The group braved blizzards and temperatures as low as minus-28 C as they marched 850 kilometres across the province to take part in environmental hearings on uranium mining.
They fear the waste from mining would contaminate the land and water of Cree communities and encroach on trap lines, and want a ban on uranium exploration.
A hearing by the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) on uranium mining wrapped up on Monday, with a final report expected next May.
“The potential risks associated with uranium mining, which leaves behind thousands of years of radioactive material, that’s what concerns our people,” Chief Richard Shecapio of Mistissini told reporters shortly before the hearings began.
The Cree Nation Youth Council argues that uranium mining would affect tourism, as the region is a popular getaway for fishers………
There’s a moratorium on uranium exploration in Quebec, imposed last year by the previous Parti Québécois government. Before that time, the only uranium project seeking an exploration permit was Strateco Resources Inc.’s Matoush site in the Otish mountains, about 275 kilometres north of Chibougamau.
Yves-François Blanchet, the environment minister at the time, said no permits would be issued for the exploration or mining of uranium until an independent study on the mineral’s social acceptability and environmental impacts had been completed.
Last week, Strateco Resources filed a $190-million lawsuit against the Quebec government for blocking its project after years of ground work.
Cree Youth Walk 850 km To Protest Against Uranium Mining In Quebec, Huff Post. CBC 14 Dec 14 About 20 young Cree people have walked nearly 850 kilometres to Montreal’s South Shore from their village in northern Quebec, protesting against uranium exploration in the province.
The youth left Mistissini, Que., northeast of Chibougamau in the James Bay region three weeks ago. On the way, they stopped in Quebec City to share their message. They arrived in Longueuil, just across the bridge from Montreal, Saturday.
Their final destination is downtown Montreal, where they will deliver that message to the province’s environmental protection agency, known as the BAPE, when it holds the last of a series of public hearings on uranium exploration tomorrow.
The Cree young people have endured frigid temperatures and wintry conditions, walking an average of a marathon a day. “We’ve lost a couple of toenails on this journey,” said Joshua Iserhoff, chair of the Cree Nation Youth Council.
But according to Iserhoff, it’s been worth it.
He said uranium exploration near his community could cause irreparable damage to the watershed………
Now the province is holding public hearings on uranium mining. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/14/cree-uranium-mining-protest_n_6322934.html
Planned shutdowns of nuclear plants could mean higher prices for consumers CTV Toronto , December 8, 2014 The planned shutdowns of two of Ontario’s biggest nuclear plants during normally high peak times could mean soaring prices for consumers next year.
The Bruce Power and Darlington Nuclear Generating Stations will be shut down at the same time next spring and summer for 16 weeks for planned repairs.
The closure means that Ontario will not have enough electricity to meet its mandatory reserve during those weeks, when power demands normally soar. Last year, Ontario’s top-10 record days for electricity demand fell during those weeks. And Toronto also declared six extreme heat alerts during the same time.
The massive shutdowns combined with the possible added demand for power could mean the province may import electricity from the U.S. to avoid an outage.
“We always have the option if we see extreme weather coming to import power from our neighbours,” Alexandra Campbell, a spokesperson for the Independent Electricity System Operator, told CTV Toronto.
But Ontario’s NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns is warning that could mean higher prices for consumers.
“Let’s all pray for a cool, rainy May and a cloudy June and July because very high prices comes with those very high temperatures,” Tabus said…….
