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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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Monday
Mar212016

NUCLEAR HOPE: A documentary about the deepest and darkest places on Earth

A still image from NUCLEAR HOPE, showing a rally organized by the local grassroots group Save Our Saugeen Shores, in opposition to OPG's highly controversial DGR targeted at the Lake Huron shorelineFilmmaker Colin Scheyen has announced the release of a documentary, NUCLEAR HOPE, examining the radioactive waste dilemma in Canada, including Ontario Power Generation's highly controversial "Deep Geologic Repository" (DGR, for radioactive waste burial) targeted at the shoreline of Lake Huron, at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario.

Scheyen wrote to environmental watchdogs on both sides of the Great Lakes:

I spoke to many of you over email last July about the article on our film, Nuclear Hope. Since that time our film has gone on to win awards in festivals in Canada, the United States, and will most recently be featured in Toronto Film Week. Our film asks the question "what will Canada do with its enormous stockpile of nuclear waste?"

Many people thought that our film is a pro-nuclear propaganda film, which I believe could not be further from the truth.

As of today, we are officially releasing the film online via Vimeo.

http://www.undergroundsunshine.com/

The film can be rented for $2 US or purchased for around $4. I hope some of you who are interested in the issue of burying nuclear waste near the Great Lakes will take the time to see our film and let us know what you think.

I look forward to a thoughtful and engaging discussion.

Beyond Nuclear encourages you to check out the film's artful website, to watch this imaginative and thought provoking documentary, and to spread the word!

The film features heartfelt and enlightening interviews, with such allies in the fight against the DGR as: Dr. Helen Caldicott (Beyond Nuclear's Founding President); Eugene Bourgeois (a sheep farmer who lives immediately next door to the world's largest operating nuclear power plant, Bruce NGS, with eight operable reactors, radioactive waste surface storage for all 20 of Ontario's commercial atomic reactors, a large-scale, so-called "low" level radioactive waste incinerator, etc.!); Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch; Save Our Saugeen Shores (SOS); and others.

And once you've watched this film, please take action.

While the Canadian Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna's, recent decision to postpone her final decision on the DGR was welcome news, we must now redouble our efforts to block the DGR once and for all!

Email the Canadian Environment Minister <catherine.mckenna@parl.gc.ca> and the Canadian Prime Minister <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>. Urge them to reject, once and for all, OPG's proposal to bury radioactive wastes beside Lake Huron. OPG's DGR endangers the Great Lakes, the fragile and irreplaceable drinking water supply for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.

(See Beyond Nuclear's list of ideas for additional actions you can take, including: a petition you can sign; U.S. elected officials -- from President Obama, to Secretary of State Kerry, to your U.S. Senators and Representative -- you can urge to take action; and a resolution to urge your city, county, and state to pass in opposition to the DGR.)

See Beyond Nuclear's Canada website section for more information on the 15-years-and-counting fight against the DGR!

Wednesday
Mar092016

"TOXIC CONCERNS PUT BRAKES ON NEARBY NUCLEAR WASTE BURIAL SITE"

Ontario Power Generation eyes Great Lakes for underground nuclear waste dumpAs reported by Michelle Adelman in Now Toronto, the Canadian federal Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna's, decision to indefinitely delay her yea or nay on Ontario Power Generation's proposed Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump gives opponents a chance to block it once and for all.

Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, is quoted:

The delay gives opponents a chance to catch their second wind in their 15-year campaign against a project Kevin Kamps of the Washington-DC-based Beyond Nuclear says “is risking poisoning the great lakes” and is seen as a forerunner of future nuclear waste burial schemes in Ontario...

But even if all reactors shut down tomorrow, there’s no turning away from the toxic mess already on the ground. If a DGR is the best idea society can come up with for handling the worst of the waste, we’d better hope the technology can stand up for eternity.

“If not,” says Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, “our waste will be the toxic burden of near endless generations to come.”   

Wednesday
Mar022016

Concentrated Great Lakes nuclear facilities prompt call for action: 100+ groups designate radionuclides as “chemical of mutual concern”

Ontario Power Generation's eight-reactor Pickering Nuclear Power Plant, just east of Toronto, on the Lake Ontario shore.As reported in a Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Beyond Nuclear press release:

More than 100 organizations from around the Great Lakes are calling on the Canadian and American governments to list radionuclides as a “chemical of mutual concern” under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The groups’ call is supported by a new report outlining the shortcomings of current efforts to track radionuclides and explaining what needs to be done to properly monitor these dangerous substances in our Great Lakes.

“The Great Lakes basin is a hotbed for nuclear-related activity, with more than 30 nuclear generating stations, fuel processing facilities, waste disposal and uranium mine tailing sites scattered around the four lower lakes,” points out John Jackson, author of the new report.

