nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Radioactive packages lost or stolen in Canada

safety-symbol-Smflag-canadaNuclear and Radioactive Packages Keep Going Missing in Canada, VICE News By Justin Ling
February 13, 2016 
If you’ve ever lost your wallet or car keys, you’ve got something in common with the people who run Canada’s nuclear facilities, who keep misplacing nuclear and radiological material.

Last year alone, 14 radioactive packages were lost or stolen, according to the annual report from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), and less than half were later recovered. That’s on top of the dozen of other nuclear packages from recent years that have yet to be found.

The report doesn’t detail the circumstances of the losses or thefts, except to say that they were either “sealed sources” — a secure container carrying nuclear or radioactive material — or “radioactive devices.”

The lapses, at a time when security services pledge neurotic devotion to tracking and recovering dangerous goods that could reach the black market, are thanks in part to a handful of private companies that are mishandling radioactive material. n the nuclear watchdog’s 2014/2015 annual report, it identified 27 companies that were mislabeling or mishandling nuclear material, or which had inadequate security protections.

In some cases, CNSC lightly rapped the knuckles of companies, including a New Brunswick brewery which, according to the government body, had “several non-compliances related to safety requirements for nuclear gauges.”

Pump House Brewery, at the time, told CBC News that the problem amounted to some missed paperwork.

In other cases, the problems were more serious and resulted in fines…….https://news.vice.com/article/nuclear-and-radioactive-packages-keep-going-missing-in-canada

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Canada, incidents | Leave a comment

Will the government listen to 92,000 Petitioners against Great Lakes Nuclear Dump?

Group opposed to nuclear waste facility presents petition containing
92,000 signatures, January 31, 2016 By Jim Bloch, The Voice, Ontario  As a single individual, it’s often hard to imagine that you can affect national events. But if you join together with 92,000 others, your impact can grow.

That’s the hope of Beverly Fernandez, founder of Stop the text-relevant, the nonprofit organization dedicated to derailing the plans of Ontario Power Generation to bury 200,000 cubic yards of low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in a 2,200-foot-deep repository in Kincardine, Ontario, within a mile of Lake Huron.

On Jan. 19, Fernandez, on behalf of STGLND, delivered a petition containing more than 92,000 signatures and more than 31,000 comments to new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna.

“The signatures and comments send a very clear message to the Canadian government,” Fernandez said. “OPG’s nuclear waste burial and abandonment plan poses unacceptable risks to the drinking water of 40 million Canadians, Americans and Indigenous Peoples and must be rejected.”

McKenna is scheduled to make a decision about the proposal by March 1.   ……….

 STGLND opposes burying nuclear waste anywhere in the Great Lakes Basin.

“This petition stands alongside the more than 22 million people represented by 184 resolutions opposed to OPG’s plans to bury and abandon nuclear waste, some of which will stay toxic for 100,000 years,” said the letter to McKenna.

Resolutions opposing the nuclear waste facility have been passed by nearly every city, township and county in the Blue Water Area, as well as the Michigan Senate. Continue reading

February 1, 2016 Posted by | Canada, politics | 1 Comment

Why the Nuclear Lobby and Australian Politicians want Australia as world’s radioactive trash dump

from CaptD 31 Jan 16 The first reason is MONEY and I mean BIG Money. Politicians are always gear for Nuclear Buy politiciansPayback*

* http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nuclear+payback

Those that support nuclear power because nuclear power somehow supports them; no matter what the health implications or other “costs” are for others.

The “other” reason is that the Nuclear Industry and their Utilities are desperate to create a radioactive waste dumping site for waste is that they are going to want to site Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) very soon, which companies like SD’s General Atomic are now working on. Since CA has a law that says no more nuclear reactors, until a waste site is developed, the lack of a disposal site is the biggest roadblock they face preventing them from deploying SMRs in CA.

smr-aUSTRALIA-copy

I believe that most Utilities will want to phase out Nat. Gas fired Peaker plants and install SMR’s “because they don’t emit CO2.” That is, unless they are going to be making big money using nat. gas like SDG&E will be, since they already have a contract to import Nat. Gas from Mexico (which Sempra owns a share of, so they will be kind of buying Nat. Gas from themselves) for use in their two new state of the art Billion Dollar Peaker Plants that the CPUC just approved for them (despite the fact that the cost of Wind and Solar generation continues to drop almost monthly)!

