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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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Monday
Jul142014

"Nuclear waste plan unsafe, panel hears"

As reported by the Globe and Mail of Ottawa, Ontario, Dr. Frank Greening has warned the Canadian federal Joint Review Panel overseeing the environmental assessment on a proposed Great Lakes radioactive waste dump that discarded pressure tubes could behave like cluster bombs.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) proposes to bury so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 reactors across the province less than a mile from the shoreline of Lake Huron.

The article reports:

'In a submission to a federal review panel, nuclear chemist Frank Greening said OPG’s contractors seriously underestimated the potential impacts of a bombing in the vicinity of pressure tubes that have been removed from reactors and stored as waste. In contrast to OPG assurances, Dr. Greening said the zirconium in the tubes would burn fiercely, setting off chain reactions similar to those in cluster bombs.

“I think this is quite alarming, what I’m suggesting could happen and what they seem to have entirely missed,” he said in an interview Monday. “This absolutely affects the safety case … This is the design of a cluster bomb, this is an incendiary weapon waiting to happen. In fact, I think this is absolutely reckless on their part.”'

As the article reports:

'Dr. Greening was a research scientist for OPG’s predecessor, Ontario Hydro, for more than 20 years until 2000, and has worked more recently as a consultant for Bruce Power. He has been a frequent critic of OPG and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) which – along with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency – is conducting the hearings.'

Thursday
Jul102014

"Ontarians have no excuse for being naive about nuclear"

The Toronto Star has published an Opinion/Commentary column by John Barber. He points out that provincial ratepayers have already paid $30 billion over the past few decades for Ontario's "Nuclear Empire," and will still pay $5 billion more in the form of a "Debt Retirement Charge" on their electricity bills.

To make matters worse, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) wants to "refurbish" its four atomic reactors at Darlington nuclear power plant, east of Toronto on the Lake Ontario shore, to the tune of $13 billion more.

In terms of power supply, Barber points to the obvious alternative of hydro power from Quebec.

Thursday
Jun262014

"Great Lakes Communities Struggle Against Proposed Nuclear Waste Facility"

In an article entitled "Great Lakes Communities Struggle Against Proposed Nuclear Waste Facility," reporter Katie Rucke of MintPress News provides an update on the 13-year-long resistance to what Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps has described as a "declaration of war against the Great Lakes."

The Canadian federal Joint Review Panel, evaluating dump proponent Ontario Power Generation's environmental assessment, will hold another round of public hearings beginning on Sept. 9th in Kincardine, Ontario -- targeted for the proposed Deep Geologic Repository at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, which already "hosts" nine reactors, as well as a radioactive waste incinerator and "interim" storage site.

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.