Saskatchewan exports death

Jim Harding documented the uranium trail to the deathfields of Iraq in his book, Canada’s Deadly Secret .  The Dominion now reports on increased birth defects and cancers in the children of Iraq:

“Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009,” a report in the July 2010 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, compared data gathered in Fallujah to data from the Middle East Cancer Registry. The infant death rate in Fallujah during the period of study (2005-2009) was found to be four times the rate in Egypt and Jordan and nine times the rate in Kuwait. Furthermore, the death rate in Fallujah has increased in recent years; and “the results for cancer show some alarming rates in the five-year period. Relative risk based on the Egypt and Jordan cancer rates are significantly higher for all malignancy, leukaemia lymphoma, brain tumours and female breast cancer.”

It points to Saskatchewan uranium:

The authors of the report, though cautious in identifying the cause of the high rates of defects, deaths and cancers, concluded by drawing attention to the use of DU in armaments used by invading US forces. The report states their study does not identify the agent(s) causing the increased levels of illness, they wish to draw attention to presence of DU as one potentially relevant agent.

The largest single source of uranium for the US military is Saskatchewan, according to a 2008 article by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

We sold our uranium to the USA.  They used it.

Not only was the US using Saskatchewan uranium for DU munitions during its occupation of Iraq, but as late as 1990 Canada was itself processing DU which was then being sent to a US weapons manufacturer. A section of the 1970 Treaty in the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) prohibits the sale of Canadian uranium for use in weaponry.

But do we care?

Overlooked by most Canadian media, the medical study from Fallujah adds to mounting evidence for a global ban on the production of DU munitions, and to considering their use a war crime.

No, we let them die and live off the revenues of our death-inducing exports.

Fuck, sometimes I hate being from SK!

Poster:  SK targeted for nuke dump -- say NO

Cameco, poisoning minds and kids

Not only is Cameco  poisoning northern Saskatchewan through its uranium mining practices, but it is also poisoning the minds of children who happen to take in the Much More Munsch display at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Saskatoon.  As corporate sponsor Cameco gets to demonstrate how generous it is to the community while in the north it contaminates plants and wildlife, lakes and rivers, the earth and its people.

Interestingly, Munsch’s publicist claims Munsch has nothing to do with that traveling display.  How Munsch can possibly extricate himself from the merchandizing and characterizing around it is beyond me!  The brochure for the display even thanks him and Martchenko (his illustrator) for their collaboration on it!  After several emails, I’ve decided to quit trying to understand it, to boycott Munsch, and to post this here.

In other Cameco news, today we learn that the company is also going to poison China, by increasing sales to that country so that the Chinese government can fuel  a reactor in order to meet China’s increased energy demands.

Cameco Corp., the world’s second- largest uranium producer, agreed to supply the fuel to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co. through 2025 to meet rising demand in the world’s fastest-growing nuclear market.

Cameco plans to sell 29 million pounds of uranium concentrate to China Guangdong Nuclear, subject to the approval of the Chinese government, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said in a statement yesterday. That’s equivalent to about 13,000 metric tons.

I guess we can call it fair if kids in both countries are poisoned, eh?

Plutonium to Travel St. Lawrence Seaway?

Oh boy, ohboy, ohboy!  That’s some hot commodity!

The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Radioactive Waste Management Associates (Bellows Falls, Vermont), Beyond Nuclear (Takoma Park, Maryland), and the Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (Michigan) have issued a media release as part of their co-ordinated attempt to block BP’s shipment of radioactive waste through the St. Lawrence Seaway and to Sweden.

 

Several prominent non-governmental organizations are accusing Bruce Power (BP) of misleading the public, the media and decision-makers about the kind of contamination inside the cargo of 16 radioactive steam generators it plans to ship to Sweden, by neglecting to state that it is mainly plutonium.

BP has applied to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for a licence to transport the radioactive cargo through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway en route to Sweden. CNSC staff has acknowledged that the proposed shipment exceeds by at least 6 times the maximum amount of
radioactivity normally allowed on a single vessel.

