Chalk River Nuclear Waste Cleanup

The Ottawa River institute is supporting the effort to keep radioactive waste out of the Ottawa River.

The Ottawa River is threatened by two proposed nuclear waste dumps that don’t meet international safety standards for radioactive waste management (more information).

A coalition of civil society groups is opposing the dumps. The coalition includes several large NGOs such as Ottawa Riverkeeper, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, many smaller volunteer organizations such as the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital Region, the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association, Pontiac Environmental Protection, Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, the Bonnechere River Watershed Project and Quebec based groups, such as Action Climate Outaouais, and Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive.

The Ottawa River Institute is joining with these groups to advocate for safe storage of radioactive waste, in world-class facilities, well away from the Ottawa River and other water bodies.

ORI’s efforts include the following:

  • Communicating with local elected representatives, informing them of the need for cleanup and the opportunity for Canada to be a world leader in the management of radioactive waste.

  • Distributing information to the public

  • Sampling of freshwater mussels in the Ottawa River for radionuclide contamination; a to fund this was turned down by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission; we are proceeding on our own and funding the sample analyses with private donations. Samples are being sent for analysis to Eberline Analytical in Oakridge Tennessee. Results will be posted on this page as they become available.

Read our background fact sheet on Chalk River nuclear waste cleanup here.

Read our submission to the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Natural Resources here.

If you would like to receive periodic updates on this campaign, please send an email to