The half life is 2,800 years. Where are we going to store these nuclear wastes for 2,800 years and who is going to pay the bill?
In Russia the spent rods are stored in a gully. They have been dumped there and they are leaking. In Canada we store the rods in an air conditioned, liquid filled cement vat and the cost is phenomenal. In Russia they turned off the air conditioning because they could not afford the power so there was no air conditioning for the stored rods. Is there a time bomb there? You had better believe there is a time bomb there and it is one we have to deal with.
It can be argued that accepting nuclear waste creates a lot of jobs. If that is the case then we have to weigh the jobs versus the costs and the benefits versus the dangers. The point I am making here is the fact that we must have an open debate on this subject. I believe that this bill is saying that before we agree to transport any nuclear waste, we must know the facts and they must be clear.
It does concern me as a Canadian that the government does not have a plan, that this is going to be done ad hoc. It will be sprung on us and there will be only two days of debate or a take note debate some night and at the end of it we will not get to vote and we will be stuck with tons of nuclear waste.
To say that we have legislation and that this bill is redundant is totally untrue. We need legislation and a long term plan. Obviously if we are talking about 2,800 years, that is a pretty long term plan.
To simply say that this bill is not timely or that it is not important to the Canadian public is really misrepresenting the entire issue of nuclear waste. I know Canadians across the country are going to start asking these questions. They are going to expect answers to the many questions members are raising during the discussion.
In conclusion, I am saying that Canadians need information, an open debate, open discussion, open presentation to the House of Commons. It affects every one of us. Before any further planning is done in this regard, we need to deal with it here.