The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Potassium iodate pills for Canadian communities near nuclear facilities

potassium-iodate-pillsKI pill distribution coming near Pickering, Darlington nuclear stations OPG developing extensive awareness campaign prior to fall distribution Ajax News Advertiser By Keith Gilligan DURHAM 24 May 15 — Ontario Power Generation is planning an extensive public relations campaign prior to distributing potassium iodide (KI) pills near the Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations.

Last year, OPG’s federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, mandated that KI pills be distributed to all homes and businesses within a 10-kilometre radius of nuclear stations.

Kevin Powers, the director of corporate relations and communications for OPG, told the Pickering Community Advisory Council on Tuesday, May 19 that distributing the pills is “quite a change in what our normal operations are.”

To better understand public knowledge of the pills, OPG has been doing research, Mr. Powers noted.“We did research to understand attitudes on KI pills. We wanted a better understanding of what their understanding was,” he said.

He noted only seven per cent of residents currently have the pills in their homes……… Distribution of pills has been done in New Brunswick and Quebec. It’s being done around the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce stations this year.

Pills are currently in some pharmacies within the 10-kilometre radius, “but not many people know. This change is in how we distribute them,” Mr. Powers noted…… The pills will continue to be available at pharmacies, he said. That’s because people might not get enough pills at their home or have moved and don’t have the pills.

“The CNSC mandated that pharmacies within 50 kilometres have the pills,” Mr. Powers said.

May 25, 2015 Posted by | Canada, health | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump near the Great Lakes – just a LOCAl issue?

Deep Ground Repository for nuclear waste has local support and regional opposition,  Radio Canada International By Carmel Kilkenny | Monday 18 May, 2015 , The Deep Ground Repository (DGR) proposed for Kincardine in Southwestern Ontario, will be the topic of many conversations over this annual Victoria Day holiday weekend….

A kilometre from the shore of Lake Huron,


The Bruce power station is the largest operating nuclear power plant in the world, with 4,000 employees drawn from several small communities around it.  The majority here support the DGR, which will store over 200,000 cubic metres of low and intermediate radioactive waste from the Bruce, as well as the Pickering and Darlington nuclear power stations.

But farther away, and in the large urban centres of Toronto, and Chicago, the DGR is the subject of a divisive debate with thousands signing petitions and filing official objections to the proposal. The biggest complaint is the proximity of the DGR to the Great Lakes basin.

Rolling Stewardship

At just over a kilometre from the shore of Lake Huron, many fear the future of 40 million people, on both sides of the Canada-US border, could be at stake in the event of an accident or an unforeseen event.

Mayor Keith Hobbs of Thunder Bay, Ontario, a vocal opponent, said in a recent interview with the London Free Press, “If you contaminate that source, we’re done.  That’s life, that’s life itself.”……

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

First Nations land would host Ontario nuclear waste, but First Nations don’t get a say

nuke-indigenousOntario First Nations demand a say over nuclear waste storage GLORIA GALLOWAY OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail, May. 21 2015,  First Nations in Northern Ontario say municipalities are opening their doors to the federal organization that is looking for a place to dump nuclear waste but most of the sites being proposed lie outside municipal boundaries on traditional treaty land.

Isadore Day, the Lake Huron Regional Grand Chief, has written to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to ask her government to talk directly with First Nations and to “come to a fair and acceptable resolution” about the location of the $24-billion Deep Geological Repository for the waste generated by nuclear reactors.

Environmental groups and some local residents reacted angrily earlier this month when a federal review panel agreed that a repository far below ground near Kincardine, Ont., could be used to store low-and intermediate radioactive nuclear waste including clothing and used parts.

But the hunt for a place to permanently store used fuel bundles, a far more contentious form of the hazardous material, continues. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has narrowed its search to nine municipalities – three in the southwestern part of Ontario and six in the North.

Those municipalities have all told the organization they are willing to explore the possibility of being a host site for the repository that will take decades to build and will store the spent nuclear fuel bundles for 400,000 years or more until they are safely non-toxic. Having the site nearby will mean increased jobs and improved infrastructure for a community.

All of the municipalities that finished the preliminary phase of the assessment received a $400,000 “sustainability and well-being” payment from the NWMO for showing leadership on a difficult national public policy issue.

But, even though it is the municipalities that are being consulted and compensated, most of the sites being considered for the dump lie well outside of their jurisdictions on traditional First Nations territory, said Mr. Day.

