Canadian disposal sites for radioactive waste from Japan, elsewhere, were under consideration

REUTERS/Aaron Harris
Jean Chretien speaks at the 50 Years of Standing Up for Canada event in Toronto, January 21, 2014.

NEW YORK — A plan to build disposal sites in Canada for radioactive waste from nuclear power plants in Japan and other countries was being considered at the private level, according to Canadian public broadcaster CBC, which obtained emails from people involved in the project.

The target location was Newfoundland and Labrador, a province on the Atlantic Ocean. Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who is a lawyer, and company executives were involved in the project.

A meeting had been planned in Japan last April with officials from the Japanese nuclear power industry and the advertising industry, as well as former high-ranking officials of the U.S. government. However, the meeting was not held due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The CBC reported Thursday that the idea was discussed in secret, without the involvement of local governments.

Chretien acknowledged the idea to the CBC and said help should be offered to solve the problems faced by countries that buy uranium from Canada. However, the Newfoundland and Labrador premier rejected the idea of building disposal sites there when asked by Chretien, saying there was no chance of that happening.