The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

USA Congressman Dan Kildee fighting proposal for nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron




they must also stop making this radioactive trash

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee to fight proposed Canadian nuclear waste facility on shores of Lake Huron M Live, By Sam Easter | on August 28, 2014 BAY CITY, MI — Standing at the helm of the tall ship Appledore IV, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee said the schooner based in downtown Bay City was the “perfect” place to make a few points about protecting the Great Lakes from nuclear waste.

Kildee spoke during the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 28, addressing plans by Ontario Power Generation to build a storage facility for low- to intermediate-level nuclear waste at a proposed underground facility near Kincardine, Ontario.

“Canada is a friend, but it is a country with vast land mass, and I’m sure that the best place for a nuclear storage facility cannot be less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron,” he said, regardless of whether officials say it’s scientifically sound. A point of contention among Michigan’s state and federal legislators for at least a year, the proposed facililty has also met strong opposition from local governments — officials from Bay County and Essexville both passed resolutions opposing the facility this month.

Kildee on Thursday announced he plant to introduce a Congressional resolution when legislators return from recess on Monday, Sept. 8, that — while lacking regulatory power — would voice the opinion of Congress on the matter. The resolution states that 40 million people in both countries depend on the Great Lakes’ drinking water, and that a nuclear spill “could have lasting and severely adverse environmental, health and economic impacts on the Great Lakes.”


If adopted, the resolution would discourage the Canadian government from building a nuclear storage site in the Great Lakes Basin and urge both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to work with their Canadian counterparts to find an alternate location……..

Multiple officials were present for Kildee’s announcement, including Laura Ogar, Bay County director of environmental affairs and community development, as well as Terry Miller, chairman of the local environmental group Lone Tree Council.

Shirley Roberts is the executive director of BaySail, which owns and operates the Appledore. She said that the Appledore was an appropriate place for the presentation, and that she support’s Kildee’s fight against the facility.

“I have grave concerns about the concept,” she said.

August 29, 2014 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Safety problems, toxic spill, in Canada’s uranium industry

flag-canadaNuclear watchdog requests safety checks after B.C. mine breach CTV News, Dene Moore, The Canadian Press August 19, 2014 VANCOUVER -- A toxic spill from a British Columbia mine has prompted the country’s nuclear watchdog to request a series of checks at uranium facilities.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will discuss the failure of the tailings pond at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine during a meeting Wednesday.

In the interim, the commission has asked the uranium mining and milling operations it oversees to ensure that all necessary inspections and monitoring are in compliance with licence conditions……..

The breach sent 10 million cubic metres of waste water and 4.5 million cubic metres of silt into a network of salmon-bearing lakes and rivers near Likely, 600 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.

The reason for the failure at Mount Polley is not yet known:

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Canada, incidents, Uranium | 1 Comment

Toxicity of planned wastes raises anxiety about Lake Huron nuclear dump scheme

Lake Huron nuclear dump scheme in trouble Hamilton Spectator by  Thomas Walkom 7 Aug 14, Ontario’s plan to bury nuclear waste beside Lake Huron is running into heavy weather.


Ontario Power Generation, the Crown corporation behind the proposed dump site for low and intermediate level radioactive waste, has publicly acknowledged that its long-term safety plans are based, in part, on new technologies that have not yet been invented.

As the Star’s John Spears reported this week, that explanation hasn’t endeared itself to the small but politically important aboriginal communities near the proposed Kincardine dump site.

In a brief to the federal review panel that will eventually rule on the plan, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation reminds OPG of its assurance that no nuclear waste dump will be built without aboriginal consent

Will that consent be given? The first nation doesn’t say. But in its brief, it does express profound unease with what it calls OPG’s vague and open-ended scheme.

Plans for this so-called deep geological repository at Kincardine have been in the works since 2005.

Initially, the proposed dump was supposed to house waste such as the rubber gloves used by nuclear workers — items with relatively low levels of radioactivity.

Right now, nuclear waste from Ontario atomic power generating plants is stored on the surface.

But once federal hearings started last fall, OPG changed tack. It announced it wanted to double the size of the underground dump to roughly 400,000 cubic metres in order to accommodate waste that will be produced when the province’s existing nuclear plants are taken apart.

This so-called decommissioning waste, which includes components such as pressure tubes (but not nuclear fuel), will remain highly radioactive for thousands of years.

