Energy Probe director speaking at Watchdog meeting

Karen Lloyd
Port Hope Evening Guide
February 26, 2002

Norm Rubin, a professional in the field of nuclear energy, has been invited by Port Hope’s Nuclear Environmental Watchdogs to talk to the community Wednesday night about his values and principles and how they relate to Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW).

While Mr. Rubin, who has been with Energy Probe for 24 years as a director of nuclear research and a senior policy analyst, shares the Watchdogs’ feelings of opposition about Port Hope’s LLRW cleanup.

He said he looks forward to a “general information sharing meeting,” where all citizens can take a critical look at the proposed waste plan and how it will impact them.

“My role, when it comes to nuclear issues, is to be an advocate,” Mr. Rubin said.

“My role, when it comes to an issue of this kind, is very different.”

“There are serious problems in Port Hope,” he said.

Mr. Rubin said his job with the committee is to consult its members and point them in the direction of asking important questions.

“We have to find reasonable ways to inject human values into technical decisions,” Mr. Rubin said.

Among his goals on Port Hope’s LLRW issue, is to try and rope the Ontario government into participating in the environmental assessment. That’s because it appears the federal government doesn’t want to put the time and energy into an extremely important job that needs to be done properly, he said.

“They’re taking the path of least resistance,” Mr. Rubin said, referring to the federal government’s screening process for the environmental assessment as opposed to a full panel review.

He added the three authorities involved with the assessment – Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans – have a record of being embarrassed when reviewed by an independent panel.

They have a plan, and the only way anyone can speak to them is over their shoulder while they’re running with that plan, Mr. Rubin said.

“(The LLRW cleanup) should be a decision by the people who will be affected by it,” he said.

And that is what Mr. Rubin said he will be discussing. He said there are ways people can influence the process.

“Let’s behave as if we want to keep this stuff out of the environment,” he said. “The challenge here is to get the word out.”

Mr. Rubin will be a guest speaker at the Nuclear Environmental Watchdogs’ public meeting Wednesday night at the Town Hall at 7:30 p.m.

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