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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
Jun242014

Michigan's U.S. Senators urge Secretary of State Kerry to take action against proposed Great Lakes shore radioactive waste dump

As reported by the Macomb Daily Tribune, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin (both Democrats from Michigan) have again written U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, urging that the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission be activated, to study the risks of Ontario Power Generation's proposed "Deep Geologic Repository" (DGR) on the Lake Huron shore. Sens. Stabenow and Levin posted the full text of the letter on June 18th.

The DGR, dubbed the DUD by critics (for Deep Underground Dump), would be located at OPG's Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario, just 50 miles across Lake Huron from the Tip of Michigan's Thumb. OPG proposes to permanently bury all of the so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes (L&ILRWs) from 20 commercial atomic reactors across the province there, less than a mile from the Lake Huron shore.

In addition, a number of Bruce area municipalities -- mostly populated by Bruce Nuclear workers, and receiving tax revenues from the nuclear utility -- have volunteered to host Canada's national high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) dump. This has raised fears that the DGR1 (for L&ILRWs) could easily turn into DGR2 (for HLRWs as well).

The article also reports on a recent study by Environment Michigan, about large amounts of toxic chemicals being intentionally dumped into the Great Lakes as well. The study raises the specter of synergistic effects between radioactive and toxic chemical hazards -- the whole of the risks greater than the sum of its parts -- as warned about by Rachel Carson in Silent Spring over 50 years ago.

Wednesday
Jun112014

State of Michigan Senate unanimously passes bill and resolutions urging federal action against Great Lakes shore radioactive waste dump

Today, the State of Michigan's Senate unanimously passed a bill and resolutions package sponsored by sponsored by State Senator Phil Pavlov and co-sponsored by State Senators John Proos, Jack Brandenburg, Michael Green, Tonya Schuitmaker, Hoon-Yung Hopgood , Rick Jones, Goeffrey Hansen, James Marleau, Michael Kowall, and David Hildenbrand.

The bill and resolutions express grave concerns about Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) targeted at the Lake Huron shoreline at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, where so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 reactors across Ontario would be permanently buried.

The bill and resolutions call upon President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and the U.S. Congress to activate the International Joint Commission (IJC), under the U.S.-Canadian Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, to review the risks of OPG's DGR. The bill and resolutions also called upon the Great Lakes Commission, comprised of eight Great Lakes States and two Canadian provinces, to similarly review the risks of OPG's DGR, and take a position on the controversial issue. The bill and resolutions also call upon the other seven Great Lakes States (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York) to take similar action.

The Great Lakes provide drinking water to 40 million people in the U.S. and Canada.

Thursday
Jun052014

DGR Action: Bill in Michigan Senate, Motion in Canadian Parliament, Ontario Election, Hearing Resumes

Thanks to Brennain Lloyd of Nukewatch for compiling the following updates on the DGR (Deep Geologic Repository) for "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, targeted at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station for permanent burial!

Michigan State Senate's Natural Resources Committee Considers Nuclear Waste Burial Bill 948 - Deadline for Written Submissions June 4th!

The Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee of the Michigan Senate has  Senate Bill 948 on its agenda for Thursday, June 5th. The Bill would "expressly prohibit storage or disposal for certain radioactive waste and establish advisory board on proposed Ontario repository". The Committee will also be considering three concurrent resolutions which urge the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the Congress of the United States, the International Joint Commission on Boundary Waters and the Great Lakes Commission to all take various actions to oppose and/or further study the risks and impacs of OPG's proposed nuclear waste burial scheme. The Committee meets at 8:30 a.m. in room 210 of the Farnum Building in Lansing, 125 W. Allegan Street, Lansing, MI 48933. Committee Clerk CJ Galdes has indicated that all written submissions received by 5 pm on Wednesday, June 4th will be included in the Committee members' information packages. Email the clerk at cgaldes@senate.michigan.gov.

Ontario Election 2014

Questions to party leaders in the Ontario Election 2014 ask each of the four major political parties wither - if elected - they will direct OPG to suspend its efforts to bury nuclear waste beneath the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, and commission an independent examination of alternatives to nuclear waste burial and submit the findings to the Legislature. The Leaders' Survey is the product of a collaboration of public interest groups who have been active participants in the review of Ontario Power Generation’s proposed Deep Geologic Repository of Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Wastes. Responses and analysis will be posted on www.bruce-nuclear-waste-burial.ca on Friday, June 6th. The Inverhuron Committee also prepared election questions about OPG's proposed Deep Geological Repository.

Masse to Table Motion Concerning Nuclear Waste Storage Near Great Lakes

Ottawa, ON-- Brian Masse, MP Windsor West and Official Opposition Critic for the Great Lakes, announced last week that he will table a motion raising concerns over the safety of Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) near Lake Huron's eastern shore. The motion also addresses the validity of the Joint Review Panel and regulatory approval process for the project. Masse was joined by representatives from The Inverhuron Committee, Save Our Saugeen Shores (SOS), the Bluewater Coalition Against the DGR and Northwatch when he made the announcement on Parliament Hill on May 27th.

DGR Hearing Restarts September 9 in Kincardine

The Joint Review Panel appointed to evaluate Ontario Power Generation's proposal to bury nuclear waste beside Lake Huron announced on June 3rd that the hearing will restart on September 9th for an estimated two weeks. Anyone wishing to make a presentation must fill out a Hearing Participation Form  by June 23rd. Written submissions will be required by July 21st and any supporting materials - such as presentation slides - must be submitted by August 25th.

The Review Panel has identified a short list of subjects to be addressed during the reconvened hearing. They are: the methodology used to determine the significance of adverse environmental effects; updates to the geoscientific verification plan; expansion plans for the DGR project; relative risk analysis of alternative means of carrying out the project; implications of revisions to the reference waste inventory; and  the applicability of recent incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to the safety case for the DGR project. The revised hearing procedures provide additional detail on the subjects to be addressed.

Friday
May232014

International coalition defends its challenge against Davis-Besse Shield Building cracks, gaps, and rebar damage

Environmental coalition attorney Terry LodgeAn environmental coalition, represented by attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo (photo, left), has filed a defense of its contention alleging that FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore should be denied a 20-year license extension by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Most recently, Davis-Besse's concrete containment Shield Building has exhibited ever more severe cracking, steel reinforcement damage, as well as wall gap 80% of the way through its 2.5 foot thickness (an air space, or void, through 24 of 30 inches of the wall). The filing rebuts challenges against the contention by FENOC and NRC Staff.

As official intervenors in the NRC Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) proceeding, the coalition, comprised of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Coalition of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Ohio Green Party, has resisted Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension since the end of 2010. Davis-Besse's 40-year operating license expires on Earth Day (April 22), 2017. This is the coalition's sixth contention filed.

Wednesday
May212014

Opposition grows in Michigan against Ontario's proposed radioactive waste dump on other side of Lake Huron

A CTV London t.v. news report interviews Beverly Fernandez, a spokesperson for Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, about growing U.S. political -- and Great Lakes wide grassroots -- opposition to Ontario Power Generation's proposed Deep Geologic Repository for burial of so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes less than a mile from the Lake Huron shore.