Proposed Lake Huron Nuclear Waste Dump

 Readers from around the Great Lakes region might want to take a closer look at these media stories, provided by Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR).
CANADIAN – London Area
(1) Video clip from London local news:
(2) Article in local London community news outlet:
“Don’t Bury Waste Near Our Water Supply”
 
AMERICAN – National
(3) AP “Big Story”: Nuclear Waste Burial Debate Produces Odd Alliances
(4) From the US publication “The Hill”
“Nuclear Waste Burial Site Near Great Lakes Attracts Debate”
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Agreement? Great Lakes Are Not A Dump!

Well, it seems the government of Ontario has at least a sniff of what’s in the wind, calling the plot to place a nuclear plant on the shores of Lake Erie, a mere “tactic aimed at forcing the government’s hand.”  I guess the power giant – a consortium of Cameco Corp., TransCanada Corp., the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and others — is feeling emboldened, now that it has the ear of Saskatchewan’s Premier Wall-Mart. ( Look! There’s even a link to an update on the Saskatchewan 2020 Feasibility Study they’re conducting. So far, they say that the Pollara Research and Communications Company (do drop me a note if that link ever actually works) found that Saskatchewan residents favour nuclear energy!  Imagine that!  A nuke company finds support among the people in the place where they want to do nuke work.  Surprising, isn’t it?  Only to cynics, perhaps.)

P’n’P reported on the Lake Erie thing a while back, directing readers to the greatlakesnotadump website, started by progressives in Michigan.  Perhaps some cross-border lobbying helped the McGuinty government see the light of day.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t given McGuinty and his buds clear vision as of yet because they still plan to do more promotion of the nuke industry.  They must think they have money to blow or something, because we all know that the nuke industry cannot survive without huge subsidies from governments.  Maybe it’s something like a cocaine or heroin addiction in that once you start, you just can’t quit, no matter the cost, human or otherwise.

Otherwise, why carry on?

Smitherman rejects Nanticoke nuke plan

Says Bruce Power idea `designed to influence government policy’
Nov 01, 2008 04:30 AM


Energy Reporter
Ontario’s energy and infrastructure minister poured cold water yesterday on the idea of building a nuclear plant in Nanticoke, along the shoreline of Lake Erie, calling a plan announced by Bruce Power a tactic aimed at forcing the government’s hand.

“I want to make very clear that this is an unsolicited action on the part of a private interest. We didn’t solicit it, we don’t endorse it, tacitly or otherwise,” George Smitherman said in an interview.

“It’s designed to influence government policy.”

Privately owned Bruce Power, which already operates six Candu reactors at nuclear facilities near Kincardine, confirmed yesterday a story first reported in the Toronto Star that it wants to build a new plant near the existing Nanticoke coal-fired generating station in the Haldimand-Norfolk region.

The plant would consist of two nuclear reactors capable of generating between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts of electricity. The company said it filed an application yesterday for a site preparation licence from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and will move forward with an environmental assessment that’s likely to take three years.

“Bruce Power will use the (environmental assessment) as a planning tool to weight the merits of building a clean energy hub on approximately 800 hectares within the Haldimand Industrial Park,” the Tiverton-based company said.

It has negotiated an option for the land from owner U.S. Steel Canada Inc., formerly Stelco Inc. “Although this is a major step forward, we will not make a decision to proceed with a project until we have consulted thoroughly with the people of Haldimand-Norfolk and have significantly progressed the EA,” said Bruce Power president and chief executive Duncan Hawthorne.

The company, citing research out of Trent University, said a nuclear plant in the region would create 1,000 new jobs and contribute $550 million a year to the local economies during construction.

The plan has support from the mayors of Haldimand and Norfolk and both communities’ town council. Local MP Diane Finley, federal minister of human resources and skills development, backs the plant, along with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and Canadian Nuclear Workers Council.

The McGuinty government has consistently said it will build a new nuclear plant only in communities that already have one. Earlier this year it chose Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington site as the new plant location. A process is underway to select a reactor technology.

But proponents say Haldimand county would be an ideal location for a second plant because of its willing community and access to high-voltage transmission lines after the massive Nanticoke coal plant, which employs about 600 workers, is shut down in 2014.

Smitherman, however, said Ontario already has its hands full with projects under way.

“I remain singularly unconvinced that there is the capacity to build new nuclear at Nanticoke while we still have very ambitious plans for a new build at Darlington and tons of refurbishment work (at older nuclear facilities),” he said. “We couldn’t do it if we wanted to.”

Bruce Power is a joint venture of Saskatoon-based uranium giant Cameco Corp., TransCanada Corp. of Calgary, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and other partners.

Great Lakes Are Not a Dump!

From the inbox:

[T]his proposal to site a nuclear waste dump on the shores of Lake Huron is a matter of national and international importance, in my view. I know this issue may not be on everyone’s radar, but I ask you to take a few moments, read this information and then go to the web site below and sign the petition. www.greatlakesnotadump.com

The project is a proposal by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to construct and operate a deep-geologic disposal facility on the Bruce Nuclear Site, within the municipality of Kincardine, Ontario. The Deep Geologic Repository would be designed to manage all of the radioactive wastes from 20 commercial nuclear power reactors in Ontario ­ with the exception of the irradiated nuclear fuel.

This proposal to build a deep underground dump (DUD) for radioactive wastes on the shoreline of the Great Lakes is unacceptable. Water is the most likely dispersal medium for toxic materials in general, and for radioactive wastes in particular. This is what is being considered at the Bruce nuclear complex on the Canadian side of Lake Huron. The DUD would be located just over one kilometre (less than one mile) from the Lake.

Since the DUD is only 50 miles from Michigan across Lake Huron, leakage of radioactivity from the dump could directly affect tens of millions of residents in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and contaminate the drinking water in Port Huron, Sarnia, Detroit, Windsor, Toledo, Cleveland, Erie, Buffalo, Toronto and countless other communities downstream. This DUD proposal is not just a Canadian issue, but an international one. In 1986, Canada protested when the U.S. proposed a high-level radioactive waste dump in Vermont because it was too close to the Canadian border; that proposed dump was subsequently cancelled. The Canadian DUD proposal sets a dangerous precedent for the establishment of perpetually hazardous facilities on the Great Lakes, and impacts people on both sides of the border.

For those of you who follow this issue in Saskatchewan, Cameco – the world’s largest uranium mining company – holds a 31.6% share of the four Bruce B reactors in Ontario and have been actively promoting the siting of a high level nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan’s north.

Documents related to the environmental assessment of this proposal can be downloaded and viewed at
http://www.acee-ceaa.gc.ca/050/DocHTMLContainer_e.cfm?DocumentID=26204

The Great Lakes United Nuclear-Free/Green Energy Task Force is asking that the public comment deadline be extended for six months beyond June 18th. Given the longevity and the unprecedented nature of the hazard that the DUD represents for the entire Great Lakes ecosystem, as well as the minimal outreach to the United States and Native American/First Nations that the Canadian federal government has undertaken, this extension request is reasonable.

The Great Lakes are a national treasure, so please consider taking the time to sign this petition. And pass this along to others who may be interested.

For more information, you can contact:

Kevin Kamps, Great Lakes United Nuclear-Free/Green Energy Task Force – kevin@beyondnuclear.org
Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility – ccnr@web.ca

Thanks for sending this, Stephanie.