Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Port Hope-less

There have been a few recent articles in the news regarding the radioactive waste in Port Hope, Ontario. A large uranium refinery has been operating there for decades and is apparently poisoning the town. I’ve heard rumours that the waste from the Nagasaki and Hiroshima A-bombs were buried there. I remember reading somewhere that it was the second-most polluted town in North America (after Fire Island). I also saw a legitimate news article in the 1990s about a fish caught in the Ganaraska River, which flows through the middle of Port Hope. The fish had two fully-formed mouths and was blamed on the radioactivity.

The small town of 15,000 is rife with cancer, birth defects, “ghost sightings” that are likely hallucinations, and loads of other oddities. I know, because I lived there once. One friend told me how he was sitting in his high school classroom, idly daydreaming and staring out the window. Suddenly he saw men in hazmat suits run past.
All the residents are aware of the radioactivity. There are a few sterile men in town that when asked will simply shrug and say “yeah, it’s from working at the plant.”  Residents have always assumed there is waste buried under the schools, playgrounds, and parks in the area.
To be honest, there could be a lot of finger-pointing when it comes to the declining health of Port Hope residents. After all, the town’s public beach is squashed between the uranium refinery and the water treatment plant… Combining those two with the children playing and swimming in this section of Lake Ontario virtually guarantees health issues.

I don’t know what can be done, but it’s shocking that the government isn’t doing anything to assist. In all the news articles I’ve been reading, there has been no representation from our elected officials. NONE.

On the upside, my healthy green glow means I don’t need my nightlight anymore. And I'm no longer scared to drink Toronto tap-water - I'm sure I've endured worse.

1 comment:

  1. There has been a huge outcry in my town because Bruce Power wants to put a nuclear plant nearby. Reading this, I hope the "NO NUKES" movement wins.