Wolastoq Grand Council Resolution: Nuclear energy developments and nuclear waste use and disposal on traditional Wolastoq territory
- Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy is located on the shared traditional and unceded territories of the Wolastoq and Peskotomuhkati Nations.
- Any developments affecting these lands and waters require approval by Wolastoq leadership.
- Article 29(1) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources.”
- Article 29(2) of the UNDRIP states that “States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of Indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.”
- Article 32(1) of the UNDRIP states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.”
- Nuclear reactors, regardless of size, produce by-products and radioactive waste material that must be contained and will be toxic and dangerous to human health for thousands of years.
- The step of providing prior informed consent was missing in both the development of the original Point Lepreau nuclear plant, the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau reactor, and the funding by the Government of New Brunswick in 2018 and 2021 of two new nuclear projects planned for Point Lepreau.
- The deadly radioactive poisonous waste materials from the Lepreau reactor sitting next to the Bay of Fundy are in temporary storage units and require more permanent and safe storage to protect the land, water, air and all life into the future.
- The nuclear industry plans to move the used (irradiated) nuclear fuel waste from Point Lepreau to Indigenous territory in Ontario.
- The Chiefs of Ontario, representing all First Nations in Ontario, recently passed Resolution 21/08 rejecting any further development of nuclear reactors and any transportation of deadly radioactive poisons across their traditional lands and waterways.
- The Chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations in 2018 passed Resolution 62/2018 calling for the halt of any public funding for proposed nuclear reactors.
- The Joint Declaration between the Anishinabek Nation and the Iroquois Caucus on the Transport and Abandonment of Radioactive Waste asserts the duty that all Indigenous peoples share to preserve and protect Mother Earth. We cannot risk the long-term, irreversible destruction of our lands and waters, which are life-giving for all beings.
- The Joint Declaration five principles for radioactive waste are: no abandonment; better containment and more packaging; monitored and retrievable storage; away from major water bodies; and no imports or exports.
- The nuclear industry claims that the proposed nuclear reactors will “recycle” and reduce the nuclear waste from the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station. On the contrary, they will create new, dangerous radioactive waste streams that will be expensive to manage and will have to be kept out of the environment and away from people for thousands of years.
- Moving those wastes at Point Lepreau away from the Bay of Fundy to nearby secure and safe places so they can be properly monitored forever to keep them safe from all living things is required immediately in consultation with Indigenous peoples.
- Planning for the eventual shut down and decommissioning of the Point Lepreau nuclear reactor and its facilities requires immediate attention to ensure this work will be done properly and in consultation with all Indigenous peoples.
- Previous presentations and documents by Wolastoq and Peskotomuhkati Nation leaders have called for the decommissioning planning work to begin as soon as possible.
- Nuclear power is not “green” or “clean.” The nuclear fuel chain includes the mining of uranium, the refining of the mined material to extract the uranium, the processing and conversion/fabrication plants, the nuclear reactor/power generation and the ongoing waste management with each step in the fuel chain leaving a wasteland affecting Indigenous people worldwide.
- Deadly radioactive emissions are spreading the poison from the Point Lepreau reactor every day as documented in the industry’s environmental reports.
- Point Lepreau and the Bay of Fundy must be protected for future generations.
Therefore, be it resolved, the Wolastoq Grand Council demands:
- That the Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick immediately halt any further funding for nuclear reactors at Point Lepreau.
- That the Governments of New Brunswick and Canada and the nuclear industry respect the desires of First Nations in Ontario to stop the development of the Deep Geological Repository on Indigenous territory in Ontario, and to assume responsibility for the radioactive material created by nuclear reactors in New Brunswick.
- That the Governments of New Brunswick and Canada invest in the necessary infrastructure to meet New Brunswick’s energy needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by further investing in and supporting existing and potential First Nation alternative energy solutions, importing surplus power from Quebec in a timely manner, rapidly deploying renewable sources of energy and initiating comprehensive energy efficiency measures.
- That the Point Lepreau nuclear plant be phased out and renewable power generation and storage solutions alongside efficient energy transmission and distribution be utilized in place of nuclear energy.
- That the Governments of New Brunswick and Canada store all existing nuclear waste on the site of the Point Lepreau nuclear station in above-ground, attack-resistant, reinforced vaults, pulled back from the water’s edge, until an acceptable, permanent and safe method to destroy or neutralize the waste is found.
Resolution signed by:
Wolastoqewi Kci-Sakom spasaqsit possesom – Ron Tremblay
The Wolastoq Grand Council
March 6, 2021
Note: Since this Resolution was published, many people have been asking how to help. This request is from Chief Tremblay:
To support the Wolastoq Grand Council resolution, contact the Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau), the New Brunswick Premier (Blaine Higgs) and provincial Minister of Natural Resources and Energy (Mike Holland), Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Gary Crossman), as well as leaders of the New Brunswick opposition parties: Liberal (Roger Melanson), Green (David Coon), People’s Alliance (Kris Austin). Let them know that you support the Wolastoq Grand Council Resolution on nuclear energy and nuclear waste and urge them to respect it. Thank you, Ron Tremblay.