Uranium: New Report Documents Misinformation from
the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
March 3 2016 For Immediate Release
Montreal – The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) today issued a report that is highly critical of a presentation given on January 22 by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to senior Quebec government officials. Entitled “Uranium in Quebec – Facts and Consequences”, the CCNR report states that “the credibility of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is seriously compromised” by “biased and misleading” statements made in the January presentation.
Last year, the Quebec Government established an interdepartmental committee to consider the future of uranium mining in the province. The Committee is reviewing the content and recommendations of a 2015 BAPE report, following a one-year inquiry, recommending that the province not allow uranium mining for the foreseeable future. (The BAPE is Quebec’s Bureau des audiences publiques sur l’environnement.)
On January 22, CNSC’s Patsy Thompson assured the Committee that radionuclides released into the environment from uranium mines and mills are not toxic although these radionuclides – such as radium, radon and polonium – are all highly toxic materials. She also stated that uranium miners in Ontario have no greater incidence of lung cancer than members of the general population, despite a 2015 CNSC-funded study that shows the exact opposite. She told the Committee that uranium tailings are not more problematic than any other type of mine tailings, contrary to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s own conclusions.
The CCNR critique, entitled “Uranium in Quebec – Truth and Consequences”, demonstrates that these statements, and others in the CNSC presentation, are either untrue or strongly misleading. “The CNSC presentation demonstrates an alarming lack of accuracy, scientific rigour, balance and objectivity. That is incompatible with the CNSC’s statutory role as a regulator”, said Gordon Edwards, CCNR president and author of the critique.
The CCNR critique is available in both English and French on the CCNR web site:
http://ccnr.org/CCNR_CNSC_BAPE_2016.pdf for the English version and
http://ccnr.org/CCNR_CNSC_BAPE_2016_f.pdf for the French version.