Uranium truck route proposal hears from northerners

By Brent Bosker
September 30, 2010 - 11:25am Updated: September 30, 2010 - 4:03pm

A series of public consultations about a proposed heavy-truck route in northern Saskatchewan have wrapped up.

AREVA Resources is proposing to haul uranium slurry more than 900-kilometers from McArthur River to the McClean Lake mill starting in 2012.

"We would start doing this about a year before the Cigar lake mine begins operations and this would help to get our McClean Lake mill up and running," said Allan Richards, spokesman with AREVA.

The proposal has been met with its share of concerns.

At the 20 meetings that were held in 15 communities where the trucks would pass, concerns regarding roads and safety came up the most often.

In La Ronge, residents packed into the town's council chambers to hear AREVA’s presentation to municipal leaders.

"Definitely our main concern was the corridor issue," said La Ronge Mayor Thomas Sierzycki.

A study on the corridor that links the town, with the village of Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band called for a $55-million dollar upgrade, about 10 years ago.

"How compressed it is with frequent traffic, inadequate turning lanes, inadequate lighting and, as well, the bridge that affects both communities," Sierzycki said.

"So we definitely brought it forward that we need the province on side and the companies in order to fulfill some of those requirements to keep our residents safe.”

Richards said he felt the meetings went over well.

"I think people generally felt they had their questions answered, they felt generally a lot more comfortable when they left than when they arrived," said Richards

The feedback from the meetings will be included as part of an environmental assessment report AREVA must submit to governments before they receive approval for the project.

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