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Canada

Canada is the world's largest exporter of uranium and operates nuclear reactors including on the Great Lakes. Attempts are underway to introduce nuclear power to the province of Alberta and to use nuclear reactors to power oil extraction from the tar sands.

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Thursday
Aug012019

Citizens Environment Alliance [of Southwestern Ontario] Mourns Death of Founder

Citizens Environment Alliance

Ric Coronado
1941 - 2019

 

Citizens Environment Alliance Mourns Death of Founder

With heavy hearts, we inform you of the death of our founder, Ric Coronado on Tuesday July 30th, 2019. He is survived by his son, Derek.

For more than three decades, Ric was a tireless and effective citizen advocate for environmental and labour issues in Essex County and beyond.

In the 1980’s, Ric established and chaired the environment committee at Local 444. In 1990, he was responsible for pushing for the first environmental contract language between Chrysler and the CAW that established a joint National environment committee. This became the model for joint workplace environment committees that were later established in all Canadian big three manufacturing facilities. Ric was also instrumental in the formation of the City of Windsor's Windsor Environmental Advisory Committee and the formation of the Labour caucus of the Canadian Environmental Network. Simultaneously, he spent years working on Detroit River issues through the Binational Public Advisory Committee.

Ric was a spirited mentor to countless environmental activists in the Windsor area and beyond. In 1985, he founded the Windsor and District Clean Water Alliance, later renamed the Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (CEA). This established a diligent and powerful international voice for environmental issues in the Great Lakes watershed. In a local appearance many years ago, Dr. David Suzuki referred to Ric as a “silverback” among environmentalists. This was fitting because Ric was both a fearless protector and a gentle and respected elder who had an enormous influence on his community.

Ric believed that every citizen has a responsibility to inform themselves and contribute to the improvement of their communities however they are able. It is a testament to his character that many of the politicians and power brokers whom he held to account so fiercely later sought Ric’s friendship and approval.

Ric led by example. He faced his own health challenges with determination and grace, and persevered where many would have surrendered. His commitment to the CEA was unwavering, and he was rightfully proud of the work the organization continues to do under the capable leadership of his beloved son.

Ric’s personal encouragement inspired generations of people who took up causes as citizen advocates. His wonderful sense of humour and unflinching loyalty will be missed by all those lucky enough to call him a friend. We mourn his passing and call on all those who remember Ric to honour his memory the way he would have appreciated most: keep pushing for clean air, clean water and healthy natural habitats in your community.

[The above is as posted by CEA. Beyond Nuclear note: Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, who is a Don't Waste Michigan board member, has long worked with Ric, since the mid-1990s. An early project, in 1997, was fighting together against Mixed Oxide (MOX, plutonium and uranium) fuel, to be made from U.S. weapons-grade plutonium. More recently, CEA and Beyond Nuclear worked together in an environmental coalition to challenge the Fermi nuclear power plant in southeastern Michigan, and the Davis-Besse atomic reactor in northwestern Ohio, both on the Lake Erie shoreline. Several years ago, Kevin was honored to have been invited to speak on a Detroit River cruise, at an annual fundraiser for CEA. Ric's decades-long commitment to protect the environment of the Great Lakes, his sense of humor, and his joie de vivre, will be sorely missed.]

Tuesday
Aug212018

[Canadian] First Nations, NGOs condemn federal plans for defunct nuclear reactors

Press release, circulated by Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR):

First Nations, NGOs condemn federal plans for defunct nuclear reactors

 

Ottawa, August 21, 2018 — Forty First Nations, citizen groups and NGOs have asked Canada’s Auditor General to hold an inquiry into spending by Natural Resources Canada, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on nuclear reactor decommissioning.

“The plan to entomb and abandon radioactive carcasses of nuclear reactors next to major rivers is an abomination,” says Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. “Billions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on plans that are clearly designed for the convenience of industry rather than the protection of human health and the environment for hundreds of thousands of years. The Government of Canada must consult First Nations and Canadian citizens to arrive at a meaningful and enforceable policy on how to manage these wastes in the very long term. There is no such policy now."

“Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) wants to turn reactor sites in Pinawa, Manitoba and Rolphton, Ontario into permanent nuclear disposal facilities that don’t meet international guidelines,” says Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association.  

The groups are worried those plans will set a precedent for other federal reactor sites in Ontario and Quebec. 

CNL is owned by a consortium of multinational corporations that was contracted in 2015 by the previous Conservative government to quickly and cheaply reduce Canada’s $10 billion worth of federal nuclear legacy liabilities. The clean-up costs for Canada's 70 years’ worth of nuclear waste exceed those for all of Canada’s 2,500 other federal environmental liabilities combined.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is meeting on August 22, 2018 in Ottawa to review progress on CNL’s nuclear waste plans at the Gentilly-1 reactor on the St. Lawrence River, the Douglas Point reactor on Lake Huron, the NPD reactor on the Ottawa River, Whiteshell Laboratories on the Winnipeg River in Manitoba, and in the Port Hope Area, among other topics. Groups will be demonstrating outside the meeting.

“Several federal reactors are located on unceded aboriginal traditional territory,” noted Chief April Adams-Phillips of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. “Now we hear that these defunct reactors may be turned into giant radioactive hulks, covered in cement as a monument to folly. We cannot stand by and let this happen.”

"For decades, the Government of Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission have promised that all Canadian nuclear reactors will be dismantled at the end of their useful life and that the land will be returned to its natural state," says Gilles Provost, spokesperson for the Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive"They must live up to their commitments rather than turn our reactors into perpetual radioactive waste repositories!”

Federal funding for ‘nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management’ has increased 400% in the last three years, since these functions were handed to the consortium of multinational corporations that includes SNC Lavalin.

