Flying uranium from Nunavut scares Saskatchewan Dene

Two men work at the fuel storage site at the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine, near Baker Lake. (The Canadian Press)
Two men work at the fuel storage site at the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine, near Baker Lake. (The Canadian Press)
A proposed uranium mine in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut is causing concern in the prairie province of Saskatchewan.

The Athabasca Denesuline don’t want the uranium moving through — or over — their traditional territory.

At issue is Areva Resources’ Kiggavik project near the Nunavut community of Baker Lake.

Areva proposes to fly concentrated uranium from Kiggavik to northern Saskatchewan, then move it from there by truck and train.

In a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Athabasca Denesuline say they’re worried about possible accidents… and “irreversible destruction” to the environment.

Barry McCallum of Areva says the concerns are overblown.

“Impacts to wildlife would be expected to be low, localized and temporary,” he says. “Because spills are relatively easy to clean up. And that’s all in the draft environmental impact statement”

Areva plans to fly about 5,000 tonnes of concentrated uranium each year the 8,000 km from Kiggavik to Points North, Saskatchewan, likely using a Hercules C-130 aircraft.

That would average almost one plane load per day.

The Athabasca Denesuline says the flight path would be almost entirely over their traditional territory.

Nobody from the Athabasca Denesuline was available to speak to CBC.

The Kiggavik project is still under review.

Areva hopes to start mining by 2020, at the earliest.

Related Links:

Hunters call for uranium referendum in Nunavut, Canada, CBC News

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *