Commentary on the Port hope CLEANUP
Port Hope Area Initiative Annual Survey
In November 2011, the Port Hope Area Initiative conducted its 10th annual Public Attitude Survey. An Executive Summary of the survey is available at www.phai.ca and copies of the complete survey are available at the PHAI Project Information Exchange at 115 Toronto Road, Port Hope.
Key findings from the 2011 survey include:
- Resident satisfaction with living in Port Hope increased to 95 per cent, from 93 per cent in 2010
- 84 per cent of respondents (up three per cent from last year, and up 19 per cent compared to the first public-attitude survey in 2002) - expressed confidence in the ability of the PHAI MO to safely manage the waste for the long term
- 87 per cent of residents identified the cleanup as an important topic, though nearly 75% indicated they "never" or "not very often" think about living in a community dealing with radioactive waste
- Awareness of the Project has increased to 94 per cent from 88 per cent in 2010
- Almost three-quarters of respondents indicated they have had adequate opportunities to provide input to the Port Hope Project
- 88 % of residents are aware of plans to transport contaminated soil along designated routes to the new long-term waste management facility
- 79 % are confident the PHAI MO will be able to minimize the effects of project-related traffic
- 73 % are confident the PHAI MO will be able to minimize the effects of project-related dust
For more information,visit www.phai.ca or email email@example.com
CNSC Hearing Interventions
During the CNSC Licensing Hearing for the Port Hope Area Initiative, held in Port Hope in August 2009, community members submitted numerous comments and presentations in support of the project. Read excerpts from supportive written and oral interventions are available here
"Port Hope remains a safe and healthy community in which to live, raise a family and work. Our government is committed to health and safety of all Canadians. The Port Hope Area Initiative to clean up low-level radioactive waste, and oversight of the CNSC to ensure the project is carried out according to the highest safety standards, is part of that commitment. The project's finally moving forward is a tangible sign of this government's commitment to uphold a long-standing promise to the people of Port Hope and area."
Rick Norlock, MP - Northumberland-Quinte West
"Port Hope has dealt with the legacy issues of low-level radioactive waste from the past for far too long. The mistakes of historical practices are being dealt with head-on and we are moving forward with a solution that was developed right here, by our own residents. Port Hope is a symbol of community collaboration. When the cleanup is complete, we will move forward without the stigma, leaving an honorable legacy for future generations."
Linda Thompson - Mayor, Municipality of Port Hope
Michael Binder - President, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
"...The CNSC recently published a synthesis report that was presented during open houses held in the community. Findings were compared with 40 international epidemiological studies on similar populations, and the conclusion was clear: the health of Port Hope residents is no different than that of other Canadians.
The CNSC provides strict regulatory oversight of both uranium processing and clean up activities taking place in the community to ensure there are negligible impacts to the health and safety of residents and their environment...."
Excerpt from CNSC Response to the op-ed entitled "Nuclear radiation is forever" published in the Ottawa Citizen on February 8, 2011 Read the full response here
...Concerned readers should know that Port Hope residents are as healthy as the rest of the Canadian population. This is demonstrated by scientific studies conducted over several decades by reputable and independent bodies. Dr. Caldicott's allegations of medical corruption are simply outrageous.
Last year, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission reviewed findings from over thirty environmental and thirteen epidemiological studies and published a synthesis report that was presented during open houses held in the community. To suggest that no credible studies exist is simply unacceptable.
The CNSC provides regulatory oversight of clean up activities in Port Hope to ensure there will be no impact to the health and safety of residents and their environment....
Excerpt from CNSC response to the article entitled - Port Hope warned of 'life and death' threat - published in the Toronto Star on November 10, 2010 Read the full response here
"...Several studies have also been conducted by other institutions and organizations, such as the Government of Canada's Low Level Radioactive Waste Management Office, Senes Consulting, and Queens University. These studies have been peer reviewed, and many have been published in respected scientific journals.
As well, reports by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Public Health Agency on cancer incidence and overall mortality in Port Hope were extensively reviewed by members of several government departments and academic institutions.
The health and environmental studies carried out in Port Hope over the years do not show any health effects from past or present exposure to radiation..."
Excerpt from Summary of Port Hope Health Studies - Health Canada website Read the full summary here
The following comments (used with permission) have been excerpted from presentations offered during the CNSC licensing hearing for the Port Hope Area Initiative, held August 26-27, 2009. Additional excerpts from supportive written and oral interventions are available here
Reality vs. perception
"Our members understand that there are no immediate health effects from the radioactive waste that is currently in the community. However, the public's perception has been different, particularly among people who are not from Port Hope speak for our members when I say that we look forward to the resolution of these issues and the completion of the cleanup process in order to remove the stigma that has been attached to the community, enabling us to promote Port Hope as an enjoyable and healthy destination for business and pleasure."
Kelly Morgan MacKenzie
Community Member and past Chair of the Heritage Business Improvement Area
LLRW an obstacle to progress
"We support the proposed [low-level radioactive] waste facility and would like to see it move forward as quickly as possible. The issue of nuclear waste and related issues has divided our community on many fronts, it has been an obstacle to progress within the town and a deterrent for any kind of development in Port Hope. The proposed waste facility has been well studied and I believe it is a practical and safe solution. We need to 'get on with it,' so the town can move forward and thrive."
John and Donna Quantrill, residents, entrepreneurs.
Trust expertise at CNSC and AECL
"Since 1973, I've made Port Hope my home. The nuclear industry has, and always will have supporters and detractors, like many other industries. And, as in any community faced with complicated issues, Port Hope has a frustrated silent majority and a very active vocal minority on this broad subject I trust personally the level of expertise at the CNSC and the AECL; I trust professionals who are specialists in all aspects of my daily life. I don't understand residents who express mistrust of a proposed cleanup and the process. How can they not see this is a valued, honourable solution to deal with the management of historic low-level waste? We have long anticipated a restoration of our environment, our reputation, of our self-respect and of our dignity as a community."
Anita Blackwood, resident
The world is watching
"Residing here for over 50 years, I also have raised my children here. For too many years, Port Hope has had this "Contamination Cloud" hanging over its head. I have talked to both people and businesses that have chosen to locate in surrounding areas because of their uncertainty with our current situation (perceptions are very powerful).We need to move forward in a positive and beneficial manner and the world is watching."
Barb Pemberton, lifelong resident, community volunteer
The most beautiful and the cleanest
"Wouldn't it be nice in 10 years to be able to say that not only is Port Hope the most beautiful, but also the cleanest Municipality in Ontario? Let's get started!"
Renee and Peter McLachlan, residents and business operators