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« UN Side Event Webcast April 23: Radioactive Waste and Canada's First Nations | Main | 104 Great Lakes mayors urge Canada's environment minister to reject OPG's DGR »
Wednesday
Jan032018

Current risk of winter hurricane harkens back to White Hurricane of 1913, in vicinity of proposed DUD

In the Washington Post, meteorologist Jason Samenow has published an article entitled "East Coast prepares for most severe winter weather yet as monster storm takes shape," which reports:

The rapidly intensifying storm will hammer areas from north Florida to Maine with ice and snow and could resemble a winter hurricane in places by Thursday. Some blizzard warnings have already been issued and more could come. (emphasis added)

This harkens back to the White Hurricane of 1913, a most severe winter blizzard responsible for the largest loss of life on the Great Lakes in history. Some of the worst took place in Goderich, Ontario, Canada, on the shoreline of Lake Huron. Horrifically, a 40-foot tsunami like wave crashed into the port and town, drowning many. 

It just so happens that Goderich is not far down the road from Kincardine, "home" to the largest nuclear power plant in the world, Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, with a total of nine reactors (one permanently shutdown prototype, and eight still operable reactors) on the Lake Huron shore. 

Bruce is also targeted for the permanent burial dump for all of Ontario's "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, from a total of 20 reactors. The most reactors in any U.S. state, by comparison, was IL, with 14. Three of those have since permanently shut down, taking IL's current number of reactors down to 11 operating. The Ontario Power Generation DGR (short for Deep Geologic Repository) would be just over a half-mile from the water's edge. 

At 2013-2014 Joint Review Panel proceedings on the OPG DGR license application, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps orally testified that the DUD (short for Deep Underground Dump) would be at risk of such tsunami-like waves coming in off of Lake Huron, inundating the burial dump, leading to potentially catastrophic releases of hazardous radioactivity into the drinking water supply for tens of millions of people downstream.

But such blizzard ("hurricane")-generated waves are just one natural disaster scenario at the site.

There is also the risk of seiches, which are wind-blown flooding events along the Great Lakes shores.

 

But there are also Great Lakes/fresh water tsunamis on these inland seas.

 

See

 

http://michiganradio.org/post/ever-heard-great-lakes-tsunami-scientist-says-they-happen-about-100-times-year

 

and

 

http://michiganradio.org/post/scientists-want-create-warning-system-freshwater-tsunamis

 

which mention nuclear power plants, and the radioactive wastes stored there, as in dry casks, as of particular concern. Thus, it's not just OPG's DUD that would be at risk. So too are atomic reactors, and on-site radioactive waste storage.

 

There are dozens of atomic reactors with on-site radioactive waste storage ringing the shores of the Great Lakes in the U.S. and Canada. See a 2013 map by Anna Tilman of International Institute of Concern for Public Health and John Jackson of Great Lakes United, to see just how many nuclear facilities line the shorelines of the Great Lakes, at risk of natural disasters -- and worsening extreme weather events due to climate destabilization due to global warming.

 

By the way, as shown on the map (in the upper right hand corner), Goderich itself was under consideration for Canada's high-level nuclear waste (irradiated nuclear fuel) DGR/DUD, as well. Since 2013, however, it has been removed from the target list. However, two municipalities near Bruce in Kincardine are still under consideration. So are other sites within the Great Lakes basin, including on its shorelines. This DGR/DUD would be for high-level radioactive waste/irradiated nuclear fuel from all 22 atomic reactors across Canada, not only in Ontario, but also in Quebec and New Brunswick. Such a DGR/DUD would also be vulnerable to natural disasters and worsening extreme weather events, if located on the Great Lakes shores.