Residents vow to stay put after Pickering leak
Residents who live near the Pickering A nuclear generating station said Wednesday they should have been informed about a leak of demineralized water earlier this week, but also say they won't be scared into moving.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission confirmed Wednesday that about 73,000 litres of demineralized water leaked from the facility, apparently due to a pump seal failure.
The Ontario Power Generation sealed the leak and is replacing the faulty pump. The agency says the water contained levels of radiation far below regulatory limits and posed no threat to human health.
Brian Drew, who has lived for 15 years on Parkham Crescent, just off Sandy Beach Road, which leads directly to the plant, said he and his neighbours should have been told of the problem.
"We should have been notified," Drew told CTV Toronto. "Somebody should have been around this morning or something and got pamphlets off or something and notified the public right away."
Gord Shilling, who has lived in the same house near the plant for his entire life, said the news of the leak combined with the news of a potential nuclear meltdown in Japan in the wake of the country's earthquake and tsunami has him worried. But he is also not prepared to pack up and move.
"What can one do. You know you can go out and get iodide pills and put the house up for sale," Shilling told CTV Toronto. "But how far do you have to go to feel safe? You know if the wind comes across this way, it doesn't matter if you're in Uxbridge, it's going to contaminate you."
A few blocks north, Fred Haines and Maureen Clarke say they are not worried.
"We moved here knowing it was there, and it's supposed to be one of the best in the world, I think," Haines said.
Despite the mixed reaction to the news of the leak, iodide pills, which can protect against thyroid cancer by blocking radioactive iodine, have sold out at the local pharmacy.