“The actual sites being looked at are on treaty lands and municipalities have no say about what happens on those lands,” Mr. Day says in his letter to Ms. Wynne. “This matter is a discussion that must take place between treaty partners.”………Mr. Day said the site selection process has been “fraught with controversy” and will not result in the support that is being sought from First Nations. “The social contract is not with municipalities,“ he said. “It’s with treaty nations.“

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Canadian review board knocks back Areva’s planned uranium mine as uneconomic

thumbs-downReview board recommends against Areva Canada uranium mine  May 11, 201 By Rod Nickel WINNIPEG, Manitoba – A review board in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut has recommended that Areva’s AREVA.PA planned uranium mine should not proceed, due to uncertainty about timing of the company’s plans to build the mine.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission released the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s report on
Monday.The review board makes recommendations to Canadian federal ministers who are responsible for the decision.

Uranium prices have been weak since 2011’s Fukushima disaster in Japan, which caused that country to take its reactors off-line. The slump has led uranium producers to put some plans for new mines on hold.

The Nunavut review board considered the project’s social, economic and environmental impacts, but concluded that it could not adequately do this with no clear development schedule. The board said its recommendation, if adopted by Ottawa, does not mean that Areva could not apply again for approval.

Areva spokeswoman Veronique Loewen said the company was disappointed and is reviewing the report.The project involves two separate open-pit mine sites and a milling operation.


May 13, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, France | Leave a comment

Canada’s Nuclear Regulator in reality a promoter of the industry

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has said that “Stephen Harper is systematically wiping out decades of environmental protection and laws in order to promote unbridled resource extraction. No other government in the history of Canada has declared war on the environment in this way.”

flag-canadaSee you at the ribbon cutting? Federal panel approves nuclear dump on Lake Huron OLE HENDRICKSON | MAY 8, 2015

A federal environmental assessment panel has just released its report approving a proposal by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury nuclear waste on the shores of Lake Huron in a “Deep Geological Repository” (DGR). The panel’s conclusions come as no surprise to informed observers: the impartiality of the environmental assessment process had been in question for months.


The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has never been known as a friend of the environment. But when the Harper Conservatives won a majority government in 2008 they made sweeping changes to Canada’s environmental laws. One change was to remove responsibility for environmental assessment of nuclear projects from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and put the CNSC in charge.

Instead of conducting an objective assessment of OPG’s nuclear waste burial scheme, the CNSC acted as a strong proponent.

According to a September 2013 article in the Globe and Mail, CNSC and OPG jointly held “illegal and secret meetings” with local municipal officials. At one of those meetings, CNSC President Michael Binder said he hoped their next meeting “would be at a ribbon-cutting ceremony” for the DGR.

While the CNSC sucks up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, its pretense of acting as an independent nuclear regulator is becoming less and less credible. In support of the license renewal request of SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc. (SRBT), a tritium light factory in Pembroke, Ontario, the CNSC recently posted the absurd claim on its website that measured environmental radioactivity is “within natural background levels” — even as the CNSC’s own scientists publish journal articles documenting widespread radioactive contamination in the Pembroke environment resulting from SRBT’s operations.

Although Article 9 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act requires the CNSC “to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public,” the CNSC is failing.  Political interference in the Commission’s activities became a matter of routine when the Harper government fired CNSC President Linda Keen for trying to hold Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. to account for failing to perform safety upgrades on the NRU reactor at the Chalk River Laboratories. In February the Harper government totally bypassed the normal regulatory process when it quietly ordered this same 57-year-old reactor to continue to run for two years past its scheduled 2016 shutdown — and seven years past its originally planned shutdown in 2011.

In the absence of a strong and independent nuclear regulator, protection of the public from the health and environmental risks of nuclear energy falls to active and informed members of the public who are willing to engage in the political process. This applies as well to risks associated with rail and pipeline shipments of oil, contaminated products from meat-packing plants, and use of toxic pesticides, to name only a few.

 Canadian civil society organizations — Greenpeace, Northwatch, and the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, to name a few — are essentially doing the work that should be done by the CNSC.

Aging nuclear reactors mean increased risks of a nuclear disaster. The need for an effective nuclear regulatory agency has never been greater. Do Canadians really want to run the risk of a nuclear meltdown, or permanent contamination of the Great Lakes? With a weak regulator that makes decisions based on crass economic and political considerations, these are the risks we are running.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has said that “Stephen Harper is systematically wiping out decades of environmental protection and laws in order to promote unbridled resource extraction. No other government in the history of Canada has declared war on the environment in this way.”

