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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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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

Thursday
Sep212017

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.

Monday
Aug212017

Another major delay on Canada's Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump proposal is announced

As announced to Interested Parties, by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (CEAA) Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) Project Team, another major delay has just been announced regarding Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposal to dump radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shoreline.

This time, the Minister of the Environment and Climate, Catherine McKenna, has announced an open ended request for additional information to OPG, to accommodate the wishes of the Saugeen Ojibwe Nation (SON) to conduct a community-driven, better informed decision-making process regarding OPG's proposal to dump radioactive waste very near their reservation, on their traditional territories, adjacent to the Great Lakes, their drinking water supply, as well as the habitat for their fisheries.

The SON also have the dubious distinction of "hosting" the largest nuclear power plant on Earth, the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station (BNGS). Its eight operable reactors (and a ninth prototype, long shut down) make it larger than any other nuclear power plant in the world, by number of reactors. Not that the SON were asked for their consent, decades ago, for the construction and operation of the BNGS.

BNGS is also the location of the Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF), which not only stores Bruce's radioactive wastes, but also those imported in from a dozen reactors east of Toronto, from the Pickering (eight reactors) and Darlington (four reactors) nuclear power plants on the shore of Lake Ontario.

All of Ontario's combusitble "low-level" radioactive wastes are even incinerated at the WWMF, with untold radioactivity releases to the air, which then fallout on the surrounding countryside, as well as Lake Huron surface waters. It would be the "low-level" radioactive waste ashes left over from the incineration process, as well as non-combustible "low-level" radioactive wastes, and highly radioactive "intermediate-level" radioactive wastes, that would be buried at the DGR, if OPG gets it way -- 400,000 cubic meters worth!

After the open ended request for additional information is concluded, and OPG submits the additional information to the CEAA, the CEAA will then write a draft summary report for the consideration of the Environment and Climate Mininster. There will also be a public comment opportunity at that time on the conditions proposed for the DUD (Deep Underground Dump, an appropriately sarcastic acronym coined by the late, great Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada). None of these dates have yet been announced -- this most recent delay is currently open ended.

Beyond Nuclear has been an official party in the licensing proceeding since its founding in 2007. Beyond Nuclear's radioactive waste watchdog, Kevin Kamps, fought the DUD before that, dating back to 2001, when the DUD was first proposed, in his capacity as nuclear waste specialist at NIRS, as well as board member of Don't Waste MI, at that time.

Before this most recent (there have been multiple earlier ones!) postponement announcement, a draft summary report was due any day now (by late summer) from CEAA, for the Minister's consideration. A time period had also been scheduled for members of the public, interested parties, and official parties, to make comment on the draft summary report. The Minister was set to maker her up or down decision re: the DUD this autumn. But now this has all been indefinitely delayed.

Opponents of the DUD had previously protested the fact that OPG's most recent submission of additional information to CEAA had not been accompanied with a public comment period, for CEAA to consider the public's views, as it prepared its latest summary update status report on the additional information submitted by OPG.

And as Beverly Fernandez of the organization Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump asked in Feb. 2016, why is the Environment and Climate Minister, as well as the CEAA, delaying their decision on the DGR (Deep Geologic Repository)? Why aren't the Minister and CEAA rejecting OPG's application outright?

Given how unacceptable and insane this scheme is, including how woefully inadequate the construction and operating license application has clearly been (given all the requests for additional information since the Justin Trudeau government was elected), Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump's question is a powerful one!

Sunday
Aug202017

Beyond Nuclear speaks at Great Lakes Environmental Alliance rally opposing DGR!

On Sunday, August 20th, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps was honored and privileged to present at a rally organized by the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance (GLEA), in Port Huron, Michigan. Port Huron is where the freshwater inland sea, Lake Huron, flows into the St. Clair River, carrying the drinking water supply for tens of millions of people downstream to such surface waters as Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Port Huron is connected to Sarnia, Ontario via the Blue Water Bridge, within eyesight of which the rally was held. The rally was held during the annual St. Clair River Float Down, so thousands of people on floatation devices passed by the rally, and saw it in progress!

See Beyond Nuclear's August 15th announcement, below, sent far and wide to allies throughout the Great Lakes and beyond, for more information on this 3rd Annual Rally to Protect the Great Lakes.