Photo: Old PICTURE TAKING PROHIBITED sign on upper end of McQuestion Point near the lighthouse, just upriver from the nuclear plant. It's been there for decades, undoubtedly since the late 1940s. Photographed in 2003 by DLP.

Does anyone have a better photo of this sign? Please contact me!

Please fill out our online Survey!

See instructions a page or so below! You can’t miss it.

The material that follows has been developed by a hard-working Committee following our OFWCA Annual Meeting in July 2016, in response to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ intention to build a Near Surface Disposal Facility at the Chalk River plant site. The group is comprised of Johanna Echlin, Shelly Kaulbach, Georgina Bartos, Elssa Martinez, Susan Donlan, and Craig Robinson. We all owe them a great debt for the vast amount of time and effort they have put into this endless task!

Click here to subscribe to the OFWCA Bulletins.

Click here to join the OFWCA!

We are working closely with the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area regarding the plans afoot at the Chalk River site. You may wish to visit their website as well:


Quick Reading for You!

Monday, June 26, 2017:

The following is one of the simplest and most compelling lines I have seen to date regarding this project:

I believe it is CNL’s job to convince concerned citizens that their plan is a good idea rather than the citizenry’s job to convince them that it is a bad one.

—Jim Coffey, owner-operator of Esprit Rafting

Something else we hope you will read:

Emma March is a Pembroke resident, a member of our OFWCA nuclear team, and a student at Queens University (more information below). She made this presentation to Pembroke City Council  on June 6. This is highly recommended as a starting point to educate yourself about this project and why it is extremely dangerous for all of us.

Emma March Pembroke City Council June 6, 2017

Take Action! This is the only way we will succeed!

To join your many neighbours and organizations that are protesting this terrible CNL plan, please send your thoughts to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Scroll down until you see this silly symbol, where you will find detailed instructions!

  1. Bullet

Monday, October 23, 2017:

Please take this Survey!

We need to know what you think!

The Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association needs your participation in a ten-minute survey about your awareness of the NSDF project at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River. You will note below that the Association is a participant in this activity, and we are looking for your response whether you are a member, resident, business, or frequent visitor to the Greater Sheenboro and Ottawa Valley areas.

Your Association strongly urges that you fill out this questionnaire. We would also appreciate it if you forward this Bulletin to your friends and neighbours so that they may participate. 

Many thanks,

David and Johanna



Community Survey of Views on

Proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility

for Radioactive Wastes at Chalk River

As most of you know, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has proposed a Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) for radioactive wastes on the Chalk River Laboratories site (CRL). The CRL site is located in Renfrew County, Ontario, on the shore of the Ottawa River, approximately 200 km northwest of Ottawa and close to the community of Chalk River. The NSDF is proposed as an “engineered containment mound” where up to one million cubic metres of radioactive and mixed wastes would be placed over an operating period estimated to be at least 50 years.

Nuclear Waste Watch and the Old Fort William Cottagers' Association are participating in a review of the project and are interested in understanding how local and regional residents regard the project. In particular, they are interested in assessing levels of community awareness and acceptance with respect to the proposed facility.

Over the fall (2017) an independent consultant retained by the groups is undertaking a community investigation using a brief survey, a series of interviews, and local focus groups.

The survey has been designed to gather the views and perceptions of residents in the region about the project, as proposed by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. The reviewers seek to hear from the broadest range of residents possible; all responses will be confidential with results aggregated.  

This survey is available online at

Breaking News! CNL Announces a Revision

Sent via OFWCA Cottager Bulletin
Friday, October 27, 2017

CNL announced yesterday that they will not include intermediate-level waste in the mega dump. Ole Hendrickson and Craig Robinson brought us this news last night (they attended the regular stewardship council meeting yesterday at CNL). CNL has now also posted this news on their website (link below). CNL has reacted to public outcry and to the 200+ submissions. This is good news that public pressure is beginning to have an effect.

We are not yet victorious. There is no clear definition of low- and intermediate-level waste. There will still be very long-lived materials in the dump. It is still against International Atomic Energy Agency standards, and it is still too close to the river. Our work must continue so that we will be heard fully. This news may make it easier for the dump to get approval as some will think by removing intermediate-level waste there is no longer any danger. They are wrong.  

If we listen to our scientists, we know that removing intermediate-level waste does not solve one of the biggest flaws with this proposal. Scientists tell us that there is a great deal of harmful material, some with long-lived radionuclides, in what CNL calls low-level waste. In Canada, long-lived post-fission wastes, such as plutonium, are considered low-level wastes as they do not require shielding for handling. There are also very toxic materials, including heavy metals, involved. In no way should these materials be abandoned in an above-ground mound. Remember too that the International Atomic Energy Agency says that a mound-landfill, which is what the Engineered Containment Mound is, is only suitable for very low-level waste. CNL’s proposed facility (even for low-level waste) does not comply with international standards.  

We have made progress, but we still have a long road to hoe. We must make sure that people understand that low-level waste includes very dangerous material. CNL must also hear us that we do not accept radioactive waste coming to Chalk River for disposal from other locations. And we must continue to tell CNL that the location beside the river is not acceptable.  


Don't forget to take the survey!

This is important, so please do it right away.

It takes ten minutes.

Link to Ministry of the Environment Webpage with All Public Submissions

Every submission regarding the CNL plans is posted more or less chronologically on this page.

Newest Posts are immediately below.

Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends,
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, September 5, 2017

2017: Our CNL Summer

What an eventful summer: We had four events in less than one month. Well done, OFWCA members. I will summarize.


But first, two important matters that require your attention:


A Petition to the Government was launched in early August.

Lynn Jones, of Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, and Deedee Sanderson drafted a petition to the Government of Canada requesting a halt on all environmental assessments for proposed permanent radioactive waste disposal sites until the Environmental Assessment Process has been revised in 2018, and also requesting an independent third party review board. MP David McGuinty has sponsored the petition. Johanna Echlin, Gilles Provost, and Ginette Charbonneau co-signed it.


At least 500 signatures were needed. It now has about 1,100 signatures. We want thousands of signatures so it makes a huge impact.


Read the petition and sign it, please. Use Explorer or Safari. The Government website does not work with Firefox.


This is truly important. We need you to support this action. This could make a real difference! (Must be a Canadian citizen or a Canadian resident.) Please send to your friends and neighbours.


OFWCA’s Facebook Page: OFWCA-CNL Radioactive Waste Watch was launched on July 9 by OFWCA member Jason Phelps: Go and visit and like. Send the link to your friends and family. Facebook is one way to keep up-to-date with all matters related to CNL news. It also helps to inform more people.



OFWCA’s Four Events this summer


1. CNL Presentation, July 15:


About 120 people attended — OFWCA members and residents from local communities, Gatineau, and Montreal. CNL presented for about 30 minutes, and then there was a question and answer period of about 90 minutes. Because the questions were impressive and indicated the deep concern of our members and others, all 37 Questions were transcribed in order to send them to Canada Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) with OFWCA’s second submission. David Prentice video-taped this event, which made the transcription possible.


Transcript of the 37 Questions: click here.



2. OFWCA AGM, July 22:

A. A new OFWCA Resolution opposing CNL’s proposal was adopted overwhelmingly at this meeting. (Those not able to attend sent their vote by proxy.)


Read OFWCA Resolution 2017: click here.


B. The following Motion, to be sent to the CNSC, was also adopted at the AGM:

  1. 1. CNL has not engaged in a meaningful way with river communities nor has it been transparent in sharing information on alternative sites and their associated costs.

  2. 2. CNL and the CNSC should consider and adhere to International Atomic Energy Agency standards.


3. OFWCA Boat Flotilla, August 6:


A highlight of the summer (!) for those of us who braved the wind and cool temperatures to protest CNL’s plans for a mega-dump. 30+ boats and about 150 people went out on the River in front of CNL. Visit OFWCA’s CNL Facebook page —


— to see photos and a video (you will need to scroll down a bit). Participants, including our many children and grandchildren, created great banners and signs.


Stephen Uhler of the Pembroke Daily Observer and Peter Smith of the Pontiac Journal were with us that day, as well as Rebecca Bartlett from myFM Radio Renfrew and Pembroke.


Aug. 7/17 Stephen Uhler, Daily Observer - OFWCA Flotilla (Aug. 6):


Aug. 16/17 Peter Smith, Pontiac Journal


 See awesome front page of The Equity. Click here.

4. MNA Martine Ouellet visits OFWCA at the Fort, August 10:

About 40 people attended that Thursday morning at the Fort. Many were OFWCA members, but we also had people from Shawville (Pontiac Environmental Protection), others from Bristol, and from Gatineau (STOP and Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive). Visit OFWCA’s Facebook page to see an 8-minute video of Martine Ouellet’s speech (in English).

She stated that CNL’s proposal is “an insult to our intelligence.” She encourages us to write to David Heurtel, Minister of the Environment in Quebec, to urge him to institute a Quebec environmental assessment (BAPE). Or write to our MNA Andre Fortin.

Hon. David Heurtel MNA

Minister of the Environment (Quebec)

André Fortin, MNA (for Pontiac)


Aug. 16/17, Fred Ryan, Pontiac Journal


Donald Teuma-Castelletti from The Equity was present and wrote an article that appeared in The Equity on August 15.


Montreal Event, October 5

OFWCA and Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive are planning an evening public meeting in Montreal on October 5.  

The aim of this event is to put pressure on the Quebec Minister of the Environment to initiate a Quebec Environmental Assessment (BAPE) for the CNL-Chalk River proposal. Representatives from the various political parties are being invited. So far, we know that Martine Ouellet (Bloc Quebecois) and Alex Tyrrell (Quebec Green Party) as well as one PQ MNA have confirmed that they will attend. The Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, has also been invited as well as David Heurtel himself. Other organizations in opposition to CNL’s proposal will also be present. Stay tuned to OFWCA’s Facebook for continuing information on this event as it develops.  


Four events in less than one month! Quite something, OFWCA! Bravo! We have swamped you with information and meetings, but all for good reasons. We all love our River and want to protect it and all the people living along the Ottawa for many generations to come.


Submissions to CNSC

Our thanks and appreciation to all of you who have written letters to the CNSC. The period for public submissions is now over. We will have another chance in early 2018 (dates not yet known). There were about 220 submissions. It is impressive. It must make quite an impact! Well done, OFWCA. We are determined, certainly. Spend some time reading these excellent submissions. Some are factual and some are moving. All tell the story: not on the River.


Link to all submissions sent to Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:


A few recommendations — there are so many excellent ones to read, but here are just a few recent ones:


1. The Town of Deep River. Submission written by an ex-AECL employee. 58 page-report is highly critical of CNL’s proposal.


Globe and Mail article about Deep River’s submission (trouble is, you have to be subscribed to access it: August 23, 2017, Shawn McCarthy, Globe and Mail. A part of the article is printed on OFWCA’s Facebook page.)


2. Dr. Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. “A Heap of Trouble” addresses the highly dangerous and long-lived radioactive wastes that CNL intends to emplace in the mound and how some waste becomes more hazardous with time.


3. Ottawa Riverkeeper. Two experts and two very critical reports.


Ottawa Citizen’s article about the Riverkeeper’s submission:

August 17, 2017, Ottawa Citizen, Tom Spears


4. Dr. Michael Dworkind. Raises health hazards.


5. Lynn Jones, Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area. CNL’s EIS is flawed and the process for reviewing the EIS is also flawed.


6. Ginette Charbonneau, Physicist, and Gilles Provost, Journalist, Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive.


7. OFWCA’s second Submission (Additional Information):

Further details about OFWCA’s Resolution, the Motion, the meeting with CNL, and Municipal resolutions.



Municipal Resolutions opposing radioactive waste being shipped to Chalk River from any outside location:

A letter was sent on August 27 to those municipalities (Sheenboro, Clarendon, Bristol, Campbell’s Bay, and Alfred and Plantagenet) that have passed a resolution during this past year opposing any additional radioactive waste being shipped to CNL at Chalk River from any outside location. OFWCA requests that they pass a stronger resolution in opposition to CNL’s entire proposal. See the full letter here (excluding the attachments):


Recent Municipal Resolutions

The following municipalities have passed resolutions expressing strong opposition to CNL’s proposal. Our colleagues in other organizations such as Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive are actively working to oppose CNL’s plan and are making municipalities aware of the danger to their communities. We are expecting more municipalities to adopt resolutions.


Canton de Lochaber, March 13, 2017

MRC de Deux-Montagnes (includes: les Municipalités de St-Placide-Oka, St-Joseph du Lac, Pointe-Calumet, Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Deux-Montagnes and St-Eustache), July 5, 2017

Municipalité Saint-Tharcisius, August 7, 2017

Municipalité d’Oka, August 7, 2017

Municipalité de Val-Brillant, August 10, 2017

MRC Les Moulins, August 15, 2017



An Excellent Article by Fred Ryan, Pontiac Journal, July 19:’s-nuclear-dump-planned-our-future



That is our news. Things are happening quickly now. Keep in touch with OFWCA’s Facebook page. Answer calls to action. Think of writing to our Pontiac politicians: Andre Fortin MNA and William Amos MP. They need to know how you feel about CNL’s proposal. Or write to the politicians where you are living when not at the Fort (if in Canada, of course).

If you live outside of Canada, you could of course write to Canadian politicians in the relevant jurisdictions. We have noted good submissions to the CNSC from Americans who have visited friends here on the Ottawa. 

Besides the addresses up above, you could write to Sheen's Member of Parliament:

William Amos, MP

Consider writing Letters to the Editor. Do sign the Petition mentioned at the beginning of this Bulletin. We will also try to keep you informed.


New News for All from DLP:

1. We are on Twitter!

I am occasionally using Twitter to send all kinds of information from @OFWCA. There are only a handful of Cottager followers, but tweeting will step up if some more people Follow us. I see it as a good way to fill in news on a more immediate basis than Bulletins permit. It’s easy to sign up and Follow.

Here is another Twitter link to Follow:


2. CNL is on Facebook. Have Some Fun!

You can find our favourite neighbour at:

Interestingly, there is a post that asks people to rate CNL, as if it were a pizza parlor or a muffler shop. I notice a single post at the top with one star (you can’t rate it as zero!) and a whole row of posts that all give it 5 stars. Right! I didn’t have time to click on everyone, but I am sure CNL is too smart to have employees rating the place, but the string of five stars is a definite signal of some stacking of the deck. Go to this page, and write a comment! I have not done that yet, as I am inundated here with projects, but I will get to it later. I did Like the first comment, though. It’s a start.

Best to you all and many thanks for your participation and support,


Johanna Echlin

Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends,
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, Sunday, July 9, 2017

We are seeing a great deal of interest in the upcoming meeting about the nuclear project up the River. As you know by now, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories will be at the Hotel Pontiac on Saturday, July 15, at 9:30 (come early! Have breakfast, too!). This meeting will start with a 30-minute presentation by CNL. This is an entirely different format from any earlier meeting you might have attended.

A group of us gathered in an impromptu discussion during Friday night fiddling at the Fort. That provided the impetus to develop a one-page list of important facts we think you should know, and which we hope will ensure your presence on Saturday. There are some aspects of the CNL proposal that are downright dangerous for the entire Valley and beyond, but especially, because of our immediately downstream location, for all of us and our full enjoyment of our little part of heaven here. 

