As reported by Treehugger and the Herald-News, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has reported the discovery of radioactive stainless steel dog bowls at a Petco store in Chicago. It is feared that several radioactively contaminated bowls had been sold. IEMA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are supposedly trying to track down those purchased bowls, and IEMA warns shoppers who have purchased stainless steel dog bowls at IL Petcos to contact the store where they purchased the bowl as a precaution. The bowls are reportedly contaminated with radioactive Cobalt-60. Although IEMA was quick to trot out the deceptive "no immediate health risk" line (used by nuclear establishment spokespeople during the Three Mile Island meltdown, as documented by Rosalie Bertell, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe, etc.), as syndicated pet columnist Steve Dale asks, what about pets which have eaten or drank from the contaminated bowls?! Also, no information has been provided on the source of the contamination. However, the nuclear power industry and its friends in government have long attempted to "de-regulate" "low-level" radioactive wastes, which they consider "below regulatory concern." These radioactive wastes, such as radioactive metals, can then be "recycled" into consumer items -- such as dog bowls, or anything made of metal.
"Low-Level" Radioactive Waste
"Low-Level" waste is a convenient classification and a notorious misnomer as many so-called "low-level" radioactive wastes are extremely long-lived and highly dangerous to health.
The Toronto Star has reported that passionate expressions of opposition to the proposed "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste dump targeted at the Bruce Nuclear Complex in Ontario, Canada -- just a half-mile from the Lake Huron shore -- are rolling in from U.S. citizens to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Weekly email action alerts and website postings by Beyond Nuclear have helped spread the word across the U.S., not just in Michigan -- 50 miles across Lake Huron from Bruce.
Ontario Power Generation, the nuclear utility which owns Bruce and is responsible for radioactive wastes generated at 20 reactors across Ontario, has proposed this "Deep Geologic Repository," which Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada renamed the DUD (Deep Underground Dump). Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps serves on the Great Lakes United team in opposition to the dump.
At the very same time, several towns near Bruce have volunteered to be considered as Canada's high-level radioactive waste dumping ground, for a total of 22 reactors across Canada. Bruce hosts 9 reactors -- 1 a prototype that has been permanently shut down, and 8 still operable CANDUs (Canadian Uranium Deuterium atomic reactors).
Leon Glicenstein, a life-long friend and supporter of Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud, has written an article for the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter's Summer 2012 newsletter The Sylvanian about the national Sierra Club and the Sierra Club "No Nukes Activist Team" recognition ceremony, held May 4th in Takoma Park, Maryland, honoring Judy's half-century of anti-nuclear leadership not only locally, regionally, and nationally, but even globally. Judy is a founding board member of Beyond Nuclear. Included in Leon's article is a partial list of anti-nuclear victories Judy helped win in her home state of Pennsylvania alone. This has included stopping the proposed Appalachian Compact Low-Level Radioactive Waste Dump.
Beyond Nuclear posted a tribute to Judy shortly after the ceremony, which includes more photos of the presentation of her quilt (see photo, left), as well as links to writings by Judy, such as her brief history of the Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, which she founded and led for many decades.
Jim Bloch of The Voice, serving northern Macomb and St. Clair Counties in eastern Michigan, has reported on the speaking tour of Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps across Michigan, which featured showings of the documentary film "Into Eternity" about the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste in Finland. The tour was organized by Kay Cumbow of Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (CACC), to ring the alarm about the DGR ("Deep Geologic Repository," or DUD, as Greenpeace Canada's Dave Martin dubbed it, for Deep Underground Dump) targeted by the nuclear utility Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at the Bruce Nuclear Complex on the Ontario shoreline of Lake Huron, 50 miles from Michigan and upstream of such communities on the U.S. side as Alpena, Bay City, Port Huron, and Detroit.
Although supposedly "only" for so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 atomic reactors in Ontario, as Bloch reports, the DUD could easily morph into a catch-all for every category of radioactive waste, including high-level, from 22 operable and additional shutdown reactors across Canada. Concerned citizens and environmental groups are urged to express their opposition to Canadian decision makers by visiting the proposal's environmental assessment website. The Great Lakes (photo, above left), 20% of the world's surface fresh water, and drinking water supply for 40 million people in the U.S., Canada, and a large number of Native American/First Nations, would be put at radiological risk.
It's interesting that OPG chose to cut off its consideration of earthquakes in the area at just 180 years ago: 200 years ago, the New Madrid quakes of 1811 and 1812 -- the largest in North American recorded history -- were powerful enough to impact the Great Lakes region, even though they were epicentered in Missouri. Native American oral history in Michigan, for example, speaks of tsunami-like waves on the Great Lakes. The DUD's entrance tunnel mouth would be located about a half-mile from the Lake Huron shore, as would its surface facilities for handling and storing radioactive wastes.
On the 26th annual commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe (April 26, 2012), Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps discussed the risks of a proposed radioactive waste dump on the Lake Huron shoreline at Bruce Nuclear Complex with radio station CHOK, located in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Sarnia is downstream of Bruce, and is located just across the narrow and shallow St. Clair River from Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.A. Kevin had been the featured speaker the previous evening after a showing of "Into Eternity" at a meeting of the Blue Water Sierra Club at Port Huron city hall.
Last year, on March 23, 2011 (just 11 days after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe in Japan began), Kevin also spoke with CHOK about the risks of Bruce Nuclear's proposed shipment of radioactive steam generators by boat right down the St. Clair River between Port Huron and Sarnia. This shipment has been held off by determined resistance stretching from the Great Lakes to Europe. CHOK broke the news story about the proposed shipment in spring 2010.