Ottawa – Documents released on Oct. 11 indicate that back in May the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) was alerted to a shipment containing radioactive kitchenware (contaminated with Cobalt 60) and it wasn’t until October 5th CNSC ordered Hanin Shipping  to remove their radioactive shipment from a dock in Montreal.
This incident raises a number of very serious questions, including:
- Why did the CNSC then to take six months to issue an order?
- Why did CNSC make no attempt to conduct an investigation to determine where this material was manufactured, how it became contaminated, and how many more contaminated shipments there might be and where they were sent?
- If, as the order states, the objective of the CNSC is “preventing unreasonable risk to the environment and to the health and safety of persons,” why is the cargo being released and sent out of Canada where, in all probability, it will find its way back into the consumer market?
- Why didn’t CNSC quarantine the cargo in a proper nuclear waste storage facility so it was out of harm’s way and had no chance of ever reaching consumers?
- Is CNSC only concerned with public health dangers if they don’t fall on our side of the border? Is this the kind of behavior we should expect from a “nuclear safety” agency?
“The whole matter is deeply troubling,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. It’s willful blindness at its worse, and could end up making a lot people very, very sick.”
In 2010, Sierra Club Canada along with First Nations, municipalities and hundreds of individuals opposed the shipment of 1,600 tonnes of radioactive waste from Bruce Nuclear Power Plant to Sweden for “recycling”. Back then Sierra Club Canada clearly stated that there was a real possibility of the ‘recycled’ radioactive materials ending up in consumer products. This fiasco proves Sierra Club Canada was right and CNSC was wrong.
“It’s time the CNSC took the health of Canadians and other people around the world seriously,” said Mr. Bennett.
The CNSC order and release are available here.
 Hanjin Shipping Canada, Inc. 1 Richmond Street West, Suite 902 Toronto, Ontario M5H 3W4
Attention: Mr. Frank Vanduyn Manager – CNSC order(PDF)