We expect that your reading of our 11 points will scare the hell out of you, as it does to us. 

Please download the attached PDF, read it, and print it to give to your friends, neighbours, people you bump into on the beach — anyone! 

Click for PDF!

The PDF provides links to other reading.

Email if you have any questions. 

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday. Bring some questions. The CNL representatives have stated that they will stay until all questions have been answered. 


Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends,
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Two quick items:

Proxy for AGM Resolution

It's always difficult to schedule events and meetings, as we know that some people inevitably are going to have to miss them due to conflicts or absence from the area. With the important vote on the OFWCA's Resolution against the CNL project on the agenda at the Annual General Meeting on July 22, we decided to offer absentee members an opportunity for early proxy voting so that their voice may be counted. 

Click 20170707 CNL Proxy ResolutionR2.pdf to open a PDF file with the Resolution and instructions for eligibility and how to get your form to us two days before the meeting — the deadline is July 20. If you send a proxy and find you are able to attend the meeting, just let us know as you arrive, and we will rip up the proxy. 

CNL Meeting, July 15

In case you missed this, click here to open a printable notice about the CNL meeting on July 15. We urge you to hand these out to friends and neighbours and urge them to attend and learn about the project. 
PS: Here is a subsequent notice with a bit more urgency: 20170709 1745 CNL Meeting New.pdf

Sunny day — again! 


Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends,
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, Friday, June 30, 2017

Our nuclear committee is continuing its very thorough gathering, review, and analysis of every scrap of information they can find that will help us all to understand the project that Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is proposing. 

We remind you again that this is not a done deal and that there is a lot of activity and publicity on many fronts beyond our own quiet shores. This is a Big Story, and your collective participation by sending your thoughts to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will be very significant in determining the outcome. 

Johanna Echlin has prepared this Bulletin to bring us all up to date on what the Group has been doing. Note the upcoming meetings, too!

CNL Bulletin 

Hello, Everyone,


This will fill you in on the latest news, activities, thinking, and actions regarding the proposal for the Near-Surface Disposal Facility that is being promoted for location just up the River from Sheenboro and Fort William. We will have a busy season this year, trying to enlist the help of all to work against this poorly conceived project.


Invitation: July 15, 9:30 a.m., CNL comes to the Fort

CNL (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories) is coming to the Fort on Saturday, July 15, at 9:30 a.m. This will be an important opportunity for OFWCA members to learn about CNL’s proposals and to ask questions. Below is the invitation; we urge you to print it and hang it around town and give copies to your neighbours. The meeting is open to all interested persons.


We hope many people in our surrounding communities will join us on this occasion. The decisions that CNL will make this year are of vital importance to everyone in the Valley and beyond.




CNL’s Response to OFWCA’s 65 Questions sent to CNL in January

In January, OFWCA submitted over 65 questions to CNL. CNL’s responses came back to OFWCA after the original May 16 deadline and after OFWCA had already made a submission to the CNSC.


Find CNL’s answers to our questions here.



Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association Annual General Meeting: July 22, 9:30 a.m.

And then, just one week later: come to the AGM on Saturday, July 22, at 9:30 a.m. This will be an extremely important meeting. We have lots to discuss. And we will ask you to make a crucial decision in the form of a resolution against the Project.


Please understand the way the meeting will work: it is open to members of the OFWCA and their guests. Voting is open only to each paid-up member/family. Dues and back-owed dues are payable at the meeting (come early) at $20 per year. Email if you have questions about your own dues status. And most importantly: While there will be a quick review of the situation, we expect that everyone who participates will have done the necessary background reading to ask thoughtful questions. Asking “what’s this all about” will not qualify as a legitimate question in the limited time we have available in a meeting that must cover many other topics as well.


Our committee is recommending that OFWCA vote at the AGM on a new resolution regarding CNL’s proposal for a Near Surface Disposal Facility.


Last July at our AGM, OFWCA members passed a resolution. At that time, we knew virtually nothing about CNL or the proposal for an NSDF, but we knew that we objected to CNL’s plan to bring more radioactive waste and other waste from different areas of the country to Chalk River. Now, nearly a year later, and after much study and research about the proposal for an engineered containment mound (ECM), we know a great deal more.

We want not only to oppose what we believe to be a very flawed plan but to put forward what we think might be better options for the care of the radioactive waste at Chalk River. We think it will tell people that we are not saying no to everything, and we are not trying to close down Chalk River and destroy jobs and lives — but that we want the best solutions that will protect people and our environment, the river and future generations. A better solution in a better location will not risk the future prosperity of the region. If anything, the number of jobs should increase if this is done well. If a state-of-the-art facility is more expensive in the short run, it will stimulate the local economy. The present plan may cost less initially, but the harm that will be caused could be enormous.


We believe it is time to end the false narratives in the Valley — that if this project does not go through, Chalk River will shut down and jobs will be lost. This must not be the narrative. People should not fear saying no to a bad plan. A better plan should be the result.


Here is our committee’s proposed wording for OFWCA’s new resolution. Note that we have retained almost exactly the same wording in the first paragraph as in last year’s resolution.


Current Resolution, Passed July 2016

OFWCA strongly objects to Chalk River (CNL) receiving and accepting radioactive waste and any other waste from another site outside the Chalk River facility. Disposal of radioactive waste and any other waste must be limited to Chalk River’s current levels of generated radioactive waste.



A New OFWCA Resolution, July 2017

OFWCA strongly objects to Chalk River (CNL) receiving and accepting radioactive waste and any other waste from another site outside the Chalk River facility for disposal. Disposal of radioactive waste and any other waste must be limited to Chalk River’s current levels of generated radioactive waste.


OFWCA strongly objects to CNL shipping high-level fuel wastes from the Whiteshell Laboratories in Manitoba to Chalk River for storage.


OFWCA opposes the type of disposal facility proposed by CNL. The “Engineered Containment Mound” proposed by CNL does not meet international safety standards for low- and intermediate-level radioactive and toxic waste that CNL intends to emplace in the proposed disposal facility.


OFWCA strongly opposes the location for the disposal facility in CNL’s proposal. The site is too close to the Ottawa River, the source of drinking water for millions of Canadians. It is also on porous and fractured rock. No new facility for disposal should be placed in close proximity to the Ottawa River.


Any new disposal facility at Chalk River must be at least 25 km away from the Ottawa River. There is federal land in Renfrew County adjacent to the Chalk River site that might be more suitable for a facility.


The 70-year legacy of radioactive and toxic wastes currently at Chalk River must be cared for responsibly in a state-of-the-art facility.


OFWCA calls for a proper assessment of the alternatives for disposal using the guidance provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Retrievable Storage or “Rolling Stewardship” should be considered as an alternative to disposal. In this system the radioactive waste is contained, retrievable, and monitored. Information and responsibility is transferred from one generation to the next.



Here is a parallel activity in which we hope you will participate: 


New OFWCA Petition, initiated and created by OFWCA member Chris Cavan

Everyone: please go to this petition and sign it, and pass it along to everyone you know. We want this petition to be a successful OFWCA endeavour! The Avaaz site is secure — do not fear.

The petition declares:

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change: Stop nuclear and toxic waste mega-dump on Ottawa River.
The Ottawa River is a precious Canadian resource that is hugely threatened by a current proposal to locate a radioactive and toxic waste dump at Chalk River, Ontario. Millions of people depend on the water of the Ottawa River for their health, livelihood and relaxation. We live along this river and demand that this disastrous decision to locate a mega-dump by the Ottawa River be halted immediately.




Emma March Makes Her Debut at Pembroke City Council

We introduced Emma March to OFWCA in our last CNL Bulletin. She is working closely with OFWCA and Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area. She has read just about everything that both we and the CCRCA have discovered and written, as well as many of the submissions to the CNSC, and she has done a lot of research.


