Areva, formerly Cogema, wants to build a refinery/conversion facility in Saskatchewan. Given the report below I say, Not on my land, not in my name!
Paris, May the 30th 2006 – Greenpeace today revealed that France’s iconic sparkling wine, Champagne, is threatened by radioactive contamination leaking from a nuclear waste dumpsite in the region. Low levels of radioactivity have already been found in underground water less than 10 km from the famous Champagne vineyards.
Problems at the dumpsite, including water migration leading to fissures in the storage cells have been reported to French nuclear safety agency in recent weeks (1). Greenpeace has written to the Comita des Producteurs de Champagne to warn them that their production risks contamination, as experienced by dairy farmers in la Hague, Normandy.
The waste dump, Centre Stockage l’Aube (CSA) in Soulaine eastern France, contains mostly waste from Electricite de France (EdF) and AREVA, but also includes foreign nuclear waste disposed of illegally under French law (2). Every week nuclear waste is trucked across France to the Champagne site. Once full, the dumpsite will be one of the world’s largest with over 1 million cubic meters of waste, including plutonium and other radionuclides.
Our provincial government is extremely eager to build up the uranium industry. And don’t get me started on the SK NDP! Suffice it to say, money talks.
The SK Chamber of Commerce hosted a splash in North Battleford a few weeks ago. Former government appointee as President of SaskTel, Donald Ching, now President of COGEMA/AREVA, told the crowd assembled that Saskatchewan is the largest producer of uranium in the world, and through uranium refining done here, several billion dollars of added value can stay in the province. Mr. Ching indicated that exploration is increasing across the province eastwards from Lake Athabasca, and that they are set to expand mining at Cigar Lake, milling at McLean Lake, and processing uranium for nuclear power plants. He said that because the industry is heavily regulated, permits are required for different stages of development. This process includes an Environmental Impact Study, public hearings, preparation, filing and obtaining permits for building and decommissioning plans, establishing a Line of Credit or otherwise coming up with the money to fund the Decommissioning Plan for 25-30 years away. He thought that the plant would be up and running in 1-2 years.
If AREVA/COGEMA is going to do it, it’ll be over my dead body. Greenpeace will surely keep a close watch as they are in France:
29 may 2006 – Cherbourg
29 May 2006, La Hague, Normandy, France – Greenpeace activists from Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan and France entered the Centre Stockage de la Manche (CSM) nuclear dumpsite at La Hague in Normandy today to demand the removal and decontamination of the dumpsite. At 9.30am this morning, ten activists placed their countries’ flags on top of the dumpsite and a further four activists with banners declaring “France: Nuclear Waste Dump climbed onto the roof of the visitors’ centre.
The activists represent the principal clients of French state reprocessing company AREVA that have disposed of nuclear waste at the CSM (1). An estimated 140,000 containers of nuclear waste disposed at the La Hague dump came from foreign nuclear utilities in Europe and Japan. Under French law, it is illegal to dispose of foreign waste in France. The largest amount of waste at the site was produced by Electricite de France (EDF). Greenpeace is demanding that the 1.4 million containers of waste in the CSM dumpsite be removed and repackaged.
In a further challenge against illegal waste disposal in France, Greenpeace today is to file legal papers against the reprocessing company AREVA in relation to Dutch nuclear waste produced at the La Hague plant. In February this year, Greenpeace obtained an injunction against AREVA that forced the disclosure of its reprocessing contract with the Dutch utility EPZ (2).
We already have issues with contamination in SK thanks to Cameco. A 2002 report by Golder Associates says, Thirty percent of the lake chub in Beaverlodge Lake have serious eye defects (mostly, cataracts and other eye problems as well as some other abnormalities.
The Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative has been following the uranium industry in SK for a number of years now. Retired Professor of Human Justice, Dr. Jim Harding, has written a brilliant piece on SK’s long history with uranium. The piece is good, but the story is not pretty.
No nukes is good nukes.