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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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Tuesday
Feb092016

80 Public Interest Groups Urge Canadian Federal Environment Minister: Reject Great Lakes Nuclear Waste Dump

OPG's DGR would be located at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, less than a mile from the shore of Lake Huron.A Canadian-U.S. coalition of 80 environmental groups has written a joint letter to Canada's federal Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna, urging her to reject Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed radioactive waste dump on the Great Lakes shoreline.

Northwatch and Beyond Nuclear issued a press release about the joint letter.

The Great Lakes is 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. The Great Lakes comprises 21% of the world's, and 84% of North America's, surface fresh water.

The environmental coalition has fought against the proposed OPG "DGR" (short for Deep Geologic Repository) for 15 years. OPG proposes dumping so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 reactors across the province at its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario, less than a mile from the Lake Huron shore.

Please help stop the Great Lakes nuke waste dump!

March 1st is Canadian Environment Minister McKenna's deadline for issuing the Decision Statement, but she could issue it sooner than that. We've not got a day to spare!

Please consider taking further action. Here are some ideas:

  • Share the joint letter and encourage others to send messages in support 
  • Send your own letter to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Catherine McKenna (email is catherine.mckenna@parl.gc.ca)
  • Send a copy of your letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca) or write an individual letter to Prime Minister Trudeau
Tuesday
Feb022016

Beyond Nuclear in Port Huron against the DGR: "Radioactive Wastes - Hidden Dangers for the Great Lakes & Our Fresh Water Supply"

This image included in Kevin's presentation was a crowd favorite at the event. It originated in the anti-uranium mining movement in Australia, led by Aboriginal peoples. The image has been popularized internationally through its use by World Information Service on Energy, as part of its "Don't Nuke the Climate!" campaign.Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, was honored and privileged to be invited to speak by GLEA (Great Lakes Environmental Alliance) on “Radioactive Wastes - Hidden Dangers for the Great Lakes & Our Fresh Water Supply,” at its regular meeting on Feb. 2. The meeting was held at the M-Tec Building, on SC4's Campus (St. Clair County Community College), in Port Huron, Michigan.

Here is GLEA's description of the event:

With the ongoing public health crisis in Flint, and knowing that radioactive pollutants can be both invisible and tasteless, we must rethink our efforts to protect the public drinking water supply. Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist from Beyond Nuclear and a Michigan native, will address what we can do to stop the permanent deep burial of nuclear wastes beside the largest fresh water source for North America. Mr. Kamps will also give an update on other Great Lakes nuclear issues. Find out how you can get involved and what GLEA is doing to safeguard our important natural resources.

GLEA's webiste is: www.GreatLakesEnvironmentalAlliance.org/

GLEA's contact is: Elizabeth Zimmer-Lloyd; Great Lakes Environmental Alliance, Promotion Committee; thumperbunny2u@aol.com

Here is a link to the Power Point Kevin presented. His talk focused primarily on Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for radioactive waste dumping on the shore of Lake Huron, just upstream from Port Huron. He also made connections to the Flint, Michigan drinking water lead-poisoning catastrophe, as included in his Counterpunch article entitled "After Flint, Don't Let Them Nuke the Great Lakes Next!" (Flint and Port Huron are only an hour's drive apart.) The very same U.S. and Michigan agencies (EPA, MDEQ, MI Governor Snyder's administration) that have brought us the Flint catastrophe, are the very same ones OPG met with, that have flippantly signed off on the DGR, apparently oblivious to the risks to the drinking water supply for 40 million people (including the 100,000 residents of Flint, who now, once again, draw safe, clean Lake Huron water as their drinking water source; it was the state decision, from April 2014 to October 2015, to switch to the highly corrosive Flint River, with no corrosion-control program in place, that led to the catastrophe).

Kevin was also privileged to be asked to announce the first installment in the "Kay Cumbow Award," which was inaugurated at SC4's Global Awareness Day last November, that also focused on OPG's DGR. The award, named after a modern day Paul Revere, Port Huron area anti-nuclear environmental watchdog Kay Cumbow, who is active with GLEA (and was among the very first to raise the alarm about the DGR in 2001, in the Blue Water area of St. Clair and Macomb Counties), was awarded to Jeremy Whitmore and Valerie Daggett. Jeremy and Valerie organized the rally on the St. Clair River in Port Huron last mid-August, calling attention to the DGR during Port Huron's river festival.

At Kay Cumbow's invitation, Kevin has presented in Port Huron a number of other times over the years, including just after the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, around the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

In fact, Kay also helped "roped" Kevin into anti-nuclear power activism in the first place. She coordinated Palisades Watch in southwest Michigan then. The group's public outreach effort at Kalamazoo's New Years Fest on 12/31/1992 is when a Palisades Watch volunteer, Mike Martin of Gobles, handed Kevin a flier.

Kay also pointed out a moving connection at the Feb. 2 event. Dr. Mona, a Flint crisis hero, attended the Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination Backyard Eco Conference in central Michigan, as a child. Backyard Eco was a primary gathering of the Michigan environmental movement for many long years on end. (Kay is also a former CACC board member, and still a proud member. Kevin was very honored last year, when CACC invited him to join its advisory board.) The outdoor educational experience for children was always at the heart of Eco.