SCE just had the CPUC decide against approving a Nat. Gas Peaker plant for them, so you can bet that they are now getting “very excited” about installing one or more SMR’s at San Onofre, since the grid wiring connection is already in place and they are going to be guarding that “nuclear waste” site for decades to come.

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2016/jan/08/oceanside-takes-stand-relocating-san-onofres-nucle/

BTW: All waste facilities should be run by the Government, that way they will always be responsible for it, since Big Waste Corp.’s can go out of business any time they want as as everybody knows Radiation is FOREVER since 50 or more than 100 years is forever to everyone living today.

January 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Canada, politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear scientist – it’s unwise to rebuild Ontario nuclear plant

flag-canadaScientist calls $12.8B rebuild of Ontario nuclear plant ill-advised, CTV News, The Canadian Press  January 27, 2016  TORONTO —  The proposed $12.8-billion refurbishment of four nuclear reactors at the Darlington generating station is an ill-advised make-work project that will end up soaking taxpayers, a retired nuclear scientist says.

In a letter to Ontario’s energy minister, obtained by The Canadian Press, Frank Greening warns of the formidable technical hazards he says will undermine rosy projections for the project.

“I am quite mystified that you would consider the refurbishment of Darlington to be some sort of solution to Ontario’s economic woes, when in fact the premature failures of (nuclear reactors) are a major cause of Ontario’s economic problems,” writes Greening, a frequent critic of the industry.

“Spending billions of dollars trying to patch up Darlington’s four dilapidated reactors will simply continue the bleeding.”

Earlier this month, the province’s publicly owned generating giant, Ontario Power Generation, announced plans to start refurbishing Darlington — situated east of Toronto on Lake Ontario — this fall. The project aims to extend the life of the CANDU reactors, scheduled for permanent shutdown in 2020, by 30 years……..

Greening argues the units are in need of rebuilding prematurely because their pressure tubes and feeder pipes will soon fail fitness tests. He also warns the reactors’ massive steam generators, which are not part of the proposed project, have had a less than stellar track record and will more than likely need replacement.

“Replacing these steam generators is fraught with very serious problems, both technical and economic, that could prevent the continued operation of Darlington beyond 2030,” says Greening, a senior scientist with OPG until he retired in 2000.

“The decision to proceed with the refurbishment of Darlington could prove to be a disastrous mistake if it is discovered that steam generator replacement is in fact needed in the next 10 to 15 years.”

Environmental groups also argue such projects always run massively over budget and have cost taxpayers untold billions in the past and refurbishment is simply not worth the potential radiation risk to public safety.

The Ontario cabinet has so far given the green light to refurbish one of Darlington’s reactors. OPG would need separate approvals for each of the other three units……….http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/scientist-calls-12-8b-rebuild-of-ontario-nuclear-plant-ill-advised-1.2754272

January 28, 2016 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | 1 Comment

Local medical cyclotrons, not nuclear reactors, best for producing medical isotopes