The Ontario Power Authority and Bruce Power are secretly negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal to rebuild four aging reactors at the Bruce B Nuclear Station. Here are 9 good reasons why Premier Kathleen Wynne should send any agreement to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for a full public review:
|The Bruce B contract would be the largest private sector contract ever signed by an Ontario government, worth $60-$111 billion that householders and businesses would pay. Is Bruce B the cheapest available power?|
|Electricity demand in Ontario is falling. Since 2005 Ontario’s total annual electricity demand has fallen by 10%, despite the fact that our GDP has grown by 8.5%, and it appears likely that our electricity demand will continue to fall as our electricity productivity continues to rise. Will we need Bruce B power?|
|Ontario has a rising supply of renewable and gas-fired generation, including the TransCanada gas-fired power plant in Napanee. Will Bruce B power be needed?|
|Ontario already has a surplus baseload problem. Bruce Power claims its nuclear units are now capable of cutting back generation when demand falls. But in reality the company is running its reactors full tilt, either venting the excess steam into Lake Huron or producing unneeded power and exporting it to the US at a loss. Will a Bruce B deal make these problems worse?|
|The cost overruns on nuclear projects have always been passed on to electricity consumers and taxpayers. Despite government assurances that nuclear projects must minimize “commercial risk on the part of ratepayers and government”, 93% of the work on the proposed Darlington re-build project is not subject to fixed price contracts, with the provincial treasury and ratepayers liable for inevitable cost overruns. Will it be any different at Bruce where ratepayers have already picked up billions of dollars in cost overruns on previous projects?|
|We can meet some or all of our electricity needs at a lower cost with additional investments in energy conservation and efficiency. According to the government’s Conservation First policy, Ontario will pursue all cost-effective energy conservation and efficiency resources beforeinvesting in new supply.|
|We can meet our electricity needs at a lower cost with water power imports from Quebec. The cost of upgrading transmission infrastructure to fully exploit Quebec imports would be a fraction of the cost of re-building nuclear reactors.|
|According to the Long-Term Energy Plan, the existing Bruce B reactors will not come to the end of their lives until 2022 and beyond. There is a very good chance that renewable energy options like wind, solar, biogas and biomass will be lower cost electricity supply options by 2022. Quebec’s existing hydro-electric storage capacity could also be used to transform wind and solar from intermittent to “firm” base-load electricity resources. Is this the right time to commit to Bruce B power?|
|We don’t know by how much a Bruce B contract would cause our electricity rates to rise. Surely we should know this before a deal is signed.|
Please send Premier Wynne a message urging her to follow through on her commitment to run “the most open and transparent government in Canada” by sending any Bruce deal to the OEB for review.
These are important questions that the Ontario Energy Board’s procedures are designed to answer — before any contract is signed.
You can also read our open letter to Premier Wynne outlining our questions about a Bruce deal.
Canada’s Green Energy Sector Now Employs More People Than Its Tar Sands, Climate Progress BY JEFF SPROSS DECEMBER 2, 2014 BETWEEN 2009 AND 2013, EMPLOYMENT IN CANADA’S CLEAN ENERGY SECTOR INCREASED BY 37 PERCENT — MEANING IT NOW SUPPLIES MORE JOBS THAN THE COUNTRY’S INFAMOUS TAR SANDS, ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT.
“Clean energy has moved from being a small niche or boutique industry to really big business in Canada,” said Merran Smith, the director of Clean Energy Canada.
Green energy tends to be more labor intensive than energy from fossil fuels, meaning that every unit of energy produced by green sources tends to employ more people than those sources that come along with carbon emissions. In America, research suggests green jobs are more accessible to workers without a college education, that green sectors grow a bit faster than the economy as a whole, and that they more successfully weathered the 2008 recession.
The report also noted that Canada’s energy generation capacity in wind, solar, and other renewable sources has grown 93 percent over the past five years, and investors have pumped $25 billion into green energy in the country over that same time period………..http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/02/3598312/canada-green-energy-tar-sands/
Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik says the consensus is clear: Nunavik Inuit fears for radioactive contamination of the land trump any economic windfall they might reap from uranium mining.
“Uranium is a controversial topic, and must be considered separately from conventional mining activities exploiting other minerals in Nunavik,” Tukkiapik says.
Makivik Corporation, the land claims organization, teamed up with the Kativik Regional Government in stating their case to Quebec’s environmental consultation office.
The land claims organization made the announcement following three years of consultations throughout Nunavik’s 14 communities. They also did consultations in Montreal and some neighbouring Cree villages. KRG chair Maggie Emudluk says the key concern is the health of country food.
Inuit rely on hunting wildlife for sustenance, and Emudluk says the impact of radioactive material getting into the food chain could be deadly.
“The psychological effects cannot be underestimated,” she says. “People are afraid of uranium in general, but when a population is so dependent on locally sourced food, the fear and uncertainty escalate.”
It remains to be seen whether the declaration is legally enforceable under Quebec law
Stop plans to build small nuclear reactors in Saskatchewan to power oil extraction from the Alberta Tar Sands. https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_plans_to_build_small_nuclear_reactors_in_Saskatchewan_to_power_oil_extraction_from_the_Alberta_Tar_Sands_1/?pv=10
Why this is important to me
When elected in 2007, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall (his Saskatchewan Party is ideologically tied to Harper’s federal Conservatives) created the Uranium Development Partnership (UDP), chaired by one of the U of S vice-presidents. With industry support from Bruce Power (nuclear reactors) and its majority shareholders, Cameco (uranium mining) and TransCanada Corporation (the Keystone pipeline), the UDP pushed to establish a nuclear program at the University.
