Areva/Cogema radiating France’s waters

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!

Radioactive waste leaking into Champagne’s water supply – Levels set to rise warns Greenpeace

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:

Illegal French nuclear waste dump must be removed and decontaminated – Greenpeace files legal challenge against AREVA

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.

Atrocity spin

A young girl whose Iraqi family was murdered by U.S. marines speaks out. And after hearing what she witnessed, it’s no wonder she says of the Americans, They kill people. Then they say ‘sorry’. I hate them.

Thanks to The Business of Emotions for the lead. The previous blog there predicts how Bush et al will use Haditha to save their political morality, by spinning it as an American Tragedy. Oh, that spinning wheel goes round and round.

I’ll bet the Harper is taking notes.

Towards a Citizens’ Statement on Water (SK)

From the Saskatchewan Environmental Society:

If you are interested in participating in a process to help create
progressive water protection and governance policies for Saskatchewan,
please plan to attend the following meeting in Regina:

Friday June 9, 2006
Classroom building, University of Regina
Classroom 305
1:30 PM to 4:00 PM

Meetings in Saskatoon are scheduled for May 31 and June 1 and North
Battleford and Prince Albert meetings are in the planning stages.

(Please circulate this notice to others, thanks)

At this Regina session, and at similar sessions in other centres, we will hold informal, round-table discussions to get your input into a Saskatchewan Citizens’ Statement of Expectations on Water Protection and Governance. Our hope is that we can create a consensus document that will be supported by many organizations and that can serve as a blueprint for local and provincial governments and help move them toward improved water protection and governance legislation and policies.

In preparation for these sessions, we will circulate a discussion version draft of a Saskatchewan Citizens’ Statement of Expectations on Water Protection and Governance; you should receive that in the coming days. If you do not, please contact me at or visit the Environmental Society website to get a copy. The draft will include a set of headings and policy points on which we can build at
the round-table sessions.

It would be great if people could let me know that they’re coming. That way, if many people want to attend, we can add an additional session to keep numbers workable. Thanks.


At the late-March water conference in Saskatoon organized by the
Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES), many people expressed an interest
in contributing energy and thought to drafting a consensus document on water
protection. As a result, the SES is now coordinating the formulation of a
¡ÈSaskatchewan Citizens¡Ç Statement of Expectations on Water Protection and
Governance.¡É The hope is that citizens and organizations will come
together to create a clear, concise statement of citizens¡Ç expectations on
issues such as:
– Wetlands protection;
– Water exports;
– Water conservation;
– Source water protection (protecting watersheds in order to protect
drinking water quality and quantity);
– Water pricing and allocation (commodification vs. the human right to
– Water diversions; and
– Drinking water safety and the prevention of contamination by chemicals and
other toxins.

The late-May/early-June consultations in several centres are one part of a
broad-based initiative will include several steps:

– Meetings and consultations to develop a Statement of Expectations;
– Work to expand and link together the network of Saskatchewan citizens and organizations working on water issues;
– Additional consultations and finalization of the Statement of Expectations;
– Efforts to gather sign-on from a wide range of organizations;
– Presentation to government; and
– Continued work as government policy is developed to ensure that local and provincial government policies reflect the wishes of Saskatchewan citizens.

The Statement of Expectations process has worked very well in Ontario. In that province, organizations led by Canadian Environmental Law Association and Environmental Defence created an Ontario Source Water Protection Statement of Expectations (focused slightly more narrowly-on watershed protection in the context of drinking water purity). The Ontario document exists in both long and short forms and can be accessed at their website.

In the wake of the North Battleford water crisis and in the face of growing uncertainty about water supplies and quality, Saskatchewan governments at all levels are working to create new policies on water allocation, protection, conservation, and security of supply. Our Statement of Expectations process is an important initiative to provide focused citizen leadership to governments as they formulate these important policies.

I hope that you can participate in this process and I look forward to working collectively with many Saskatchewan citizens and organizations.


Darrin Qualman
Water Issues Coordinator
Saskatchewan Environmental Society
(306) 492-4714

Harper Equals Bush

Right out of GW’s playbook: if you don’t like what the media is saying, find media that will like what you say.

The Harper, 24 May 06

Harper says he’ll avoid ‘biased’ national media
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national media are biased, and he will work hard to avoid them.

Canadian Press
Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2006

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national media are biased against him so he will avoid them from now on.

The prime minister says the Ottawa press gallery seems to have decided to become the opposition to his Conservative government.

He told a London, Ont., TV station Wednesday that he is having problems with the media that a Liberal prime minister would never have to face.

So Harper says he will take his message out on the road and deal with the less hostile local media.

The Bush, 14 October 2003

Bush Courts Regional Media

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post
Tuesday, October 14, 2003; Page A04

The Bush administration, displeased with the news coverage of the war in Iraq, has accelerated efforts to bypass the national media by telling the administration’s story directly to the American public.

Yesterday, Bush granted exclusive interviews to five regional broadcasting companies — an unprecedented effort to reach news organizations that do not regularly cover the White House.

This stinks. Wholly and completely! This from a PM who campaigned about accountability and transparency. Without a national media, where’s the transparency? Where’s the accountability? We’ll have different takes on a story all across the country, which in and of itself is not a bad thing when combined with a national point of view. This takes us back a hundred years or so, I’m sure.

Surely, a Prime Minister does not have the right to dictate what the media can and cannot say about the leader and his government! Doing so lays a cornerstone for a fascist state. He has gone too far!

Email the PMO, NOW!

Thanks to The Galloping Beaver for the lead.

UPDATE 1: A strategic suggestion from The Hive: If the NDP war-roomer’s are smart…

UPDATE 2: Conservative mouthpiece Geoff Norquay said

The reality is that every new government wants to keep a tight lid on its messages and this one in particular because it had the previous example of Mr. Martin who had so many priorities that they all turned to mush in the minds of the Canadian people. And that’s why this government is tightly focused on its messages.

So, Canadian’s have no minds? And the Harper isn’t trying to manipulate and control those minds?