The letter sent to Premier Doug Ford, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, reads:
The Hon. Doug Ford, Thursday 1 June 2023
Premier, Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Legislative Building, Queen's Park
By email to: Premier@ontario.ca
Dear Premier Ford,
UK support for the petition presented 30 May to the Legislative Assembly on the management of nuclear fuel waste
We, being the representatives of UK-based campaign bodies opposed to the generation and transportation of radioactive nuclear waste, and its disposal in any underground or undersea dump, are writing to you to express our support for the principles outlined in the petition presented 30 May to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
by representatives, Lise Vaugeois (NDP - Thunder Bay-Superior North), Sol Mamakwa (NDP - Kiiwetinoong) and Mike Schreiner (GPO Leader - Guelph), on behalf of their the people of Ontario.
As in Ontario, in our UK home counties of Cumberland and Lincolnshire, the UK Government and nuclear industry are seeking to justify the creation of a Geological Disposal Facility, a nuclear waste dump to which Britain’s legacy and future high-level and heat-emitting nuclear waste, including this nation’s significant stockpile of plutonium, will be transported by rail for dumping beneath the seabed of the Irish or North Sea respectively; there it shall languish in the vain hope that it shall not leak or be otherwise disturbed for at least the next 100,000 years, lest it contaminate our oceans.
The petition submitted to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario expressed support for a ‘proximity principle’, that nuclear waste should be retained at the sites at which it was generated and there be subject to storage in above-ground or near-surface, purpose-built secure facilities with constant monitoring, active stewardship, and a facility for retrieval and repackaging. This is also our position with respect to the treatment of radioactive waste in the UK.
Such a policy avoids the dangers of transporting waste hundreds of miles by rail or truck and the uncertainty that the integrity of the deep disposal facility will over the centuries be compromised, provides for retrieval and repackaging where waste is leaking, and ensures that the skill set needed to manage nuclear waste safely and effectively will be passed along from generation to generation.
The situation in the UK mirrors that of Canada. Here, the UK Government’s policy is being expressly carried out by its agents, Nuclear Waste Services, and aided by its collaborators in local and county authorities, against the wishes of most local people. Consequently, we have tremendous empathy with the people of Ontario, especially First Nation Canadians with their historic, cultural, and spiritual link to the land and to dump nuclear waste in their traditional lands appears to us to represent yet another example of nuclear colonialism.
We would urge the Government of Ontario to adopt our approach in its treatment of radioactive waste and accordingly commend the petition for adoption as policy to you.
Thank you for your consideration of this letter. Please send any acknowledgement or reply in the first instance to Richard Outram, NFLA Secretary by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor David Blackburn, Chair, UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities English Forum
Marianne Birkby, Founder, Radiation Free Lakeland, Lakes Against Nuclear Dump Campaign, Cumbria
Jan Bridget, Co-Founder, Millom against the Nuclear Dump / South Copeland against the Geological Disposal Facility, Cumbria
Ken Smith, Chair, Guardians of the East Coast, Lincolnshire