Emma prepared and delivered an amazing presentation to the Finance and Administration Committee of Pembroke City Council on June 6. Lynn Jones of Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area was with Emma, and together they made a very positive impact.


Here is an article that appeared just a few days after the presentation:

June 9/17, Daily Observer, Stephen Uhler:

Emma March/Lynn Jones Presentation to Pembroke Council June 6, 2017


We had hoped that Emma would join us at the Fort for our AGM July 22 and deliver this speech in person to OFWCA members. But unfortunately for us, she will be away. Here is a link to it. It is compelling.


Emma March Pembroke City Council June 6, 2017




Read Another Excellent Submission to the CNSC: William Turner

William Turner’s submission arrived just after our last Bulletin. We highly recommend that everyone read his 83-page scathing report on CNL’s NSDF proposal. William Turner worked for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) for 24 years. In his 2-page covering letter, Turner emphatically states “the CNSC should intervene and call a halt to this travesty,” and in his submission he gives many reasons why.


Go directly to his submission:

#97, May 31/2017, William Turner Submission to CNSC


As Mr. Turner has raised so many crucial issues and serious problems with CNL’s proposal, I have created 36 questions based on his submission, which you will find below.


New Questions (June 2017), All Derived from William Turner’s Submission to CNSC



Recent Newspaper Articles

June 27, 2017, Shawn McCarthy, Globe & Mail: “Scientists Decry Plan for Ontario Nuclear Waste Site”

May 24, 2017, Aylmer Bulletin: Kathleen Fletcher interviews Jim Coffey of Esprit Rafting



We Partnered for Two Grants!

Nuclear Waste Watch (NWW) and OFWCA jointly applied for two grants (each for $18,972) to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Participant Funding Program (PFP) for the review of two proposals. 

  1. 1CNL’s (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories) Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) at Chalk River;

  2. 2CNL’s Nuclear Power Demonstration Closure Project (NPD) in Rolphton (final in-situ decommissioning of NPD reactor in Rolphton).

OFWCA is very fortunate as $10,272 for each of the two proposals has been granted. John Jackson, of Nuclear Waste Watch, is the coordinator and is reviewing social acceptability and public engagement for each proposal. Dr. Frank Greening, an expert, was hired to review the waste to be managed and to write an assessment of the radiological and toxic hazard of the waste inventory for each of these projects. Christine Peringer, a professional, will be doing a study on the social acceptability of both proposals a little further down the road in the environmental assessment process. When the time comes, all of them will be present at the licensing hearings.


Please read John Jackson’s submission to the CNSC, which includes Dr. Greening’s report on CNL’s draft environmental impact statement for the NSDF project:


May 15/17, #67, John Jackson (NWW & OFWCA) & Dr. Frank Greening



New Fact Sheets from Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area

There are two great new fact sheets expertly written by our friends at Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area. We are enormously indebted to Ole Hendrickson and Lynn Jones, and we thank them for keeping us informed.


“Ten MORE things Canadians should know...”


“Why is there so much plutonium in the radioactive wastes at Chalk River?”



Find All CNSC Submissions Here:

Submissions posted on Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) website:


It is very impressive to see all those great letters that so many of you have written.


Keep them coming! We hope all of our members and neighbours will participate in this process.


Keep writing letters to the CNSC. The deadline is now officially August 16.


Looking forward to seeing you on the River.


Stay safe and have a great summer.


Johanna Echlin


Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends,
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, Wednesday, May 31, 2017



This Bulletin started out as an email to give some of my friends a nudge about writing to the CNSC and the Environment Minister about the Nukes issues facing us all. Then I thought that it should become a Bulletin: why not update everyone? Johanna Echlin agreed, and here is another installment with the latest news, including a new link to use for sending your own submissions.


This is admittedly long, but you need to read it, or you may wake up in 25 years to find there has been a leak just up the River —


First, Johanna would like to welcome our newest collaborator:


  1. I would like to introduce Emma March to OFWCA. Emma contacted us recently and is now working with OFWCA and Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County.


  3. Emma has a science background and has just completed 2 years in biology at Queen’s University. Her studies have included the effects of nuclear exposure. She describes herself as a “huge environmentalist” and hopes to get an environmental law degree in the future. She is keen and passionate and vehemently opposed to CNL’s proposal and wants to be involved in our opposition in any way she can. She is now back in Pembroke for the summer working for a law firm. Her family have been in Pembroke since the mid-1800s. Emma is going to accompany Lynn and Ole to a council meeting in Pembroke in early June. She will introduce herself as a resident of Pembroke. Emma wants to write letters — to the CNSC and to others. We welcome all the help she can give.


  5. Emma is initiating a project in a Pembroke high school and will work with several teachers who are happy to participate as it fits into the curriculum. Students will learn about Chalk River, radioactive waste and CNL’s proposal. Some students may write letters to the CNSC if they wish.


  7. Emma is also a step dancer and a fiddler. She should enjoy the Fort!


Welcome, Emma! We look forward to meeting you!


Update on Project Status in Quebec

Johanna and Elssa Martinez have provided this summary of what has been happening in Quebec:


  1. Things have been heating up over the past month. It was Quebec that insisted on a French translation of CNL’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS), which has forced the CNSC to extend the public comment period until approximately August 16. 


  3. Gilles Provost’s exposé “Alert nucléaire au Québec” (see April 20 Bulletin) was widely distributed and the CNL mega dump is now commonly known in Quebec as le dépotoir nucléaire. Both Gilles and the Riverkeeper’s Patrick Nadeau are doing radio and television interviews. Elssa Martinez (OFWCA) and Gilles are writing letters to politicians and others.


  5. On May 3, the political debate regarding CNL’s proposal began to take shape. Martine Ouellet, deputy of Vachon and leader of the Bloc Québois, challenged Quebec’s environment minister, David Heurtel, on CNL’s proposal. Heurtel said that he plans to develop a nuclear emergency plan in the event of radiological emissions from the proposed dump. Ouellet called on him to oppose the location of the project outright. Martine Ouellet is convinced that the environment minister does not understand the magnitude of the risk. She believes it is imperative to question the project before it is authorized and that David Heurtel should require a BAPE (bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environment - environmental hearing process in Quebec).


  7. The following day, PQ MNAs Sylvain Gaudreault, member of the official opposition for environment and the fight against climate change, Stéphane Bergeron, official opposition critic for the Outaouais region and Sylvain Rochon, official opposition critic for energy and natural resources denounced that the federal government did not consult Quebec on this project and its location (a kilometre away from Quebec). They also demanded that the government of Quebec hold a public consultation (a BAPE) on CNL’s proposal, a proposition that was welcomed and supported by Martine Ouellet.


  9. On May 15, Martine Ouellet held a news conference to announce the intentions of the Bloc. “We will be vigilant in protecting Quebecers, our territory and our collective health. We will never allow Quebec to be at risk of a catastrophe caused by nuclear contamination. With climate change, natural disasters are becoming more frequent. Add to that a dump at risk and you have the ‘perfect recipe’ for an unprecedented disaster” concluded Martine Ouellet. (Quote a translation from French by Google.) The Bloc intends to make a submission to the CNSC during the public hearing, and Ouellet intends to begin discussion with the federal government about the project in the House of Commons.


Here is an article written by Lynn Jones of the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area.

CNL gets high marks for use of poetic license, but a dismal FAIL on science

  1. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) – run by a consortium of profitmaking multinational companies – is proposing to build a “Near Surface Disposal Facility” for a million cubic meters of radioactive waste at its Chalk River facility along the Ottawa River. Promotional materials about the facility exhibit striking and extensive use of poetic license.


