Two interesting tidbits today:
Niagara could be the road of choice for nuclear waste bound for South Carolina.
Liquid highly-enriched uranium from Canada’s Chalk River research reactor could be trucked through here on the way to be processed in South Carolina, says a report bound for regional council’s planning committee next week.
St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan, a former chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, said public safety is a concern. The organization has opposed shipping nuclear waste by boat through the Great Lakes but has no stance on ground transport.
McMullan said approving agencies on both sides of the border must show there’s no risk.
“I think the onus is on the approving agencies to ensure there will be no risk to the public, which includes no risk to our waterways,” he said.
But the public shouldn’t be concerned about the waste, whether it is carried by trucks or trains, said Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority chairman Bruce Timms.
But maybe the residents of the Niagara area should be worried, at least a little.
Since 2010, more than one truck in seven carrying radioactive material has been pulled off the road by Ontario ministry of transportation inspectors for failing safety or other requirements.The information is contained in a notice quietly filed with a panel studying a proposal to store low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in deep underground near Kincardine.The information filed doesn’t specify what sort of radioactive cargos the trucks were carrying. In theory, it could have been anything from uranium fuel for nuclear reactors, to radioactive isotopes for medical use.
A spokesman for Ontario Power Generation said that none of its nuclear shipments has failed a vehicle inspection.“We have zero tolerance” for failed inspections, Neal Kelly said. “We’ve got no infractions. Period.”What the information does show is that since 2010, inspectors have examined 102 trucks carrying “Class 7 Dangerous Goods (Radioactive material.)”Of those, 16 were placed “out-of-service,” which means the vehicle “must be repaired or the violation corrected before it is allowed to proceed.”
Even with the irresponsible Fords hogging the headlines with their right winginess, Toronto City Council managed to do something good! From Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump
City of Toronto Joins Call to Stop Proposed Nuclear Waste Dump beside the Great Lakes
TORONTO, ONTARIO November 14, 2013—A growing number of communities, organizations and citizens are opposing Ontario Power Generation’s plan to build an underground nuclear waste dump (a Deep Geological Repository) approximately 1km from the shore of Lake Huron. Public hearings on the matter were closed on October 30, 2013 by a Joint Review Panel and a Federal government decision is expected in 2014.
Today the City of Toronto unanimously passed Councillor Mike Layton’s motion for a resolution opposing OPG’s proposed nuclear waste repository. Toronto joins Mississauga, Oakville, London, Hamilton and many others organizations, citizens and communities in Ontario, Michigan and Ohio in formally opposing OPG’s plan. ‘It is vitally important to human health, the environment and to the Great Lakes economy that the Great Lakes be protected from the threats of any potential radioactive contamination’ said Councillor Layton, the initiator of the motion. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, an organization of over 100 Canadian and American cities, including Toronto, is formally opposing OPG’s plan. ‘Today the City of Toronto took action to protect the drinking water of our citizens as well as the 40 million people living in the Great Lakes region. We would strongly encourage OPG to explore alternative sites outside of the Great Lakes Basin’ said Councillor Crawford.
Michigan State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood and Representative Sarah Roberts, who are rallying the public and Michigan politicians to oppose the nuclear dump, note ‘Placing a permanent nuclear waste burial facility so close to Lake Huron is ill-advised. If a radioactive leak were to occur, it could be devastating to our economies and to our valuable drinking water sources.’
U.S. Congressmen Dan Kildee, Sander Levin, Gary Peters and John Dingell have written a letter to the Joint Review Panel expressing serious concern. U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow also have urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to ‘encourage the Canadian government to reconsider placing a nuclear waste dump near the shores of Lake Huron.’
‘We are delighted that Canada’s largest city is showing leadership and taking action to protect this irreplaceable fresh water resource’ said Beverly Fernandez, Spokesperson of Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, a non-profit citizens group that launched a campaign to raise awareness about OPG’s plan and a petition that now has almost 42,000 signatures opposing OPG’s proposal. ‘It absolutely defies common sense to bury the most toxic waste humans have ever produced, that remains lethal and dangerous for 100,000 years, approximately 1 km from the drinking water of 40 million people in two countries,’ Fernandez said.
Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump is a non-profit organization comprised of concerned Canadians who believe that the protection of the Great Lakes from buried radioactive nuclear waste is responsible stewardship, and is of national and international importance. In order to protect our precious natural resource, the Great Lakes, our group believes that radioactive nuclear waste should not be buried anywhere in the Great Lakes Basin. We are urging citizens to sign our online petition and to send a message to the Minister of the Environment to stand up for the protection of the Great Lakes.
London is the largest city in Southwestern Ontario, situatedabout 100 kilometers due east of Sarnia and about 150 kmsouth of Kincardine — where Ontario Power Generation (OPG)wants to dump all of the nuclear waste from all of Ontario’s20 nuclear power reactors (except for the irradiated nuclearfuel) into a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) that is destinedto become, in actual fact, a Deep Underground Dump (DUD).OPG has the stated intention of abandoning the nuclear wastethere, in a limestone/shale formation, less than a mile fromLake Huron. (Mm-mm-good. Lots of water nearby. Just thething for spreading nuclear waste far and wide. Share thewealth, I always say…. Hmmm.)London is a pretty conservative little city, a retirement havenfor many, and it is one of many municipalities that has passeda resolution against the proposed Lake Huron nuclear wastedump. And the London Free Press editorial staff has seldomif ever advocated protesting against anything, which makesthe accompanying article all the more remarkable.–Gordon Edwards.
from: London Free Press
Lakeside nuclear waste a risk worth protesting
It’s our source of drinking water and a natural wonder of the world.
But soon land near Lake Huron could become the host for buried nuclear waste whose radioactive risks would last 100,000 years.
Ontario Power Generation is seeking federal approval to bury enough nuclear waste to fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools on the Bruce Power site. Its computer models predict the waste can be safely contained beneath layers of shale and limestone 700 metres below ground and one kilometre from the lake.
Kincardine and other nearby communities would be paid $35 million by 2035.
But not everyone shares in the optimistic forecasts of Ontario Power Generation, a company owned by the province that provides about 60% of Ontario’s electricity, much of that through nuclear generating plants.
Environmental groups point out the Great Lakes were formed by glaciers only 10,000 years ago so it’s problematic predicting what will happen to them the next 100,000 years, whether seismic forces powerful enough to create the lakes might someday rip them apart.
Even if shale and limestone make a solid vault, environmentalists ask about the shafts that would be bored through them to place the nuclear waste — can those shafts be effectively plugged?
Taking the questions together, at their core is this critical inquiry: Will burying nuclear waste pose a risk to Lake Huron and all of us who count on the great, natural body of water to sustain us?
That question has sparked a flurry of activity across the border. Both U.S. senators for Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, have sent a letter to United States Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to intervene and demand an inquiry by a panel of Canadian and American scientists set up to protect the Great Lakes, the International Joint Commission.
With so much at stake, it only makes sense that we in Southwestern Ontario look after our backyard.
Do some research.
Write to your MP.
Attend a public meeting set for London Nov. 20 at the Central Library.
Don’t take the health of our lake or our need for reliable electricity for granted
Audio link below. From Before it’s news:
Pact with the Nuclear Devil: Saskatchewan’s Uranium Companies Derogate First Nations Land Rights
“So here to us was an immediate gag order… How come if I’m in opposition to the mining companies that this negotiation would rob me the ability to speak out my concerns to the leadership or to my own people, my own community, and my own municipality.” Dale Smith
LISTEN TO THE SHOW
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)
Dale Smith is a Métis resident of Pinehouse, a community in the boreal forest 500 kilometres north of Saskatoon in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Pinehouse is one of those Northern Saskatchewan communities targeted by the nuclear industry for its proximity to uranium deposits and to a site for the dumping of nuclear waste from Ontario.
