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Letter Concerning Nuclear to Bancroft This Week

from Stu Vickars, Lake St.Peter, ON
April 11, 2008

This letter did not appear in yesterday's Bancroft This Week. There was a front page article about the possibility of a uranium mine near Gooderham. My letter was in response to a reeve in Hastings East being quoted that he hadn't seen anyone die from radiation. There had been uranium mining in this area before, the tailings are visible from Hwy.28 near Paudash.

Dear Editor

Except for Japan in 1945, few people are ever to be seen dying from excess radiation in the environment. It's like have you ever seen someone keel over dead after smoking a cigarette? It's not likely but even the government finally admitted that there's a link between tobacco and premature death so started enacting legislation to curb smoking. Statistics show us things we can't see with the naked eye. Radiation causes cells to mutate and cancer is a mutation gone wild. The more radiation there is, the more cancer there will be. And cancer is a terrible way to die.

Sure, radiation is everywhere, it even comes from outer space in the form of cosmic rays. But we don't need to increase the amount in the environment by mining uranium. Donna Dillman was trying to tell Mr. McGuinty that 80% of the uranium already mined in this country is exported. He wouldn't listen, of course, the profits of corporations are more in his interest than the health of Ontarioans. He would have us believe that we'll freeze in the dark in the future if we don't build more nuclear power plants but that's just not the case. It's going to take umpteen billions of dollars and tons of fossil fuels and decades of time to wrest one more calorie from atomic energy in new plants. I'd gladly take my share of those umpteen billions of dollars and install solar panels today!

Jobs? This area could use more employment but why don't we put more people in the bush cutting firewood or erecting windmills close to lakeshores? Bushwork is dangerous but the danger is limited to the person doing it, no-one else is put at risk because of that activity as they are with mining uranium. Let's leave the stuff in the ground and we remain protected from its radiation by tons of dirt.