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'Nuclear Labyrinth on the Great Lakes,' Oct. 4-6, BGSU/Firelands College, Huron, OH

The Great Lakes, comprising 20% of the world's surface fresh water, serves as the drinking water supply for 40 million people in the U.S., Canada, and a large number of Native American/First Nations.BGSU Firelands Community Enrichment Series Announces

‘Nuclear Labyrinth on the Great Lakes’

October 4th-6th, 2012

on the Lake Erie shoreline at Bowling Green State University's Firelands College,

Cedar Point Center Auditorium, Huron, Ohio

(see the full color flyer for this event here, with graphic design by Kathryn Barnes)

(see the BGSU/Firelands College poster here)

Albert Einstein noted in 1946 that "The splitting of the atom has changed everything except the way we think. Thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. To the Village Square...we must carry the facts of atomic energy, from there must come America's voice."

Today there are seven major nuclear threats on Lake Erie that historically have had chronic and acute problems that continue to this day. This October 4th - 6th a conference will convene bringing focus on these nuclear threats. Noted scholars, activist practitioners, and impacted community members will engage with dialogue about the immediate threats and potential impacts on the Great Lakes bio-region. Impacted communities will be invited to explore the historical, psychological, economic, political, health, safety, security and environmental ramifications of these nuclear power plants. These are the hidden subsidies that have been excluded from the cost equation of nuclear power.  This conference seeks the inclusion of various area constituencies to dialogue and work toward the alleviation of the nuclear perils now faced by Lake Erie. 

Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., President, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility will be the keynote presenter Thursday, October 4th at 7:00 p.m. in the Cedar Point Center Auditorium. Dr. Edwards will also anchor the workshops Friday held at the same location.  To view his life's work, visit Dr. Edwards' website. You can also listen to a recent radio podcast featuring Gordon.

Friday Registration 8:30  to 9:30 am

Welcome and Introductions 9:30  to 10:00 am

Workshops begin at 10:00 am.  Activist Practitioners will serve as presenters and facilitators for the following set of sequential workshops on Friday, October 5 in the Cedar Point Center Auditorium. Each workshop will be 75 minutes including Q/A with 15 minute breaks between workshops.

Nukespeak in the Great Lakes Basin - An Overview - 10:00 to 11:15 am

The Great Lakes basin hosts every aspect of the nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining and refining, to nuclear reactors, waste facilities and nuclear weapons production facilities. Radioactive materials are regularly shipped between these sites.  Each stage of the nuclear fuel chain has its own enormous radioactive waste problems.  In addition, routine emissions of radioactivity from these sites add to the degradation of the world's largest surface freshwater ecosystem. A major accident at any one facility could have a devastating impact on the entire Great Lakes basin. Even if a catastrophic accident is avoided, these nuclear hot spots must be isolated and monitored for many generations to come. This workshop will provide an Overview and the History of Nuclear Power / Nuclear Weapons in the Great Lakes basin.

Uranium Mining Impacts on the Great Lakes & Beyond - 11:30 to 12:45 pm

This workshop will examine the contamination and chronic threat posed to indigenous peoples by mining, milling, and processing of uranium. This workshop focuses on uranium mining and refining. On the North Shore of Lake Huron, Elliot Lake uranium mines and tailings, Blind River refinery, and Espanola uranium tailings threaten Lake Huron. Uranium refineries at Port Hope on Lake Ontario have caused the harbor to be contaminated at high levels. There are proposed uranium mining operations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that will threaten streams and Lake Superior. Around the world indigenous peoples have been displaced from their ancestral lands and contaminated by uranium mining. This workshop will work to inform and then to empower people to take action to stop uranium mining and refining in the Great Lakes basin and beyond.

Lunch in provided - Pizza & Salad - 1:00 pm

Speaking of Nuclear Reactors in the Great Lakes Basin - 2:00 to 3:15 pm

This workshop will examine the health, environmental and economic threat of nuclear power while pointing the way to alternative and renewable energy. The Great Lakes basin is ringed with nuclear power plants.  On Lake Erie there are several operating nuclear reactors including Perry, Davis-Besse and Fermi 2. These existing reactors chronically pollute the watershed and air-shed with radioactive isotopes and with other chemical releases under NPDES permits.  Beyond this chronic slow contamination is the potential for a catastrophic nuclear disaster threatening 20% of the world's surface fresh water. The Great Lakes are threatened again with plans to build additional reactors on both the U.S. and Canadian side of the border. This workshop will examine the dire consequence of a nuclear accident and will empower the audience to act to prevent additional reactors and to shut down the existing reactors. 

Nuclear Waste - Forevermore - Now What? - 3:30 to 4:45 pm 

 Dirty, dangerous and expensive nuclear power and its fuel chain threaten our environment, economy and democracy with nuclear waste, long lasting and deadly. We have no way to isolate it for as long as it is hazardous/radioactively dangerous. This workshop will examine the ways that making, processing, dumping and transporting high and “low-level" nuclear waste in the Great Lakes threaten us, and what to do about it.  Emphasis will be on Lake Erie.  This session will include overviews of the Canadian nuclear dump proposals on Lake Huron and shipments of radioactive waste on the Great Lakes.  How to strengthen Canadian and US environmental policy will be discussed.

Music and Wrap-up 4:45 to 5:00 pm

Lake Erie specific concerns will be woven into the above workshops including: high level nuclear waste reprocessing and burial at West Valley, New York; Perry nuclear reactor at Perry, Ohio; NewGreen nuclear waste transport and processing on Great Lakes at Perry, Ohio; Plum Brook decommissioned nuclear reactors - Huron, Ohio; Davis-Besse nuclear reactor at Oak Harbor, Ohio; Fermi nuclear reactor complex, Newport, Michigan.