In the fall of 2012, news of a Collaboration Agreement between the community of Pinehouse and uranium companies Cameco and Pinehouse began to surface. Community members like Smith became outraged not only by the lack of meaningful consultation, but by the terms of the agreement.
A summary of the Collaboration Agreement Term Sheet became available to community members at a November 13, 2012 public village meeting. The text directly implies that the village residents would effectively be subjected to a gag order:
Summary of the Collaboration Agreement Term Sheet Made Among Cameco Corporation, Areva Resources Canada Inc. and Pinehouse (“Term Sheet”)
October 12, 2012
Section G: Other Promises
Pinehouse Promises to:
(a) Generally cooperate with Cameco/Areva and generally support Cameco/Areva operations when it deals with the provincial or federal governments although Pinehouse can raise concerns to the governments about the projects.
(e) Not make statements or say things in public or to any government, business or agency that opposes Cameco/Areva’s mining operations.
(f) Make reasonable efforts to ensure Pinehouse members do not say or do anything that interferes with or delays Cameco/Areva’s mining, or do or say anything that is not consistent with Pinehouse’s promises under the Collaboration Agreement. 
Outrage from the community and negative media exposure resulted in the wording of the text being altered to omit the gag order provisions. However, in the final draft it became apparent that another signatory, Kineepik Métis Local Inc., representing Métis peoples in the town, had obtained records dealing with traditional land use mapping fishing, trapping and other resource utilization in the area. 
The executive, it seems, had agreed to share this information with Cameco/Areva so that compensation for lands encroached upon by the nuclear giants could be negotiated. In exchange, Pinehouse Village Trust would receive an intitial payment of $1 million with additional payments pending as new mining projects initiate operation.
The final Collaboration Agreement between Pinehouse, Cameco and Areva was signed December 12, 2012.
In Dale Smith’s words: “They bought Pinehouse outright.”
On June 24, 2013, Larry Kowalchuk of Kowalchuk Law Office in Regina registered a statement of claim in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench on behalf of Smith and two other litigants backed by three dozen other plaintiffs across Canada.
The suit argued the mining operations fostered by the Collaboration Agreement would have a detrimental impact on human health and the environment. The suit also named the Saskatchewan and Canadian governments as not protecting Aboriginal and Treaty rights enshrined under the Canadian Constitution, the Charter of Rights and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 
The legal battle is a difficult one for Smith. Not only is he at the centre of a classic David and Goliath duel, but he finds himself pitted against friends and family within his village with few of his loved ones willing to take to the public stage alongside him.
This week’s Global Research News Hour gives space for this humble wild rice harvester and fisherman turned defender of the land to tell his story.
For more information on this story visit the Committee for Future Generations Website
or D’Arcy Hande’s latest contribution to Briarpatch magazine – “Courting collaboration: How the uranium industry bought the Village of Pinehouse, and what residents are doing to take it back”
LISTEN TO THE SHOW
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)
2) D’Arcy Hande, Nov. 1, 2013; “Courting collaboration: How the uranium industry bought the Village of Pinehouse, and what residents are doing to take it back”, Briarpatch Magazine; http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/courting-collaboration
4) COLLABORATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE NORTHERN VILLAGE OF PINEHOUSE AND KINEEPIK METIS LOCAL INC. AND CAMECO CORPORATION
AND AREVA RESOURCES CANADA INC. Dated December 12
5) D’Arcy Hande, op cit.
It seems as though the editorial board of Regina’s daily newspaper can’t be bothered to so much as appear to provide balanced coverage of the uranium industry in Saskatchewan.
In a meeting with the Leader-Post editorial board this week, NWMO president and CEO Ken Nash made the point that the safe storage of nuclear waste should be a legacy to the future generations that will inherit it and who might even have the technology to retrieve and recycle it 100 years from now.
