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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
Aug242016

Action Alert - Due Aug 29, 2016 - Letter of Support to Nominate Radionuclides as a Chemical of Mutual Concern in the Great Lakes under the GLWQA

The Great LakesDear Colleagues,

Fe de Leon at the Canadian Environmental Law Association has asked us to circulate the action alert below. Apologies for the short notice, but please note that letters of support even after the August 29th deadline would still be valuable. If your group was one of the 110 organizations that already signed on last March, you don't need to send another letter of support now. (See the link above to check if your group already signed on in March, if you don't remember.) But if your group has not yet signed on, this is your organization's chance to do a letter of support and help this important cause in that way.
Please take action as soon as you can, and spread the word to other organizations which and individuals who would be interested. Note that whatever source the radioactivity comes from -- uranium mines, uranium mills, uranium processing facilities, nuclear fuel fabrication, atomic reactors, radioactive waste storage sites, radioactive waste dumps, nuclear materials and radioactive waste transports, etc., most to all of which takes place in the Great Lakes Basin, unfortunately -- this effort urges the U.S. and Canadian governments to officially address the risks as a Chemical of Mutual Concern in the Great Lakes, under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Please take this action to protect the Great Lakes -- 84% of North America's surface fresh water, 21% of the world's surface fresh water, and drinking water supply for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations. Thanks.

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear and Don't Waste Michigan

Action Alert

Letter of Support to Nominate Radionuclides as a Chemical of Mutual Concern in the Great Lakes under the GLWQA

Due Date: Aug 29, 2016

Dear Colleagues,  

We are sending you this email to seek your support in the nomination of radionuclides as a chemical of mutual concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), Annex 3, Part B, Sec. 2. On March 2, 2016, over 110 organizations and advocacy groups signed an open letter to the Great Lakes Executive Committee (GLEC) Co-Chairs in support of the nomination. As Parties to the GLWQA, the United States and Canadian governments will review the nomination of radionuclides in the upcoming months. 

We would appreciate if you could share this Action Alert with your lists or members who may consider submitting a letter in support of the nomination of radionuclides under the GLWQA to the US and Canadian governments.

A letter of support would play an important role in highlighting the concern expressed by the groups which submitted the nomination for radionuclides in March 2016, and in stressing to the governments that it is critical for them to take preventive action to protect the Great Lakes from risks posed by radionuclides – through designating them as a Chemical of Mutual Concern.

The due date to send a letter of support is August 29, 2016. We appreciate that summer is a busy time for families with vacations and scheduling challenges; please be assured that if you are only able to send in your letter of support later on in September, it will still be reviewed and considered. Please keep us in BCC when sending your letter, or forward us a copy if it has already been submitted, so that we can keep track of the letters sent. 

[Linked here] you will find the NGO nomination letter signed by 110 groups along with a report prepared for CELA by John Jackson, titled “Radionuclides as a Chemical of Mutual Concern in the Great Lakes Basin,” and a sample letter which may provide a helpful framework. We have also included copies of letters that were submitted by the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and Great Lakes Fishery Commission in support of the nomination of radionuclides. 

Thank you for your consideration and support. Should you have any questions with this request, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely, 

Fe de Leon (deleonf@cela.ca), and 
John Jackson (jjackson@web.ca)

Canadian Environmental Law Association
55 University Avenue,15th Floor
Toronto, ON
M5J 2H7

 

Toll free: 1-844-755-1420

Tel.: 416-960-2284 (ext. 7223 for Fe de Leon)

Fax: 416-960-9392

CELA at www.cela.ca

Thursday
Aug182016

Protect the Great Lakes march & rally, GLEA, Port Huron, MI, Sat., 8/20, noon to 5pm!

DO sign the petition: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.html. And, if you or folks you know are near enough Port Huron, please attend this second annual event! Please spread the word!Join us, Saturday, August 20,
2016 in Port Huron, Michigan!


Protect the Great Lakes Walk & Rally!
Celebrating grassroots efforts to keep
our Great Lakes clean!


The Walk begins at 12 Noon at the Flag Plaza under the Blue
Water Bridge
(Thomas Edison Parkway). The Walk will follow the
St. Clair River south to Prospect Place, turn west to Pine Grove Ave.,
then enter the park from Pine Grove Avenue.

We walk to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our water!

The Rally takes place from 1 to 5 PM at the Pine Grove Park in
Port Huron, 1204 Pine Grove Avenue, Port Huron, MI 48060.

More.

Thursday
Aug182016

Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World caps week-long anti-nuke theme at World Social Forum in Quebec, Canada

The Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World was endorsed by the World Social Forum (Forum Social Mondial in French -- see image, left) gathered in Quebec from August 8 to 14th. 168 organizations have signed onto the Declaration. To add your group, please send your full contact information to ccnr@web.ca.

This declaration, as well as five solid days of strategy meetings, networking, and anti-nuclear workshops, was inspired by the Tokyo Appeal, and the First Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Free World, held in Tokyo and Fukushima in March 2016.

