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West-end Toronto residents shocked by local uranium facility

Published on November 8, 2012 by in Home

 

Niamh Scallan
Toronto Star 

 

Sheila Muir is an organizer of a campaign to stop the operation of a uranium processing plant run by GE in the Lansdowne and Dupont area. The plant has been operating for 50 years. RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STAR

West-end residents are looking for answers after they discovered that an unassuming building on Lansdowne Ave. is actually a nuclear facility licensed to produce nearly 2,000 tonnes of radioactive uranium dioxide pellets each year.

The General Electric-Hitachi plant has been processing natural uranium powder into centimetre-long pellets that are assembled into fuel bundles elsewhere for Canada’s nuclear reactors since 1965.

“The shocking thing is that they can be there for so long and keep things so quiet,” said area resident Dawn Withers.

GE Canada spokeswoman Kim Warburton said the plant handles only natural uranium which is “not dangerous” compared to its enriched counterpart. She said the company’s sign is clearly visible. “GE-Hitachi is a nuclear business . . . it’s on our website.”

Withers, a mother of four who lives about a five-minute drive from the facility, has helped organize a Nov. 15 community meeting to raise awareness. MORE

 

 
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