"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.



"Ukrainian environmentalist brutally beaten to death"

Volodymyr GoncharenkoEJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade) reports the horrific news that, four days after conducting a press conference to warn that 180 tons of dangerous chemical and radioactive industrial waste had arrived at the city of Kryvyi Rih (in the Dnipropetrovsk area of Ukraine), which was likely to be "recycled" into the consumer product stream, 57 year old Volodymyr Goncharenko (photo, left) was brutally beaten to death. He was the Chairman of Social Movement of Ukraine: For the Rights of Citizens to Environmental Security.

As reported by EJOLT, "According to Goncharenko, during the past several years, scavengers have removed from the Chernobyl exclusion zone 6 million metric tons of scrap metal that was subsequently smelted at metallurgical combines and reprocessed into new metal. While in theory each metallurgical combine should be equipped with radiation-monitoring equipment to check all incoming scrap, financial shortfalls have meant this was rarely the case. In 2007 Ukraine ranked eighth in global steel production and steel is Ukraine’s leading export. One can only guess how much radioactive scrap metal has ended up in exported steel."

Pavlo Khazan of the Ukrainian Green Party stated: “We collaborated with Volodymyr for 15 years in professional and public areas. The Ukrainian Green Party has no doubt that the murder was linked to his professional activities.” Although the Ukrainian police have opened an investigation into Goncharenko's murder, Khazan feels that to deliver justice in this case, international attention and pressure will be needed.

Please contact the Embassy of Ukraine, urging a thorough investigation of Goncharenko's murder, as well as for an end to the "recycling" of radioactive metals and other materials into the consumer product stream. In the U.S., the Embassy of Ukraine can be written at 3350 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007, faxed at (202) 333-0817, or phoned at (202) 349-2920. Embassies and Consulates of Ukraine elsewhere in the U.S., or in other countries, can also be contacted.

Thanks to Nuclear Energy Information Service in Illinois for alerting us to this story.

Click here to learn more about anti-nuclear resistance to attempts at "radioactive recycling" in North America.


Resistance against "radioactive recycling" across North America and beyond

As reported by NIRS, radioactive metal "recycling" activities in the U.S. have, for several years now, been concentrated in Tennessee. However, the Orwellian-named "NewGreen" has opened for business on Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline, between Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants, hoping to send radioactive metal into the consumer product stream for a profit. For two and a half years, grassroots opposition from Michigan to Quebec and Europe has successfully blocked Bruce Nuclear's attempt to "recycle" 64 giant radioactive steam generators into consumer products at Sweden's Studsvik, by shipping them via boat on the Great Lakes and Atlantic. This has happened, despite the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's rubberstamp for the plan, by blocking the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration from approving the shipment, backed by hundreds of Quebecois munipalities protesting, and Mohawks vowing to physically block the boat on the Saint Lawrence River.


Radioactive dog bowls sold at Chicago & other Illinois Petco Stores

Local Chicago television coverage about the radioactive stainless steel dog bowl scareAs 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.


Beyond Nuclear wakes U.S. up to Canadian radioactive waste dumps targeted at Great Lakes shoreline

With 8 operable and 1 permanently closed prototype, the Bruce Nuclear Complex on the Lake Huron shore in Ontario is currently the biggest nuclear power plant in the world.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).

Kevin also spread the word against these Canadian radioactive waste dumps across Michigan in May, as he spoke at screenings of "Into Eternity" at more than a half dozen communities around the state.


Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud receives national Sierra Club Award

This quilt Judy is admiring was created by textile artist Margaret Gregg of Virginia, and was given to her on May 4th by the Sierra Club "No Nukes Activist Team" in honor of her 50 years of anti-nuclear leadership. It reads "JUDITH: PROTECTING LIFE FOREVER."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.

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