The Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition government in Britain is inching closer to a deal with French government utility EDF to build new reactors in that country. Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, says a deal is now weeks away, although negotiations have been dragging on for months as EDF seeks a ratepayer-gouging subsidy to fund construction of a reactor at Hinkley, Somerset, possibly followed by a second one at Sizewell in Suffolk. Both projects have faced vociferous opposition. The subsidies could cause electricity rates to sky-rocket.
Beyond Nuclear, while U.S. based, recognizes that the issue of nuclear power, particularly in relation to climate change and reactor expansion, has become an international issue. Multi-national corporations, often with foreign ownership, have taken over every facet of the nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining to waste disposition. Beyond Nuclear is currently engaged in supportive efforts in a number of different countries.
As reported by CTV, Michigan State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood and Representative Sarah Roberts spoke out today in Kincardine, Ontario against Ontario Power Generation's proposal to bury radioactive wastes along the Lake Huron shore.
Hopgood's resolution against the DGR (for Deep Geologic Repository, or DUD, for Deep Underground Dump) passed the Michigan State Senate unanimously. Roberts has introduced a companion resolution in the MI State House of Representatives.
Hopgood and Roberts testified today before Canada's federal Joint Review Panel hearing concerns about the DUD. The legislators issued a press advisory, as well as an endorsement of a call by 28 U.S. and Canadian environmental groups (including Beyond Nuclear) "Request for Ruling," that the JRP require OPG to come clean on whether or not it intends to double the capacity of the proposed DUD from 200,000 cubic meters of so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste from operations and refurbishment at 20 Ontario reactors, by adding another 200,000 tons of L&ILRWs from decommissioning activities over time.
Sen. Hopgood and Rep. Roberts also submitted written testimony. Attached to Sen. Hopgood's written testimony are statements of opposition to the Great Lakes radioactive waste dump provided by: Michigan United Conservation Clubs (with 42,000 members); Michigan Boating Industries Association (comprised of 300 marine businesses); Michigan Charter Boat Association; Michigan Steelhead & Salmon Fishermen's Association (the largest sport fishing organization in the Great Lakes Basin); Michigan Environmental Council (a coalition of more than 70 organizations); and Michigan Clean Water Action (boasting 200,000 members).
The Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump petition now has nearly 35,000 signatures! If you haven't already signed it yourself, please do. And please continue to circulate it to everyone you know! Beverly Fernandez, spokesperson for Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, gave powerful testimony last Saturday in opposition to the proposal to "bury poison next to the well" of 40 million people, the Great Lakes, drinking water supply for 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American/First Nations.
On September 23rd, Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, also testified against Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposal to bury all of Ontario's so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes (L&ILRWs), from 20 atomic reactors across the province, within a half-mile of the Lake Huron shoreline (see image, left).
OPG refers to its proposal as the DGR, for Deep Geologic Repository. But critics use DUD, for Deep Underground Dump, an apt appellation coined by Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada.
Dave, along with Irene Koch of Nuclear Awareness Project, published a map of Nuclear Hotspots on the Great Lakes in 1990. It gave an overview of the vast number of uranium fuel chain activities taking place in the bio-region, including scores of atomic reactors on the shorelines. Anna Tilman of International Institute of Concern for Public Health recently updated the map, to include the proposed DUDs. Both maps helped frame Kevin's testimony to the JRP regarding the DUDs.
Kevin's testimony focused on the woeful inadequacy of OPG's environmental assessment of cumulative impacts, as well as synergistic effects, of radiological and toxic chemical hazards in the Great Lakes bio-region caused by nuclear power facilities, as well as other dirty, dangerous and expensive energy industries, such as fossil fuel burning power plants.
The Canadian federal Joint Review Panel, comprised of a majority of two members from the CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission), and one member from the CEAA (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency), have posted the transcript of Kevin's testimony (beginning at Page 112, or 116 of 350 on the PDF counter). The JRP has also posted the video recording of Kevin's testimony (beginning at time code 2:26, for two hours 26 minutes into the segment). Kevin's Power Point presentation was based on his previously filed written submission.
Janet McNeill's blog, "Things That Matter," has provided links to much of the news coverage on the DUD hearings thus far. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps and Janet's testimony before the Joint Review Panel overlapped on Sept. 23 and 24 in Kincardine, Ontario.
And the Sarnia Observer has just reported that "Deep Geological Repository opponents getting leg up at hearings, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley says." Sarnia is the largest city on Lake Huron. Mayor Bradley has long been a Bruce Nuclear watchdog, such as breaking the story on the proposed radioactive steam generator shipments on the Great Lakes, which were eventually cancelled due to public opposition.
As reported by EcoWatch, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow interviewed Dr. Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists (photo, left) about the worsening "radioactive soggy mess" at Fukushima Daiichi, two and a half years after the nuclear catastrophe begun, and what can be done about it. Maddow's "One Half-Life to Live" coverage of the nuclear catastrophe comes in the context of Japan's bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, just "two hours" from Fukushima Daiichi.
See EcoWatch's NUCLEAR section for past stories.
The New York Times has published an article, entitled "Errors Cast Doubt on Japan’s Cleanup of Nuclear Accident Site," that provides an update on the worsening situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site, as well as failures involving the purported "clean-up" of surrounding regions. The article includes this quote:
“Japan is clearly living in denial,” said Kiyoshi Kurokawa, a medical doctor who led Parliament’s independent investigation last year into the causes of the nuclear accident. “Water keeps building up inside the plant, and debris keeps piling up outside of it. This is all just one big shell game aimed at pushing off the problems until the future.” (emphasis added)