Saturday Registration 8:30 to 9:30 am

Welcome, Re-cap, Introduction 9:30 to 10:00 am

Saturday workshops begin at 10:00 am and will provide ‘How To’ tools for productive engagement concerning environmental threats.


Barefoot Epidemiology - 10:00 am

Accessing Public Documents - 11:00 am

Social Media Utilization - 12:00 pm

Demos of Improvisational Performing Arts - 1:00 pm

Lunch in provided - Pizza, Veggie Subs and Salad at 2:00 pm

Registration from 8:30 to 9:30 am with coffee & pastry for both Friday & Saturday. Registration in advance will reserve limited program packets and help in planning.

Friday begins at 8:30 am, lunch will be @ 1:00 pm then reconvene until 5:00 pm.

Saturday begins at 8:30 am, lunch @ 2:00 pm with closing music and conference wrap-up.


Firelands College is located in Huron, Ohio fifteen minutes east of Sandusky. Please see link to Firelands College maps webpage here.


 Scheduled workshop speakers and presenters to include:

Angela Bischoff - Outreach Director, Ontario Clean Air Alliance will share Social Media skills and help to Emcee.

Diane D’Arrigo – Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Sierra Club No Nukes Activist Team will review West Valley Reprocessing, Radioactive Metal ‘Recycling’ Threat.

Dr. Gordon Edwards - President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility will address the radioactive contamination of the Earth and its Waters - accidental or deliberate? He will also speak on reactor waste policy in Canada.

Dr. Timothy Jurkovac - Associate Professor of Sociology at BGSU Firelands, Conference Organizer, Host and Emcee can be reached at: (419) 372-0661 / 

Michael Keegan - Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes, Don’t Waste Michigan, Conference Organizer and Registrant can be reached at (734) 770-1441 / 

Kevin Kamps - Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Beyond Nuclear will discuss high-level radioactive waste policy in the Great Lakes, and Davis-Besse reactor license extension proceedings.

Terry Lodge, Attorney - Longtime representative of antinuclear intervenors in Ohio and Michigan, will present legal perspectives on intervening in NRC licensing cases. 

Pat Marida - Chair, Nuclear Free Ohio (Sierra Club) to discuss NewGreen and radioactive waste shipments on Lake Erie and beyond. 

Victor McManemy - Great Lakes songwriter, troubadour, historian, musician and advocate for Indigenous Peoples will perform.

Invited Speaker - Seasoned nuclear dump intervenor will present concerns about the ‘Deep Geologic Repository’ and ‘High Level Waste’ in Canada that impact the Great Lakes. Learn more about the proposal to bury "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste at Bruce Nuclear Complex on Ontario's Lake Huron shore, as well as about Canada's search for a high-level radioactive waste dump (several communities on the Ontario shores of Lake Huron near Bruce, as well as the Ontario shore of Lake Superior, have volunteered to be considered as candidate "host" sites for Canada's high-level radioactive waste's permanent burial).


Registration Information

Please RSVP early to reserve conference package.  This would be most helpful for Conference planning.  Registrant is Michael Keegan:  On site check-in and registration begins at 8:30 am both Friday and Saturday.  Registration is free, morning pastry and coffee provided, lunch will be provided.  

 For updates on ‘Nuclear Labyrinth on the Great Lakes’ and subject related materials please see the following webpages: Beyond NuclearDon’t Waste Michigan; Firelands CollegeGreat Lakes United; Greenpeace CanadaNorthwatch; NuclearFreePlanet.orgNuclear Information and Resource Service; Sierra Club Nuclear Free Campaign; Sierra Club Ohio Chapter Nuclear Issues Committee.


Lodging Information

Lodging is on your own. Recommended lodging is Motel 6 at 601 Rye Beach Road, off Interstate 2, Huron, Ohio 44839. Motel 6 is very close to Firelands. (419)-433-7829, Reservations 800-466-8356 we have been quoted rates of $46 Thursday / Friday and $60 Saturday for a room with double Queens. Please visit the Motel 6 website. 

Also, Comfort Inn is nearby Firelands College. Please visit the Comfort Inn website.

Many other lodging options can be found six miles west (Cedar Point). Please be informed that lodging will be hard to obtain October weekends because Cedar Point runs Halloween Theme specials. This is the peak attendance period for Cedar Point. Please do not hesitate to secure accommodations. We are four weeks out.

Contributions to defray conference costs for ‘Nuclear Labyrinth on the Great Lakes’ are most welcome and most appreciated.  Contributions should be made out to "Beyond Nuclear" and earmarked on the note line "Don't Waste MI/Great Lakes Conference" at mailed to the following address: Attn. Cindy Folkers, Beyond Nuclear, 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400, Takoma Park, MD 20912.

For more info on how to contribute please contact Michael Keegan (734)

Registration is Free!  Coffee, Pastry, Lunch Free!  But Please RSVP

In addition to Firelands College, 'Nuclear Labyrinth on the Great Lakes’ has been endorsed and sponsored by the following organizations: Beyond Nuclear, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes, The Culture Club: Cultural Studies Scholars' Association - BGSU, Don’t Waste Michigan, Great Lakes United, Greenpeace Canada,, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Sierra Club Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club Nuclear Free Campaign, Toledo Coalition for Safe Energy.

Additional Endorsements and Sponsorships are Welcome contact: 

Please help spread the word!