“We simply don't know what the cumulative impact of these nuclear facilities and waste sites is on the lakes because there is no comprehensive monitoring of radionuclides in Great Lake waters,” says Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continues to search for a long-term high-level radioactive waste disposal site, where highly radioactive fuel bundles from all of Canada's nuclear facilities, including Ontario's 20 commercial power reactors, would be permanently buried. Eight of the nine sites being considered by the NWMO are in the Great Lakes Basin.

“The evidence is that even very low levels of radiation can have serious health impacts, from cancer-causing cell damage to genetic mutations that can trigger birth defects,” says Kevin Kamps of Maryland-based Beyond Nuclear. In the U.S., the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation panel found that “there is no compelling evidence to indicate a dose threshold below which the risk of tumor induction is zero.”

The full press release, report and groups’ submission are available at CELA's website.

Friday
Feb192016

Beyond Nuclear thankful for indefinite delay on Great Lakes nuclear waste dump, vows to redouble efforts to nip the "DUD" in the bud

The Great Lakes serve as the drinking water supply for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and Washington, D.C., U.S.A.--Late yesterday afternoon, the Canadian federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, issued the following statement, a Public Notice entitled Deep Geologic Repository Project — Ministerial Request for Additional Information, posted at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website:

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, today requested additional information and further studies on the environmental assessment for the proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) Project for Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste in Kincardine, Ontario.

After considering the Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment Report, the Minister has requested that the proponent, Ontario Power Generation, provide additional information on three aspects of the environmental assessment: alternate locations for the project, cumulative environmental effects of the project, and an updated list of mitigation commitments for each identified adverse effect under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

Ontario Power Generation has been asked to provide the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, by April 18, 2016, with a schedule for fulfilling the information request. The Minister will contact the Panel, at a future date, regarding its role in the review of the additional information and studies.

The Minister's request for information from the proponent has paused the timeline for an environmental assessment decision to be issued, as per section 54(6) of CEAA 2012. At a later date, the Minister will seek a further timeline extension from the Governor in Council.

March 1, 2016 had previously been set as the ultimate decision deadline for the Canadian Environment Minister to determine whether or not to accept the Joint Review Panel's Environmental Assessment Report recommendation that the DGR be allowed to proceed to construction and operation. The newly announced delay appears to be indefinite in nature, as OPG must report by April 18th on how long it needs to fulfill the three very broad additional information requests made by the Minister.

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear’s Radioactive Waste Watchdog, released the following statement in response.

The Environment Minister's actual letter to OPG is posted here.

A grassroots environmental movement opposed to the DGR has grown from voices in the wilderness, to an international groundswell, over the course of the past 15 years.

But one example of this long, determined defense of the Great Lakes is the October 13, 2012 "Huron Declaration," signed by a large number of individuals, representing many organizations, in opposition to the DUD. (DUD, short for Deep Underground Dump, is an acronym and phrase coined by Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada.) The "Huron Declaration" came out of the Nuclear Labyrinth conference, organized by Michael Keegan of Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, featuring Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility as keynote speaker, and hosted by Timothy J. Jurkovac, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sociology, Program Director, Criminal Justice, at Bowling Green State University's Firelands College in Huron, Ohio.

While named after the location of the conference, the "Huron Declaration" also is an allusion to the "Port Huron Statement," which marked the formation of the Students for a Democratic Society in the early 1960s, at a gathering held in Port Huron, Michigan. In fact, the Huron Declaration came 50 years after the Port Huron Statement -- 1962 to 2012.

Recently, Port Huron has become a hotbed of resistance to the DUD, with a St. Clair River rally in August 2015, the formation of Great Lakes Environment Alliance in recent months, a November 2015 event at St. Clair County Community College again featuring Dr. Gordon Edwards of CCNR as keynote speaker, etc.

Port Huron, Michigan is located at the point where Lake Huron flows into the St. Clair River. Port Huron's sister city, Sarnia, Ontario, has also long been a hotbed of resistance to the DGR, thanks in large part to the leadership of its long-serving progressive and environmental mayor, Mike Bradley. Port Huron and Sarnia are the nearest population center downstream of the proposed DUD -- in fact, Sarnia is the biggest city on the shores of Lake Huron.

The international environmental coalition resisting the DUD will now redouble efforts, in hopes of blocking the insane scheme outright. The movement will then move on to address the many other radioactive risks to the Great Lakes, concentrated at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, and at many other places along the Great Lakes shorelines, as overviewed by the International Institute of Concern for Public Health's Great Lakes Region Nuclear Hot Spots map.

Thursday
Feb112016

Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump has released a second video opposing OPG's Deep Geologic Repository

Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump (STGLND) has just released its second video re: Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for radioactive waste burial on the Lake Huron shoreline: 

Press has already picked this up:

STGLND has said folks should feel free to circulate the video widely.