Besides the ridiculous spin Mr. Nash and the Leader Post place on the issue — that it’s our responsibility to pass the problem we’ve created on to the next generation because they might be able to fix it — they have not solicited the opinion of anyone else in reaching their decision. Interestingly, Saskatoon anti-nuclear activists and others indicate that the Leader Post‘s sister publication in Saskatoon, the Star Phoenix, has refused to meet with representatives of the anti-nuclear movement. Their editorial is misleading in that it slants toward support for storing nuclear waste in Saskatchewan for economic and xyz reasons, but ends with a call for more study.
Before turning our back on another chance – particularly in a chronically underemployed region of the province – without testing out the risks and science behind it would be unconscionable.
In their not-so-subtle propaganda, the editorial boards of two of Saskatchewan’s daily newspapers demonstrate blatant bias to the nuclear industry and choose to ignore the research already conducted, research that says that for social and technical reasons nuclear waste should not be stored underground. But, oh, they obviously enjoy the appearance that they’ve done their research otherwise, why issue such a fatherly statement?
Now is a good time for everyone to learn more about the issue, even if the facility is ultimately located elsewhere. –<<a href="“>SP>
All this is to say that the public is being misinformed about a deadly substance, courtesy the mainstream media.
There oughta be a law.
Pinehouse to Regina 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste
please think about where you can join us. Talk to your friends and family to see if they’re interested to support this walk by walking/driving/providing food /water/transportation etc.
Together in Community,
-Debby Morin Committee for Future Generations committeeforfuturegenerations@ gmail.com Max Morin 306-865-9299
Let’s Be Active Participants in the Lives of Our Children’s Children
You can help by collecting signatures on the petition, see http://www.cleangreensask.ca to print one off
July 26th Nuclear Waste Forum in Pinehouse at 1:00pm
July 27th Walk starting from Pinehouse
August 3rd Prince Albert – Rally of Support & music at the Memorial Square, City Hall at 12:00-2:00pm
August 7th Saskatoon- Benefit of Support for Walk Against Nuclear Waste – music & more 7:00-9:30pm at St. Thomas-Wesley United Church 808 20th St West at Ave H
August 8th Saskatoon – Rally of Support & music at City Hall Square 12:00-2:00pm
August 16th Regina – March the Green Mile to the Saskatchewan Legislature, arrive @ noon
See attached for daily schedule and communities where the walk will be stopping,
For more details http://www.facebook.com/sayno2nuclear waste Things are evolving quickly so check it periodically.
Also dedicated walk page on the Clean Green website with audio interviews and more http://sites.google.com/site/c leangreensaskca/Home/learn-mor e/nuclear-waste/northerners-sa y-no-to-nuclear-waste
This is going to be an event to remember! Join in, lend a hand. For the Saskatoon part of the walk, benefit and rally email or call firstname.lastname@example.org 653-1686
A point of clarification about the attached Itinerary: Some sections have groups walking simultaneously. See the 4th column called Section / Km for these details. For example, July 27th 4-27 = 4 groups with staggered starting places along the route, each walking 27 Km.
most sincerely, Karen Weingeist for the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan
Regina’s Making Peace Vigil and the Saskatchewan Singers of the Sacred Web invite you to join in the Elm Dance on Thursday, August 4 at noon on Scarth Street at 11th Avenue.
From its Latvian roots this intimate folk song has grown into the Elm Dance and is danced by circles of activists around the world, from Novozybkov, 100 miles downwind from Chernobyl, to the uranium mines of northern Saskatchewan.
Danced with reverence for human and more than human life, and in solidarity with trees who breathe in what we breathe out, the dance begins always with the dancers saying together this statement of intention: ’We do this dance as a way of strengthening our intention to participate in the healing of this beloved planet, its humans and all beings.’
On this anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima we dedicate this dance to all places and beings damaged by uranium mining, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power generation, including most recently Fukushima, Japan.
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?
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.