Critics cried foul. The three-member federal panel hearing the proposal ordered OPG to better explain how it would handle this more difficult waste.

It also told the Crown utility to look into why a similar U.S. nuclear waste facility near Carlsbad New Mexico — cited by dump proponents as a model — suffered two accidents in February……….

August 8, 2014 Posted by | Canada, wastes | 1 Comment

Secret Ontario meetings on nuclear waste plan broke the law

secret-agent-SmClosed-door nuclear meetings broke the law in Bruce County  The  7 Aug 14 Closed-door meetings to talk about a proposed nuclear waste site near Kincardine broke the Municipal Act, says an official investigator By:  Business reporter,

Bruce County council violated the Municipal Act by holding a string of closed-door meetings to talk about a proposed nuclear waste site near Kincardine, an official investigator says……… it’s not certain what was said in the sessions held from 2009 to 2012, because no official minutes were taken.

Unofficial notes were taken at eight sessions, but there appears to be no record for as many as nine others.

Nor was public notice given that the meetings were being held.

The investigator’s report was commissioned by the county after a complaint by citizens’ groups.

The complaint arose over meetings of a body called the Community Consultation Advisory Group. It was made up of all the mayors in Bruce County, including the county warden.

The group was formed by Ontario Power Generation to talk about OPG’s plans for a low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste site near Kincardine.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization — which is seeking a place to bury high-level nuclear waste — was also part of the sessions. Some were attended by members of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Because the group included every mayor in Bruce County, Amberley Gavel said there was in effect a quorum of county council members at every meeting of the advisory group.

And since the nuclear waste issue had been a subject discussed at county council, the advisory group sessions were in effect council meetings, the report concludes.

The Municipal Act generally requires council meetings to be public. None of the permitted exceptions applied in this case. “Since there was no notice of these Council meetings given to the public in accordance with the County’s Procedure By-Law; no Clerk or designate was present to take minutes, nor were any taken; and the public was unaware of and in no case attended any of these meetings; nor was there any resolution to close them, they were clearly in contravention of the open meetings requirements of the Act,” the report concludes………

Former Brockton mayor Charlie Bagnato said he didn’t fully realize the meetings were closed to the public when he attended the sessions.

“When you get elected, you get a list of all the different committees there and you appoint people to different committees,” he said. “The thing was driven by OPG. I guess we just kind of kowtowed to whatever they had done in the past.”

But some residents of the area have said the closed meetings show the current process of choosing a nuclear waste is fatally flawed.

The task of evaluating the location of the proposed low- and intermediate-level waste site is in now in the hands of a federal panel.

Rod McLeod, a lawyer and former president of the Southampton Residents Association, argued in a submission to the panel when the secret meetings first came to light that the panel should ultimately abort its current process.

Both the nuclear regulators and the municipalities showed that they aren’t willing to participate fairly and transparently, he argued.

August 8, 2014 Posted by | Canada, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

China to get “zombie” Canadian nuclear reprocessing, from SNC Lavalin


Officials from Candu Energy Inc. are leading a Canadian nuclear industry mission to China this week, which will include a visit Monday to the Qinshan nuclear power station south of Shanghai where two heavy-water Candu 6 reactors are in operation. Candu Energy is the former Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., and is now wholly owned by SNC-Lavalin……..

Critics contend the Candu 6 is an outdated design that lacks safety features included in newer reactors, and that it is a technology that the international marketplace has largely rejected since the 1990s.

“So yeah, the industry is trying to say Candu isn’t dead. Never say die,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace Canada. “If Candu isn’t dead, it’s a zombie.”

July 21, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, China | Leave a comment

Canada’s nuclear watchdog recommends iodine pills for communities near nuclear reactors

Nuclear watchdog recommends distributing iodine pills to residents near reactors  Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is proposing that those within 10 kilometres of reactor sites — about a quarter-million people in the GTA — be given thyroid blocking pills as a precaution.The Star,  By: Jennifer Ditchburn The Canadian Press,  Jun 23 2014

OTTAWA—Canada’s nuclear watchdog is proposing for the first time that people living near reactors be given a precautionary stock of radiation-fighting pills in case of an accident.

But at a consultation meeting Monday in Ottawa, sources in the room said the nuclear power producers expressed reservations about the plan, and how it would be implemented.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has been reviewing the country’s emergency preparedness and response regulations in the wake of the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima reactor in 2011. Many countries have already adopted a system whereby residents near nuclear reactors are given iodine thyroid-blocking tablets to store in their homes.

