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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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Wednesday
Nov302016

Environmental coalition rebuts DOE attempt to have case dismissed re: highly radioactive liquid waste truck shipments

On Nov. 22nd, Diane Curran of Washington, D.C. and Terry Lodge of Toledo, OH -- legal counsel for an environmental coalition that includes Beyond Nuclear -- filed a motion in the Washington, D.C. federal district court, entitled MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND PLAINTIFFS' CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (see corrected version, dated Nov. 29, 2016).

Dr. Gordon Edwards (Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility) and Dr. Marvin Resnikoff (Radioactive Waste Management Associates) provided expert declarations in support of the coalition's case (click on links at their respective names, above, to see the declarations).

In short, Dr. Edwards testified that a mere couple of ounces, out of just one of the 150 shipments, could radioactively contaminate the massive Georgetown Reservoir, the drinking water supply for the District of Columbia, at very unsafe levels, rendering it unsafe to drink. Dr. Resnikoff testified that the woefully inadequate standards for seals, valves, and O-rings on the jury-rigged shipping containers risks failure and leakage, even in the event of a below-design basis fire temperature and duration.

This is the latest filing in the environmental coalition's challenge against the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) unprecedented scheme to truck highly radioactive liquid wastes. 100 to 150 high-risk truck shipments -- from Chalk River Nuclear Lab, Ontario, Canada to Savannah River Site, South Carolina, U.S.A., more than a thousand miles -- could begin as soon as mid-February, 2017 if the DOE gets its way, and the legal appeal dismissed. The most likely border crossing points include Buffalo and Thousand Island, NY, although DOE is keeping routes and timing secret under a cloak of security.

Tuesday
Nov152016

Radioactive Russian roulette on the highways: Unprecedented truck shipments of highly radioactive liquid wastes

Investigative reporter Frank Fraboni of ABC 13 News/WLOS in Western North Carolina has filed the following reports, regarding unprecedented shipments of highly radioactive liquid waste from Chalk River Nuclear Lab, Ontario, Canada to Savannah River Site, South Carolina, U.S.A. -- potentially through Asheville, North Carolina, the setting for these reports:

Special Report (Part 1): Opponents say 'mobile Chernobyl' threatens North Carolina mountains (featuring Mary Olson of Nuclear Information and Resource Service -- Southeast, based in Asheville, NC);

Special Report (Part 2): Trucking uranium through the mountains (featuing Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear).

Tuesday
Oct182016

SOS Great Lakes on DGR, re: International Comity [or Lack Thereof!]

See SOS Great Lakes' analysis, which concludes that the U.S. federal government exhibited comity towards Canada, when it suspended Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) site searches for radioactive waste dumps that could impact Canadian waters in the 1980s, but that Canada is not reciprocating when it comes to the DGR targeted at the Lake Huron shore at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario.

Sunday
Oct162016

SOS Great Lakes on DGR: CANADA’S INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS WHEN THERE ARE POSSIBLE TRANSBOUNDARY ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: OPG, THE JRP AND ITS CREATORS (ENVIRONMENT CANADA AND CNSC) FAILED ON EVERY COUNT

SOS Great Lakes (also known as Save Our Saugeen Shore) provides this overview of its analysis:

The location of OPG’s proposed deep geologic repository on the shores of a trans-boundary watershed requires specific attention to environmental effects.

Canada is obliged by its own law, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012), as well as numerous binational legal obligations and customary international practice, to adhere to these principles.

And in conclusion of its forceful, fully referenced critique, SOS Great Lakes provides this summary:

By missing or bypassing virtually every requirement relating to possible transboundary environmental effects, OPG, the JRP, including its creators (ENVIRONMENT CANADA AND CNSC), who wrote its Terms of Reference (TOR), showed a troubling ignorance of and/or disregard of CANADA’s International Obligations particularly to the US and the US Border States.

Wednesday
Oct122016

Critics accuse nuclear safety official of acting as industry cheerleader

As reported by Gloria Galloway in an article in The Globe and Mail entitled "Critics accuse nuclear safety official of acting as industry cheerleader":

Opposition politicians and environmentalists are questioning the priorities of the man responsible for nuclear safety in Canada after a string of incidents in which he publicly defended the industry and was dismissive of concerns about potential hazards – a stance that runs contrary to his mandate at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The CNSC was established by the federal government to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to regulate the use, possession and storage of all nuclear substances in Canada. No part of its mission entails promotion of the country’s reactors. But, in the more than eight years that Michael Binder has served as president of the CNSC, he has repeatedly extolled the merits of the nuclear industry and chastised critics who voiced concerns about potential hazards. [see entire article here]

This news article followed a letter, signed by a binational coalition of environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, to the Canadian federal Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, who has oversight on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The coalition letter, sent on Oct. 11th, was spearheaded by Ziggy Kleinau, of the Bruce Peninsula Environment Group. (See the French language version of the coalition letter, here.)

 The letter stemmed from a scathing report by the Canadian Federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, regarding significant failures by the CNSC to do its job to protect public health, safety and the environment from nuclear power's risks. Given the two highest CNSC officers' acknowledgment of the accuracy of the Canadian Federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development's report, and their refusal to tender their resignations, the environmental coalition urged Minster Carr to relieve the two CNSC leaders of their duties.

See The Globe and Mail's coverage of the Canadian Federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development's scathing report about CNSC's failures, here.

Beyond Nuclear -- a "serial intervenor" in the words of the CNSC -- has been involved in many Canadian nuclear proceedings over the past decade. This has included butting heads with CNSC staff, Commissioners, and even its President -- Dr. Binder himself -- on numerous ocassions!

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