The recent DGR panel report is a virtual declaration of war on the Great Lakes. Dozens of Interveners at the panel hearings presented evidence of leaks and accidents at other facilities that have attempted to bury nuclear wastes. It is hard to imagine that any government would be so foolish as to put a permanent nuclear dump right next to the world’s largest inland water ecosystem.

In the unlikely event that this hare-brained scheme goes ahead, the CNSC’s Dr. Binder might find himself jointed by a large crowd of angry people at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Ole Hendrickson is a forest ecologist and current president of the Ottawa River Institute, a non-profit charitable organization based in the Ottawa Valley.

May 9, 2015 Posted by | Canada, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Ontario Power Generation waste dump plan does not have the necessary approval of area First Nations.

First Nations oppose Ont. nuclear waste burial project  ROB GOWAN, POSTMEDIA NETWORK, MAY 08, 2015 OWEN SOUND, Ont. — A plan to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron doesn’t have the key approval of area First Nations.
“Of course we are opposed to it,” Saugeen First Nation Chief Vernon Roote said Thursday. “In our community that I represent … there are no members that are agreeable to the burial at the site at this time.”

The proposal by Ontario Power Generation cleared a key hurdle this week when a federal review panel approved the plan.
OPG continued to insist Thursday approval by the Saugeen Objiway Nation is necessary for the project to proceed.

“As we have stated in the past and we will state again, we will not build this project without SON support,” OPG spokesperson Neal Kelly said.

Roote said he’s concerned about possible contamination of the Great Lakes. “If something were to happen with the disposal or the leakage of nuclear waste, I wouldn’t want to be drinking the water downstream,” he said. “That means the balance of Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and also anyone drinking from those lakes, even into the U.S.A.”

OPG wants to bury low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste from Ontario’s three nuclear plants in a shaft deeper than the CN tower is tall at the Bruce nuclear site near Kincardine, Ont.

The site is in the traditional territory of the Saugeen Objiway Nation that includes Saugeen and Chippewas of Nawash First Nations. Chippewas of Nawash Chief Arlene Chegahno couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

Federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq has 120 days to review the environmental assessment report before deciding if she will authorize the panel to issue the licence to prepare the site for the so-called deep geological repository.
In its report, the panel concluded the project is “not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.”

That conclusion dismayed Erika Simpson, an associate professor of international relations at Western University in London, Ont., who has written about the proposal.

“I can’t understand why they can claim the science says it’s permissible. The testimony, which I’ve read, had many scientists, many geologists, questioning the science,” she said…………

May 9, 2015 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues, wastes | Leave a comment

Lake Huron is NOT the answer to Canada’s nuclear waste problem- Dr. Benishek

Lake-Huron,-Bruce-County,-ODr. Benishek: Canada’s plan to store nuclear waste near Great Lakes unacceptable 05.07.2015WASHINGTON D.C. –– More than seven million cubic feet of nuclear waste could be stored in less than a half of mile from Lake Huron.

A joint Review Panel in the Canadian government gave favorable recommendation Thursday on a proposal to place a permanent, underground, nuclear waste storage facility.

“The recommendation by the Canadian Joint Review Panel to approve a plan to bury waste from nuclear power plants less than a mile from Lake Huron is unacceptable,” said Dr. Benishek. “While I support the need to find long term storage solutions for nuclear waste, burying waste this close to the Lake Huron is not the answer. The Great Lakes play a tremendous role in our economy and way of life here in Northern Michigan and we must remain stewards of this natural resource. I am please there is bipartisan support in the House that is opposed to Canada’s plan, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that there is not permanent storage of nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin.”

‘Dr. Benishek is a cosponsor of H. Res. 194, a resolution that express that sense of the House of Representative that the President and the Secretary of State should ensure that the Canadian Government does not permanently store nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin.’

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Canada, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Growing community opposition to nuclear waste repository near Kincardine

regulatory-capture-1flag-canadaMore communities expected to join fight to stop nuclear waste repository near Kincardine  A federal review panel’s ‘praising’ endorsement of Ontario’s largest electricity generator and its proposed nuclear waste repository speaks volumes about the state of the regulatory world, says Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley.