Public consultations in 2009 gave a resounding 88% “NO” to this nuclear agenda , but the government/corporate/university consortium have used the U of S to bypass this overwhelming expression of public opinion. The Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI) was announced in March 2011 with $30 million of Government funding over 7 years. Its first goal is to build a prototype small nuclear reactor on campus. In August 2011 the Government and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd announced another $10 million towards that objective.
Current U of S President MacKinnon and Board of Governors Chair Nancy Hopkins have been deeply involved in this project. Hopkins owns nearly $2 million in Cameco investments and is a paid Cameco director ($175,872 in 2009). MacKinnon accepted an all-expenses-paid trip to Cameco’s northern operations and exclusive lodge in 2009, at the peak of the public debate about the UDP report.
But MacKinnon retires from the U of S on June 30. We must send a clear message to his successor, Ilene Busch-Vishniac, to step off this destructive path.
Brad Wall’s government has starved the University of essential funding – U of S has an accumulated $90 million debt. Existing infrastructure is crumbling. New buildings on campus can’t open. And the $40 million for the CCNI and related nuclear projects won’t help U of S out of this crisis.
The University of Saskatchewan, founded in 1907, was once proudly called “the people’s university” – set in the heartland of the Canadian cooperative movement, home to Tommy Douglas, the greatest Canadian, the father of Medicare. Today the University has become an easy target for corporate takeover and a tool for the nuclear and petroleum industries. But right now we have a chance to stop this from happening.
No transparency in Ontario Energy Board’s multi-billion-dollar plan to overhaul six nuclear reactors
Ontario Energy Board won’t probe Bruce nuclear overhaul Opposition, Ontario Clean Air Alliance want to see public scrutiny of the multi-billion-dollar plan to overhaul six reactors at the Bruce nuclear generating station. By: John Spears The Star, Business reporter, Nov 27 2014
The multi-billion-dollar plan to overhaul six reactors at the Bruce nuclear generating station won’t be submitted to the Ontario Energy Board for scrutiny.
Nuclear critics had called for public examination of the project, expected to cost in the range of $15 billion.
An energy official confirmed Wednesday that energy minister Bob Chiarelli won’t send the issue to the energy board for hearings.
Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance said the energy board should examine at the project in public.
“This would be the hugest private-sector deal in Ontario’s history,” he said in an interview.
Peter Tabuns, energy critic for the New Democrats, agreed.
“I don’t think it’s something that should be negotiated behind closed doors and stamped in the premier’s office,” he said.
“The public have to be shown a business case for going down this route.” The contract is currently being negotiated between Bruce Power — the private consortium that operates the station under lease — and the Ontario Power Authority. Bruce Power produces about 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity.
The reactors are owned by Ontario Power Generation, whose sole shareholder is the province………
Gibbons and Tabuns argued that the public needs to be able to see what’s proposed and ask questions before an agreement is signed.
One question: Whether the deal would push up electricity prices, and by how much.
Another: How badly the power is needed, or whether it could be obtained elsewhere. Currently, Ontario frequently has surplus power, some of which is exported at a loss. At times the province has to pay neighbouring jurisdictions to take it.
Tabuns also said he’d like to question whether having a private company operating the plant is the right thing.
“We have not been well served by private ownership and operation of our hydro system,” he said.
“I think it’s time to question that in the kind of forum that the OEB can provide.” http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/11/27/ontario_energy_board_wont_probe_bruce_nuclear_overhaul.html
Radioactive leak at Pickering nuclear station, Caledon Enterprise, 26 Nov 14
Heavy water contained inside reactor; no impact to public, environment Pickering News Advertiser
PICKERING — Thousands of litres of radioactive heavy water leaked in a reactor at the Pickering nuclear station Friday.
The incident happened in Unit 7, which was undergoing a scheduled maintenance outage, at about 4 p.m. on Nov. 21.
A valve on the moderator system opened inside the reactor building, Ontario Power Generation reported on Twitter….. 6,900 litres of heavy water leaked……http://www.caledonenterprise.com/news-story/5154334-updated-radioactive-leak-at-pickering-nuclear-station/
Northern Quebec Cree start 850 km trek to protest against uranium mining By Caroline Nepton, CBC News Nov 21, 2014 “……this weekend Iserhoff, who is the chair of the Cree Nation Youth Council, will join a group of Crees walking to Montreal to hand deliver a message to the province’s environmental protection agency’s (BAPE) commission on the uranium industry in Quebec.
The group has a message for BAPE: There will be no uranium exploration and exploitation on the Cree territory of Eeyou Istchee.
