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.



Illinois speaks out against Canadian Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump proposal

OPG's proposed so-called Deep Geologic Repository for radioactive waste burial would be located less than a mile from the Great Lakes shoreline.Today, DuPage County, the second most populous in Illinois, announced the passage of a resolution in opposition to the proposal by nuclear utility Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury radioactive wastes from 20 atomic reactors across the province at its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, on the Lake Huron shore in Kincardine, ON (see photo, left). Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump shared the good news in a press release, with the DuPage Co. resolution attached.

On Feb. 6th, the City of Chicago also passed a similar resolution. As reported in the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump's press release, the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, said: “The Great Lakes hold 84 percent of North America’s fresh water and Chicago’s position as the paramount Great Lakes city makes OPG’s proposed nuclear waste repository a threat to both public health and our environment. As shown by our City Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution opposing the repository, as well as the many voices throughout the United States and Canada, passionate support to protect our Great Lakes spans across North America and cannot be ignored.”

As tallied at the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump website, the 142 resolutions, and counting, passed to date by tribes, states, counties, cities, towns, and villages across the Great Lakes Basin, represent a combined population of 17.9 million residents. Altogether, the Great Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.

What's especially significant about DuPage County's and Chicago's resolutions, is the fact that these are themselves "nuclear municipalities." DuPage County hosts the national HQ of Exelon in Warrenville, the biggest nuclear utility in the country, with 23 atomic reactors in its fleet. And Chicago, encircled by Exelon reactors (including identical twin designs to Fukushima Daiichi), gets around 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. Yet, these municipalities have spoken out against the insane proposal to bury radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shore.

As Dave Kraft, director of Nuclear Energy Information Service of Illinois, has pointed out, if burying radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shore is a bad idea, it's also a bad idea to be generating and storing it there in the first place.


TransCanada's other dirty, dangerous, and expensive energy scheme: Bruce Nuclear and the proposed Great Lakes radioactive waste dump

TransCanada Pipeline's radioactive wastes from its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station are targeted to be buried less than a mile from the Lake Huron shoreline.TransCanada Pipelines, infamous for its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline scheme, is also a nuclear power utility and generator of radioactive wastes.

TransCanada is a major partner in Bruce Nuclear, which leases and operates Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario (photo, left). Bruce is one of the world's single largest nuclear power plants, with a total of nine reactors on one site: one long-shuttered early prototype reactor (Douglas Point), and eight operable commercial CANDUs (Canadian Deuterium-Uranium reactors) at the adjacent Bruce A and Bruce B nuclear power plants.

Bruce Nuclear is located on the Great Lakes shoreline.

For four decades, OPG has incinerates all of the so-called "low" level radioactive wastes (LLRWs) generated at 20 reactors across Ontario (including those generated by TransCanada for over a decade at Bruce) at the on-site Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF), with untold atmospheric releases. OPG then stores the leftover radioactive ashes, as well as all the intermediate-level radioactive wastes (ILRWs) from across the province, at the WWMF.

Now, incredibly, OPG proposes to bury all of Ontario's L&ILRWs, including those generated by TransCanada Pipeline's, in a "Deep Geologic Repository" (DGR) at Bruce. Such radioactive waste burial on the shores of the Great Lakes is unprecedent. It is actually illegal in Michigan, just 50 miles to the west across Lake Huron. It would put at risk the drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.

As if the proposed L&ILRW DGR weren't bad enough already, several nearby communities -- dominated by Bruce Nuclear's monetary might, and disproportionately populated by Bruce Nuclear workers -- have even volunteered to serve as Canada's national high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) DGR! A large fraction of Canada's HLRW is already stored at the Bruce Nuclear WWMF, originating at TransCanada's Bruce Nuclear Generating Station itself.

The "Great Lakes Region Nuclear Hot Spots" map, by Anna Tilman of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health, shows these many nuclear nightmares, either already underway, or proposed, at Bruce (and beyond).

In a very real sense, TransCanada is "making a killing, while getting away with murder," at Bruce Nuclear. It is pocketing the profits from operating reactors at one of the world's single biggest nuclear power plants, while "routinely" releasing radioactivity into the environment, and now aiding and abetting OPG's proposal to bury radioactive wastes it has generated, directly on the Great Lakes shore.

Beyond Nuclear stands in solidarity with such allies as Winona "No Nukes" LaDuke in opposition to TransCanada's Keysone XL pipeline, as congressional Republicans seek to force its construction, despite its dangers to people, the environment, and the climate.


