The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Emergency exercises in Ottawa and Nova Scoria: testing how to respond to a nuclear threat

This is a test – nuclear threat focus of exercise in Ottawa and Nova Scotia  DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 25 Apr 17,   Canada and the U.S. are in the midst of conducting an exercise that tests the ability of both countries to respond to a nuclear threat.

April 26, 2017 Posted by | Canada, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river

For the first time on record, human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river, WP  April 17 A team of scientists on Monday documented what they’re describing as the first case of large-scale river reorganization as a result of human-caused climate change.

They found that in mid-2016, the retreat of a very large glacier in Canada’s Yukon territory led to the rerouting of its vast stream of meltwater from one river system to another — cutting down flow to the Yukon’s largest lake, and channeling freshwater to the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska, rather than to the Bering Sea.

The researchers dubbed the reorganization an act of “rapid river piracy,” saying that such events had often occurred in the Earth’s geologic past, but never before, to their knowledge, as a sudden present-day event. They also called it “geologically instantaneous.”

“The river wasn’t what we had seen a few years ago. It was a faded version of its former self,” lead study author Daniel Shugar of the University of Washington at Tacoma said of the Slims River, which lost much of its flow because of the glacial change. “It was barely flowing at all. Literally, every day, we could see the water level dropping, we could see sandbars popping out in the river.”

The study was published in Nature Geoscience. Shugar conducted the study with researchers from six Canadian and U.S. universities.

The study found that the choking of the Slims River in turn deprived Kluane Lake, the largest body of water in the Yukon Territory. The lake level was at a record low in August, and two small communities that live on the lake may now have to adjust to the lower water levels…….

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Canada, climate change | Leave a comment

Stop focusing on celebrities and shares – inform people on climate change – David Suzuki

“As long as we’re focused on celebrity and economics, we’re not going to see the world in a way that
allows us to live and thrive,” he said.

“Why don’t you at least give us an indicator of what we’re doing to the planet?” he asked. “We don’t do that. Our priorities are indicated by things like the Dow Jones average and all that crap.

Suzuki wants journalists to forget the Dow Jones, report on climate every day, National Observer   April 13th 2017 David Suzuki cuts straight to the chase. The state of Canada’s climate action is “disgusting,” he says, and the federal government should be ashamed.

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Canada, media | Leave a comment

Delay in Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) planned underground storage facility for nuclear waste

OPG nuclear waste site remains on hold, pending more studies by Mark Sabourin EcoLog, 4/13/2017 

Progress remains stalled on Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) planned underground storage facility for nuclear waste following review of its latest submission to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). The CEAA has told OPG that the additional information it supplied at the CEAA’s request is not good enough and has asked for more about alternatives to OPG’s preferred site 680 metres below the surface and 1.2 km from the shore of Lake Huron.

The report and recommendation of the Joint Review Panel on the project have been on the desk of the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change since May 2015. Though the report found that, with certain mitigation measures, the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, it remains widely unpopular on both sides of the Canada-US border. The minister has so far avoided making a decision by requesting studies on technically and economically feasible alternative sites and an updated analysis of cumulative environmental effects of OPG’s recommended site.

OPG submitted its new analysis in December 2016 but, following a technical review and public comment period, the CEAA has declared it inadequate. The CEAA says that OPG’s selection of alternative locations is based on limited criteria, and that differences among locations have not been clearly described. It also takes issue with OPG’s analysis of cumulative environmental effects and its proposed mitigation measures. It has raised 21 specific issues and asked OPG to report on each.

OPG is proposing a deep geologic repository for low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in a geologically stable rock formation 680 metres below the site of its Bruce nuclear power plant. According to OPG, the bulk of the waste, which is currently stored aboveground, will decay within 300 years, though a portion will remain radioactive for another 100,000 years. It argues that entombment deep below ground in geologically stable rock is the safest long-term option.

However, opponents argue that a site near the shore of one of the Great Lakes, the source of water for more than 40 million people, is the wrong choice.

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Disgrace of Canada’s submission to USA, in boycotting UN nuclear ban talks

Canada’s absence betrays its history on nuclear talks, RAMESH THAKUR AND CESAR JARAMILLO, The Globe and Mail, Mar. 27, 2017 Ramesh Thakur is a professor at the Australian National University and co-convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. Cesar Jaramillo is executive director of Project Ploughshares in Waterloo, Ont.

