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.



[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.  

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




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.


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.






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.


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


Urge Canadian decision makers to pull the plug on the proposed Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump!

SOS Great Lakes has written an excellent action alert, aimed at Canadian decision makers, urging that the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) radioactive waste DUD (sarcastically short, for Deep Underground Dump), targeted at the Lake Huron shoreline (see photo, right), be rejected once and for all. Beyond Nuclear co-sponsored, spoke, and info. tabled at the 3rd annual Great Lakes Environmental Alliance (GLEA) rally on the St. Clair River in Port Huron, Michigan, in opposition to OPG's DUD, on August 20th. The very next day, out of the blue, Canada's Environment Minister announced another major delay in the DUD licensing proceeding, in order to incorporate Saugeen Ojibwe Nation (SON) decision making proceedings into the overall DUD application review process. While such a delay is welcome, as SOS Great Lakes' action alert points out, it is well past time for Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to reject OPG's DUD scheme as insane and unacceptable. And even if the SON ultimately decide in favor of allowing the DUD on their territory (already unwilling host to the largest nuclear power plant in the world, by number of reactors -- nine, eight still operable and one a long closed prototype -- the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station), under pressure and financial inducement from OPG, the dump must still be stopped, for it would threaten the drinking water supply of 40 million others downstream, throughout the Great Lakes, in eight states, two provinces, and a large number of additional Native American First Nations. For more info. about the 16-year long resistance struggle against OPG's DUD, and additional Great Lakes nuclear issues, see Beyond Nuclear's Canada website section.