“We expected (the proposal) to be approved with conditions,” he said Thursday. “What we didn’t expect was the glib and glossy language throughout the report praising OPG (Ontario Power Generation).

“One of the diseases that happens in the regulatory world is that the regulator often becomes a captain for the proponents and we see that with rail and other issues.”

In its decision released late Wednesday, the joint review panel found the proposed repository was “not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects” if mitigation measures are implemented.

The deep geological repository is expected to house low-to-intermediate-level radioactive waste near Kincardine. It will be located only a kilometre away from Sarnia’s drinking water source.

Hundreds of Canadian and U.S. communities and environmentalists have been sounding the alarms over the plan, speaking at public hearings and contacting their elected representatives.

“I can’t argue the science,” said Bradley, who is a vocal opponent of the plan. “I’m not a scientist, but what we can argue is that there were no other locations looked at.”

He anticipates more support will come on board with the issue headed to the political sphere.


Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and the federal cabinet will decide whether to approve the project within the next 120 days.

“Since (2012), we’ve had over 140 cities from both sides of the border, including Chicago, join the opposition and now I expect this is grow in these coming months,” Bradley said.

A spokesperson with the lobby group Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump described the issue as an “intergenerational, non-partisan issue that affects millions of Canadians and Americans.”

“It is a decision that will affect the Great Lakes for the next 100,000 years,” Beverly Fernandez told The London Free Press. “The last place to bury and abandon radioactive nuclear waste is beside the largest supply of fresh water on the planet.”

But OPG official Jerry Keto told the newspaper Fernandez should “give some relevance and credit to the science behind this.”

“We’re very pleased with the results,” he said of the panel recommendation. “We’re very happy that we have the endorsement.” – With files from The London Free Press

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

This week, report on burying nuclear waste near Lake Huron due this week

Lake-Huron,-Bruce-County,-OReport on burying nuclear waste near Lake Huron expected this week By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press Posted: May 03, 2015 A Canadian environmental assessment of a proposal to bury nuclear waste deep underground near the shores of Lake Huron is expected this week amid fierce opposition to the idea from home and abroad.

Ontario Power Generation argues that storing the radioactive material in a huge underground bunker set in rock — the deep geological repository or DGR — is the safest way to deal with waste that is potentially dangerous for centuries.

For decades, the waste has been stored above ground at the Bruce nuclear power plant near Kincardine, Ont., and OPG says it could continue doing so safely but says a long-term solution is needed.

The proposed facility would be about 680 metres deep and close to the Bruce reactors and house hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of what is considered to be low- and intermediate-level waste from facilities across Ontario.

Stable bedrock and shale would essentially seal the facility, protecting both the surface and nearby lake for thousands of years, proponents say.Very favourable geologic features make the Bruce site in Kincardine one of the best possible locations,” OPG states.

Opponents say proposal is dangerous

Opponents, however, argue no system is foolproof and any problems – especially with a facility about one kilometre from a major water source for millions of people – could be catastrophic.

While the municipality, where many jobs and the economy are closely tied to the power generator, is officially a “willing host community” for the repository, grassroots groups have sprung up in the area to give voice to those concerns.

One of them, Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, has collected almost 75,000 signatures on an online petition and is already pledging to keep fighting the plan if the review panel green-lights it.

Group spokeswoman, Bev Fernandez, argues the intermediate-level waste — components from within the reactors — is almost as dangerous as spent nuclear fuel for which authorities are also seeking a permanent storage solution.

“This Kincardine waste dump is really the Trojan horse,” Fernandez says. “There is absolutely nothing stopping OPG from putting the high-level waste, the nuclear spent fuel, into this (repository); all it would take is a stroke of the pen.”

U.S. senator opposes underground storage of nuclear waste

Opposition has also been heard much farther afield. More than 150 communities, many in Michigan and Illinois, have passed resolutions opposing such underground storage.

Earlier this month, for example, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate calling on the Canadian government to ban any nuclear waste repository within the Great Lakes basin.

“A spill of nuclear waste into the Great Lakes could have lasting and severely adverse environmental, health, and economic impacts,” the resolution states.

The report from the three-person review panel will go first to the federal minister of the environment before being made public, likely Wednesday or Thursday.

Still, a positive environmental assessment will hardly be the last word on the project.

The minister will have four months to study the report and recommendations before deciding whether to give Ottawa’s stamp of approval.

Also required will be consultations with area First Nations as well as further approvals before construction can begin — which OPG hopes will happen in 2018 — with operations slated for 2025 if all goes well.

