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Clarington appeals wind farm project over concerns of Port Granby radioactive dust

CLARINGTON – Clarington wants better monitoring done at a proposed wind farm project that would be located near an upcoming Port Granby nuclear waste site.

Council voted Dec. 15 to appeal an approval given to the wind farm by the Province, following a presentation by a residents’ group which claimed to show discrepancies and errors in the math done showing the effects the turbines could have on wind patterns in the area. Eastern Clarington is scheduled to be home to the federal government’s Port Granby Project to provide for the safe, long-term management of low-level radioactive waste as well as the province’s 20-megawatt, 10-turbine Clarington Wind Farm project.

“We have concerns with the ability of the wind project to operate near the Port Granby site,” said Andrew Allison, municipal solicitor. “We have concerns with the dust effects … and the effect of the turbines on dust management at the facility.”

He said the municipality wants to prevent the possible circulation of dust contaminated by radiation and other hazardous substances at Port Granby by turbulence caused by the nearby wind turbines.

Preet Khurana, of the Southeast Clarington Ratepayers Association, critiqued a study done by Port Granby project on the effects of the turbines. He took issue that only one-set wind speeds were used in calculations and that some numbers didn’t fit back in with math that should be used.

“The numbers for the wind speed, ‘W,’ and the weight velocity, ‘V,’ don’t fit back in and balance the very equation they’re calculated from,” said Mr. Khurana. “It’s like removing the weights from a balanced scale then putting them back in exactly the same place only to find that the scale no longer balances.”

Council voted to have the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Port Hope Area Initiative review and respond to Mr. Khurana’s concerns, and voted to appeal the wind farm’s approval.

“We’re not seeking to prevent the operation of the wind farm completely,” said. Mr. Allison. “We’re just asking for it to be done safely.”

According to Mr. Allison, the municipality wants additional monitoring of wind speeds in areas that could be impacted by turbulence from the turbines.

The appeal must be filed by Dec. 23 and will go before the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, which will set a hearing date.