Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sue government over toxic town, activist tells Port Hope

Comment:  Maybe we should take legal action now to stop the nonsense of uranium mining and milling now because we will do what Dr. Caldicott suggests if the state and the Pittsylvania County if uranium mining and milling is allowed in Virginia!

Published On Tue Nov 16 2010
Carola Vyhnak Urban Affairs Reporter

She held nothing back.

Port Hope’s air, drinking water, fish, beach, soil — virtually everything in the town of 16,000 poses a health risk from radioactivity, anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott warned an overflow crowd Tuesday night.

Radium is leaking into Lake Ontario and uranium from the Cameco refinery and is “almost certainly” being inhaled by residents, she told more than 200 people jammed into the banquet hall at the Best Western Durham Hotel in Oshawa.

“Your town symbolizes the whole wickedness” of the nuclear industry, the internationally acclaimed pediatrician said. “This radioactive waste will leak into food supplies, water and air for the rest of time.”

Children are particularly at risk because they’re 10 to 20 times more sensitive to radon than adults, she said.

“This government should be sued and you should get millions and millions of dollars,” she said to cheers and applause.

Caldicott repeated her warning made last week in an interview with the Star: the town should be moved and Cameco should be shut down.
Atomic Energy Canada Ltd. has begun a 10-year, $260-million project to dig up 1.2 million cubic metres of low-level radioactive waste buried in numerous sites around town and store it in a huge covered mound.

The contamination was the result of 50 years of radium and uranium refining at the Cameco refinery, formerly Crown corporation Eldorado Nuclear Ltd.

But Caldicott urged the crowd to “read, check the facts, check my data — and make your own decision” about whether to move or stay put.

During a visit to Port Hope earlier in the day, she reiterated her fears about the “disaster” plaguing Port Hope.

“I’m much more concerned. I stand by what I said, even more so.

“My eyes nearly fell out” during a visit to Cameco on Lake Ontario, Caldicott said.

Aghast at cancer-causing smokestack emissions that are “blowing over town,” she said Cameco should be shut down. The refinery is a “secretive, diabolical factory” that is adding to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, she said.

The federal government should pay to relocate everyone, insisted Caldicott, who was shocked to see people fishing in the harbour and river.

“Everyone should be totally compensated financially . . . No one should suffer.”

While the people doing the work are “sincere and caring,” they failed to ease her safety concerns, Caldicott said.

At a dinner in Caldicott’s honour on Monday, legendary author Farley Mowat, who lives in Port Hope, lashed out at “certain elements” for treating her “as if she was the bearer of the plague itself.”

He urged everyone to listen to what she has to say. “Our lives, and those of generations yet unborn, depend upon it.”

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