The thyroid glands, especially in younger children, are the most susceptible to absorbing radiation that is ingested or inhaled. The pills are supposed to be taken immediately before or after a major radiation leak.

Mass distribution has occurred in New Brunswick and in Quebec, but not in Ontario, where the major reactors are located. Pills are available to residents at local pharmacies and stockpiled at schools.

A 2013 focus group conducted for Ontario Power Generation said that among residents surveyed around the Darlington and Pickering nuclear plants, “almost none had obtained free pills that have been advertised in regional communications or pamphlets.”

The safety commission has been consulting with various groups, including environmentalists and nuclear licence holders, on its latest regulatory drafts.

It is proposing the tablets be pre-distributed within the “plume” area of radiation — about 10 kilometres — for a selective portion of the population. In the Greater Toronto Area, that means about a quarter-million people……..

Groups such as Greenpeace and the Canadian Environmental Law Association are supportive of the commission’s work — a somewhat rare occurrence.

“This is a good step towards catching up with other countries, Canadians deserve protection on par with international best practices,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear analyst with Greenpeace. “The way it’s written right now, it doesn’t meet international best practices, but it’s a good step towards that.”

The groups emphasize that leaving it up to people to pick up pills on their own has obviously not worked, and in the aftermath and chaos of a nuclear accident and evacuation, people might not have the ability to get the pills in time.

“Our response is that we’ve had 30-plus years of making the pills available … for people to pick up at pharmacies, and there’s very low awareness by people that they should do so and that it matters to their health,” said Theresa McClenaghan, executive director and counsel of the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

“Instead, the messaging that people have had is that the plants are safe and there’s nothing to worry about.”

June 24, 2014 Posted by | Canada, health | Leave a comment

$1billion Liability Limit for Canada’s Nuclear Industry

scrutiny-on-costsflag-canadaCanadian Nuclear Industry Accepts $1 Billion Liability Limit OTTAWA, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ – The Canadian nuclear industry told a parliamentary committee today that it accepts a proposed $1 billion liability limit for nuclear accidents.

“The $1 billion limit balances the nuclear industry’s operational needs and the public’s need for an effective liability regime,” Dr. John Barrett, the President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, told the Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

The $1 billion limit would take effect if Bill C-22, the proposed Energy Safety and Security Act, becomes law. The bill would replace the 1976 Nuclear Liability Act (NLA) with a Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, and ratify an international treaty providing additional coverage for foreign damage caused by Canadian nuclear operators…

…..  the bill’s treaty provisions would enable industry members to operate in other countries, and increase the industry’s economic contributions to Canada…… f Parliament passes Bill C-22, the nuclear industry would encourage the government to increase the number of insurance companies eligible to provide nuclear liability insurance.

Bill C-22 would allow nuclear operators to provide insurance alternatives for up to 50 per cent of their liability.

June 6, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Canada’s nuclear regulator allows Pickering nuclear reactors to operate past their design limit

safety-symbol1flag-canadaPickering nuclear reactors can exceed design operating limit Canada’s nuclear regulator will allow reactors at the Pickering nuclear station to operate past their design limit. The Star, By:  Business reporter, Published on Tue Jun 03 2014 Canada’s nuclear regulator says reactors at the Pickering power station will be allowed to operate beyond their stated design limit.

But the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has ordered Ontario Power Generation to present further detailed information about the station at a meeting in August.

One of the six active reactors at Pickering would have had to shut down later this month had the commission not made its decision, released Tuesday. Others are also nearing their limit.

The pressure tubes in the reactors – which hold the uranium fuel – have a design life of operating for 210,000 “equivalent full power hours.” OPG is not allowed to operate them past that limit.

OPG has asked the nuclear safety commission to extend the operating limit to 247,000 hours. The company wants to extend Pickering’s life to about 2020, but wants to do so without performing the expensive and lengthy task of replacing all the pressure tubes in the reactors……….

Environmental groups that had appeared before the commission had argued that the limit shouldn’t be exceeded because OPG’s emergency plans for a serious nuclear accident and a wide-spread release of radiation are inadequate.

“The fact they’re asking OPG to do this additional work for August is pretty significant,” said Theresa McCleneghan of the Canadian Environmental Law Association…….

Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace said it’s “irresponsible” to still be running the Pickering plant.

