted my insight "Courage is contagious!" that I posted about yesterday.) It took a heck of a lot of courage for Mr. S. to say all these things publicly in his own community. I salute him hugely!

Dear Dr. Swanson, Dear members of the Joint Review Panel:

My name is Ralph Splettstoesser. I am a local farmer and business owner living in Kincardine Township. I have lived here for 47 years now, and I have many friends in this area. Friends that often also work at Bruce Power. So, I know this community very well.

Being a farmer, it is extremely important for me to be as rational as possible. Thoroughly investigate an issue before I talk about it with any degree of confidence. For that reason I can without hesitation state that a DGR or DUD - whatever you want to call it - Burying nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin is testing the limits of insanity.

I challenge you to conduct your own personal study one-on-one in your travels around the province. Just meeting any random person, ask them a question: “Have you heard of OPG’s plan to bury low and intermediate nuclear waste roughly 1km from Lake Huron?”
Invariably the response I have received, and you are sure to receive, is a mix of shock and disbelief! The phrase, “Now who ever came up with such a stupid idea!” is commonplace.

Now I want to make a clear distinction between people outside of the Bruce Power Misinformation Bribery Zone. If you meet someone in this area that is for the nuclear waste dump, always ask where they work, for there is a defined code of conduct for employees at Bruce Power. For example, employees of Bruce Power are not to be competing with the nuclear industry by selling electricity. For example, by installing solar panels on their own property.

I also want to make it clear to you that the local newspapers are very biased in support of nuclear over renewables. But also biased in favor of the nuclear dump. For example Troy Patterson is the editor of the Kincardine News paper. He regularly prints his (the editor’s) views so embarrassingly pro-nuclear in every way. The previous editor of the Kincardine News, Marie Wilson, got a job as spokesperson for OPG and NWMO. Readers of Kincardine newspapers have to know by now just how biased the reporting is.

Yet I believe in this area, even considering all the misinformation spewed by OPG and Bruce Power, the average person “would not support this,” even with most families having family members working at the nuclear plant. The point I want to make is that this town and area is bought by the nuclear industry.

Looking back to the mayor that started this whole process back in 2001, Mr. Glen Sutton. He was working for OPG at the time. Now how is that not a conflict of interest? To the secret meetings the local mayors had with CNSC staff and their president, Mr. Binder himself. To the ridiculous phone poll of mostly year-round residents, purposely leaving out as many seasonal residents as possible to the statement by the current mayor, Larry Kraemer, that he was in favor of a referendum on this very important issue, but time ran out and so we couldn't have one for that reason somehow!

To the withholding of its vast amount of information collected over the last 40 years concerning the pollution of our lake water. The pollution of our ground water and the air pollution released.

We asked for that information back in August 2012 because of their statement that “OPG has safely stored its nuclear waste for 40 years” already. With many requests made for this information to date, we have only “snapshots” of average data, but in no way have our requests for information been satisfied. OPG shows every confidence that they can get away with that.

So this points to a shameless process that is secretive and that is in collusion with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
Considering that commission after commission since the Three Mile island disaster has warned about accepting industry claims without truly third-party independent review. But what is actually happening here? Exactly what those commissions warned against!

I’m sorry, but this process has been a very undemocratic one. When democratic rights are trampled and bulldozed like this, it only shows the degree of desperation this industry has. But I ask you to, in your findings, make clear in your recommendations to audit all the pivotal players in this serious game of nuclear Russian roulette.

I say this for it should be obvious to all people who have followed nuclear issues and dealing processes and practices in the past.
After all, if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat those mistakes. We all should know then that SNC Lavalin, the big engineering company in Canada, the company that has built the nuclear projects in Ontario, has been convicted of routinely bribing public officials to get contracts. I think it is obvious that this is also how the nuclear industry works in Ontario in general.

I believe that to be an obvious fact, but I know that it needs to be thoroughly investigated because of the very seriousness of this issue. I believe, and most people who know what is going on in the energy sector know, that nuclear would have ended in the 1970's without this backdoor approach that the nuclear industry in Ontario absolutely must have. The nuclear industry stinks of this.

All I can say is: Investigate and try to prove me wrong if you don't believe me. I am not anti-nuclear personally. If it can be proven that something nuclear can be cost-effective and environmentally responsible, I am all for it. It stands in our Canadian constitution that it is the duty of each citizen of this country to avoid pollution and minimize waste.

Someone from OPG should explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist, and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn’t make you a terrorist.

This process needs to end right now! Because the nuclear misinformation is that this is all about safety. Yet we all know that to be a lie. This is really all about money!
Safety has almost nothing to do with this insane idea to bury nuclear waste close to the lake.
How dare you all put so many great people through this purposely flawed process?

This process was run by the industry, for the industry, purposely trying to stifle every attempt to bring in third-party unbiased people to have a meaningful democratic discussion together. But OPG purposely decided not to attend any Q&A meetings set up. If this was a fair, open and democratic process, why did they not attend? What are they afraid of? Are they afraid of a fair and democratic process?

And for that reason I believe those people who have publicly stated that this DGR process has been fair and open or in some way democratic truly need to be investigated thoroughly, and as I have stated before, follow the money! For this is not about safety. It is truly all about money.
How much money was actually given to interested third party speakers concerning this issue? How much money did OPG spend on “their” advertising campaign?!!

This process has been horribly flawed, that is certain. Does anyone seriously believe that this happened by chance, like this?

For a multi-billion dollar project like this? Nothing much happens by chance, I am sure.

Please, do your part to at least bring justice to this process!
I demand as a citizen of this township that OPG, NWMO and CNSC will guarantee that burial of high-level radioactive waste will not be considered in the Great Lakes Basin.

Will you ensure that honesty OPG, NWMO and CNSC? Yes or No answer please! For the record.

Thank you.


** NOTE: Sign the petition to stop this at Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump site

** To connect to the live hearings on OPG's proposed nuclear dump (only when they are in session - next session begins Monday, Sept. 30 at 9 AM Eastern) go here.

To find all other Hearing Documents (quite a lot here) including daily agendas, transcripts of past hearing sessions & other documents generated by the Hearings, go to the Hearing Documents page. The old link that still takes you to transcripts, agendas & webcasts (all 3) seems now only to be accessible through the front page of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (English version) & click on the blue-green icon at the right-hand top of the page that says: "Deep Geologic Repository Hearings." The only reason you need to go there, via this roundabout path, is if you want to watch archived hearings or want other information on the main CNSC page besides these hearings. Otherwise skip it! Too many Web pages to click through!

** many thanks to the friend who sent me this useful hearing-related information!!