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Public should see all the information on Site 41

The Barrie Examiner
By ERICH JACOBY-HAWKINS

Certainly, this is a decision that should be based on science -- along with a healthy dose of prudence and skepticism. Yet is that being done? It seems that the science is being kept out of sight. This is never a good sign.

What is at issue is water. Located atop some of the world's cleanest water, Site 41 could threaten drinking water for humans and natural species. The engineering of the site, held up as the way to prevent such harm, is based on measurements and predictions of water flows. The only way this operation could possibly be safe is if those measurements and predictions are accurate.

The standard way to test the accuracy of science is through reproducibility. Other experts must be able to make the same measurements and tests and come up with the same results, or at least review the measurements and raw data.

If computer modelling is used to make predictions, then that model must be subject to examination, comment, criticism, and modification where necessary. Yet in this case, the information is being held secret, despite an order from the Information and Privacy Commissioner that it be revealed. This is not a good sign.

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