People living near the plant don’t know enough about emergency plans in the event of an accident, he said.

He said the commission’s decision to extend the hours of operation is “kicking the can down the road.”

The province doesn’t need the output of the reactor that was about to hit the 210,000-hour limit Stensil said.

In fact, he noted that even with the warm weather on Tuesday, Ontario was exporting 2,000 megawatts of power – or the equivalent of about four Pickering reactors.

“We could be reducing risk much more tangibly just by shutting down reactors that we don’t need,” he said.

June 4, 2014 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Canada’s nuclear industry plans propaganda campaign, especially in schools

flag-canadaCanada’s uncertain nuclear future article is based on Canada’s Nuclear Energy Sector: Where to from here? published by Canada’s Public Policy Forum. 2 June 2014“……One approach to address the concerns of the anti-nuclear movement is to work with environmental NGO leaders, to foster trust and a less-polarised dialogue. Such dialogues will be difficult and will take time: workshop participants said this approach was successful in the forestry sector, but it required much time and effort over two decades. To gain social license and broader acceptance, groups outside the sector will need to initiate the discussions. The start of this dialogue can be seen in the US, with recent efforts by some prominent environmental NGO leaders, who had once been opposed to nuclear.

The often passionate public reaction against nuclear power is a significant challenge. Extensive media coverage of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, bad memories of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and common misunderstandings around radiation mean the public is often reluctant to embrace nuclear power plant construction or to view nuclear as a viable energy source. A key to success in both the UK and France has been including information about nuclear energy in school curriculums.


By educating students about nuclear energy, both countries have been successful in helping to dispel myths around safety and security that persist elsewhere. These countries have shown that education could be a useful first step to engaging citizens in a more enlightened discussion on nuclear energy. Given the diverse energy sources in Canada, school boards would be wise to develop science programmes that explore all types of energy and allow students to be exposed to and learn about the positive and negative aspects of all of them.

June 3, 2014 Posted by | Canada, marketing | 1 Comment

Settlement reached between Vancouver Province and uranium company

justiceflag-canadaVancouver’s Boss Power closes on $30-million settlement with province over uranium ban By Tyler Orton Mon Jun 2, 2014  A Vancouver-based resource company has closed on a $30-million settlement with the B.C. government, officially putting to bed a nearly six-year-old lawsuit.

The province imposed a halt on all uranium exploration and development in April 2008. Boss Power Corp. (TSX.V: BPU) filed suit later in the year claiming the B.C. government expropriated the company’s interest in its Blizzard uranium property near Kelowna when it imposed a “no registration reserve” under the Mineral Tenure Act.

The reserve allowed the government to ensure no future claims included the rights to uranium, however, Boss Power argued the property was registered before this ban went into effect.

Boss Power and Victoria settled for $30 million in 2011 before the case went to court.

The final amended settlement will divide the settlement up between other parties with interests in the property.

About 80% of the settlement will be held in a trust until Boss Power is reorganized into two different corporations, an arrangement expected to be approved in August.

June 2, 2014 Posted by | Canada, Legal | Leave a comment

Dodgy future for Canada’s nuclear industry

thumbs-downflag-canadaCanada’s uncertain nuclear future article is based on Canada’s Nuclear Energy Sector: Where to from here? published by Canada’s Public Policy Forum. 2 June 2014 “……. over the past two decades declining R&D funding has combined with an absence of new domestic nuclear power plant construction to push the sector into stagnation. Political and public support, once a source of strength and pride for the nuclear industry, has waned to such an extent that it is one of the greatest contributors to nuclear energy’s decline. Recent decisions by political leaders, including moratoria on uranium mining in Quebec, Nova Scotia and British Columbia, Ontario’s hesitancy to build proposed new reactors, and the federal government’s privatisation of the reactor business of Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL), are seen by many as evidence that government is now looking to redefine its role in the sector……..


The following serious challenges have significantly impaired the industry’s ability to compete in domestic and international markets:

High capital costs. In today’s uncertain economic environment, it is difficult to make the political case that public funds should be committed to large, expensive energy projects that may not come online for nearly a decade. Typically, investment costs of nuclear power plants account for around 60% of total project lifecycle costs.

