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« NRC Nuke Waste Con Game public comment meetings begin next week | Main | The fate of the Great Lakes is at stake, as OPG DUD hearings begin »
Thursday
Sep262013

Momentum building of international opposition against OPG DUD

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.

CNSC is as infamous, if not more so, as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in terms of rubber-stamping nuclear industry proposals.

Altogether, dozens of concerned local residents and environmental group represenatives have testified thus far against the DUD, with many more to come. During Kevin's short two days in Kincardine, Ontario, alone, (the "company town" where the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station and its Western Waste Management Facility are located), he was joined by the likes of Don Hancock of Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) in New Mexico, Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch, Angela Bischoff of Ontario Clean Air Alliance, John LaForge of Nukewatch in Wisconsin, Theresa McClenaghan of Canadian Environmental Law Association, Janet McNeill of Durham Nuclear Awareness, and many others

In addition to his formal JRP testimony, Kevin joined with Brennain of Northwatch and Don of SRIC as featured speakers at community forums regarding yet another proposed dump in the vicinity of Bruce Nuclear, "DUD#2," for all of Canada's high-level radioactive wastes (HLRW). The two events were held in Ripley, Ontario, just a few kilometers, as well as Goderich, Ontario, just 50 kilometers, from Kincardine. Those two municipalities, and four more in the area, have "volunteered" to "host" HLRW from 22 atomic reactors in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick. Both events drew good turnouts of deeply concerned local residents.

The international opposition against both DUDs is growing, despite the perception of intimidation and harassment by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) which has garnered multiple articles in the Toronto Star about OPP's interactions with local Canadian residents, as well as American interveners (including Beyond Nuclear). CNSC has disavowed having put the OPP up to the now controversial knocks on Canadian doors and phone calls to the U.S., even though an OPG spokesperson has said they did.

Yesterday, the neighboring Saugeen Ojibwe Nations gave powerful testimony.

On Monday, Michigan State Senator Hopgood and State Representative Roberts will testify against the DUD. Hopgood introduced a resolution critical of the DUD which garnered unanimous passage in the Michigan State Senate. Roberts is working on a companion resolution in the Michigan State House of Represenatives.