March 31, 2017 Posted by | Canada, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Proposed transportation of liquid highly enriched uranium (HEU) to Savannah South Carolina is not safe.

Nuclear shipment not safe Niagara This Week – St. Catharines, Susan Prayn 14 Mar 17,  The proposed transportation of liquid highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Chalk River to Savannah South Carolina is not safe.

A liquid highly enriched uranium mixture containing other fissionable products with high toxicity has never been transferred in the world before.

A recent report by Dr. Marvin Resnikoff, a recognized nuclear transportation and waste disposal expert for many U.S states and the U.S government concludes that the NAC-LWT could not withstand more severe realistic accident conditions. For this reason, the highly radioactive liquid from Chalk River should not be transported in the NAC-LWT cask.

The liquid should be solidified before transport, or not transported at all.

 With the recent over 40-car collisions on the 401 and the diesel spill in B.C., as well as future accidents coming, why are we endangering the environment, the people, and the first responders? Is it the cost of solidifying this liquid?

The Iroquois Caucus has a media release condemning the transport and will not stand idly by.

In Indonesia, they are down blending their HEU. They have signed on to the International Repatriation Agreement. Why is Canada treated differently?

Call your local MP and ask what they are doing on this issue.


March 15, 2017 Posted by | Canada, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Uneasy collaboration between “old” nukes and “new ” nukes

GE Hitachi Nuclear developing new SMR with US company, March 14, 2017 Collaboration targets aging power plants in a bid to stimulate the industry

SOICHI INAI, Nikkei staff writer NEW YORK — As part of its strategy to service aging nuclear plants, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) will develop a cutting-edge small modular reactor in cooperation with Advanced Reactor Concepts, the company said Monday………

GEH has been targeting older plants with its own SMR currently under development, and decided to bring on board Advanced Reactor Concepts — also known as Arc Nuclear — due to its expertise with sodium-cooled reactor technology, key to producing SMRs.

The two companies will initially work on a next-generation SMR in Canada.

SMRs manufactured by GEH and Advanced Reactor Concepts each have about 10% the power-generating capacity as Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor.

March 15, 2017 Posted by | Canada, technology | Leave a comment

Huge slabs of permafrost disintegrating in Northwest Canada

flag-canadaMassive Permafrost thaw in Northwest Canada. #ClimateChange #auspol, John Pratt 2 Mar 17  Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers.

A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth—an expanse the size of Alabama.

According to researchers with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey, the permafrost collapse is intensifying and causing landslides into rivers and lakes that can choke off life downstream, all the way to where the rivers discharge into the Pacific Ocean.
Similar large-scale landscape changes are evident across the Arctic including in Alaska, Siberia and Scandinavia, the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal Geology in early February. The study didn’t address the issue of greenhouse gas releases from thawing permafrost.

But its findings will help quantify the immense global scale of the thawing, which will contribute to more accurate estimates of carbon emissions.

Permafrost is land that has been frozen stretching back to the last ice age, 10,000 years ago.

As the Arctic warms at twice the global rate, the long-frozen soils thaw and decompose, releasing the trapped greenhouse gases into the air.

Scientists estimate that the world’s permafrost holds twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. The new study was aimed at measuring the geographical scope of thawing permafrost in northwest Canada.

Using satellite images and other data, the team studied the edge of the former Laurentide Ice Sheet, a vast expanse of ice that covered two-thirds of North America during the last ice age.

The disintegration of the permafrost was visible in 40- to 60-mile wide swaths of terrain, showing that, “extensive landscapes remain poised for major climate-driven change.”
“Things have really taken off.

Climate warming is now making that happen. ……

March 3, 2017 Posted by | Canada, climate change | Leave a comment

Ontario’s big secret – the real cause of rising electricity rates

flag-canada by Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director, Ontario Clean Air Alliance on February 16, 2017  Since 2002 Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) price of nuclear power has risen by 60%. And to add insult to injury OPG is now seeking a 180% price increase to pay for the continued operation of its high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station and the re-building of Darlington’s aging reactors.

Meanwhile, OPG continues to tell MPPs and other decision makers that nuclear power is our lowest cost option for keeping the lights on and that it is simply not possible to import low-cost power from Quebec. Both of these claims are false.

According to Hydro Quebec’s CEO, Eric Martel, Quebec has 3,000 megawatts of surplus power available for export. Furthermore, according to Mr. Martel, Hydro Quebec is more than willing to sign long-term fixed-price export contracts.

Hydro Quebec has power available to export for at least 99% of the hours in a year. It can further increase the power it has for export by improving energy efficiency in Quebec and continuing to develop its significant low-cost wind power potential.

Our public utility and the nuclear lobby should stop spreading “alternative facts.” We need an honest discussion based on transparent information about whether keeping the 46-year-old Pickering Station running and re-building the 30-year-old Darlington Station makes sense.

And instead of playing shell games designed to hide the rising cost of nuclear power, our government should be looking at grabbing some real cost savings – by making a deal with Quebec.

Please send an email to Premier Wynne or call her at 416 325 1941. Tell her you want to see Ontario secure some real cost savings by making a long-term deal with Quebec to permit the closing of the Pickering Nuclear Station in 2018 when its licence expires.

You can also contact your MPP and tell them you want to see real savings. You can find your MPPs contact info here. If you don’t know your electoral district, click here.

March 1, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, politics | Leave a comment

On both sides o f USA-Canada border, opposition grows to transport of nuclear wastes

radiation-truckOpposition growing to cross-border nuclear shipments,, Opposition is brewing on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border about plans to move dozens of shipments of nuclear waste from a plant in Chalk River, Ontario, to a plant in South Carolina.

Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins has been very vocal in his opposition. He is being joined by opposition in Canada.   Dean Allison is the member of Parliament for Niagara West, which includes the QEW, a potential route for some shipments. The Conservative Allison says the shipments pose real problems for first responders because they are not being told anything about the shipments or how to prepare for the highly radioactive material.

“I’ve understood from talking to some of the people with the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility that it’s almost 17,000 times more toxic and more radioactive than when it first started and when it was first shipped, originally,” Allison says. “So our first responders need to have some kind of idea what it is because, more than likely, they will be the ones on the road, on the scene should anything happen.”

The material started in the United States and has been made far more radioactive in Canada because of research and developing nuclear materials for medical use. Higgins has long been demanding information about the shipments and their routes.

Beamsville resident Allison says he is trying to set up a meeting in his district to bring together residents, first responders and shipments officials to talk about what is going on.

“We’re going to try to get some of the key players down,” Allison says. “I don’t anticipate they’re going to give us more information but we’re going to certainly press and see if we can get anything that may be helpful to our first responders.”

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Canada, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Ontario public has a month to comment on plan for nuclear waste dump near Kincardine.

it’s “absolute madness” to “dig this hole beside the drinking water source for 40 million Canadians and Americans.”


Bruce NGS Great Lakes Lake HuronOPG identifies most of Ontario as alternate ‘location’ to bury nuclear waste: Ontario Power Generation was asked by the federal government to identify “actual locations” as alternates for its plan to bury nuclear waste. It’s now up to the minister as to whether they’ve done that. The Star, By , Jan. 10, 2017..……The hunt for an appropriate site for a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) to house waste from Ontario’s nuclear facilities is not a subject to be taken lightly. Everything from mops to materials close to the reactor core, such as ion exchange resins that bear a “significant amount” of Carbon-14, a radionuclide that has a half life of more than 5,700 years, is slated for permanent burial.

………. A report recently released by OPG cites Ryden’s GPS co-ordinates as one of the plot points in one of two contemplated alternate locations for the DGR. Equally curious, the co-ordinates for the second alternate include a stately two story brick home in Chaplin Estates, near Yonge St. and Davisville Ave.

This is worth digging into.

On Dec. 28, Ontario Power Generation submitted the results of its federally mandated assignment to present technically and economically feasible alternate locations for the DGR — alternate, that is, to OPG’s preferred strategy to inter the waste from the Bruce, Darlington and Pickering nuclear power plants at Bruce Nuclear near Kincardine.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will take until Jan. 16 to determine “whether OPG’s information is complete and that it conforms to the Minister’s information request.” A 30-day public comment period will follow.

When the federal Environment Ministry requested the study, 11 months ago, it sought details as to “specific reference to actual locations.” While OPG responded in April that it intended to assess two feasible “geological regions” in the province, “without providing specific reference to actual locations,” it says now that in this document and the main submission it is using specific references to actual locations.

The common reader may see the word “location” to mean, as it is conventionally defined, a particular or exact place.

OPG has provided something quite different and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna now must decide whether the power giant has come up with an evaluation that is good enough.

Let’s remember that the proposed Bruce site will be dug nearly 700 metres deep in limestone host rock a distance of 1.2 km from Lake Huron. The town of Kincardine is on side. Opposition voices on both sides of the border have been loud, particularly as it concerns protecting the Great Lakes.

The dominant question: is Bruce the best spot? And a corollary: wasn’t granite — the Canadian Shield in northern Ontario — discussed long ago as potentially the appropriate geology for toxic waste? The issue may pertain not just to low and intermediate waste, but ultimately the disposal of spent fuel rods, a headache for the generations that has yet to be effectively addressed………..

Rod McLeod’s view is that it’s “absolute madness” to “dig this hole beside the drinking water source for 40 million Canadians and Americans.”

OPG insists that, at least according to its own social media analysis, Ontarians aren’t bothered. “The topic is not a popular one, nor is it generating large volumes of curiosity,” the report states, adding that interest in the DGR has “flatlined.”

The public now has little more than a month to change that perception, should it care to.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Thirty years later, Blackfoot tribes see environmental win on sacred grounds

U.S. officials on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the final two oil and gas leases in a wilderness area bordering Glacier National Park that’s sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of Montana and Canada. Christian Science Monitor, Matthew Brown Associated Press JANUARY 10, 2017 U.S. officials on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the final two oil and gas leases in a wilderness area bordering Glacier National Park that’s sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of Montana and Canada, more than three decades after the tribes said the leases were illegally sold…….

January 13, 2017 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues, USA | Leave a comment

Canada’s government releases carbon pricing plan

climate-changeGovernment of Canada releases carbon pricing plan by IDEA Industry News

ReNew Canada reports that The Government of Canada has proposed its pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution. Under the new plan, all Canadian jurisdictions will have carbon pricing in place by 2018. In order to accomplish this, Canada will set a benchmark for pricing carbon emissions—set at a level that will help Canada meet its greenhouse gas emission targets, while providing greater certainty and predictability to Canadian businesses.

Provinces and territories will have flexibility in deciding how they implement carbon pricing: they can put a direct price on carbon pollution or they can adopt a cap-and-trade system.

Pricing carbon pollution will give Canada an edge in building a clean-growth economy; it will make Canadian businesses more competitive; it will bring new and exciting job prospects for middle class Canadians; and it will reduce the pollution that threatens our clean air and oceans.

“Pricing pollution is one of the most efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to stimulate innovation,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Already 80 percent of Canadians live in a province where there is pollution pricing. We want to continue this trend and cover the final 20 per cent.”

Pricing will be based on greenhouse gas emissions and applied to a common and broad set of sources to ensure effectiveness. The price on carbon pollution should start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018 and rise by $10 a year to reach $50 per tonne in 2022. Revenues from carbon pricing will remain with provinces and territories of origin.

Provinces and territories will use the revenues from this system as they see fit, whether it is to give it back to consumers, to support their workers and their families, to help vulnerable groups and communities in the North, or to support businesses that innovate and create good jobs for the future.

The overall approach will be reviewed in 2022 to ensure that it is effective and to confirm future price increases. The review will account for actions by other countries.

January 7, 2017 Posted by | Canada, climate change | Leave a comment

Cry from soldier, unrecognised victim of depleted uranium radiation

Depleted uranium, used in some types of ammunition and military armour, is the dense, low-cost leftover once uranium has been processed….

A high-ranking official from Veterans Affairs says a handful of vets mistakenly believe their bodies have been damaged by depleted uranium…..

the Federal Court of Canada has found depleted uranium to be an issue.  The court ruled the Veterans Affairs Department must compensate retired serviceman Steve Dornan for a cancer his doctors say resulted from exposure to depleted uranium residue.

text-from-the-archivesPoisoned soldier plans hunger strike at minister’s office in exchange for care, Montreal Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press, 30 Oct 11,  MONTREAL — An ex-soldier who says he was poisoned while serving overseas is planning to go on a hunger strike outside the office of Canada’s veterans affairs minister until he gets medical treatment.

Or until he dies.

Continue reading

December 26, 2016 Posted by | Canada, depleted uranium, health, PERSONAL STORIES, Uranium | Leave a comment

Indigenous leaders excluded from Canada’s climate talks

Indigenous leaders shocked, again, by repeated exclusion from Trudeau’s climate talks, National Observer  December 16th 2016 After excluding them from a critical discussion on indigenous people and climate change earlier this year, both the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) hoped it was a mistake Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not repeat.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues | Leave a comment