Unclear foreign investment rules. Organisations that constitute a “strategic asset” to Canada may be barred from foreign purchase or takeover. In fact, the phrase “strategic asset” is not discussed in the Canada Investment Act, but its frequent mention by federal and provincial politicians has created confusion in Canada and abroad. As a result, there is uncertainty around whether foreign entities will be able to purchase Canadian nuclear energy companies and assets, or even compete in the Canadian market. In the absence of a transparent investment framework, it is difficult for international organisations to expand or develop operations in Canada that could generate greater economic growth.

A historical CANDU monopoly places the sector in a niche market.The Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactor has been the flagship of Canada’s nuclear energy sector for almost 50 years. But since the nuclear energy market shifted to light water reactors (LWRs) — approximately 30 years ago, when France started procuring LWR technology from the US — heavy water reactors have become a minority technology in the global market.

Acquiring and maintaining social license. Among the greatest challenges facing stakeholders in the nuclear sector is the lack of social license for new nuclear power plants. This concern does not necessarily exist in communities near power plants or uranium mines, but it is a broader perspective within the general population. Concerns around safety, spent fuel storage, and high capital costs have decreased public and political support for large nuclear construction programmes. Fears over nuclear proliferation and plant meltdowns and accidents, like those at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima, are common…..

Few political champions. An important element in any country with a successful nuclear energy programme is leaders who champion the merits of nuclear energy, often at great political risk. Overcoming the concerns of the public is much more difficult without this political support……

June 2, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Canada | Leave a comment

Ontario’s politicians coy about their $25 billion plans for nuclear power expansion

see-no-evilflag-canadaWhy no one is talking nuclear on the election trail Despite tens of billions of dollars of nuclear projects in the pipeline, nuclear policy is a no-go area in the Ontario election The Star, By:  Business reporter, on Fri May 30 2014  Nuclear energy policy has been almost a no-go area in Ontario’s election campaign.

The sector is on the verge of spending $25 billion or more on two massive projects, and constructing a nuclear-waste site that must last for millennia to come.

But while voters will ultimately pay for the projects through their hydro bills, the nuclear issue has barely raised a ripple in the current election campaign. In fact, it doesn’t even rate a mention in the New Democratic Party’s election platform.

Mid-life overhauls of two nuclear stations – Bruce and Darlington – are on the table. The price tag for Darlington’s four reactors alone is currently estimated at $10 billion in 2013 dollars – or $12.9 billion if interest and contingencies are included.

The price tag at privately operated Bruce Power – where six reactors will undergo mid-life refits – comes in at $2 billion per reactor, but with associated work over the next 15 years,  spending will total $15 billion, company officials said earlier this year.

In addition to the nuclear overhauls, Ontario Power Generation proposes to construct a permanent disposal site for low and intermediate level nuclear waste at the Bruce.

But the mega-projects have raised scarcely a ripple on the hustings……..

it’s a lot of money – even if the projects stay within budget.

And staying within budget is not something that nuclear projects have been prone to in Ontario. The unpopular debt retirement charge – an extra 0.7 cents a kwh that’s finally due to expire at the end of 2015 – was levied to pay for past nuclear project cost over-runs.

The Liberal and Conservative platforms clearly support the nuclear overhauls.

“We will invest in the refurbishment of 10 nuclear units and Darlington and Bruce over 16 years, creating and sustaining 25,000 high-wage jobs,” the Liberal platform pledges.

The Conservatives go even further.

They note that Pickering with its eight reactors is due to close.

“We must build new ones and refurbish others,” they say in their Paths to Prosperitypolicy paper, released prior to the election.

The price tag on new reactors of unknown size and design is unclear, but would be multiple billions. Building them would be further complicated by a federal court ruling that told OPG it can’t build new reactors, in part because there are no firm plans for handling waste that will remain dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousand of years.

The same environmental groups who won that decision are seeking a similar ruling on the Darlington refurbishment.

The New Democratic Party is more skeptical of the nuclear overhauls, according to energy critic Peter Tabuns.

“We haven’t seen a business case that supports refurbishment and we won’t make a decision on this until we do see a business case,” he said in an interview.

The NDP unequivocally opposes building new reactors, he said.

The Liberals have suspended any consideration of new reactors, declaring last December that they are “not needed at this time,” though keeping the option open for the future.

The one issue none of the parties address in their formal platforms is OPG’s proposal to entomb low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in a limestone formation 680 metres below ground on the shore of Lake Huron.

A federal review panel is currently examining the proposal, but since OPG is owned by the province, the ultimate decision to proceed with the billion-dollar-plus proposal will lie at Queen’s Park.

