West Toronto community discusses GE uranium pellet facility

The MPP for Parkdale-High Park has called for the immediate shutdown of GE’s uranium pellet plant in Toronto’s west-end.

In recent weeks, residents located around the General Electric plant on Landsdowne Avenue, have learned that the facility also houses a uranium pellet manufacturing plant under the name GE Hitachi. On Nov. 15, the community held a public meeting to learn about the facility and voice opinions.

NDP MPP Cheri Dinovo, from Parkdale-High Park riding (which neighbours Davenport-Perth,) said she received numerous phone calls about the facility’s existence.

“I am absolutely appalled and horrified that it exists,” she said. “There is no level of nuclear radiation that is safe, period. End of story… Shut it down.”

Davenport MPAndrew Cash also attended the meeting and said though he was surprised that the GE facility exists, he believed the community needs to approach the matter with a level head.

“I had no idea this was here. I have many questions,” he said. ”Some of the dialogue we’ve been having with the regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC,) and with GE has given us a first step towards some kind of path forward.”

Roy Brady, community activist in Peterborough, said he was stunned two years ago when General Electric had no public consultation in Peterborough about their uranium facilities.

“I came here today because we had a nuclear battle similar to the one here in Peterborough, he said. “I had to go out and find information regarding what was happening at GE Peterborough.”

Since the discovery of the pellet plant, the company has opened its doors to the media.

Sheila Muir, one of the organizers in the campaign to stop GE’s operation, said she hopes the meeting provided residents with more information about uranium and GE’s operation.

“If we can confirm that it’s a safe facility, it might actually calm a lot of our fears,” she said. “It’s been here for 50 years. It’s time to move on and you can move technology.”

Derrick Kelly, president of Families against Radiation Exposure (FARE,) stressed the community should be concerned for their safety.

“There is no safe level of exposure,” he said. “The exposures that GE and other experts from the nuclear industry talk about is to make you’ll feel good is gamma … (but) gamma is probably the least of the concerns; it’s the uranium particulate that could get lodge in your lung or gut.”