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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
Mar092016

"TOXIC CONCERNS PUT BRAKES ON NEARBY NUCLEAR WASTE BURIAL SITE"

Ontario Power Generation eyes Great Lakes for underground nuclear waste dumpAs reported by Michelle Adelman in Now Toronto, the Canadian federal Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna's, decision to indefinitely delay her yea or nay on Ontario Power Generation's proposed Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump gives opponents a chance to block it once and for all.

Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, is quoted:

The delay gives opponents a chance to catch their second wind in their 15-year campaign against a project Kevin Kamps of the Washington-DC-based Beyond Nuclear says “is risking poisoning the great lakes” and is seen as a forerunner of future nuclear waste burial schemes in Ontario...

But even if all reactors shut down tomorrow, there’s no turning away from the toxic mess already on the ground. If a DGR is the best idea society can come up with for handling the worst of the waste, we’d better hope the technology can stand up for eternity.

“If not,” says Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, “our waste will be the toxic burden of near endless generations to come.”   

Wednesday
Mar022016

Concentrated Great Lakes nuclear facilities prompt call for action: 100+ groups designate radionuclides as “chemical of mutual concern”

Ontario Power Generation's eight-reactor Pickering Nuclear Power Plant, just east of Toronto, on the Lake Ontario shore.As reported in a Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Beyond Nuclear press release:

More than 100 organizations from around the Great Lakes are calling on the Canadian and American governments to list radionuclides as a “chemical of mutual concern” under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The groups’ call is supported by a new report outlining the shortcomings of current efforts to track radionuclides and explaining what needs to be done to properly monitor these dangerous substances in our Great Lakes.

“The Great Lakes basin is a hotbed for nuclear-related activity, with more than 30 nuclear generating stations, fuel processing facilities, waste disposal and uranium mine tailing sites scattered around the four lower lakes,” points out John Jackson, author of the new report.

“We simply don't know what the cumulative impact of these nuclear facilities and waste sites is on the lakes because there is no comprehensive monitoring of radionuclides in Great Lake waters,” says Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continues to search for a long-term high-level radioactive waste disposal site, where highly radioactive fuel bundles from all of Canada's nuclear facilities, including Ontario's 20 commercial power reactors, would be permanently buried. Eight of the nine sites being considered by the NWMO are in the Great Lakes Basin.

“The evidence is that even very low levels of radiation can have serious health impacts, from cancer-causing cell damage to genetic mutations that can trigger birth defects,” says Kevin Kamps of Maryland-based Beyond Nuclear. In the U.S., the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation panel found that “there is no compelling evidence to indicate a dose threshold below which the risk of tumor induction is zero.”

The full press release, report and groups’ submission are available at CELA's website.

Friday
Feb192016

Beyond Nuclear thankful for indefinite delay on Great Lakes nuclear waste dump, vows to redouble efforts to nip the "DUD" in the bud

The Great Lakes serve as 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.Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and Washington, D.C., U.S.A.--Late yesterday afternoon, the Canadian federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, issued the following statement, a Public Notice entitled Deep Geologic Repository Project — Ministerial Request for Additional Information, posted at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website:

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, today requested additional information and further studies on the environmental assessment for the proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) Project for Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste in Kincardine, Ontario.

After considering the Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment Report, the Minister has requested that the proponent, Ontario Power Generation, provide additional information on three aspects of the environmental assessment: alternate locations for the project, cumulative environmental effects of the project, and an updated list of mitigation commitments for each identified adverse effect under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

Ontario Power Generation has been asked to provide the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, by April 18, 2016, with a schedule for fulfilling the information request. The Minister will contact the Panel, at a future date, regarding its role in the review of the additional information and studies.

The Minister's request for information from the proponent has paused the timeline for an environmental assessment decision to be issued, as per section 54(6) of CEAA 2012. At a later date, the Minister will seek a further timeline extension from the Governor in Council.

March 1, 2016 had previously been set as the ultimate decision deadline for the Canadian Environment Minister to determine whether or not to accept the Joint Review Panel's Environmental Assessment Report recommendation that the DGR be allowed to proceed to construction and operation. The newly announced delay appears to be indefinite in nature, as OPG must report by April 18th on how long it needs to fulfill the three very broad additional information requests made by the Minister.

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear’s Radioactive Waste Watchdog, released the following statement in response.

The Environment Minister's actual letter to OPG is posted here.

A grassroots environmental movement opposed to the DGR has grown from voices in the wilderness, to an international groundswell, over the course of the past 15 years.

But one example of this long, determined defense of the Great Lakes is the October 13, 2012 "Huron Declaration," signed by a large number of individuals, representing many organizations, in opposition to the DUD. (DUD, short for Deep Underground Dump, is an acronym and phrase coined by Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada.) The "Huron Declaration" came out of the Nuclear Labyrinth conference, organized by Michael Keegan of Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, featuring Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility as keynote speaker, and hosted by Timothy J. Jurkovac, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sociology, Program Director, Criminal Justice, at Bowling Green State University's Firelands College in Huron, Ohio.

While named after the location of the conference, the "Huron Declaration" also is an allusion to the "Port Huron Statement," which marked the formation of the Students for a Democratic Society in the early 1960s, at a gathering held in Port Huron, Michigan. In fact, the Huron Declaration came 50 years after the Port Huron Statement -- 1962 to 2012.

Recently, Port Huron has become a hotbed of resistance to the DUD, with a St. Clair River rally in August 2015, the formation of Great Lakes Environment Alliance in recent months, a November 2015 event at St. Clair County Community College again featuring Dr. Gordon Edwards of CCNR as keynote speaker, etc.

Port Huron, Michigan is located at the point where Lake Huron flows into the St. Clair River. Port Huron's sister city, Sarnia, Ontario, has also long been a hotbed of resistance to the DGR, thanks in large part to the leadership of its long-serving progressive and environmental mayor, Mike Bradley. Port Huron and Sarnia are the nearest population center downstream of the proposed DUD -- in fact, Sarnia is the biggest city on the shores of Lake Huron.

The international environmental coalition resisting the DUD will now redouble efforts, in hopes of blocking the insane scheme outright. The movement will then move on to address the many other radioactive risks to the Great Lakes, concentrated at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, and at many other places along the Great Lakes shorelines, as overviewed by the International Institute of Concern for Public Health's Great Lakes Region Nuclear Hot Spots map.

Thursday
Feb112016

Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump has released a second video opposing OPG's Deep Geologic Repository

Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump (STGLND) has just released its second video re: Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for radioactive waste burial on the Lake Huron shoreline: 

Press has already picked this up:

STGLND has said folks should feel free to circulate the video widely.

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
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