“We can’t approach the nuclear fuel system in tidy ethical, cost-benefit compartments. While the industry tells us that the expansion of uranium mining is good for the provincial economy and northern employment, the Fukushima nuclear disaster continues to unfold. Uranium mining here is directly connected to the ongoing global contamination. The radioactive particles spreading into the Pacific Ocean come from the splitting of uranium atoms that came out of northern Saskatchewan.
“Japan’s fleet of 55 nuclear plants is the third largest in the world, after the U.S and then France, and Japan has to import all of its uranium fuel. It has been a significant part of the lucrative, global uranium market. Prior to the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster, Japan imported 20 million pounds of uranium annually.
“Saskatchewan corporations have been the main suppliers. Saskatoon-based Cameco is the world’s third largest uranium producer, after Kazatomprom and Areva. The March 20, 2011 Globe and Mail reported that Tepco which operates the Fukushima plant is ‘one of (Cameco’s) largest customers for uranium’.”