Chico Whitaker, a co-founder of the World Social Forum in Brazil 15 years ago, and a leader of the Brazilian anti-nuclear movement, contacted Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for a Nuclear Responsibility some months ago, calling for th Second Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Free World to take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The entire week of events commenced with a Nagasaki atomic bombing commemoration ceremony, held at UQAM (University of Quebec at Montreal) on August 8. (Montreal is a sister city with Hiroshima, Japan, and the mayor of Montreal annually observes a Hiroshima atomic bombing commemoration.) The Nagasaki commemoration was conducted by Stuart Mayo Jr., alongside his father, Stuart Mayo Sr. The Mayos are members of the local Mohawk First Nation. Stuart Mayo Jr. spoke powerfully about the global significance of the Nagasaki atomic bombing, such as pointing out that it represented a kind of minitiarization of the Nazis' Holocaust gas chambers and ovens. What took the Nazis years to do (the slaughter of millions of Jews, Roma, and other peoples), could now be done with the flip of a switch, or the push of a button (nuclear weapons).

The first two days in Montreal (August 8 and 9, held at UQAM) were devoted to networking and strategizing, regarding both nuclear weapons and nuclear power issues, and all aspects of the uranium fuel chain, from mining to radioactive waste dumping, and all steps in between. Groups such as Artistes pour la Paix and Physicians for Global Survival took part. Additional attendees included French and Japanese anti-nuclear organizers. This included an attorney who represents numerous children in Fukushima being forced to attend school in a radioactively contaminated zone, despite the risks to their health and well being. It also included a French theater director, who has organized performances of 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Svetlana Alexievich's play adaptation of the book Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, in both France, as well as Alexievich's native Belarus, the country hardest hit by Chernobyl's radioactive fallout.

The official kick off of the World Social Forum, and culmination of the two days of anti-nuclear organizing and strategizing, took the form of a rally at Montreal's Parc LaFontaine, and then an Opening March (including a colorful anti-nuke contingent) through the streets of the city, capped by a musical concert with speakers at a large outdoor plaza.

Dr. Edwards asked Michael Keegan of Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes to coordinate three solid days of workshops (August 10, 11, 12, held at McGill College, located on Mohawk land, for which the First Nation has never been compensated) -- a dozen in all. Representatives from groups such as Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Awareness Network, Dene No Nukes, Fairewinds Energy Education, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Sept îles sans uranium (SISUR) stepped up to make it happen. The Mayos (mentioned above) added powerful testimony during one of the workshop sessions.

See the schedule of anti-nuke workshops here; see the list of presenters here.

The powerful photos of the Atomic Age, by Montreal-based Atomic Photographers Guild founder, Robert Del Tredichi, were exhibited all week long, alongside the anti-nuke forum activities.

Tuesday
Aug162016

Kamps' prepared statement for press conference re: highly radioactive liquid waste truck shipments from Canada to U.S.A.

Ottawa Citizen map showing one of the more likely shipping routes from Chalk River, ON to SRS, SC for highly radioactive liquid waste truck shipments. (See larger sized map linked at end of entry.)Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, delivered a statement to members of the news media on a press conference call sponsored by NIRS. An environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, has filed a lawsuit seeking to block up to 150 unprecedented truck shipments of highly radioactive liquid wastes, from Chalk River Nuclear Labs in Ontario, Canada through multiple states, to Savannah River Site nuclear weapons and radioactive waste complex in Aiken, South Carolina, U.S.A.

See the press release and invitation to a NIRS-hosted press tele-briefing here. (The audio recording from the tele-briefing is available online. See below in the Update.*)

See the environmental coalition's lawsuit (Complaint), and associated exhibits, here.

See additional background documents here.

(Full size, legible route map -- see above left -- linked here.)

Monday
Jul182016

Letter claims info on nuclear risks withheld from safety commissioners 

As reported by Gloria Galloway at the Globe and Mail, an anonymous letter written by Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staffers alleges that the agency staff has kept the CNSC Commissioners, and the CNSC President, in the dark about significant safety issues at Canadian nuclear power plants such as Darlington just east of Toronto, and Bruce on the Lake Huron shore just upstream of Port Huron and Detroit, Michigan.

The letter was sent not only to CNSC President Michael Binder, but also to two leading Canadian environmental groups, Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Greenpeace Canada.

As the article reports:

...Although it is impossible to verify that the letter was written by CNSC specialists, environmentalists who received copies of the document say the level of detail, the manner of speaking and the amount of complexity suggest it was written by someone with inside knowledge. And, they say, the problems are symptomatic of a culture at the commission in which employees are expected to act as boosters of the nuclear industry rather than watchdogs of nuclear safety...

Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, who was the other environmentalist sent a copy of the letter, said actions of this sort – in which whistle-blowers make such specific allegations – are both rare and surprising. But, she said, she has no doubt it was written by someone inside the CNSC.

“We are often very concerned that commissioners are not getting the full story from the proponents or the regulatory staff,” Ms. McClenaghan said. “In the hearings, we really do see a frustrating amount of apologetics for the industry going on by staff.”

Mr. Stensil, of Greenpeace, said the most serious issue raised in the letter is the allegation suggesting that CNSC staff knows about additional risks being posed by reactors, but is ignoring them. That is what happened at Fukushima, he said.

“That’s not a nuts-and-bolts or an engineering issue,” Mr. Stensil said. “That’s a safety culture issue.”

Beyond Nuclear has engaged in numerous CNSC proceedings over the past decade, from: reactor operating license extensions at Bruce; to a reactor new build proposal at Darlington, as well as a license extension proceeding; and a license extension proceeding at CAMECO's uranium processing facility in Port Hope, Ontario. Beyond Nuclear's biggest involvement, however, has been its opposition to Ontario Power Generation's proposed radioactive waste dump at Bruce, on the Great Lakes shore. Beyond Nuclear can vouch, from extensive, direct experience, that CNSC staff's extreme bias in favor of nuclear power promotion is over the top.