Stabenow, Peters introduce resolution in opposition of Canadian plan to store nuclear waste near Lake Huron

Apr 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Michigan's representation in the U.S. Senate, Democrats Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, introduced a resolution on Tuesday that calls on President Barack Obama's administration to oppose Canada's plan to store nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin.

A company located in our neighbor to the north has a proposal to build a permanent nuclear waste repository less than a mile from Lake Huron. Stabenow and Peters would like to see that effort scrapped.

"Canada's proposed nuclear waste dump on the shores of Lake Huron puts our Great Lakes at risk of radioactive contamination that could have devastating consequences for future generations," said Stabenow, in a statement. "I have expressed my strong objections to the Canadian government directly, and today's resolution puts additional pressure on the Canadians to stop this plan."

The company, Ontario Power Generation, and experts have attempted to quell the fears of a worst case scenario, saying the repository would be safe. Peters countered Tuesday that it "could cause significant, lasting damage" to the Great Lakes.

“Preserving the health and safety of the Great Lakes is critical to Michigan’s environment and economy,” said Peters, in a statement. “Building a permanent nuclear waste dump in such close proximity to Lake Huron could cause significant, lasting damage to this precious resource and undermine the progress we have made cleaning up the water quality in the Great Lakes Basin. The Canadian government should seek out an alternative site, and I urge the State Department to take action to keep this troubling project from moving forward.”

The resolution is a counterpart to one introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat from Michigan. While holding no legal weight, the resolution, if passed, would urge Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to "work with their counterparts to prevent a permanent nuclear waste repository from being built within the Great Lakes basin," a news release said.