In the first three fiscal years of the GoCo (government owned – contractor operated) arrangement (2016/17 to 2018/19), Parliamentary appropriations to AECL for “nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management” averaged $547,577,479 per year. This represented a four-fold increase over the $137,800,000 per year appropriated during the 2006/07 to 2015/16 period when decommissioning and waste management was funded by Natural Resources Canada through the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program. 

Canada has no policies restricting how nuclear reactors can be decommissioned or nuclear waste managed. It is up to proponents to suggest how they will decommission or manage wastes and then defend their chosen method to the CNSC.

The groups are asking the Auditor General to investigate whether the federal government is handling nuclear waste and reactor decommissioning in ways that are compatible with sustainable development principles.  

- 30 -

Contact:  Eva Schacherl, Media Liaison, Concerned Citizens ~ 613-316-9450

 

 

Tuesday
Apr242018

UN Side Event Webcast April 23: Radioactive Waste and Canada's First Nations

Message from Dr. Gordon Edwards of CCNR (Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility):

The following is a link to the United Nations archived webcast of a special event, “Radioactive Waste and Canada’s First Nations”,  held on April 23, 2018, on the occasion of the 17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. 

Speakers are:

1. Candace Neveau, youth and mother, Bawating Water Protectors, Anishinabek Nation.
2. Grand Chief Joseph Norton, Mohawk Nation of Kahnawà:ke, Iroquois Caucus.
3. Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee, Anishinabek Nation, Union of Ontario Indians.
4. Dr. Gordon Edwards, President, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
5. Chief April Adams-Phillips, Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne, Iroquois Caucus.
6. Dr. Ole Hendrickson, Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, Ottawa, Ontario.
7. Chief Clinton Phillips, Mohawk Nation of Kahnawà:ke, Iroquoid Caucus.
8. Chief Troy Thompson, Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne, Iqoquois Caucus.

Wednesday
Jan032018

Current risk of winter hurricane harkens back to White Hurricane of 1913, in vicinity of proposed DUD

In the Washington Post, meteorologist Jason Samenow has published an article entitled "East Coast prepares for most severe winter weather yet as monster storm takes shape," which reports:

The rapidly intensifying storm will hammer areas from north Florida to Maine with ice and snow and could resemble a winter hurricane in places by Thursday. Some blizzard warnings have already been issued and more could come. (emphasis added)

This harkens back to the White Hurricane of 1913, a most severe winter blizzard responsible for the largest loss of life on the Great Lakes in history. Some of the worst took place in Goderich, Ontario, Canada, on the shoreline of Lake Huron. Horrifically, a 40-foot tsunami like wave crashed into the port and town, drowning many. 

It just so happens that Goderich is not far down the road from Kincardine, "home" to the largest nuclear power plant in the world, Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, with a total of nine reactors (one permanently shutdown prototype, and eight still operable reactors) on the Lake Huron shore. 

Bruce is also targeted for the permanent burial dump for all of Ontario's "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, from a total of 20 reactors. The most reactors in any U.S. state, by comparison, was IL, with 14. Three of those have since permanently shut down, taking IL's current number of reactors down to 11 operating. The Ontario Power Generation DGR (short for Deep Geologic Repository) would be just over a half-mile from the water's edge. 

At 2013-2014 Joint Review Panel proceedings on the OPG DGR license application, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps orally testified that the DUD (short for Deep Underground Dump) would be at risk of such tsunami-like waves coming in off of Lake Huron, inundating the burial dump, leading to potentially catastrophic releases of hazardous radioactivity into the drinking water supply for tens of millions of people downstream.

But such blizzard ("hurricane")-generated waves are just one natural disaster scenario at the site.

There is also the risk of seiches, which are wind-blown flooding events along the Great Lakes shores.

 

But there are also Great Lakes/fresh water tsunamis on these inland seas.

 

See

 

http://michiganradio.org/post/ever-heard-great-lakes-tsunami-scientist-says-they-happen-about-100-times-year

 

and

 

http://michiganradio.org/post/scientists-want-create-warning-system-freshwater-tsunamis

 

which mention nuclear power plants, and the radioactive wastes stored there, as in dry casks, as of particular concern. Thus, it's not just OPG's DUD that would be at risk. So too are atomic reactors, and on-site radioactive waste storage.

 

There are dozens of atomic reactors with on-site radioactive waste storage ringing the shores of the Great Lakes in the U.S. and Canada. See a 2013 map by Anna Tilman of International Institute of Concern for Public Health and John Jackson of Great Lakes United, to see just how many nuclear facilities line the shorelines of the Great Lakes, at risk of natural disasters -- and worsening extreme weather events due to climate destabilization due to global warming.

 

By the way, as shown on the map (in the upper right hand corner), Goderich itself was under consideration for Canada's high-level nuclear waste (irradiated nuclear fuel) DGR/DUD, as well. Since 2013, however, it has been removed from the target list. However, two municipalities near Bruce in Kincardine are still under consideration. So are other sites within the Great Lakes basin, including on its shorelines. This DGR/DUD would be for high-level radioactive waste/irradiated nuclear fuel from all 22 atomic reactors across Canada, not only in Ontario, but also in Quebec and New Brunswick. Such a DGR/DUD would also be vulnerable to natural disasters and worsening extreme weather events, if located on the Great Lakes shores.

Thursday
Nov302017

104 Great Lakes mayors urge Canada's environment minister to reject OPG's DGR

See the letter, sent by 104 mayors and other elected officials throughout the Great Lakes basin, to Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna. Their demand is that she reject Ontario Power Generation's Deep Geologic Repository, a scheme to bury radioactive waste on the Lake Huron shore at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada.

See the press release about it, by Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump.

The following media covered this story:

The Times Herald

National Post

Nuclear News

Michigan Radio

The Voice