  3. For starters, take the name of the facility. it is called the “Near Surface Disposal Facility” despite the fact that the giant mound of radioactive waste would be up to 80 feet high in some places. This is the height of a 7-story apartment building. “Near surface”? Hmm, perhaps if viewed from a passing jetliner.


  5. Consider also the use of poetic license in CNL’s terms “safe,” “proven technology” and “built to protect people and the environment.” These terms appear repeatedly in ad campaigns and statements from company executives. In truth, the dump would:

  6.   fail to contain radioactive wastes

  7.   fail to meet international safety standards, and

  8.   release large quantities of tritium, plutonium and other radioactive materials into the environment for millennia 

  9. The term “normal evolution” is used 39 times in the 1,000-page draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by CNL. This is very creative use of poetic license. The giant radioactive mound would be entirely manmade. “Normal evolution” makes it all sound so innocuous and reassuring while describing the disintegration of the mound and release into the environment of highly toxic man-made radioactive materials for millennia.


  11. A dismal FAIL on science

  12. The EIS table ( listing the radioactive materials proposed for inclusion in the dump contains serious errors. It displays a complete lack of understanding of radiochemistry, suggesting that 1000 tonnes of uranium-238, the equivalent fuel inventory of 10 CANDU reactors, would be disposed of in the dump. Quantities of other radioactive materials in the table are similarly suspect. In another section of the EIS ( an estimated worker radiation dose of 10 Sv/hour is given, despite the fact that such a dose would be fatal within one hour for any worker exposed to it.

Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, May 14, 2017


Here is a link to a PDF of the above doc.

Open PDF


Here is some more highly recommended information:

This is a one-page article by Ole Hendrickson: Is it legal to abandon radioactive waste in Canada?


Another Ole Hendrickson one-page article that you have seen before but is excellent and may be helpful: The Chalk River Mega-Dump – Five Fatal Flaws


Scary reading!


Online List of All Submissions to the Government

To all of you who have written letters to the CNSC — we can’t thank you enough. There is a growing list of letters on the CNSC website, and it is quite impressive to see so many letters in opposition. It must make an impact. There can be no mistake — CNSC will see that those of us living or spending time on the river are in opposition to this proposal.


Johanna Echlin has provided a link to the growing number of submissions that have been received by the CNSC and are posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website. She also listed a few submissions that had caught her eye as of May 23 (note that submissions appear to require a few days to be added to the list).


This is the link.


Among all the fine letters that have been submitted, there are a few excellent reports on this webpage that were submitted by ex-AECL employees and by scientists and others that we urge you to read in particular. Note that submissions are sorted by date and not by submission number, or use your browser's Search option to help you find them on the webpage:


  1. Dr. Walker, #40 (May 9), says this mound will be hazardous for 100,000 years.

  2. Dr. Winfield, #37 (May 3), raises question about geothermal membranes - they last maybe 25 years.

  3. Dr. Greening’s report, inside John Jackson’s, #67 (May 15), OFWCA with Nuclear Waste Watch received a participant funding grant and engaged Dr. Greening to do a submission re: CNL's EIS.

  4. Greg Csullog, #39, May 1; Updated #91, May 29): OMG — just the first 7 pages tells you that CNL does not have a clue what they are thinking of putting in this facility; all the low-level and intermediate-level waste are all mixed up together at Chalk River. This whole proposal should never have seen the light of day.

  5. Evelyn Gigantes, #78 (May 17). This is very interesting and worth a read. OFWCA is central in her report. She addresses the inadequacy of CNL’s public engagement and challenges CNL on their dismissal of flooding and earthquakes. (Ms. Gigantes is a former Ontario MPP and was a cabinet minister under Bob Rae.)

  6. Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, #88 (May 26), from Ole Hendrickson, points out the many serious deficiencies in the proposal and EIS. He states that the location is geologically completely unsuitable and that the proposed facility is not a near surface facility but a landfill and EIS must assess environmental effects accordingly (it does not). Many aspects are raised that would likely cause significant adverse environmental effects.

  7. Note that OFWCA’s submission (#86, May 8) has now been posted. CNSC has removed correspondence and the actual Municipal resolutions due to personal identifying information contained within those pages.


Please do go on the website and make sure that your letter has been posted. If it is not there after ten days, send another message just to Ms. Frigault at CNSC, forwarding a copy of your letter, and ask why your letter has not been posted on their website. We do not want any of your letters to get mislaid!

  1. Bullet

What you need to do right away!

Again, we strongly urge you, please write your letters to present your point of view on this project.

From the beginning, we asked you to send your letters to Ms. Nicole Frigault at the CNSC with a copy to The Hon. Catherine McKenna, MP, Minister of the Environment. It has since been recommended by one of our affiliate groups, and our Committee agrees, your letters/submissions should also be copied to The Honourable James Gordon Carr, MP, Minister of Natural Resources. We have modified our email link below to reflect this addition.


You don’t have to write an elaborate multi-page scientific document. A few paragraphs with a list of issues that concern you, flaws in the arguments, specific statements that ignore counterarguments. You can add a bit of your history on the River and whatever you wish, but we are inferring that the science of this is what is most important, so if you find aspects of the proposal that you believe are incorrect or otherwise vulnerable, these would be of most value in your submission.



Below is the link to open a blank email that will be pre-addressed with the subject line (required — do not modify!) already included.


Send Email to 3 addresses!


When the message form opens up, if you can, please move the second and third email addresses down to the CC line of your outgoing message, since the message is directed primarily to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, copying the others as a means of informing them as well. And please bcc me or forward a copy to


If you have already sent your message to Ms. Frigault and Minister McKenna, it is your decision whether or not to send it on to The Honourable James Gordon Carr, MP, Minister of Natural Resources. If you wish to do so, the email address for his office is

You may copy this link, or just click on it and an email will open to Minister Carr. It's probably best to use the same subject line, as we believe all these messages will be auto-sorted by the recipients:

Subj.: Submission Letter to CNSC re: EIS CNL’s Proposal for NSDF at Chalk River, Ontario

One more thought

We know that some people are thinking that this is a Done Deal, so what’s the point? The point is simply that if we do nothing, it will indeed become Done. The last 50 years, to say nothing of many years earlier, have taught people that nothing is gained by sitting around and letting someone else make the decision.




David and Johanna


I have received a couple of emails this morning (we must have all heard the same CBC Radio report) about the Deep Geological Repository (DGR) that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) wants to establish 1 km from Lake Huron. Our Committee has been following this since last August.

Johanna's comments to me today: "They want to bury deep in the rock — 650+ metres below ground — low-level and intermediate-level waste, the same type of waste that CNL wants to throw on top of the ground, where it will be exposed to weather for at least 50 years until the cover goes on top. Theirs might be safer, but still they have to worry about it being next to the Great Lakes and the possibility of leaks. CNL’s facility is not comparable — it is just plain ridiculous.  Both are hazards."

Committee Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends.
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, Friday, May 5, 2017



The public has only until May 17 to comment on CNL’s proposal to build a Near Surface Disposal Facility on the Chalk River Laboratories site. There may be an extension, but we do not know this for sure yet or what that deadline might be, so we are asking that all of you get up to speed and act quickly.


What You Need to Do NOW!


Please write a letter or an email to the CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission). Today. Here’s how …


  1. Click on this link. A new email message will be created for you, addressed to the CNSC’s Nicole Frigault and also to Hon. Catherine McKenna, MP, Minister of the Environment, whose address we suggest you move down to the cc line.

  2. As you can see, the subject line requested by the CNSC has also been included for you. Please do not change the wording as it may follow automatic routing procedures. Start your message below the included salutations within the message window.