This production method for Tc-99m can be used by retrofitting various brands of conventional cyclotrons already in use in hospitals and health centres across Canada.
 Depending on the machine capability, a large metropolitan area could be supplied by a single dedicated, or a handful of partially dedicated, medical cyclotrons.
cyclotron - small partcle accelerator, CanadaMedical isotope production in Australia: Should we be using reactor based or cyclotron technology? 15th January 2016  Dr Margaret Beavis MBBS FRACGP MPH Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia Health Professionals Promoting Peace  “…….Cyclotron isotope production A cyclotron is an electromagnetic device (about the size of a four wheel drive car) used to accelerate charged particles (ions) to sufficiently high speed (energy) so that when it impinges upon a target the atoms in the target are transformed into another element. 10 In other words, it uses electricity and magnets to shoot a narrow beam of energy at elements, e.g. molybdenum-100, a natural material, and this produces technetium-99.
A cyclotron differs from a linear accelerator in that the particles are accelerated in an expanding spiral rather than in a straight line.
The Canadian approach In 2009 the Canadian Government Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production recognised that cyclotron technology could readily be adapted to produce isotopes.
Drawing from expertise in physics, chemistry, and nuclear medicine, the team of Canadian researchers (Triumf Cyclomed99 group11 ) set out to develop a reliable, alternative means of production for a key medical isotope Technetium-99m (Tc-99m). In early 2015 they announced they had developed technology that uses medical cyclotrons already installed and operational in major hospitals across Canada to produce enough Tc-99m on a daily basis. They also successfully addressed issues for several other less commonly used isotopes.12
This production method for Tc-99m can be used by retrofitting various brands of conventional cyclotrons already in use in hospitals and health centres across Canada. They state proposed upgrades to existing medical cyclotrons and production sites can be done quickly and cost effectively. This allows for rapid deployment of the technology which can be scaled to meet regional demands.
 Depending on the machine capability, a large metropolitan area could be supplied by a single dedicated, or a handful of partially dedicated, medical cyclotrons. By enabling regional hospitals to produce  and distribute isotopes to local clinics, widespread supply disruptions can be avoided.
The Canadians also believe cyclotrons create new opportunities to export technology to international partners and across multiple business sectors. Other uses exist for nearly all aspects of this technology, with potential applications that have benefits toward other aspects of nuclear medicine, molecular imaging and non-related fields.
By the completion of the project, the research team will be producing Tc-99m on three different brands of medical cyclotrons at a commercial scale. Production and distribution of this most commonly used isotope from a regional supply hub will de-centralize the process, helping to avoid future isotope shortages.
Clinical trials began in Canada in early 2015. 13 In Canada there are plans to have 24 cyclotrons operating by 2018. But it is likely to be several years before cyclotron production is able to fully substitute for the reactor based isotope production. The Canadian example is useful given some similarities in population, geographic size and city size.
Worldwide many hospitals in major urban centres operate cyclotrons. There are currently over 950 small medical cyclotrons manufactured by several companies (ACSI, GE, IBA, Siemens, Sumitomo, Best, etc.) installed around the world. Approximately 550 of these machines operate above 16 MeV and are capable of producing appreciable quantities of Tc- 99m. Existing cyclotrons would need to be upgraded to maximize beam current onto a single target. It is important to note that cyclotron production still needs considerable work to become mainstream……..https://www.mapw.org.au/files/downloads/Medical%20isotope%20production%20MAPW%20Background%20paper%20with%20exec%20summary.pdf

January 22, 2016 Posted by | Canada, health, technology | Leave a comment

Don’t store nuclear waste near Great Lakes – 92,000 petition Canada

flag-canada92,000 petition Canada not to store nuclear waste near Great Lakes, Phys Org, January 21, 2016 Ninety-two-thousand people have pressed Ottawa to reject a proposal to store nuclear waste in an underground vault near the Great Lakes, fearing a spill would contaminate this source of drinking water for 40 million in Canada and the United States.

Bruce NGS Great Lakes Lake Huron

A 6,000-page petition signed by opponents of local utility Ontario Power Generation’s proposal to store waste in a deep limestone vault to be drilled beneath the world’s largest operating nuclear power plant on the Bruce Peninsula, more than 200 kilometers northwest of Toronto, was delivered to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, her office confirmed Thursday.

McKenna is expected to rule on the project in March after an independent review panel in May 2015 recommended that it be approved………

any risk of contamination of the largest group of freshwater lakes, created by retreating glaciers 14,000 years go, and containing more than 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water, is too great.

Cities and towns in the United States and Canada, including Chicago and Toronto, have passed 184 resolutions opposing the building of a  here.

“No scientist, nor geologist can provide us with a 100,000-year guarantee that this nuclear waste dump will not leak and contaminate the Great Lakes,” Beverly Fernandez, who spearheaded the campaign against the storage facility, told AFP.

