Moving nuclear waste through traditional territories could face opposition, Ontario First Nation says

By Colin Butler

'Think about how many treaty territories that waste would have to go through,' chief says

A First Nation in southwestern Ontario says even if the community votes yes on a proposed $26 billion dump for nuclear waste within their traditional territory, it would likely be opposed by other First Nations, through whose territories the more than 5.5 million spent fuel rods would have to pass. 

Canada's nuclear industry has been on a decades-long quest to find a permanent home for tens of thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive waste. The search has narrowed to two Ontario communities — Ignace, northwest of Thunder Bay, and the Municipality of South Bruce, north of London. 

Both will vote later this year on whether to build a deep geologic repository, a kind of nuclear crypt, where more than 50,000 tonnes of waste in copper casks will be lowered more than 500 metres underground to be kept for all time, behind layers of clay, concrete and the ancient bedrock itself. 

But so will their Indigenous neighbours, whose traditional territories the towns are within, which gives each respective First Nation a veto.

In the case of Saugeen Ojibway Nation in particular, it means the community again finds itself as the future arbiter of a potential nuclear waste site on their traditional lands for the second time in a few years. 

Continue reading this article at CBC News →

Recent responses