  3. We would be appreciative if you add the OFWCA as a bcc or if you forward a copy of the message to us afterwards. Use this address:


Your entire Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association Nuclear Committee has been putting in many hours of research, analysis, meetings, interviews, and discussions on the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories plans for the Chalk River plant. We have worked closely with the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area and a new group right across the River; after a cottager from Petawawa read our Committee's CNL Background Document (see link at very end of this Bulletin), a group there formed the Petawawa Point Cottagers’ Association with the primary purpose of opposing CNL’s entire NSDF proposal.


We have already provided you with much information, perhaps too much; we do realize that it can seem overwhelming, but now we have to ask all of our members and area friends to consider this project very seriously and to get involved. The issues raised by the plan are critical to our continued enjoyment and security where all of us live and visit, earn our livelihood, relax, and enjoy our beautiful environment.


In the following section, the Committee has assembled as brief a summary as we can devise to tell what has been a very complicated story. Our hope is that once you read it, you will follow up and read more of our many sources to learn as much as you can and develop your own point of view to send to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

OFWCA’s Review of CNL’s Proposal for an NSDF at Chalk River

There are some very serious problems and concerns about CNL’s proposal for this NSDF at Chalk River.


First, they want to bring radioactive waste from all over the country — about 100,000 cubic metres of it (at least). OFWCA said no to this last July in a resolution. We have too much radioactive waste at Chalk River already.


The planned Mound where they will put all the radioactive waste is significant: its footprint will be about 16 hectares (~40 acres) and 20–25 metres high (65–80 feet, about 6 storeys). According to the plan, it will hold one million cubic metres (35 million cubic feet) of waste by 2070.


There has never been a disposal site for radioactive waste in Canada. Canada doesn’t yet even have regulations for this dump. Bear in mind that disposal is not storage —it is permanent and forever, meaning if something goes wrong, there really isn’t much you can do about it.


There are big problems with the site they have chosen. First, it is adjacent to the Ottawa River (just one km away and less than 100 metres from Perch Creek). The site for this mound is surrounded by wetlands — swamps that are already quite contaminated from a long history of accidents and leaks. Perch Lake and Perch Creek are right near the proposed site for this dump. 


Another problem is that CNL tells everyone in ads and in interviews that this Engineered Containment Mound is proven and safe. Actually, this is not true. There is no other mound in the world that we can find for disposal of radioactive waste. It is really the technology for a municipal dump, and you do not put radioactive waste in a municipal dump. One doesn’t even put batteries and paint in a dump. Then CNL tells us that only 1% of the waste will be intermediate-level waste; they tell you it’s a small amount. This is not true; that 1% is 10,000 cubic metres. But there is also 10,000 cubic metres of radioactive mixed wastes (which can be contaminated with arsenic, mercury and PCBs). Putting intermediate-level radioactive waste in a facility like this NSDF is against all international standards.


CNL claims that this intermediate-level waste will not have long half-lives. But that isn’t true either. In the CNL draft environmental impact statement, there is a long list of radioactive materials that will be hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years — some for millions of years. Plutonium and uranium are on that list. This is the worst of a lot of bad stuff. (See Either CNL is deceiving us or they do not know themselves what they are putting in this mound, and of course neither inference is good.


Another major problem is that leaks from this mound will eventually and inevitably end up in our River. There are many ways leaks will happen. The radioactive waste will not be protected from rain and snow. Yes, the water that gets on the waste will be collected and treated. They will remove radioactive contaminants from it, but certain things cannot be removed, like tritium, which is harmful to health if the concentration is too high. We don’t know yet how they will control that from happening. Furthermore, it is unclear what they will do with the contaminants that they do remove from the water; do they put them back into the dump, or where? But what if there is a storm — lots of rain like right now? This rainwater will overwhelm the system. The radioactive contaminants in that rain water will end up going into the wetlands, lake, stream and into the River.


Eventually, in about 2070, when it is full to capacity, CNL will cover the dump, but these covers and the bottom liners won’t last forever. With time they will corrode and break down, and then there will be serious problems with contaminants leaking into the River. If there are tears in the top liner, the whole mound could fill up with water like a bathtub and overflow. A tear could even be created by an animal. CNL admits this in its draft environmental impact statement. So many things can happen that could create a leak — some simple (like a breakdown in a pump or a power failure), others more dramatic, like storms, etc. (For more, see "How will the NSDF leak: let us count some of the ways")


CNL tries to tell us that all is proven and safe, but there is no comparable disposal facility in the world, so these comments from CNL are deceptive. The location is wrong: no disposal facility for radioactive waste should ever be placed next to a major body of water and certainly not in wetlands where the water works its way into the river. Intermediate-level waste is definitely wrong for this facility; it needs to be isolated from the environment and people. It cannot end up in a river. Location, design, concept, and what they are putting in it are all wrong. CNL’s ads are deceptive.


Ask questions. OFWCA has lots of questions available, because CNL has not replied to the written questions that OFWCA sent to them in January to answer. The company says it is engaging the communities that will be most affected, but they don’t answer OFWCA questions. Our entire lives and livelihoods are at stake here. Jobs in our Valley are important. The environment is important. New companies and young people won’t come or stay if the environment is not healthy and safe. And what is it going to do to us, as we gaze at the sunsets and consider the future of our property and our entire neighborhood?


Some of you may have been at the CNSC information session on April 27. Even if you were, it’s always best to put your thoughts in to a message. We want all your voices heard. The CNSC wants to know what individuals here and in the surrounding communities think about this proposal. It is crucial that they know what your opinion is, what questions you have, and what concerns you have. Don’t worry about its length or editing it to death. Just simply state what you think, and ask questions.

Please ask others to do the same. Forward this email to your friends who may not be on our mailing list and follow up with a phone call. 


Without your participation, the CNSC and CNL will just make assumptions. We want them to know that people in this area are listening and thinking and that we will not just sit this out.


Thanks, everyone, for your participation in the environmental assessment process about the NSDF at Chalk River.


Happy Spring to all,


Johanna Echlin


Sheenboro, Pontiac, Quebec



May 5, 2017


Note additional sources via these links:

More how-to’s, including how to address real letters to the people discussed above. Click

Link to the OFWCA webpage with many more links regarding this issue.

And I have to add once again the link to this excellent backgrounder/summary (20 pages and well worth reading) prepared by Johanna Echlin and Elssa Martinez. — DLP

Committee Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends.
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hi, Everybody,

Lots to tell you. First, mark your calendars:

Saturday, July 15, 9:30 a.m. CNL will meet with residents and cottagers in the immediate area. We hope you will be the there. Details to follow.
Saturday, July 22, 9:30 a.m. Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association Annual General Meeting — especially important this year that all members attend. You may join or pay your dues before the meeting.

The following information is included in this Newsletter:

1. CNL at the Fort July 15th 9:30 and why it is important for everyone to come.
2. More Municipal Resolutions in opposition have been passed.
3. Media - a 2nd Press Release, Articles and Interviews to-date.
4. Quebec Outreach.
5. The OFWCA name in French:
     L’association des propriétaires de chalets de Fort William Québec (acronym APCFWQ)

Why is it so important for OFWCA members to attend the CNL meeting?

On March 17, 2017, CNL released their draft environmental impact statement (EIS) regarding the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) at Chalk River. It is complex and almost 1000 pages. There is a shorter executive summary, which is available online. We encourage everyone to read what they can and to become informed about CNL’s proposal. If this proposal goes ahead, there will be a huge impact on our environment and our river. This decision will affect us all, and we must make our opinions known. Construction could begin in a year. The public has until May 17 to write a letter to Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Our committee will send a letter on behalf of OFWCA. Individuals can also write to the CNSC. Find information at the end of this newsletter if you wish to do this.

