Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tory Minister Lisa Raitt in Denial

...either that or she's suffering from mushroom syndrome - kept in the dark and fed a lot of manure.

The minister claims there is no relationship between a leak at Chalk River and radioactive sludge found in the Ottawa river. I guess she thinks the sludge just magically appeared.



penlan said...

Just more Harper "hide & obscure" - she is, after all, just another one of his finger puppets - on a string no less.

Geez this outrages me!

JimBobby said...

Whooee! While I consider Raitt unqualified and a lackey for the nuke (and every other dirty) industry, I tend to go along with this explanation. She, of course, should be equipped with hard evidence but I do see it as more likely that the residual radioactivity from a medical device or radioactive feces from a cancer patient are responsible. I wonder if the Merkans might have recently installed more sensitive equipment.

Anyways, if anything, this points at two separate radioactivity problems. According to nuke industry puppet Raitt, there's nothing to worry about.

Hugh McDiarmid, AECL's bossman, came out today and said leaks are normal with reactors and we shouldn't be surprised or alarmed about leaks like at Chalk River. We should just hand over a few hundred million tax dollar$ to AECL without worrying about little things like public health and safety. Trust the nuke experts. Trust the CNSC watchdog. Unless, of course, they don't toe the government line and then fire 'em and discredit 'em.

Why isn't the Chalk River fiasco front and centre for opposition talkin' points? The nuke industry butters both sides of the bread and lookit how Gritty McGuinty has embraced a $26 billion nuclear future for Ontariariario.


roblaw said...

As I pointed out in a previous comment, part of the reason the Liberals aren't making more of this is the difficulty in dealing with the answer to the problem, practically speaking.. and the reality that the absense of any viable alternative to replace the aging Chalk River plant is, at least in part, due to a the failure of the Maple project, now scrapped - which was instituted under the Liberal government.

Seems to me - legitimate concern, and should be addressed in a serious way - not simply used as commons-fodder without any viable suggestion as to a response.

ie) Do the Liberals suggest we shut it down? (the quote "global medical crisis" comes to mind).. do they suggest we re-start the Maple project?.. and do they have any credible evidence that the sludge found in Ottawa is in fact related to the reactor?

I'm not suggesting a free pass to the current government, but the problem is perhaps more complex than just "shutting it down".

JimBobby said...

Something that seems never to come up is that we, the Canadian taxpayer, are supplying all the isotopes produced at Chalk River to MDS-Nordion, a private corporation, which then distributes the isotopes to medical facilities --- at a great profit. We are their supplier and we are losing money while we risk public health and safety by running a worn out old reactor. The lion's share, by a wide margin, of these isotopes are delivered to for-profit American facilities.

MDS-Nordion is suing GoC for failing to build Maple 1 & 2 and keep supplying them with cheap, high grade product for resale. Their lost profits are our problem.

The current reactor runs on HEU (highly enriched uranium). That's bomb grade stuff and there are special caveats and exceptions to US laws permitting them to even allow Canada to import bomb grade uranium.

Medical isotopes can be made without a reactor using a particle accelerator. The yield is about 5% of a reactor but the relative safety of such technology means that it could be built without the years and money needed for new reactors. Building particle accelerators located in many NA sites would alleviate some of the short shelf life problems with isotope delivery.


roblaw said...

JimBobby - no question, I also question to what degree we in Canada fall all over ourselves to support bad corporate policy.. which, to some degree, includes subsidies to oilsands development..

Even as a Conservative, there is something to be said for not giving away either money or resources to private enterprise, and certainly, something to be said for making private enterprise more accountable when they screw up.

Mala Fides said...

Rob, the big difference is that the Liberals didn't fire the regulator and promise that there would be no accident at Chalk River.

Harper did!

The Liberals didn't cover up radioactive leaks and emissions into the atmosphere for almost two months.

Tell me why we heard nothing about the leaks for almost TWO MONTHS until budget day!!!!!

There may have been some long-term problems with the management of the Chalk River facility, but Canadians are smart enough to know that they have not been told the truth about what is happening.

Canadians are smart enough to figure out that when an independent regulator is fired for closing a nuclear plant because it doesn't meet safety standards and then within a year there are multiple nuclear incidents people should be held accountable.