Letters, The Globe & Mail
In reference to the Dec. 18 headline “There has to be better management at AECL, Health Minister declares,” (page A11, Globe & Mail),
The Honourable Tony Clement might also look in his backyard and ensure that he is better informed concerning health issues and the activities of Health Canada.
This ministry has a branch whose staff scrutinize CNSC public hearing documents. Assuming that information circulates upward, the Minister of Health should have been aware that there have been significant delays in the Maple reactors, and that CNSC staff at Chalk River would continue to monitor the situation closely. Clement should also have been aware of safety concerns relating to the NRU.
Rather than blame CNSC president Linda Keen for doing her job as a regulator, he might consider updating himself concerning health issues related to nuclear sciences.
The Mobdylenum and Technetium isotopes produced through Chalk River are not used for curing illnesses, unlike Cobalt for example. Therefore a brief delay in their availability does not by itself endanger health.
On the other hand, allowing a potentially unsafe reactor to continue operating is a health hazard, for the community of Chalk River, and for the inhabitants of the cities which are downstream, such as my city of Ottawa and Montreal.
Qais Ghanem, MD