Please contact President Obama: thank him for his veto pledge agaisnt the Keystone XL pipeline, and urge him to stand strong. But also urge him to do everything in his power to block the proposed DGR targeted at Bruce for the burial of TransCanada's radioactive wastes on the Great Lakes shoreline!

And when you contact your U.S. Senators and Representative to urge them to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, please also urge them to lend their support to congressional resolutions opposing Canada's Great Lakes nuclear dump.

You can also sign and share a petition against the dump, and urge your city, county, and state to pass a resolution against it, as nearly 150 other municipalities already have!


U.S. NRC Commissioners deny appeal on QA at Fermi 3, but binational environmental intervenors vow to fight on

An artist's rendition of the GEH ESBWR, proposed by DTE to be built as "Fermi 3" at its nuclear power plant in Monroe Co., MIOn Dec. 16th, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) five Commissioners, in a unanimous ruling, denied an environmental coalition's appeal in the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) proceeding on Detroit Edison's (DTE) proposed new Fermi 3 reactor in southeast MI on the Lake Erie shore. The binational coalition includes the Canadian group Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, as well as the U.S. groups Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.

DTE proposes to construct and operate an untested General Electric-Hitachi (GEH), so-called "Economic, Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" (ESBWR) on the very spot where Fermi 1 had a partial meltdown in 1966, immediately adjacent to the Fukushima Daiichi twin-design Fermi 2, a GE Mark I BWR.

The coalition requested reconsideration of the ASLB's June 2014 ruling that DTE's Fermi 3 quality assurance (QA) program was adequate, reasserting its preponderence of evidence -- including the testimony of Fairewinds Associates, Inc.'s Chief Engineer, Arnie Gundersen -- that DTE's QA program was in fact in disarray, or even non-existent. The coalition intends to appeal this NRC ruling, and other pending matters, to the federal courts, if need be.

In addition to Fermi 3 on the U.S./Canadian border, GEH has announced that more than a dozen more ESBWRs are on the drawing boards, from North Anna, Virginia, to India and China.



Urge Congress to oppose burial of TransCanada's radioactive wastes on Great Lakes shore!

Successul resistance to TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline must now shift to fend off the dumping of TransCanada's radioactive wastes on the Great Lakes shore!Take action!

Urge your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative to oppose the burial of TransCanada Pipelines' radioactive wastes on the Great Lakes shoreline. Urge them to support congressional resolutions opposing Canada's proposed Great Lakes radioactive waste dump.

H. Res. 716 was introduced by U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Sander Levin (D-MI). It is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI, now elected to become a U.S. Senator in the next session) and U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY).

U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI, retiring after this session) introduced an identical resolution, S.Res.565, in the U.S. Senate. He has been joined in sponsoring it by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). (This just in: U.S. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL) has added his name as a co-sponsor of this resolution!)

If passed, the U.S. House and Senate resolutions would be added to nearly 150 more from across multiple states and provinces, representing more than 16 million Great Lakes residents, opposing the proposed Deep Geologic Repository. Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump has posted a map showing the locations of all the resolutions passed thus far.

How to contact your Congress Members

Your U.S. Senators' and Representative's websites will contain ways to email, fax, snail mail, and/or phone them. Or you can be patched through to your Members' offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can also request a face-to-face meeting with your Members themselves, or with their staff, when they are back home in-district, or at their Washington, D.C. office.

Environmental Assessment on "DGR" now ending

Canadian federal decision makers are closing the Joint Review Panel (JRP, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) reveiw of the proposed "Deep Geologic Repository" (DGR) proposal. In a Nov. 18th Notice to Parties, the JRP has announced that it will make its recommendation on the proposal to the Canadian federal Environment Minister by May 2015. The Environment Minister will then make a recommendation to the Prime Minister's Cabinet, bypassing Parliament.


After the U.S. Senate -- by a single vote -- rejected a rush to construct and operate TransCanada Pipelines' Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline through multiple U.S. states, the company's name is now a household word. However, it is little known that TransCanada Pipelines is also a major shareholder in Bruce Nuclear Generating Station (NGS).

Bruce NGS includes 9 reactors altogether, 8 still operable (4 units at Bruce A, and 4 units at Bruce B), and one, an early prototype called Douglas Point, permanently shutdown. This makes it one of the largest nuclear power plants in the entire world.

A map by International Institute of Concern for Public Health depicts the numerous dirty and dangerous nuclear activities that take place in and around the Bruce NGS, and how close it is to the U.S. across Lake Huron.

