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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
Aug282014

U.S. Rep. Kildee to unveil major plan to block Canadian Great Lakes radioactive waste dump

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)As reported by the Macomb Daily:

"On a ship moored along the banks of the Saginaw River, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee will reveal a major plan to protect the Great Lakes from a proposed nuclear waste facility on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron at 12:30 p.m. today...While aboard the Appledore IV Kildee is expected to reveal his plans to introduce a congressional resolution that would put Congress on the record against the proposed construction of the deep geological reservoir for nuclear waste."

The Canadian federal Joint Review Panel (JRP) overseeing Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) is about to hold a final round of public hearings in the DGR's targeted town. The DGR would bury all of the province's so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste, from 20 reactors owned by OPG. Kincardine is also "home" to the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, one of the world's single largest nuclear power plants. Beyond Nuclear staff will testify in person, for the second time, before the JRP on Sept. 16th.

Tuesday
Aug192014

Bi-national coalition opposes Fermi 2 license extension on Great Lakes shore

NRC file photo of Fermi 2Multiple environmental groups have met an arbitrarily short, 11:59pm Eastern deadline, and officially intervened against the application by DTE (Detroit Edison) to extend the operating license at its Fermi 2 atomic reactor (photo, left) for an additional 20 years. Fermi 2's operating license is currently set to expire in 2025.

DTE's Fermi nuclear power plant, most infamous for the October 5, 1966 "We Almost Lost Detroit" partial meltdown of its Unit 1 experimental plutonium breeder reactor, is located on the Lake Erie shore of southeast Michigan, in Monroe County.

Beyond Nuclear has entered into coalition with Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, as well as Don't Waste Michigan, to file four contentions against Fermi 2's license extension.

Two of the contentions concern radioactive waste. The first is about the risk of catastrophic irradiated nuclear fuel storage pool fires. Fermi 2's storage pool holds around 600 tons of irradiated nuclear fuel, more than all four destroyed units at Fukushima Daiichi put together (419 tons). The second radioactive waste contention is about the lack of safety and environmental assurances, since the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) "Nuclear Waste Confidence" policy was declared null and void two years ago by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and NRC has not yet replaced it.

Another contention concerns the General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactor, and its containment's, long-known, fatal design flaws. Fermi 2 is largest GE Mark I BWR in the world, almost as big as the melted down Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 and 2 reactor cores put together. 

The final contention is about the interconnected risks between the age-degraded Fermi 2, and the untested, proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor, including the vulnerability of both sharing a common off-site electricity transmission corridor.

The three groups, joined by Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, as well as the Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter, have also been intervening against the Fermi 3 proposed new reactor since March, 2009.

Both coalitions challenging Fermi 2, and Fermi 3, are represented by Toledo-based attorney Terry Lodge.

Citizens Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT) separately filed 14 contentions of its own against the Fermi 2 license extension. CRAFT released a press release.

Thursday
Aug142014

JRP blocks MI State Sen. Pavlov from testifying; Bad Axe, MI latest resolution opposing DUD

The proposed location for the radioactive waste dump, less than a mile from the Great Lakes shoreAs reported by the Huron Daily Tribune, the Town of Bad Axe, Michigan is the latest to speak out, by passing a resolution against Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) insane proposal to bury all of the province's so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes -- from 20 atomic reactors -- less than a mile from the Lake Huron shoreline, at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Canada.

Meanwhile, the Canadian federal Joint Review Panel (JRP), comprised of two hearing examiners from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and one from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), has rejected a request from Michigan State Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair Twp.) to testify at the next, and likely last, round of public hearings, scheduled to begin on Sept. 9th. The Times Herald has reported on this story.

Pavlov has launched an online petition entitled "Protect Lake Huron: No Nuclear Waste on its Shores."

Pavlov has also led legislation through the MI State Senate, which passed unanimously, opposing the dump, and urging the U.S. federal government to intervene, by activating the U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission (IJC) to investigate the dump's risks. The bill is pending in the MI House of Representatives.