The proposal took a new twist in February when a similar waste storage facility in Carlsbad, New Mexico leaked radiation……..

Various local, state and federal politicians in Michigan have expressed alarm at OPG’s proposed nuclear waste site.

The latest is Michigan state senator Phil Pavlov, who has called the waste site a “critical threat to the health of the Great Lakes.”

(Michigan’s federal senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin have also expressed stiff opposition to the site.)

Pavlov has introduced resolutions calling on the president or Congress to submit the project to the International Joint Commission, which deals with cross-border issues on the lakes.

“I talk to people every day that can’t understand the rationale behind this,” Pavlov said in an interview.

“The fact that we’re even considering something this close to the lake needs to be challenged,” he said……..

The Liberals say they’re waiting on the federal panel to report before taking a final position on the waste site.

The panel has extended its hearings to gather information on the New Mexico incident, but no dates have been announced…….


May 30, 2014 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Ontario Liberal and PC parties not winning hearts, minds or judges with their pro nuclear agenda

thumbs-downAnti-nuclear advocates, Federal Court trouble Ontario Liberal and PC energy plans BY STEVE CORNWELL
MAY 30, 2014 
Falling demand for electricity, sky-high cost projections, a catastrophic meltdown in Japan and a dedicated resistance to nuclear expansion have contributed to tough times for advocates of new and rebuilt nuclear reactors in Ontario.

judge-1The latest punch in the gut for nuclear proponents in the province comes from a May 14 Federal Court decision to nullify the approval of up to four new reactors at Darlington Station, about 60km east of Toronto.

Among other issues, the presiding Justice James Russell cited inadequate planning for both nuclear waste storage and a catastrophic accident as reasons to revoke the project’s license, which was originally secured following a multi-year environmental assessment (EA). Justice Russell found that the EA failed to adhere to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The Federal Court review of the EA was initiated by environmental groups Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), Greenpeace Canada, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (LOW) and Northwatch with lawyers from Ecojustice and CELA representing the application in court.

In a press release following the decision, the environmental groups called the Federal Court’s ruling “common sense.”

Justin Duncan, Staff Lawyer for Ecojustice and co-counsel for groups, said “the court’s ruling means that federal authorities can no longer take shortcuts when assessing nuclear projects.” “The federal government must protect Canadians from energy projects that may harm the health of the environment. Because the panel failed to assess certain environmental effects, the court revoked the project’s licence.”

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), who was ordered by the McGuinty Liberals in 2006 to start the process for new reactors at Darlington, still has options towards building the new reactors.

Rick Lindgren of CELA, who presented the case alongside Duncan said, “we do not yet know if the decision will be appealed, or if the EA process will be restarted to address the various deficiencies identified by the Federal Court.”

While Lindgren strikes a cautious note regarding OPG’s intentions going forward, he’s much more optimistic about the message that the decision sends.

“The decision sends a strong signal to other proponents and federal authorities that environmentally significant projects must be subject to a robust EA process that satisfies the legal requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.”

And it seems the call for more robust environmental regulation is gaining traction in the host community. In an editorial following the decision, a local paper called on OPG to “accept the ruling and work quickly to address the gaps Justice Russell has identified in the existing environmental assessment.”

Greenpeace’s Nuclear Analyst, Shawn-Patrick Stensil thinks that receiving an endorsement from media around Darlington Station is telling.

“Durham Region is always being portrayed as uniformly supportive [of nuclear] by OPG. But many locals seem to think it’s fair for OPG to not to have a blank cheque, and do due diligence. But will OPG be willing to openly discuss the risks its reactors pose?”

Nukes on the campaign trail……

May 30, 2014 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Liberal and PC parties in Ontario have expensive expansive nuclear power plans

ballot-boxSmflag-canadaAnti-nuclear advocates, Federal Court trouble Ontario Liberal and PC energy plans BY STEVE CORNWELLMAY 30, 2014 “……..the court’s decision does seem to enhance the credibility of the Ontario New Democrats’ (ONDP) energy platform, while troubling those of the Liberals and Conservatives.

Dating back to Howard Hampton’s leadership, the ONDP has remained opposed to building new reactors in Ontario. The ONDP’s election platform highlights a pledge for a solar panel and energy efficiency fund to help homeowners produce clean electricity and consume less power.

