Last update:
2021-09-14

Proposed nuclear waste dump located on Indigenous territory, Saskatchewan, Canada

A proposed nuclear waste dump on traditional Indigenous lands was successfully stopped due to collective efforts in mobilising against the project.


Description:

The federal Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) in Canada is trying to find a site in the Saskatchewan province which they can use for nuclear storage waste produced throughout the country [1]. NWMO have three proposed sites they are evaluating, including Pinehouse, The English River First Nation and the township of Creighton [1]. However, local communities have express a lack of communication from the NWMO regarding the details of a proposed nuclear waste facility in their territories [1]. Although Saskatchewan has the largest reserves of uranium in the world it has never been involved in the storage of nuclear waste before, only uranium mining practices [1]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Proposed nuclear waste dump located on Indigenous territory, Saskatchewan, Canada
Country:Canada
State or province:Saskatchewan
Location of conflict:Athabasca Basin
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Nuclear
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Uranium extraction
Nuclear waste storage
Specific commodities:Uranium
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In 2007, the federal government of Canada decided to find a suitable site for a used nuclear fuel repository, which was proposed to house all of Canada's nuclear waste. The dump would last around 100 years with a multi million dollar investment [1].

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Level of Investment:16,000,000,000.00 to $24,000,000,000.00
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:4,101
Start of the conflict:27/07/2011
End of the conflict:2016
Company names or state enterprises:Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) from Canada - Proposing a nuclear underground fuel storage dump in Saskatchewan.
Relevant government actors:Uranium Development Partnership.
Federal Government.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The Committee for Future Generations :
https://committeeforfuturegenerations.wordpress.com
Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan:
http://www.cleangreensask.ca
Council of Canadians:
https://canadians.org
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Dene, Cree & Metis people.; University of Regina.
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although the project was stopped in Saskatchewan, the NWMO is still seeking out a site for the nuclear storage unit, and therefore could present some of the same concerns that were presented in this case.
Sources & Materials

[6] Not in our backyard; northern Saskatchewan residents protest nuclear waste dump. (Global News, Jennifer Graham, 16th August 2011).
[click to view]

[7] An interview with northern Saskatchewan residents resisting a nuclear waste dump on their land (Briarpatch, Don Kossick & Briarpatch Staff, 1st January 2012).
[click to view]

[2] Sacred land, unholy uranium: Canada's mining industry in conflict with First Nations Committee for Future Generations, (30th March 2016).
[click to view]

[1] Northern Sask. residents protest nuclear waste dump (The Canadian Press August 17, 2011).
[click to view]

[3] First Nations communities' struggle against uranium mining in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada

(Committee for Future Generations 22 September 2018).
[click to view]

[4] Canadians.org 2011: WIN! NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP RULED OUT FOR SASKATCHEWAN
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[5] WALK AGAINST NUCLEAR WASTE TO CHALLENGE NWMO
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update14/09/2021
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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