“So when we found out that OPG was trying to locate this  right besides the Great Lakes—the  for 40 million people in two countries—we felt compelled to do something,” she said  http://phys.org/news/2016-01-petition-canada-nuclear-great-lakes.html#jCp

January 22, 2016 Posted by | Canada, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Canbada’s national security could be at risk in extending life of Pickering nuclear station

safety-symbol-Smflag-canadaDecisions at nuclear plant could compromise national security: safety commission, Global News, 20 Jan 16 By  and 

Canada’s nuclear regulator says the operators of an Ontario nuclear power plant failed to comply with certain licensing conditions, behaviour that could produce “unreasonable risks to national security.”

Ontario Power Generation Inc. was slapped with a $31,690 fine in a notice of violation issued on Jan. 12. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission states that on two occasions, the company “made unilateral decisions to cease corrective actions necessary for compliance with conditions of their Power Reactor Operating Licence” at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

“If not corrected, this behavior could in the future result in unreasonable risks to national security, the health and safety of persons and the environment,” the notice says. “This (penalty) is issued to (Ontario Power Generation) to promote compliance with conditions of their licence and to deter reoccurrence.”……..

Nuclear power plants have always represented a potential security risk given the materials they contain, but in recent years it’s the risk of cyber-attacks that has governments concerned. Nuclear facilities are increasingly reliant on digital systems, which could potentially be hacked and – in a worst-case scenario – trigger a disaster……..

The notice was issued just one day after Ontario’s Liberal government announced that it wants to squeeze four more years of life out of the Pickering nuclear station. It will also start a $12.8 billion refurbishment of the Darlington power station this fall to extend that plant’s life by about 30 years.

Nuclear reactors at the stations were originally scheduled to be decommissioned in 2020. http://globalnews.ca/news/2466527/decisions-at-nuclear-plant-could-compromise-national-security-safety-commission/

January 22, 2016 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Liberal govt to lock Ontario into costly nuclear rebuild

scrutiny-on-costsflag-canadaLiberals Repeat Electricity Mistakes With Costly Nuclear Rebuild http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=18005 The Liberal government plans to lock Ontario into an expensive and risky nuclear rebuild – without reviewing costs and alternatives.

WireService.ca Media Release (01/11/2016) Queen’s Park, ON – “It’s Groundhog Day in Ontario,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “Another billion dollar Liberal boondoggle without any public review of costs or alternatives to a Liberal electricity decision.”

The GPO has called for an independent, public review of rebuilding Ontario’s aging nuclear reactors – what they would cost, and what alternative options might be available. No nuclear project in Ontario’s history has delivered on time or budget. The Darlington rebuild is already over budget.

“Would you rebuild your home without exploring all options?” asks Schreiner. “It’s outrageously irresponsible for Liberals to commit billions of your dollars to a project without a review of costs and alternatives. Will Ontario taxpayers be on the hook for cost overruns once again?”

Most of the debt retirement charge on your electricity bill is to pay for past nuclear cost overruns. The Liberal decision would lock Ontario into another 30 years of nuclear power at a time when alternatives may be available – water imports from Quebec are cheaper, and the costs of renewable energy is dropping dramatically.

In addition to the tremendous financial risk, the government still has no plan to deal with radioactive nuclear waste and has not publicly released emergency plans to deal with a Fukushima scale nuclear disaster. No company will fully insure nuclear plants because the risks are too high.

OPG’s credit rating was downgraded in 2012, due to the costs associated with rebuilding Darlington. “Why do the Liberals refuse to consider less risky, cheaper alternatives to nuclear power?” asks Schreiner. “What are they trying to hide by not conducting an independent public review of costs and alternatives?”

The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park

January 13, 2016 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Call to stop dangerous trucking of radioactive trash from Canada to South Carolina.

flag-canadaFlag-USAStop Canada from trucking nuclear waste through area http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/letter-stop-canada-from-trucking-nuclear-waste-through-area-20160111 Susan Kims, 10 Jan 16

We’ve recently seen News articles highlighting the need for tighter regulations on shipping thousands of gallons of highly enriched liquid uranium from Canada to South Carolina.

radiation-truck

The approved travel route uses the Peace Bridge, south on Niagara Thruway, then west on the mainline Thruway for shipments that started Jan. 1 and run through May 31, 2018. These materials will pass dangerously close, within hundreds of yards, to densely populated residential neighborhoods, with the only barrier being a guardrail or chain-link fence.