“We are the stewards of the land, therefore we have this responsibility to protect for the generations to come,” Iserhoff said.
The walkers will be leaving Mistissini this Sunday to travel over 850 kilometers to reach Montreal by Dec. 15, the last day of the BAPE’s public hearings on the uranium industry in Quebec.
They want other nations and other Quebecers to join the walk. “Innu’s are coming, Algonquins are coming and maybe Atikamekw,” Iserhoff said. ‘The Crees are only one voice and so we are seeking allies.’- Matthew Coon Come, grand chief of Cree Grand Council
The trek is one of the many strategies used by the Crees to protest against uranium mining in their territory.
The Cree Nation government firmly opposes all uranium exploration, mining and waste storage in Eeyou Istchee, Cree territory in northern Quebec. A couple of weeks ago the Cree government launched a website and a social campaign: #StandAgainstUranium. They are still asking people to take selfies with the Stand Against Uranium sign.
The government also sponsored The Wolverine: The Fight of the James Bay Cree, which was presented at the Uranium Festival in Germany last September.
“The Crees are only one voice and so we are seeking allies,” saidMatthew Coon Come, the grand chief of the Cree Grand Council.
One of the most advanced uranium projects in the province is the Strateco Resource Matoush project in Otish Mountain, north ofMistissini.
In 2013, Quebec became the third Canadian province, after Nova Scotia and British Columbia, to establish a moratorium on uranium development. In light of that moratorium, Quebec’s environment minister refused to grant Strateco the permits it had requested to go ahead with the project. http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/northern-quebec-cree-start-850-km-trek-to-protest-against-uranium-mining-1.2844050
Saskatoon scientists make medical isotopes without nuclear reactor http://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/saskatoon-scientists-make-medical-isotopes-without-nuclear-reactor-1.2102945#ixzz3JBjS72AU November 14, 2014 Canadian Light Source scientists have developed a way to produce medical isotopes without the use of a nuclear reactor.
The Saskatoon-based facility announced Friday they recently shipped isotopes made by powerful X-rays to Winnipeg for clinical trials.
“To be part of a project that will meet the health needs of so many Canadians, that is the most gratifying element,” said Canadian Light Source CEO Rob Lamb in a media release. Medical isotopes are used in medical imaging to diagnose cancer and heart disease. According to Health Canada, energy emitted by the isotope is detected by a special camera during a scan.
The Medical Isotope Project facility in Saskatoon is the first of its kind in the world, light source officials said. A particle accelerator hits molybdenum-100 metals — which resemble dimes — with high-energy X-rays. The rays knock a neutron from the nuclei and convert the molybdenum-100 to molybdenum-99, which then decays into a medically useful isotope — technetium-99m. Leftover metals are recovered and recycled. A nuclear reactor is not needed and no nuclear waste is created. Continue reading
renewable sources generate up to 65 percent of Canada’s electricity. Solar and wind are the country’s two fastest growing sources.According to him, Solar photovoltaic capacity reached 1,210 megawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 2013. The Canadian Solar Industry Association forecasts that annual capacity will increase three folds by 2025. By then, the Canadian solar industry will support more than 35,000 jobs, displacing 15 to 31 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Canada has two of the largest solar farms in the world
Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar http://www.arabnews.com/economy/news/651686 29 Oct 14, A Canadian trade delegation, headed by Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Trade Simon Kennedy arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday to meet several Saudi officials and major firms with a special focus on renewable energy in Saudi Arabia.
Canadian Ambassador Thomas MacDonald said Canada’s first renewable energy mission, which is focused on solar technology, will visit the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), ACWA Power and other industry leaders. Continue reading
Big task ahead, as Canada’s nuclear industry must try to protect 100s of thousands of citizens against radiation
Radiation protection pills delivered by end of 2015, Star.com New rules from the Canadian Nuclear Safety
Commission dictate that iodine thyroid-blocking pills must be delivered to homes and workplaces near nuclear plants by the end of next year. By: John Spears Business reporter, Oct 14 2014
People living and working within 8 to 16 kilometres of a nuclear power plant should have radiation protection pills in their hands by the end of 2015, under new federal regulations.
But Durham’s Medical Officer of Health says it will be “very tight – extremely tight” to meet the deadline.New rules from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission dictate that iodine thyroid-blocking pills must be delivered to homes and workplaces near nuclear plants by the end of next year.
The pills, often known as potassium iodide pills or KI pills, inhibit the thyroid gland from absorbing radiation.Nuclear plant operators must pay the cost of buying and distributing the pills, but provincial and local health officials will be working out how to get them into the hands of tens of thousands of people from Scarborough to Clarington in time for the deadline.
Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham’s medical officer of health, said his unit already given stocks of pills to pharmacies and to institutions like schools, daycares, and police and fire departments……..
The pills will have to be sent out with readily understandable directions in different languages, he added.And someone will have to track new residents to make sure they get their pills.
The new rules also require pills to be stocked in institutions over a wide area beyond the immediate zones around the plants, he said.
“It’s a very tall order,” Kyle said. “It sounds like a year is a long time, but it may take a while to get this all planned and resourced.”
Toronto officials will also have to be involved, since eastern Scarborough is within 10 kilometres of the Pickering plant, he noted. (Lenore Bromley of Toronto Public Health took a different tack, however, saying that distributing the pills is “not something that would fall within our domain.”)
Kyle said he hasn’t tallied up the number of residents within 10 kilometres of the Pickering and Darlington plants, but said “you may be talking about 100,000.”
Ontario Power Generation operates the Pickering and Darlington nuclear plants east of Toronto.
Company spokesman Neal Kelly said it has cost about $180,000 to buy and distribute pills to pharmacies and institutions under the old rules.
“Under this new regulation, there will be significant costs associated with public communications and delivery,” Kelly said.
He wouldn’t name a figure. OPG will have to foot that bill, but who does the work on the ground is still being worked on, he said.
Nuclear plants must give iodine pills to nearby residents, regulator says Radiation protection pills will be pre-distributed to people and businesses located near nuclear plants, according to a new regulation announced by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on Friday. The Star, By: John Spears Business reporter, Oct 10 2014
Residents and businesses near nuclear plants must be given radiation protection pills as a precautionary measure, says Canada’s nuclear regulator.
The pills must be pre-distributed, before any accident occurs, in co-operation with government authorities.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced the new measure Friday, as it published a new regulation. The pills, which contain potassium iodide, block the thyroid gland from absorbing radiation.
The regulation requires nuclear operators to pre-distribute the pills to “all residences, businesses and institutions” within the primary area where the plume from a radiation release would likely spread.
The radius of the area may vary from location to location but “is typically sized in the range of eight to 16 kilometres,” according to the regulation. A 10-kilometre radius from the Pickering nuclear plant would extend from the eastern part of Scarborough to Whitby.
In a larger zone — typically 50 to 80 kilometres — nuclear plant operators must make sure that there is a stock of pills “ready for prompt distribution” and “located so that it can be efficiently obtained by, or distributed to, members of the public when required,” the regulation says.
An 80-kilometre zone would embrace all of Greater Toronto………The regulation also requires nuclear plant operators to deliver emergency preparedness information “in hard copy annually to every residence, business and institution” within the pill pre-distribution area. http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/10/10/nuclear_plants_must_give_iodine_pills_to_nearby_residents_regulator_says.html
Quebec and Labrador First Nations draw the line against uranium By: Henry Lazenby 27 Sep 2014 TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – At a workshop on uranium development hosted by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) on Friday, First Nations from across the region reaffirmed their opposition to uranium development on their territories and throughout Quebec.
In March 2013, the AFNQL passed a resolution inviting its members to voice their opposition to uranium development and to declare a blanket rejection of the uranium exploration and exploitation on all First Nation territories. This followed a resolution adopted by the Grand Council of the Crees in August 2012 declaring a permanent moratorium on uranium development in Cree territory.
“The exploration and exploitation of uranium constitute major and irreversible threats to our population, our territories and the resources they contain. As First Nations, we have a sacred duty to protect our territories and ensure the sustainable development of our natural resources,” Timiskaming First Nation Chief Terence McBride said.
“Our experience here today has clearly demonstrated that the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador are united in our opposition to uranium development in our territories. We strongly encourage all the First Nations and citizens in Quebec to clearly and publicly express their opposition to uranium development,” Cree Nation Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come added.
In March 2013, Quebec’s Minister of the Environment announced a moratorium on uranium exploration or mining permits until the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) had completed hearings on the uranium industry in Quebec and provided recommendations to the Minister. The BAPE’S mandate began in May.
This week, the BAPE completed the second phase of its inquiry, during which it heard from various ministries, experts and industry representatives on a number of topics relating to uranium and its associated risks. The third phase of the BAPE hearings were scheduled to start in November, at which time members of the public would have the opportunity to make oral and written submissions to the BAPE.
Anyone wishing to make submissions must file a notice of intention, available on the BAPE website, by October 16.
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