Tuesday
Feb022016

U.S. Representative Candice Miller: ‘No’ to nuclear waste near Lake Huron

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI-10th)U.S. Represenative Candice Miller (Republican-Michigan, photo left) has published an op-ed in the Detroit News opposing Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for radioactive waste burial on the Great Lakes shoreline as unacceptably risky to the drinking water supply of 40 million North Americans.

Miller is a seven-term, senior Republican in the U.S. House. As reported on her official website:

Representative Miller serves as Chairman of the Committee on House Administration – currently serving as the only woman chair of a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.  She serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, as well as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, and is a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  In Congress, Representative Miller has been a leader in protecting the Great Lakes and promoting Michigan industry.

The 10th U.S. House Congressional District of Michigan, which she represents, is the closest one downstream from OPG's proposed DGR.

(Beyond Nuclear does disagree, however, with Rep. Miller's implicit advocacy in favor of the long proposed, and now cancelled, Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste dump, as expressed in her op-ed.

It is worth noting that no U.S. nuclear power utility, or government agency, has suggested dumping radioactive wastes on the Great Lakes shoreline.

In fact, among the 184 resolutions passed in opposition to the DGR, a number came from Chicagoland -- home of Exelon Nuclear. Another came from Port Clinton, OH -- the company town of the Davis-Besse atomic reactor. The U.S. nuclear power industry isn't even that crazy, to propose dumping radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shoreline! See STGLND's website for a map showing where the resolutions have been passed.

However, the U.S. nuclear power industry, and its friends and supporters in government, ARE crazy enough to generate and store radioactive wastes on the Great Lakes shores. As Dave Kraft of NEIS of Chicago has pointed out, re: Chicagoland's many resolutions opposing OPG's DGR -- if burying radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shores is unacceptable, then what about making it, and storing it, there?

That said, it can't stay there forever. Mary Sinclair, founder of Don't Waste MI, warned about that two decades ago. But Mary also agreed that Yucca Mountain was unacceptable as a dumpsite.

The Yucca dump would violate environmental justice principles, is not consent-based, and is technically unsuitable. That is, it would leak massively into the environment, is ever opened and operated, and would be done against the will of the Western Shoshone National Council, where it is located, as well as against the will of the State of Nevada, within the borders of which it is located.

Likewise, parking lot dumps targeted at Native American reservations, already heavily contaminated Department of Energy sites, and already heavily burdened nuclear power plants, are also a bad idea.

The nuclear industry should stop making the wastes on the Great Lakes shore. For what already exists and is stored there, a coalition of more than 200 environmental groups, representing all 50 states -- including Michigan -- have long advocated Hardened On-Site Storage. One of the principles calls for safeguarding dry casks against leakage over long periods of time. Another calls for storing wastes as safely as possible, as close to the point of generation as possible. That is, some sites -- including on the Great Lakes shore -- are unsuitable for long-term radioactive waste storage, given the inherent risks to the freshwater supplies of our continent, as Dr. Sinclair warned two decades ago.)

Monday
Feb012016

Take action to stop the Great Lakes nuclear waste dump!

Visit Stop the Great Lake Nuclear Dump's website at www.stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.comPlease act ASAP. Canada's Environment Minister has announced a decision by March 1st at the latest, on whether or not to proceed with a radioactive waste dump on the Great Lakes shore -- drinking water supply for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations. She could act at any time, and is certainly formulating her decision as we speak, so please act right away!

Write to Canada's Prime Minister and Environment Minister, respectively: Justin.Trudeau@parl.gc.ca & Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca. (yes, even if you are American!)

Urge them to decide NO! on Ontario Power Generation's proposed Deep Geologic Repository for radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shore!

Also visit the website of Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump.

There you can watch a powerful three minute video, see the map of 184 resolutions from municipalities across the Great Lakes Basin passed in opposition to the dump (is your town on there yet?!), and sign their petition.

And you can contact your two U.S. Senators, and your U.S. Representative, and urge they support S. 2026 and H.R. 3483. You can also contact President Obama, and urge he launch a comprehensive review of the DGR, by activating the U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission:

Contact President Obama , to urge him to order Secretary of State John Kerry to activate the U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission (IJC), to conduct a comprehensive review of the DGR’s risks to the Great Lakes.

Americans can also contact their two U.S. Senators, and U.S. Representative (get patched through to their offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121), and urge them to co-sponsor U.S. Senate and House legislation, the “Stop Nuclear Waste by Our Lakes Act,” (S. 2026 in the U.S. Senate, and H.R. 3483 in the U.S. House) introduced by U.S. Sens. Stabenow and Peters, and U.S. Rep. Kildee (Democrats from Michigan). The “Stop Nuclear Waste by Our Lakes Act” (S. 2026 and H.R. 3483) will invoke the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, and mandate that the IJC undertake a comprehensive review of the DGR proposal.

Monday
Feb012016

Thom Hartman: Could MI Be the Site of the Next Nuclear Disaster?

Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear joins Thom Hartmann on "The Big Picture." If a new nuclear waste disposal plan goes forward -- the Flint water crisis could soon be the least of Michigan's worries. Isn't it time we abandoned nuclear power once and for all and embraced real clean energy that doesn't turn out cities into potential fallout zones?