“There have been numerous studies that have proven this repository will not put the lake at risk,” Jerry Keto, an OPG vice-president has said. “We’ve been examining this rock for a decade.”

May 6, 2015 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Tax battle, indigenous opposition – add to woes of uranium company Cameco

Multi-million dollar tax battle casts shadow over Canada-India uranium deal, Vancouver Observer The Canadian mining company selected to provide uranium to India is still fighting Canada Revenue Agency over millions in unpaid back taxes. Danny Kresnyak
Apr 19th, 2015 “……….. Cameco, the Saskatchewan-based company hired to supply India with 3,220 metric tonnes of uranium over five years, is wrapped up in legal a fight with Canada Revenue Agency over millions in owed taxes. In 2013, the Globe and Mail reported the company owes $800 million in back taxes………

in addition to the tax battle with Canada Revenue Agency, the company’s drilling operations in Saskatchewan are facing significant opposition from the Clearwater Dene First Nation…….

In a road north of La Loche, Saskatchewan, a group called “Holding the Line Northern Trappers Alliance” (HLNNTA) has been camping in the area to block companies from further exploratory drilling in their territory. The group first set up camp last November, and promises to remain until mining companies leave.

The HLNNTA argued they are unable to pursue the traditional, ecologically sound way of life of their ancestors, due to incursion by companies like Cameco looking for mineral deposits on their land.

HLNNTA spokesperson Candyce Paul told the Vancouver Observer she was opposed to the Cameco uranium deal with India. She said “scientific evidence is building towards proving that the uranium mining industry is killing the Indigenous people of northern Saskatchewan.”………

April 22, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Canada | Leave a comment

Call to Australian and Canadian govts not to sell uranium to India

International call not to sell uranium to India April 15, 2015

QUÉBEC CITY, CANADA: The Australian Conservation Foundation has called on the
India-uranium1Canadian and Australian governments not to further advance controversial plans for uranium sales to India.

The call comes as Australian nuclear free campaigners join Indigenous landowners affected by uranium projects to present at the World Uranium Symposium in Québec.

The conference takes place against the backdrop of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s trip New Delhi to advance planned uranium sales.

“Canada and Australia should show responsibility restraint and prudence, as India has been criticised widely over the safety, security and transparency of its nuclear industry,” ACF’s Dave Sweeney said. “Australia and Canada should not rush into uranium sales agreements with India while serious concerns about safety and security remain unresolved.”

Australia’s controversial uranium deal with India has been widely criticised, including by former safeguards director John Carlson, who was for two decades head of Australia’s safeguards regime and was a keen nuclear promoter.  Mr Carlson has raised concernsthat the new treaty’s administrative arrangements could substantially depart from Australia’s usual safeguards conditions, meaning Australia may be unable to keep track of what happens to uranium supplied to India.

Speaking from Québec ACF’s Dave Sweeney called on the Canadian and Australian governments not to further fuel instability in South Asia by selling uranium into the already volatile region.

“Uranium is not like other minerals.  It is the fuel for nuclear weapons and creates carcinogenic waste that lasts for thousands of years,” he said. “Fuelling danger and instability in India is not in the interests of Canada or Australia.”

April 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Canada, India, politics international | Leave a comment

Tritium is a major radioactive pollutant from Canada’s CANDU nuclear power reactors.

safety-symbol-Smhighly-recommendedTritium Traffic: Deadly Dividends for Nuclear Industry, Peace Magazine By David H MartinIn February, 1934, the British journal, New Scientist, published an article by Tom Wilkie, “Old Age Can Kill the Bomb.” It was an ingenious solution to the arms control nightmare of verification; controlling not only the number of weapons, but the strategic materials that fuel them — mainly plutonium, enriched uranium and tritium. Wilkie focused on tritium, because it turns into non-radioactive helium at a rate of 5.5 per cent per year. A halt of tritium production would rapidly cripple all nuclear arsenals. Thus, attention was rivetted on Ontario Hydro’s plan to produce about 57 kilograms of tritium by 2006. A one megaton thermonuclear warhead (equivalent to one million tons of TN”) may contain as little as one gram of tritium.