Congressman Brian Higgins has recently expressed concern, because terrorist and militant groups are interested in using highly dangerous weapons, especially those utilizing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials. I have an additional concern – the amount of contamination and carnage that could occur if a vehicular accident resulted in a spill. Such a spill in close proximity to dense populations would be devastating.

As a nation, we are concerned that a pipeline transporting oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico might produce a spill. Yet we show little concern regarding the possibility of spills of highly hazardous liquid nuclear materials along roadways that abut our neighborhoods. Do we not foresee the possibility of the same impending dangers from transport of nuclear waste on our roads?

Canadian authorities approve nuclear facilities to operate within their borders and should take responsibility for the hazardous waste produced within their borders. Our citizens should not be exposed to possible harm as a result of their decisions.

This should be stopped before tragedy occurs!

January 12, 2016 Posted by | Canada, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Canada’s UN ambassador to spearhead Anti-nuclear weapon effort

Anti-nuclear weapon effort to be spearheaded by Canada’s UN ambassador Renewed push comes as Justin Trudeau is expected to attend Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit, CBC News By Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press  Jan 10, 2016 Canada plans to kick-start a long-stalled international effort aimed at ridding the world of the key ingredients needed for nuclear weapons, The Canadian Press has learned.  The renewed push this week by Canada’s United Nations ambassador to Geneva to spearhead the creation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty or FMCT, comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to attend U.S. President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit.

Trudeau’s presence at the Obama summit, March 31 and April 1, would come just three weeks after his scheduled March 10 gala state dinner at the White House.

Canada’s renewed focus on nuclear non-proliferation efforts has been in the works for months, but the effort has new urgency because of North Korea’s recent claim to have conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb.

“I think it sent a chill through the world community and reinvigorates this discussion and this debate,” Rosemary McCarney, Canada’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, told The Canadian Press……. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-nuclear-weapons-un-1.3397601

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Canada, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Toronto anxious about city’s unreadiness for a nuclear emergency.

Is Toronto ready for a nuclear radiation emergency? http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2016/01/05/is-toronto-ready-for-a-nuclear-radiation-emergency.html

As KI pill orders skyrocket, critics say Ontario’s nuclear emergency response plan desperately needs a post-Fukushima update. By: Torstar News Service, Published on Tue Jan 05 2016. For 44 years, the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station has operated just five kilometres from Toronto’s eastern edge. The Darlington Nuclear Generating Station sits just over 30 km away. While these plants are essential for keeping the lights on in Toronto, councillors are only just beginning to question the city’s readiness for a nuclear emergency.

On Dec. 1, the city’s executive committee asked the city manager to report back on issues with the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan, Toronto’s own nuclear emergency response protocols and whether it might be appropriate to expand distribution of potassium iodide (KI) pills beyond the current 10-km radius.

In October, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which operates both Pickering and Darlington, mailed KI pills — which, taken in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster, can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer — to 200,000 homes and businesses within 10 km of the GTA’s two nuclear power plants.

Anyone living within 50 km of the two plants — an area inhabited by more than 4.5 million people, including the entire city of Toronto — can order them free from preparetobesafe.ca. While just over 600 orders had been placed before a Nov. 10 Torstar News Service story on KI pills, nearly 11,000 additional orders were made by Nov. 15.

“Lessons can be learned from nuclear tragedies in other parts of the world, lessons that can better prepare us and ensure the safety of Toronto residents,” 11 city councillors wrote in their nuclear safety agenda item. “We can also learn from international best practices that shape the emergency response of other regions to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our residents safe.”

Outside city hall, critics are also arguing that the response plan needs to be updated — something the province promised to do after a reactor disaster struck Fukushima, Japan, following a catastrophic tsunami nearly five years ago. Originally drafted in the early 1980s, the provincial response plan hasn’t been revised since 2009.

“Significant work has been done in the past two years related to reviewing and assessing” the response plan, a Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) spokesperson told Torstar. “The objective of this review is to ensure that the PNERP is reflective of a severe, multi-unit nuclear accident comparable to Fukushima.”

The review is expected to be completed this month, with public consultations on a draft plan to begin mid-year. The province would not disclose the details of this new plan.

Although the aging Pickering plant is slated to close in 2020, the multibillion-dollar refurbishing project will extend Darlington’s life by three decades. To critics, a response plan update can’t come soon enough.

Critics on the top issues

Big release of radiation? Big shortcomings

“The province is not planning for an actual big terrible accident like Fukushima,” warns Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA). “There’s no detailed planning, resourcing or testing for a big accident that has big emissions out to the atmosphere.”

The emergency plan is based on scenarios in which plant operators would be able to contain and control radioactive releases, McClenaghan says.

“They like to think that if something goes really wrong, they can still control events enough to hold onto any radioactive emissions from the plants for a period of time… But based on Fukushima and Chernobyl, you can’t count on something’s going wrong and everything else going right.

The province’s position:

“(I)n a recent study, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) determined that the PNERP would adequately and effectively address a Fukushima type incident.”

Drinking water dangers

“Millions of people get their drinking water from Lake Ontario, but there’s no credible plan on how to deal with tap water contamination in the event of a nuclear accident,” says Greenpeace Canada’s senior nuclear analyst, Shawn- Patrick Stensil.

Both the Darlington and Pickering nuclear power plants sit next to Lake Ontario, and so do three aging nuclear power plants in upstate New York. According to environmental advocacy group Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, nine million Canadians and Americans rely on the lake for their drinking water. Many would be without alterative sources in the event of severe radioactive contamination.

“There’s no planning for this at all,” McClenaghan says. “I have to conclude that they’re assuming that dilution will be the answer.”

The province’s position:

“The PNERP identifies that the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is responsible for dealing with contaminated water supplies.”

Lack of public awareness

According to a recent poll of 500 people within 10 km of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, a majority was unaware of decontamination procedures, the location of monitoring stations or emergency shelters or evacuation plans and routes. Some 80 per cent said they had no emergency plan; 58 per cent admitted to being totally unprepared.

“The polling our group did… shows that there needs to be ongoing and consistent education on what people in the GTA need to do to prepare themselves for a nuclear emergency,” says Durham Nuclear Awareness co-ordinator Janet McNeill.

urham Region is also listed as one of the areas slated for dense growth in the province’s Places to Grow plan.

“They are still putting additional population density in this region, which to me is just an appalling circumstance when we have such poor emergency planning,” McClenaghan adds.

The province’s position:

“The evacuation zones were scientifically determined.”

Expand KI pill distribution

In October, residents and businesses within 10 km of the Pickering and Darlington plants received free supplies of potassium iodide (KI) pills to help prevent thyroid cancer in the event of a radioactive release. While this measure is welcome, it lags behind other jurisdictions.

For example, those within 20 km of New Brunswick’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station receive pills, while people living within 50 km of Switzerland’s four nuclear power plants get them. On Dec. 1, Toronto’s executive committee voted to study whether the 10-km zone should be expanded to 50 km.

“Even if you did 30-km pre-distribution to every household and 50-km pre-distribution to vulnerable communities and schools, we’d still be far better off than we are today,” McClenaghan says.

The province’s position:

“The current planning basis review is addressing this as well.”

January 6, 2016 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Saugeen Nation May Be the key to decision on nuclear waste dump near Great Lakes

Saugeen Nation May Be Final Word in Nuclear Waste Storage Next to Lake Huron, Indian Country Today Konnie LeMay 12/11/15 Lots of voices have been heard about whether to dig a deep geological repository for storing low- and medium-level nuclear waste about half a mile down and less than a mile from Lake Huron.

Canadian and U.S. environmental groups and even members of the U.S. Congress have registered protests; some local municipality councils voted support, and a federally appointed joint review panel recommended licensing it. A decision, originally scheduled for mid-December, has been delayed until March 1, whenOntario Power Generationmay get a decision from the Ministry of the Environment about proceeding with its multimillion dollar, multi-decade project.

But whether a repository is constructed at that site could come down to just one voice —that of the people of the Saugeen First Nation.

“Ontario Power Generation had given us their commitment that they will not proceed unless they have community support. That’s a letter that we have on file,” Saugeen Chief Vernon Roote told Indian Country Today Media Network. Roote publically expressed his opposition in the November 2015Saugeen News, and also noted that he was concerned about simply moving the facility near other First Nations. “We might not be the best of friends when we push nuclear waste on our brothers’ and sisters’ territory.”

Saugeen leaders are determining how to gauge the community voice—by vote at public gatherings or perhaps at the polls—and whether they will favor the facility or not. They’ve held engagement sessions on the issue……

“We have a long list of fears, legitimate fears in our community about these facilities, interaction with our rights, our interests and our way of life,” then–Saugeen Ojibwe Nation Chief Randall Kahgee told Indian Country Today Media Network in 2013…….

Opponents of the deep underground repository point to its proximity to Lake Huron—less than one mile.

For the Saugeen and other nearby First Nations, water is the point. “It’s a natural reaction to say no to anything dangerous like nuclear waste, so there is a lot of negative,” said Roote. “We live so close to the lake that there’s going to have be some studies done in regards to the water and the dangers to water. That’s an example of how much work is needed.”…..

Roote said the Saugeen Nation might do its own studies and that other First Nations should be consulted. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke, for example, has come out against the proposed DGR and in aMay press releasesupported a Saugeen fight against the proposal.

“We’ve been keeping close watch on this situation, since the failed plan to ship the nuclear waste through the Seaway was announced a few years ago,” Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke Environment Portfolio Chief Clinton Phillips said in the statement. “While the Bruce Power plant is hundreds of kilometers from Kahnawà:ke, any potential nuclear contamination problem could nonetheless affect not only us but also the 40 million-plus people who use the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River for drinking water.”…..http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/12/11/saugeen-nation-may-be-final-word-nuclear-waste-storage-next-lake-huron-162731

 

December 12, 2015 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Ontario’s Energy Minister announces yet another sweetheart nuclear deal

scrutiny-on-costsflag-canadaOntario Clean Air Alliance, Jack Gibbons, Dec 3 This morning Ontario’s Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli, announced that the Government of Ontario is signing a contract with Bruce Power to pay for the re-building of six of its aging, outdated nuclear reactors.

According to Minister Chiarelli’s preliminary estimate, the project will cost $13 billion. However, according to the actual wording of the Government’s contract with Bruce Power, the final capital cost and price of electricity from the re-built reactors of the project is still to be determined.

In other words, this deal continues the long tradition of leaving ratepayers on the hook for capital cost overruns, whether it is through absorbing debt or paying a fat premium for power or both.

Every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has been approved by politicians on the basis of low preliminary cost estimates. But these estimates, and promises that “this time it will be different,” are just pie in the sky.  Every Ontario nuclear project has gone massively over-budget – on average by 2.5 times.  And the cost overruns have inevitably been passed on to Ontario’s electricity consumers and taxpayers. Minister Chiarelli’s announcement is déjà vu all over again.

Meanwhile, the Government of Ontario has signed more than 21,000 contracts with renewable and natural gas-fired power producers. All of these contracts are fixed price contracts that do not allow the renewable and gas-fired generators to increase their prices if their final capital costs are greater than their preliminary cost estimates. Minister Chiarelli should subject Bruce Power to the same market discipline.

Minister Chiarelli has provided no evidence to demonstrate that re-building the Bruce reactors can keep our lights on at a lower cost than by importing water power from Quebec and investing in energy efficiency and cost-effective Made-in-Ontario green energy. And he has not demonstrated why, at a time when electricity demand is steadily dropping and renewable energy is getting cheaper and cheaper, we would want to lock in inflexible nuclear power until 2060.

This is a 1950s electricity solution that will fit our evolving electricity needs and our changing system like a square peg in a round hole.

The only way we can accurately assess the government’s deal with Bruce Power is to send it to the Ontario Energy Board for a full public review.

Simple assurances that a contract with “fill in the blanks” for costs and prices is good value just don’t cut it any more.

Please contact Premier Wynne and ask her to send the Bruce Power contract to the Ontario Energy Board for a full public reviewto determine if we should remain dependent on high-cost nuclear power for another generation.

 

December 4, 2015 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Green party of Ontario (GPO) strongly opposes nightmare prospect of Liberals rebuilding 6 nuclear reactors

Liberal nuclear dreams are a nightmare for Ontario, http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=17792 Amy Watson, 3 Dec1 5      Efforts to reduce electricity bills and build the renewable energy sector were dealt a killer blow today.

WireService.ca Media Release (12/03/2015) Queen’s Park – “It’s a nightmare for Ontario to make a deal to rebuild six reactors at Bruce,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “Spending billions on nuclear will drive up electricity prices with toxic energy.”

logo Greens Ontario

“Why are the Liberals wasting your money on nuclear power that we don’t need without any public oversight or input? This is especially odd after the Auditor General criticized the government for excess supply,” Schreiner adds.

Ontario currently has a surplus of power. The province’s base load generation from 2015 to 2020 will exceed demand according to Ontario’s Auditor General. Excess supply cancels out any financial savings from conservation and energy efficiency programs.

No nuclear project in Ontario’s history has delivered on time or budget. The GPO has collected over 1000 signatures on a petition calling on the government to conduct an independent public review of the costs of and alternatives to rebuilding the Bruce B Nuclear Station and the Darlington Nuclear Station.

“It’s irresponsible for Ontario to spend billions on nuclear when they have access to more affordable, emission free electricity,” says GPC leader Elizabeth May. “The risks are too high to spend money on rebuilding nuclear reactors that threaten the Great Lakes.” Ontario does not have a plan for storing radioactive nuclear waste, nor does it have a public emergency plan to deal with a Fukushima-scale nuclear accident. Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for any nuclear accident that exceeds $1 billion.

Greens continue to oppose nuclear waste dumps that threaten the Great Lakes. The federal Green Party also seeks an amendment to the Nuclear Liability Act to increase maximum insured liabilities from $1 billion to $13 billion, which is the amount for which U.S. reactors are insured.

“We simply can’t leave a legacy of toxic waste and financial debt for our children and future generations,” says Schreiner. “Greens demand an independent public review of the costs of and alternatives to nuclear power.”

The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park.

December 4, 2015 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Decision on radioactive trash dump near Great Lakes is delayed until March 2016

flag-canadaCanada puts off decision on proposed nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron http://michiganradio.org/post/canada-puts-decision-proposed-nuclear-waste-dump-near-lake-huron#stream/0By  , 28 Nopv 15 The Canadian government has announced it needs more time to decide if it will OK permits for a nuclear waste storage facility near the shore of Lake Huron.  Ontario Power Generation wants to bury approximately 200,000 cubic meters of low to medium level nuclear waste 680 meters – just under a half mile – below ground. The utility insists the rock formation in the area, less than a mile from Lake Huron, is geologically stable.

The Trudeau government had faced a December 2nd deadline to decide if it would approve the permits for the facility. But the agency responsible for the review announced today it is delaying the decision until March 1st.

Beverly Fernandez is with the group Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump.  She welcomes today’s decision.

“We are hopeful that the minister will act to protect the Great Lakes and ultimately say ‘no’ to OPG’s plan,” says Fernandez, “This really is a matter that does affect all the people in Canada and the U.S. The Great Lakes are a shared natural resource.”

Bruce NGS Great Lakes Lake Huron

Fernandez hopes the decision to delay is a sign the Trudeau government may will willing to reject the project. The proposed nuclear waste storage facility has been controversial on both sides of the border. Dozens of local governments in Michigan have passed resolutions opposing it. Environmental groups have protested against it.

Michigan’s congressional delegation has raised serious concerns about the potential consequences to the Great Lakes if the facility fails to contain the radioactive waste.

The former Conservative Canadian government appeared friendly to the planned nuclear waste storage facility. But the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper was defeated by the Liberals in recent elections.

November 28, 2015 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

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