As CNL has scheduled all their information sessions with Sheenboro on dates (June 2016, October 2016, May 2017) when most OFWCA members are not on the river and are unable to attend, we have requested that CNL come to us at the Fort to discuss CNL’s two proposals for the NSDF at Chalk River and Decommissioning of NPD reactor at Rolphton (25 km upriver from Deep River and just beside the Ottawa River). Our committee has been very focused on the NSDF as it is literally in our yards. However, the proposal for Rolphton is also extremely controversial and concerning, and it too will affect the Ottawa River. This latter proposal is further behind in the environmental assessment process but OFWCA members must start learning more soon.

CNL has still not answered OFWCA’s many questions sent to CNL on January 24 (see OFWCA’s last newsletter dated March 18 at the website address below for a copy of these questions). There are very serious issues with CNL’s proposal, and many questions remain unanswered. Be sure to bring your questions to the July 15 meeting.

OFWCA passed a resolution last July opposing any additional radioactive waste coming to Chalk River from any outside location. Our committee, after months of reading, writing and collaboration with others, has concluded that the OFWCA resolution does not go far enough, and we are seriously considering proposing a stronger, more comprehensive resolution at our next AGM July 22. For this reason, we believe that it is even more important for CNL to come to talk with OFWCA members and answer questions. Members need time to become more informed and to determine their position before voting on a new resolution.

Municipal Resolutions and other support

And now excellent news. Since writing on March 18, the Municipality of Campbell’s Bay and the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet (Ontario) have passed resolutions supporting our opposition. So now OFWCA, Sheenboro, Clarendon, Bristol, Canton de Lochaber (Papineau), Campbell’s Bay and the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet are all opposed to radioactive waste being brought to Chalk River from anywhere outside this site either for disposal or for storage. We are all saying no to more radioactive waste at Chalk River — period! Actually, Canton de Lochaber is opposed to the entire NSDF project.

And Petawawa Point cottagers are now gathering together in opposition. Kirk Groover wrote to me near the end of March. He had gotten wind of the proposal and had read our CNL Background document. Kirk and Jake Deacon are organizing an association, the Petawawa Point Cottagers’ Association (PPCA). Their association is about 50 people strong, and it is complimenting our efforts greatly. Kirk and Jake are setting up a Facebook page (very needed), and the association will write letters and formulate their own opposition resolution.

We are delighted by all the support and the growing momentum.

Media efforts:

Again, in collaboration with Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area (CCRCA) and the constant work and tireless efforts of Ole Hendrickson and Lynn Jones, we sent out a second press release on April 3. It is our joint mission to inform the public about the NSDF proposal. We have had a good response after these two press releases (March 13 and April 3).

Find Press Release, 3 April 2017:

Ole Hendrickson has been analyzing the EIS and has written several excellent concise reports that were included in the second press release (see first three). We are also including the link to “Ten Things Canadians Need to Know,” which was in our last OFWCA Newsletter. It is that important and all should read it.

Find links to these articles:

The Chalk River Mega-Dump – Five Fatal Flaws

Radioactive Materials proposed for the Mega-Dump

Disregard of international safety standards

Ten Things Canadians Need to Know

Articles and Interviews

The two press releases have triggered a number of articles and interviews.

Find a list of articles and interviews here:

OFWCA Collaboration with other Organizations is growing

We are in constant contact with and are collaborating with a number of organizations: the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Nuclear Waste Watch, Northwatch, and the Canadian Environmental Law Association. These organizations also have experts reviewing the EIS.

Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility is very much opposed to this proposal and to the one at Rolphton. Gordon has been working closely with CCRCA and other organizations over the years and more recently with OFWCA. He has a lifetime of experience in the nuclear field.

Quebec Outreach

Over many months, our committee was painfully aware that we were handicapped in our ability to reach our francophone friends and neighbours in Quebec. Many of us are anglophone. Luckily, Elssa Martinez joined our committee, and she has been translating and writing letters in French to Mayors, MNAs and MPs in Quebec. It is entirely due to her efforts that Canton de Lochaber passed a resolution in opposition. But Elssa’s time is limited as she is busy in her career.

Gordon Edwards has recently brought on board Jacques Boucher, who is translating documents for OFWCA and CCRCA, and Gilles Provost, a retired science journalist.

Gilles has written an evocative exposé about the NSDF called “Alerte nucléaire au Québec” which he has sent to over 100 mayors, journalists, politicians and environmental groups in Quebec. Gilles and his document are taking Quebec by storm.

Find Gilles Provost’s “Alert nucléaire au Quebec” here:

Find French translations of documents here:

With this outreach in Quebec, it became apparent that we needed a French name for Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association. Elssa Martinez and Lynn Jones jointly created a French name for us:

L’association des propriétaires de chalets de Fort William Québec

acronym APCFWQ

Of course our English name remains unchanged.

We know that not every OFWCA member lives in a cottage or a chalet (and many are living year-round at the Fort and Sheen) but it seemed important to keep as close to the English name as possible. As long as our English name remains as it is, this is our French name.

OFWCA is becoming a very small entity in this growing force of organizations and individuals working toward the same goal of slowing down or stopping this speeding train. CNL has huge quantities of money to spend on glossy ads and slick videos to convince people that all is safe. This process has time limits that seem incredibly unreasonable. Do people have the energy, the time or the inclination to plow through a 1,000 pages of an EIS? Do they want to put their lives on hold for 60 days to attempt this? Were people consulted about this project before it was already decided? No, not at all.

CNL’s EIS: The public has until May 17, 2017, to respond. It is posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website at:

If you think you might write a letter to the CNSC find information here:

LettertoCNSC re- EIS NSDF.pdf

Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area:

CNL at Chalk River Background by Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

Johanna Echlin, Shelly Kaulbach, Georgina Bartos,
Elssa Martinez, Susan Donlan, Craig Robinson
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Keep an Eye Out for News of Further Upcoming Meetings

We expect to be announcing soon some meetings in July regarding the plans at CNL Chalk River. Keep an eye out on this page, or go to the Subscribe page (see last link at the top of this page) and sign up for our Bulletins.

Two Upcoming Meetings (April and May) regarding the CNL plans for the plant at Chalk River (April 7 Bulletin)

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission meeting will be held on April 27 from 6:00 - 8:00 in the Sheenboro Municipal Building.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is hosting an information meeting regarding their proposed "Near Surface Disposal Facility" at Chalk River on May 2 in the Sheenboro Municipal Building from 6:00 - 8:00.

These are important meetings and attendance would be a smart idea.

Committee Letter to Residents, Cottagers, and Friends.
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hello, Everyone,

We have some very good news to report since our last newsletter. The Municipality of Bristol and Canton de Lochaber (Papineau) have passed resolutions in March. So now Sheenboro, Clarendon, Bristol and Canton de Lochaber (Papineau) are supporting OFWCA and opposing radioactive waste being brought to Chalk River for disposal from any location outside the Chalk River site. Our voices are getting stronger each month.  

OFWCA, in collaboration with Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, has just sent out (on March 12) a press release to the anglophone media and will shortly (once translations are completed) send this to francophone media as well. You might check out the excellent and interesting website (indicated in the press release) of Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County.  

The Press Release 12 March 2017

We believe that an important 2-page document referred to and included in the press release “10 things Canadians need to know about the Chalk River Near Surface Disposal Facility” is a must-read for all OFWCA members and members of the public.  

10 things Canadians need to know...

Our committee is now preparing to send this “10 Things Canadians need to know…” document to all Mayors on both sides of the river.  We will also send it to MPs, MPPs, and MNAs and First Nations. It is crucial that everyone is aware of the risks associated with this proposed NSDF.  

Here is one article that appeared this week in response to the press release:

Local groups oppose plan for nuclear waste site on Ottawa River
"The Council of Canadians expresses its solidarity with local groups that are in opposition to a proposed radioactive waste disposal facility on the Ottawa River near the Chalk River nuclear facility."