Tritium (H3) (a form of hydrogen that emits beta radiation), is a major radioactive pollutant from Canada’s CANDU nuclear power reactors. Unlike American reactor systems, the CANDU uses heavy water as a moderator and coolant. The moderator and the heavy water coolant slows down the neutron release from the uranium fuel in the reactor so that a chain reaction can take place. The active ingredient in heavy water is deuterium, another form of hydrogen. When the deuterium picks up a neutron, some of it is transformed into tritium. The concentration of tritium in the heavy water increases with the age of the reactor.

The CANDU reactor system produces 2400 times as much tritium as the American light water reactor. Continue reading

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Canada, environment, radiation, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

Cameco uranium company a “great corporate citizen”? Actually NO!

Don’t call Cameco a “great corporate citizen,” group says BY JASON WARICK, THE STAR PHOENIX APRIL 17, 2015 Governments should not describe Cameco as a “great corporate citizen” while suing the company over a $1.5 billion tax debt, a lobby group says.

“One questions whether governments should promote companies who so flagrantly violate Canadian tax law,” said Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness………

Howlett noted Cameco is in court for allegedly avoiding payment of $1.5 billion in federal and provincial taxes by funnelling business through a Swiss subsidiary. The IRS in the United States also alleges the mining company owes it more than $30 million. Cameco is disputing the allegations.

Howlett said he wonders what deterrent there is for companies to dodge their taxes if governments continue to praise them. He said it sends all the wrong signals, noting the issue is particularly serious because of the massive amounts involved.

“It is very much a concern,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at the Saskatchewan legislature on Thursday, Wall said he’s been “watching very carefully” as the tax case develops……..

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Canada, Legal, Uranium | Leave a comment

Increased risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, with Canada-India uranium sales deal

Canada-India uranium deal will spur proliferation, experts warn Arms control experts say Canada sends the wrong signal to countries that play by the rules By Evan Dyer, CBC News 17 Apr 15 India test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile Thursday, just hours after signing a deal to buy 3,000 tons of Canadian uranium.The Agni-III missile, which has a range of over 3,000 kilometres, was fired from the Indian army’s test range on Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal. India declared the test a success…….While the terms of this week’s deal are not public, the nuclear cooperation agreement, first announced in 2010 and finalized in 2013, includes assurances that India use Canadian material for civilian purposes only……..

some nuclear proliferation experts say India has been able to make such a deal without abiding by the rules set out for most other countries that abide by the international non-proliferation regime. And they warn that countries the West has been attempting to bring into the rules-based system — such as Iran — will be less inclined to submit when they see the rules don’t apply to India.

Canadian technology used to gain bomb…..Of particular concern to the rest of the world was that India developed its bomb using nuclear material from a reactor it had acquired from Canada ostensibly for civilian use……..

Some experts fear Canada appears to be selling India uranium with fewer controls and conditions than it typically demands from NNPT member countries that do play by the rules.

“Normally there’s some sort of tracking and accounting system so that Canada would be receiving information from India very specifically about what Canada-sourced material is being used for,” says Trevor Findlay, a senior research fellow at Harvard University’s Managing the Atom project.

“In this case, because the agreement [to buy the uranium] is secret, we have no idea whether that’s in place, and it probably isn’t because the Indians have been pushing against that,” he told The Current.

Findlay and other experts warn that the special treatment for India shows other governments a country can ignore the rules, build the bomb, tough it out for a few decades and emerge on the other side as an accepted nuclear weapons power.

Already, Pakistan says the deals give India a strategic advantage, and Pakistan has blocked preliminary talks on the most important arms control initiative in years: a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty that would ban future production of weapons-grade material.

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Canada, India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Scientists detect Fukushima radiation in Canadian waters

Fukushima radiation in Canadian waters, DW 10 Apr 15  Scientists have detected radiation from Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster off the Canadian coast. Experts disagree as to whether the amount detected constitutes a dangerous level or not. Trace amounts of the radioactive isotopes cesium-134 and cesium-137 have been found in samples that were collected close to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. According to the Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) Network, it was the first time that traces of cesium-134 had been detected off North American coasts.

Cesium-137As cesium-134 has a two-year half-life, any cesium-134 detected in the ocean today can only have been added recently – making Fukushima the only possible source.

Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), said in a statement: “Radioactivity can be dangerous, and we should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history.”

He led an initiative that measured 60 sites along the U.S. and Canadian West Coast and Hawaii over the past 15 months for traces of radioactive isotopes from Fukushima. Using computer models, the scientist had already predicted that the traces would reach the coast,……..

April 11, 2015 Posted by | Canada, oceans | Leave a comment


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