I was very pleased this week to see a video produced and published by Steve Benninger, helping us all better understand nuclear waste. As South Bruce residents try to make an informed choice whether to allow the proposed Deep Geological Repository, it’s very good to have real, authentic experts among us.
Like me, Steve has spent most of his life here in Bruce County, and has enjoyed swimming and fishing in the Teeswater river. Like me, his roots are in Bruce County agriculture, and he would never endorse any project he felt would be a threat to the health of the local rivers, lakes or drinking water supply. Steve is an expert in the handling of nuclear fuel, and in his video, Steve shares his knowledge and first-hand experience, and helps dispel some of the common misconceptions about used nuclear fuel.
For example, Steve shows how used fuel is currently transferred and stored. It is stored in very large, thick containers, that each weigh about 70 tons empty – not in flimsy yellow steel drums, as depicted in some of the current propaganda. He shows that, when water flows around the used fuel, and then is drained out of the container, that water does not become radioactive. That means that, for a deep geological repository to pollute the water supply, it would not be sufficient for water to get into and out of the DGR. The actual fuel itself would have to somehow migrate up several hundred meters, through solid rock, and become dispersed into the water.
A lot of us in South Bruce are interested in the DGR, for various reasons. I encourage everyone interested in the issue to get as much information as possible, and judge the issue for themselves. Many of us here in rural Ontario have a natural distrust of big companies, government agencies, and experts from Ottawa or Toronto. But Steve Benninger is one of us – our neighbour – with the same hopes and concerns as the rest of us. All of us should see his video. Go to youtube.com, and search “Irradiated Fuel Handling and Storage” or CLICK HERE.
Tony Zettel, RR5 Mildmay