RDCK chair says talk of nuclear waste coming to Salmo 'completely nuts'
The sign welcoming visitors to Salmo reads, “Welcome to Salmo, Home of the Stone Murals.”
Regional District of Central Kootenay director Hans Cunningham certainly doesn’t want to see the sign changed to read, “Salmo, Home of Nuclear Waste Dump” anytime soon.
The RDCK Area D director was responding to a question during a recent meeting asking about a recommendation by an Ontario engineer to store the province’s nuclear waste near Salmo.
The recommendation is contained in Charles Rhodes’ submission to the Joint Review Panel on Canada’s Deep Geological Repository Project (DPR).
“When I hear of it, I sort of choke back a laugh because I can’t believe anyone is serious about this,” Cunningham said in recent CBC News story.
RDCK chair John Kettle said this idea is more of a “terrible joke” than a serious idea.
“There’s no basis for this that I can see,” Kettle told The Nelson Daily.
“Of course this would not be something that would be taken lightly if anyone had any information on it.”
The Village of Salmo is a municipality has a population for approximately 1,300 and is located in the Salmo River Valley, surrounded by the Selkirk Mountain range.
The submission says the Jersey Emerald mine site along Highway 3A, 10 kilometers south of Salmo, as the most logical choice in Canada to store nuclear waste from Ontario.
Rhodes suggests nuclear fuel should be stored in a mountain with a crack-free solid igneous rock core.
The site should be situated in a remote, seismically stable area that has been extensively mined so that the subsurface geology is well known.
However, Cunningham said he has some knowledge of the best sites having toured depots on the Prairies, and Salmo does compare to them.
“The rock formations here are too new,” Cunningham explained.
“There’s water running through the mine and chances of accidents are too great. And I could go on, and on and on,” he said. “I can’t even believe anybody is entertaining this kind of a thing.”
Cunningham adds the last thing Salmoites want is to be a storage dump for Ontario nuclear waste.
As for Kettle, he has a similar take on this story.
“It’s the silly season,” Kettle said. “People say crazy things during an election to try to get a sound bite or try to get elected on something, but this is completely nuts.”