TransCanada and other partners took over the operations at Bruce NGS in 2002, after British Energy went bankrupt.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) owns Bruce NGS, but TransCanada Pipelines and its partners lease and operate the reactors. Thus, TransCanada Pipelines has been responsible for generating radioactive waste there for a dozen years already, with many more years or decades of radioactive waste generation planned in the future.

OPG now proposes burying all of Ontario's so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes in a "Deep Geologic Repository" (DGR) on the Lake Huron shore at Bruce NGS, less than a mile from the water. Radioactive wastes generated by Bruce's 8 reactors, combined with additional radioactive wastes from a dozen reactors east of Toronto (8 at Pickering, 4 at Darlington), would be buried at the DGR. Thus, TransCanada Pipelines' radioactive wastes generated at Bruce would comprise a large fraction of the radioactive wastes to be buried on the Lake Huron shore. Again, see IICPH's map to get an overview of Ontario's nuclear risks.


Binational coalition presses case against reactors on Great Lakes

Lake Erie's shores are dotted with numerous large-scale atomic reactors and coal burners. These thermal-electric power plants dump 2/3rds of the heat they generate as waste into the environment, contributing to recent toxic algae blooms visible in this satellite photo.A U.S.-Canadian environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, is working at fever pitch against degraded old, and proposed new, reactors on the Great Lakes shoreline in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.

Davis-Besse, OH

At U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, the groups Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (CEA), Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio pressed their case against a 20-year license extension at FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor east of Toledo. An oral argument pre-hearing was ordered to take place on Nov. 12th by the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) overseeing the License Renewal Application (LRA) proceeding. The coalition first intervented against the license extension nearly four years ago.

Attorney Terry Lodge, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, and Don't Waste MI's Michael Keegan represented the coalition before NRC ASLBP. The coalition was joined by expert witness Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer of Fairewinds Associates, Inc. The focus of the day-long hearing was the severe, and worsening, cracking of Davis-Besse's concrete containment Shield Building. The dangerously deteriorating Shield Building is the last line of defense against a catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity, as from a reactor core meltdown and Inner Steel Containment Vessel failure due to a reactor disaster, earthquake, tornado missile, etc. The coalition has filed numerous contentions about the cracking since it was first revealed on October 10, 2011.

The coalition issued a press advisory about the Nov. 12th oral hearing. The Toledo Blade has reported on this story.

Fermi 2, MI

Beyond Nuclear, CEA, and Don't Waste MI, again represented by Toledo-attorney Terry Lodge, will appear at oral argument pre-hearings before an NRC ASLB on November 20th in Monroe, Michigan. The coalition is opposing the 20-year license extension proposed at Detroit Edison's Fermi 2 atomic reactor in nearby Frenchtown Township, on the Lake Erie shore. Fermi 2 is the single biggest G.E. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor in the world -- the same design as melted down and exploded, times three, at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan.

Beyond Nuclear's Reactor Oversight Director, Paul Gunter, will argue a contention calling for radiological filters on hardened vents, an obviously needed safety upgrade actively ignored by a majority of the NRC Commissioners, despite the lessons that should have been learned from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Beyond Nuclear's Freeze Our Fukushimas campaign calls for the shutdown of all U.S. Mark I and II reactors. (See Beyond Nuclear's Freeze Our Fukushimas pamphlet.)

Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, will argue a contention regarding serious safety risks associated with the Fermi nuclear power plant's off-site transmission line corridor, as well as radioactive waste contentions.

Another group, Citizens Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT), has launched another 15 contentions against the license extension.

Fermi 3, MI

The coalition comprised of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (CACC), CEA, Don't Waste MI, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter -- again represented by attorney Terry Lodge -- continues to press its case against the proposed new Fermi 3 reactor, to be built on the very site that the Fermi 1 "We Almost Lost Detroit"  reactor partially melted down on October 5, 1966.

The coalition intervened against Fermi 3 on March 9, 2009, and has since filed dozens of contentions against the proposal.

Its transmission line corridor NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) contention is still before the NRC Commissioners, thanks to a sua sponte motion by the NRC ASLBP itself. On behalf of the coalition, Lodge just filed a motion with the NRC Commissioners, supporting the ASLBP's request to the Commissioners for permission to carry out its own independent review of what appears to be NRC staff violations of NEPA, for not including the required "hard look" at the environmental impacts of Fermi 3's transmission line corridor in the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement).

In addition, the coalition has appealed the ASLBP's rejection of its quality assurance (QA) contention to the full NRC Commission. Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds serves as the coalition's Fermi 3 QA expert witness. The NRC Commissioners will likely rule on the QA and transmission corridor contentions in the near future.