US senator plans legislation on OPG waste plan

ontario power corp

DETROIT – A U.S. senator plans to introduce legislation related to a planned Canadian nuclear waste disposal facility near Lake Huron.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow is expected to release details at a news conference scheduled for Monday afternoon in Detroit.

Ontario Power Generation’s proposal calls for permanently storing hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of so-called low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste 680 metres underground at a site about one kilometre from Lake Huron.

The company says there’s virtually no chance the project will contaminate the lake, but opponents say it’s not worth the risk. An advisory panel endorsed the plan in May.

A group opposed to the billion-dollar project launched a court challenge arguing the panel was biased, failed to consider Canada’s international obligations, and violated Canadian environmental rules, but Federal Court won’t hear that case until next year.

Approval of the project rests with Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who has said she’ll make a decision by Dec. 2, ostensibly to allow for public input on any conditions that should be imposed.

— With files from The Canadian Press.