Through Dr. Ole Hendrickson and Lynn Jones of Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County, we have been learning about Dr. Gordon Edwards and will soon meet with him. Dr. Edwards, of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, is following the environmental assessment process for the NSDF closely. He has grave concerns and believes that the hazards are far too great for Canada to proceed with this proposal. He says that the radioactive waste, even low level, is going to outlive the industry and the agency that regulates it. He stresses that these wastes come with very, very long-term hazards and consequences. Rather than disposal in an NSDF, Dr. Edwards recommends something known as “rolling stewardship,” which briefly means to monitor and maintain nuclear waste in a retrievable state, supported by adequate resources, including good methods for passing on the knowledge to subsequent caretakers.

In our last newsletter in January we told you that our committee was preparing to send further questions to CNL. CNL’s answers to our initial questions raised so many more questions. We sent additional questions to CNL on January 24. Pat Quinn did acknowledge receipt of these questions but we have not yet had a reply to our questions. Attached is a document that contains OFWCA’s original questions of October 20, CNL’s answers to those questions, and OFWCA’s additional questions. 

OFWCA Questions to CNL re: NSDF

CNL at Chalk River Background Document 14 March 2017


We welcome your comments and recommendations.

Best regards to all, 

Johanna Echlin

Michele Kaulbach

Please share this email with others who would be interested. Friends may easily subscribe to these Bulletins by visiting:

Committee Letter to Residents and Cottagers
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, January 20, 2017

The OFWCA committee analyzing issues at the Canadian Nuclear Labs in Chalk River has provided a thorough and excellent update on their activities. Please read this and share it with your family and friends who would be interested. 

Don't miss the link towards the end: please sign the Riverkeeper's Declaration regarding the Ottawa River. Remember, we're the first downriver neighbours of the plant! 

Happy New Year to you all!


Michele Kaulbach and I and our committee want to bring you up to date with our activities.


We have some very good news: In December the Municipality of Sheenboro passed a similar resolution to OFWCA opposing waste coming to Chalk River from any outside site for disposal. And just this week the Municipality of Clarendon passed the same resolution as OFWCA. We are uniting and our voices are getting stronger.


Just before Christmas, CNL responded to OFWCA questions sent to them in October. As there are still so many unanswered questions, we are preparing to write to them again. We undertook to amend our background document on CNL at Chalk River to incorporate some of the new information that we received directly from CNL in their reply and from submissions made to Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Craig Robinson and Ole Hendrickson have been extraordinarily helpful. This revised document has just been sent out to MPs and MPPs along the river in Ontario. (MPs and MNAs in Quebec received the 28 November copy in early December.) It was also sent in early January to the Mayors of Pontiac County and to the Mayors on the Ontario side of the river from Deep River to Hawkesbury. A one-page flyer was also sent to all the Mayors.

CNL at Chalk River Background Document 5 January 2017

Click here for one-page flyer

Michele and I have just sent a letter to the First Nations attaching the CNL background document and the one-page flyer. Joann McCann has been a big help with this.

Click here for Letter to First Nations

And more good news: We quote below from the December Riverkeeper Newsletter (note: we have added the bold to certain sentences):

“Recently, we celebrated the Ottawa River’s designation as one of Canada’s Heritage Rivers, which means that its cultural, historical and natural values have been officially recognized. We are leading the charge for a similar designation for the Québec portion of the river and will work to have this happen in 2017 ... . We’ll also continue the work we’re doing to ensure that TransCanada completes a credible feasibility study and detailed spill response plan for the proposed Energy East project, a 4500 km pipeline that will cross the Ottawa River. On your behalf, we remain deeply concerned about this project... . And this isn’t the only threat to our rivers. Ottawa Riverkeeper is working with experts to respond to the proposed disposal of nuclear waste near the shore of the Ottawa River in Chalk River, Ontario. The public needs to understand the project and its potential risks to our river system.”

The Riverkeeper has posted a Declaration online that OFWCA members might consider signing. (See link below.)


We welcome any suggestions and recommendations.  

Wishing everyone good health and the very best for 2017.


Johanna Echlin


Michele Kaulbach



Readers are encouraged to contact the writers with questions and comments. 

Committee Letter to Residents and Cottagers
Sent via OFWCA Bulletin, December 3, 2016

Johanna Echlin and I, and our committee (Georgina Bartos, Susan Donlan and Elssa Martinez) with help from Craig Robinson, have been hard at work since we agreed to take on the task to stop certain CNL proposals at the OFWCA meeting. We have been reading, going to meetings, communicating with concerned activists’ groups along the River, as well as with experts. We have sent a letter to our Federal Liberal representative, Will Amos, who said he will “give us his full attention on this issue. It is an important matter of public interest.” He is an environmental lawyer and appears to be very earnest.

We have also been consulting with Joann McCann and think that now is the time to ask if you would please send a report of our activities to the Cottagers’ Association members.  

Please see below the official OFWCA RESOLUTION regarding CNL’s Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF). The wording of the OFWCA Resolution has been slightly changed from its original version but its meaning remains the same. 

OFWCA Resolution (adopted in July 2016):

OFWCA strongly objects to Chalk River (CNL) receiving and accepting radioactive waste and any other waste from another site outside the Chalk River facility. Disposal of radioactive waste and any other waste must be limited to Chalk River’s current levels of generated radioactive waste”.  

In October we wrote a letter to CNL with many questions regarding their proposals. Susan Donlan, Joann McCann and Craig Robinson all attended the last CNL Open House in Sheenboro on October 20 and a signed copy of this letter to CNL was submitted in person to Pat Quinn, Director of Corporate Communications, at that presentation. We have received word from Pat Quinn that members of the NSDF project team are reviewing all questions and that we should expect the responses shortly.

Please find here a copy of the OFWCA letter with questions to CNL. 

Click here for OFWCA Questions

On October 18th Georgina Bartos represented our committee at the Riverkeeper’s heritage celebration party in Ottawa. She used the opportunity to make contact with Patrick Nadeau, the Executive Director of the Riverkeeper. They have been communicating since by email discussing our concerns about the proposal for a near surface radioactive waste disposal at Chalk River.  Patrick has assured her that their organization is well aware of the situation, and is presently looking into it with the help of experts.They will keep us informed as to when they are ready to make a public statement. We have many people on our side.  

Also, on November 7 we wrote to Mayor Doris Ranger and Fern Roy suggesting that the Sheenboro Council consider adopting the OFWCA RESOLUTION. We are waiting for a response. This should bring you up to date with all we have done so far. 

We are about to send a letter to the MNAs along the Quebec side of the River, as well as to the MPs who represent Quebecers along the River in Ottawa, with an accompanying background document that Johanna has been working on. Please find this document here:

Letter to MNAs and MPs

We are going to get in touch with journalists in Pembroke, Renfrew and Ottawa with Craig’s help. Craig has introduced us to Dr. Ole Hendrickson who works with CONCERNED CITIZENS OF RENFREW COUNTY. Ole has been most helpful in guiding and advising us. We are also still waiting to hear from Brennain Lloyd, the spokesperson for NORTHWATCH & NUCLEAR WASTE WATCH regarding the participant funding application that they made with the OFWCA to the Federal Government. At Joann’s suggestion we have participated in this application so that the OFWCA will be able to work with the facilitator they hope to be able to hire, to obtain some direction as to how to best get our community engaged. This will enable the people in our community to have their own educated input. The “Open Houses” that CNL arranged in Sheenboro were not at all satisfactory. We need a structured presentation, especially about the plans for a Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF).

We would certainly appreciate any new additions to our committee in this important endeavour. It is vital that we speak up now for the health of future generations in the Ottawa Valley. Your commitment to this mission is most welcome.

Michele Kaulbach


OFWCA: CNL’s Proposed NSDF
— Bad Science in Our Backyard!