CNSC response to a letter from Matthew Coon Come published in La Presse

In his letter “Pour un développement responsable,” published on August 5 in La Presse, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees Matthew Coon Come misrepresents the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) mandate.

Contrary to what Mr. Coon Come writes, promoting nuclear energy is not part of our mandate as an independent body.

The CNSC is responsible for stringently evaluating all nuclear projects, including uranium mines.

We will never compromise safety and will never issue a licence if the proposed activities are unsafe.

We take strong exception to Mr. Coon Come’s conclusions, which suggest that uranium mining is less safe than mining for other metals.

In fact, data gathered over decades of uranium mining in Canada show that uranium mines are as safe as, or even safer than, other types of mines.

At the Bureau d’audiences publiques pour l’environnement’s (BAPE) request, our staff – who are recognized internationally as scientific and regulatory experts – prepared many documents that explain how we regulate the nuclear industry.

These documents provide solid, factual evidence on how Canadian nuclear activities are among the safest and most secure in the world due to stringent CNSC regulatory requirements.

We are again offering our technical support to the Quebec government, which plans to undertake a careful, thorough analysis of all of the BAPE’s findings with the help of an interdepartmental committee.

Michael Binder
President, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission