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Dangerous transport of radioactive wastes – legal action against this

radiation-truckThe nuclear waste is a byproduct of the process used at the Chalk River laboratories to create medical radioisotopes from highly enriched uranium originally produced in the U.S. It’s being shipped back to the U.S. as part of a 2010 agreement to repatriate the radioactive material, costing the Canadian government about US$60 million.

According to the U.S. lawsuit filed Aug. 12 in Washington, D.C., the thick yellowy-green liquid being shipped contains highly enriched uranyl nitrate, highly enriched uranium, radioactive varieties of cesium, niobium, zirconium, rhodium, rubidium, iodine, xenon, tellurium, barium, lanthanum, cerium, strontium, praseodymium, neodymium, europium, neptunium and plutonium. 


legal action
Niagara on nuclear waste route, Welland Tribune, By ALLAN BENNER,
 August 31, 2016 Trucks loaded with liquid nuclear waste could be rolling down highways within days — likely travelling through Niagara on their way into the U.S.

But seven American environmental groups have teamed up to launch a lawsuit against the United States government and its Department of Energy (DoE) in the hope of stopping the shipments before they begin.

A November 2015 DoE report, which concluded that an environmental impact statement on the plan would not be necessary, says up to 150 shipments of liquid nuclear waste will be hauled by transport truck from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River, Ont., a community near Algonquin Park, to a disposal site in Savannah River, S.C., 1,700 kilometres south.

Each shipment will include four 58.1-litre stainless steel containers, for a total of 232 litres of nuclear waste per trip. Those containers will be placed inside cylindrical steel nuclear transport casks, which will then be loaded into typical shipping containers and loaded onto trucks. The project is expected to continue for several years.

The nuclear waste is a byproduct of the process used at the Chalk River laboratories to create medical radioisotopes from highly enriched uranium originally produced in the U.S. It’s being shipped back to the U.S. as part of a 2010 agreement to repatriate the radioactive material, costing the Canadian government about US$60 million.

Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Gracia Janes, environment convener for the National Council of Women of Canada who has lobbied against the plan, described the material being transported as “absolutely deadly stuff.”

According to the U.S. lawsuit filed Aug. 12 in Washington, D.C., the thick yellowy-green liquid being shipped contains highly enriched uranyl nitrate, highly enriched uranium, radioactive varieties of cesium, niobium, zirconium, rhodium, rubidium, iodine, xenon, tellurium, barium, lanthanum, cerium, strontium, praseodymium, neodymium, europium, neptunium and plutonium.

Although environmental groups believe shipments could begin in September, that information could not be confirmed.

It’s classified……….

Higgins is concerned about the use of the Peace Bridge in the proposed route, one of the busiest border crossings between the two countries. “It’s only three lanes,” he said. “Consequently, trucks are stuck on the bridge idling for inordinate periods of time.”

Niagara’s regional council has taken a stand on the issue, too. On June 11, 2015, councillors ratified a motion opposing any shipment of radioactive liquid waste, and urging the governments of Canada and the U.S. to halt the shipment of high-level radioactive liquid waste pending the outcome of public consultations on the advisability and the potential adverse impacts of the proposed shipments, as well as alternative procedures.

Lincoln regional Coun. Bill Hodgson said he was concerned at the time the motion was passed, but he’s “more alarmed now that it seems that it’s imminent, and really no one with authority has stepped forward and said, ‘Let’s rethink the movement of this stuff.’” “This is a really toxic soup. This is not kid’s play,” he said.

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati shares the concerns about the plans……..

if one of those containers were to break, Janes said it would be a disaster. “If it did break open, if it did get down to what’s in there, it’s radioactive material that would take an awfully long time — thousands of years — to actually disappear, if it ever does disappear,” said Janes, who first brought the issue to regional council’s attention during a delegation in February 2015.

“It would go into the groundwater and it could be in a community. We’re not sure where it’s going,” she said. “Or there could be a fire, and it could be sending off plumes of we don’t know what.”

She said it’s “not quite Chernobyl, but I don’t know.”

The November 2015 DoE report also looked at worst-case scenarios, including the potential for radioactive liquid to spill on the ground after highway collisions……

Gervais, however, said he doesn’t believe facilities exist at Chalk River to convert the liquid material to solid.

Kamps said the shipments are unprecedented.  “Never before has highly radioactive liquid waste been transported in North America,” he said. http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2016/08/31/not-quite-chernobyl

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September 2, 2016 - Posted by | safety, USA, wastes

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