In addition, as posted on the website of Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump:

Closed Meetings Investigator finds Bruce County Council meetings with Nuclear Industry Reps in Contravention of Ontario Municipal Act -- see the Amberley Gavel Investigation Report .

The Toronto Star has reported that the closed-door nuclear meeting broke the law in Bruce County.

The Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump petition now stands at over 65,500 signatures! Help grow it by spreading the word!

For more recent updates on the DUD (Deep Underground Dump), see immediately below...

Monday
Jul212014

Beyond Nuclear submits written submission opposing Canadian Great Lakes radioactive waste dump

The proposed location for the DUD, less than a mile from the Great Lakes shoreBeyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, filed a written submission by the arbitrarily short deadline of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)/Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) Joint Review Panel overseeing the Environmental Assessment on Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) at Bruce Nucelar Generating Station. This preserves Beyond Nuclear's opportunity to submit oral testimony at the JRP's next -- and likely final -- round of public hearings on the DGR, to be held in Kincardine, Ontario this September.

Kevin also testified at the JRP's previous hearings in Kincardine in Sept. 2013.

Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada coined the acronym DUD (for Deep Underground Dump), to reflect the inanity -- not to mention insanity -- of the proposal.

OPG wants to bury all the "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes ever generated at Ontario's nearly two-dozen atomic reactors -- a total of 9 reactors at Bruce (including the Douglas Point prototype); 8 reactors at Pickering, just east of Toronto; and 4 reactors at Darlington, a bit further east of Pickering.

In fact, all of the province's reactors have already exported their "low" level radioactive wastes to Bruce, over the past 40+ years. There, incredibly enough, with little to no public notification (especially in the U.S.), they have been incinerated. Little to no information is publicly available as to how bad the radioactive emissions from this nuclear waste incineration have been.

However, hazardous tritium (a radioactive form of hydrogen) saturates even "low" level radioactive wastes (LLRW), and cannot be filtered at an industrial scale, because of its infinitesmally small size. Thus, it is likely that a large part of the tritium contained in Ontario's "low" level radioactive wastes have been discharged to the atmosphere, compliments of the radioactive waste incinerator at Bruce.

Thus, it is the resulting ash from LLRW incineration at Bruce that OPG wants to now bury. This radioactive ash, as well as Bruce's own "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, have been stored for decades on-site at the Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF). The entrance tunnel to the DGR would be excavated immediately next to the WWMF, less than a mile from Lake Huron. The Great Lakes are the drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American/First Nations.

What can you do to stop this insane dump? If you haven't already, please sign the petition to Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump. If you have already signed it, please forward the link to everyone you know.

You can also urge your town, county, or state/province to oppose the DGR, by passing an official resolution, as dozens of others from Minnesota in the west to Ontario in the east already have.

Lastly, you can express your opposition to the DUD in writing, either via email or snail mail. Be sure to note your remarks are re: OPG's DGR, and send them in to:

Snail mail:

Joint Review Panel Secretariat

C/O Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

160 Elgin St., 22nd Floor

Ottawa ON  K1A 0H3

CANADA

or

Email: DGR.Review@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Beyond Nuclear's "Canada" website section contains many postings with additional information and updates on the resistance to the DUD (as well as other Canadian anti-nuke news)!

Sunday
Jul202014

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller urges Sec. Kerry to activate IJC on Canadian Great Lakes radioactive waste dump

U.S. Representative Candice Miller (R-MI) has written U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, urging that he activate the International Joint Commission to review Ontario Power Generation's proposal to bury so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, less than a mile from the shore of Lake Huron. Michigan is less than 50 across Lake Huron from the targeted dumpsite, and millions of Michiganders draw their drinking water from the Great Lakes downstream of the proposed dump.

The U.S. State Department wrote Rep. Miller back, saying "The Department will review any possible role for the IJC and determine next steps."