In response to a recent Ontario Clean Air Alliance questionnaire, the ONDP was very critical of the Liberals’ plan to rebuild nuclear units in the province. The ONDP indicated that they would support cost-effective conservation and efficiency measures before spending tax and rate-payer dollars on rebuilding reactors.

They added, “hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted through the cancellation of gas and nuclear plants…Signing contracts for nuclear refurbishment without knowing the final price tag or seeing the business case will only push costs even higher for consumers. That’s just not acceptable.”

Both the Liberals and PCs have placed nuclear expansion and or revitalization as large tenants of their projected energy plans.

The Liberal spokesperson interviewed for this piece condemned the PCs plan, saying “Tim Hudak wants to build $15 billion worth of new nuclear we don’t need and cancel existing clean energy contracts, putting ratepayers on the hook for up to $20 billion.”

While Liberals did not include new nuclear in their Long Term Energy Plan, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli also suggested that “sometime in the future, we might be looking at it.”

Lefty voters being wooed by the latest Liberal attempt to position themselves as the more progressive and reasonable choice to slay the Conservatives should note that the Grits and PCs are mostly identical on nuclear power.

In addition to both the PCs and Liberals openness to spending billions and testing the risks of new nuclear in the province, each party’s energy stance includes a commitment to rebuilding existing reactors at Darlington and Bruce Stations.

Following the ruling striping approval of new reactors at Darlington, a decision Greenpeace’s Stensil called “a firewall from a really bad political decision,” he wants the debate during the rest of the election to focus on plans to rebuild existing nuclear units. “I’d hope that it allows us to focus on the current plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding Ontario’s ten remaining reactors.”

Plans to rebuild reactors at Darlington have already passed through an expedited assessment.

Cost analyses on rebuilding the reactors vary wildly, but if the difficulties of refurbishing units in Pickering and other Canadian jurisdictions are any indication, Ontarians might be in for some pocketbook punishment if the Liberal or PCs implement their plans.

“The Liberal government has given the ok to rebuild reactors at the Darlington and Bruce nuclear stations without a cost estimate or a public review. The gas plant scandal has gotten lots of attention since the last election, but it’ll end up being small change compared to the nuclear fiascos coming our way.”

Steve Cornwell is an MA candidate at York University. He is interested in the interactions of social movements, science and technology. Steve has worked on energy issues with Greenpeace Canada, Environmental Defense, and Safe and Green Energy Peterborough. Follow Steve Cornwell on Twitter @steve_cornwell

May 30, 2014 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Canadian MP calls for caution on underground nuclear waste storage near Great Lakes

Lake-Huron,-Bruce-County,-OMasse calls for action on underground nuclear waste site near Great Lakes, The Windsor Star,  Dave Battagello  May 27, 2014  MP Brian Masse (NDP Windsor-West) will table a motion this week expressing concern over a proposed underground nuclear waste facility on the edge of the Great Lakes which critics say has potential to taint the waterway and drinking water.

“We don’t get a second chance on this,” he said following a press conference in Ottawa. “What we are trying to do is get a more full and robust review of nuclear storage around the Great Lakes.

“Several organizations are coming forward confronting (Ontario Power Generation’s) plan at the Bruce Nuclear Site as being a danger to the environment.”

The planned project is to construct and operate a nuclear disposal site over half a kilometre deep in the earth just north of Kincardine on the grounds of the Bruce site — and one kilometre from Lake Huron. The facility would store “low and intermediate” nuclear waste from operations of OPG-owned nuclear generation plants at Bruce, Pickering and Darlington.

There are several above ground nuclear waste storage sites near the Great Lakes, but environmentalists and politicians fear having it stored below ground makes it nearly impossible to address an accident. They say the impact would be devastating if any waste leaks into the Great Lakes……..

Masse hopes by tabling his motion it will bring the nuclear storage issue at Bruce to “a national level” and heighten awareness about potential impacts to the world’s largest freshwater supply.

“We want to ensure the assessment procedures around nuclear storage are strong enough,” he said. “We want to see if there are other ways to deal with this nuclear waste than just this one option.”

A large percentage of opposition to the OPG’s underground nuclear storage plan has come from the U.S. side of the border, Masse said.

“They have a law not to allow this stuff within 10 miles of the Great Lakes,” he said. “The Americans are concerned. This is not a moot issue to them by any means.”…….

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Canada, wastes | 2 Comments


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