BP has trivialized the danger of this proposed shipment by referring to the cargo as “low level radioactivity.” But according to BP’s own figures, about 90 percent of the mass of radioactive material inside the steam generators is plutonium — a highly toxic, long-lived radioactive poison. On its web site, Studsvik – the Swedish company that plans to melt down most of the
radioactive metal and sell it as scrap for use in any number of commercial products – calls the innards of the steam generators “highy radioactive”

 

“Highly radioactive” seems too mild a phrase for the extremely dangerous nature of this substance.   No wonder communities on both sides of the border are organizing to stop this!

 

The plutonium inside the steam generators gives off very little highly penetrating radiation, and therefore cannot be detected from the outside. But it gives off alpha radiation, which is 20 times more biologically damaging than beta or gamma radiation per unit of energy when deposited in living tissue. Any accidental spill will pose a serious long-lived contamination problem.
“Simple arithmetic shows that the amount of plutonium-239 inside the 16 steam generators is enough, in principle, to give more than 52 million atomic workers their maximum permissible ‘body burden’ of 0.7 micrograms,” said Dr. Marvin
Resnikoff of Radioactive Waste Management Associates in Vermont.
“And if the other plutonium isotopes inside the steam generator (plutonium-238, plutonium-240, plutonium-241 and plutonium-242) are factored in, the number of workers that could be overdosed is doubled,” added Dr. Edwards.
BP’s planned shipment of 1600 tonnes of radioactive waste through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence has been met with concerted opposition from over 100 municipalities and aboriginal communities along the route, as well as from
more than 70 NGOs. In response to this public outcry, CNSC held a public hearing in September with 79 intervenors. The outpouring of concern at that hearing led CNSC to extend the comment period for intervenors to give added input until November 22 — an unexpected and unprecedented development.
Most of the intervenors want Bruce Power to cancel the shipment and return to the original plan as laid down in a 2006 Environmental Assessment : to store the steam generators on site indefinitely as radioactive waste along with all the other radioactive waste materials produced by the Bruce reactors.
“Radioactive waste should be isolated from the human environment, not transported halfway around the world, and certainly not dispersed into consumer products,” said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear.

 

I should think that consumer products made from nuked materials would be unacceptable the world over!  Shouldn’t they? Wouldn’t they?

 

 

 

Making up for lost time

Lots of stuff going on since I last posted here.  Besides the Rider’s being in the Western Semi-final today, I mean. ;)

Dr. Jim Harding, ardent no-nukes activist and author, has started a website

to provide an archive of material related to the nuclear industry, renewable energy and other issues related to sustainable development.

The great part is that he’s also doing a blog, filling us in on things such as proposed uranium mines, watershed gatherings in the north and the need for a nuclear waste ban in Saskatchewan, to name a few.

The most recent, the call for the nuke waste ban has come about again because there’s talk about trekking spent radioactive waste from Ontario and into northern Saskatchewan for permanent storage.  Besides this being yet another case of ecological racism, it’s yet another case of Chernobyl on Wheels. Tens of thousands of Europeans persistently lined the shipments’ route to express their outrage over the  issue.

What happened is that once people became educated about the issue, they became outraged.  And in searching for a way to express it, they organized themselves.  It’s what Saskatchewan residents did when the Wall government tried to shove the Uranium Development Partnership upon us.  A result of that was citizens coming together to form The Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan, a province-wide combination of citizens and organizations working together for, as the name says, a clean and green future for our province.

After a lull, the group is preparing to take on the next challenge to the goal of a green future, the transport and storage of nuclear waste.  Various documents are moving about, being shared across the province, the continent and around the world as the industry moves forward in its greed.

The most recent document to cross my desk is one by the Assembly of First Nations.   The Nuclear Fuel Waste Dialogue: Recommendations to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was prepared following consultations and discussions with First Nations communities.  I’m certain it will prove to be a very useful document for it’s something to which governments, citizens and First Nations communities can point and refer in their discernment and educational processes regarding the storage of nuclear waste on their lands.

So, lots going on.  Lots to do.  More later.