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Posted by on Jun 4, 2013 in Blogs

Lyn Adamson represents VOW at the Nuclear Safety Commission Board hearings

Last Thursday, Co chair Lyn Adamson made a presentation in Pickering at the Nuclear Safety Commission hearings.  To secure that opportunity, Lyn wrote a letter to the commission.

Lyn Adamson

Lyn writes about that day

The gym was full of people, and on the stage was a panel of Canadian Nuclear Safety Commissioners.  In front of them, many tables of staff and consultants in the nuclear industry.  In the main gym, the west side was mostly men in suits, and the right hand side, mostly women, concerned about the potential devastation of a nuclear accident.  Many of these women spoke to the panel, and I was one of them, speaking on behalf of Voice of Women for Peace.  It was an intimidating setting, but we spoke up because we had to voice these concerns, concerns about an aging nuclear plant, close to millions of people, being extended beyond it’s design standards.  Is this right?  Is this safe?  Is this necessary?  We argued that it is both dangerous and unnecessary.  We know that renewables can power the planet and with the political will we would be moving in this direction, and in the direction of conservation, just as fast as we possibly could.  It is our job to get society on this track, and fast.  VOW members Kate Chung (along with the Raging Grannies) and Dorothy Goldin-Rosenberg, speaking for WHEN (Women’s Healthy Environment Network) also spoke at the hearings. We also heard from the industry’s defenders and from the Powerworkers Union, who included a woman speaker.  Many in the community support the nuclear plants as they are major employers in the region.  Industry critics speaking at the hearing included Arnie Gunderson, a former nuclear executive who has become a consultant to anti-nuclear groups due to the dangers he sees in the indust.  We know that changing our energy future requires involved and active citizens.  Let’s all be as active as we can!  There is no lobby for the future – and for the future jobs in a renewable industry – except for us!

Nuclear Commission hearings Pickering, May 2013 Mary Serniak, Sandra Ruch May 2013 Pickering Nuclear commission


Letter to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission








April 29, 2013

Michael Binder
Secretariat – Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Dear Michael Binder


I am writing to request an opportunity to speak to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regarding  the proposed Refurbishment and Continued Operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.


I will be speaking on behalf of the Ontario Chapter, of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.


Our concerns are summarized here as follows:


1)    Impact of the routine operation of the Pickering plant on Lake Ontario drinking water (tritium) and on the fish and wildlife of the lake due to the speed and volume of fresh water being drawn into the plant and released back into the lake.

There are increased risks to the health and safety of pregnant women and young children.


2)    The lack of safe storage for the nuclear wastes being created by the operation of a nuclear plant, and the requirements for permanent storage for thousands of years, and the burden that this places on future generationsIt is unacceptable to be passing this toxic legacy on to future generations.  The costs of the long-term care of nuclear wastes would be prohibitive to any further nuclear power development or refurbishment – if these costs were considered in full.


3)    The potential for extreme harm from a nuclear accident. We have seen in the severe and damaging nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima that operation of nuclear power poses risks of extreme damage in the case of a nuclear accident.  What would be the impact of this on the highly populated areas on the shores of Lake Ontario?  This risk must be considered.  Research shows that 1.5% of all reactors melt-down.  The damage from a melt-down is unacceptable, and is completely unnecessary when we have alternatives.


4)    This plant is so very close to the city, and the city is so densely populated, that we have great concerns that evacuation in any kind of timely way would be impossible.  In case of a serious accident at the Pickering plant this is a very real risk, and an unacceptable one to take particularly on behalf of vulnerable children, and pregnant women.


5)    A concern regarding the lack of due process for the consideration of the extremely important matter of the operation of nuclear power plants in Ontario.  We are particularly concerned that there is no forum for open dialogue on alternative energy paths.  We need this dialogue in order for society as a whole to make an informed choice about our energy future.  There should be a full environmental assessment of the risks of extending the lifespan of these aging reactors for another seven to ten years.


6)    There are clean renewable alternatives that are readily available and make the generation of nuclear power completely unnecessary.


Mark Jacobson of Stanford University has prepared a study on the climate impact of our current sources of energy and has analyzed what would be involved in a transition to meeting 80 – 90% of all our energy needs from renewable sources.


Reference:  and


As well as renewable energy, the potential for energy conservation is immense.  Every ‘negawatt’ is an immediate savings for individual citizens and a long term benefit for society as a whole.


Our perspective is on behalf of our children and grandchildren, and all of us who are living in the vicinity of the Pickering reactors.  We are planning here for  the long term.  We need to realize the impact and importance of our choices regarding our energy future.  We need to seriously consider all the options and choose wisely for the years ahead.


Please note that we are requesting the opportunity to address these concerns at the hearing.


Lyn Adamson,

Co-Chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace