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Pickering nuclear station – unsafe, and likely to remain so

The Pickering nuclear plant’s explosive secret https://www.durhamregion.com/opinion-story/8738033-the-pickering-nuclear-plant-s-explosive-secret/?s=n1
Angela Bischoff says OPG has no plans to make its nuclear waste as safe as possible  Jul 19, 2018 by Angela Bischoff  Pickering News Advertiser   

The Pickering Nuclear Station has a deadly secret: 740,000 radioactive fuel bundles sitting on site — the legacy of close to 50 years of nuclear operations.

These bundles contain radioactive materials that can penetrate the human body, leading to serious illness or death. They also contain an enormous amount of plutonium, the key ingredient in nuclear warheads or dirty bombs. There is enough plutonium on-site at Pickering today to construct more than 11,000 nuclear warheads.

We recently asked internationally recognized risk expert Dr. Gordon Thompson to review the advisability of storing this enormous pile of toxic waste in the midst of Canada’s largest urban area and next to the source of our drinking water.

His conclusion was stark: The Pickering site, he found, is “suboptimal as a spent nuclear fuel-storage site from perspectives including defensibility, proximity of populations, and potential to contaminate Lake Ontario.” He added that the current waste storage facilities have no protection from rocket, bomb or aircraft attacks from the air or water and that, overall, the site is “lightly defended” at best.

Half-a-century after the start of nuclear power operations in Canada, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is still on the hunt for a “willing host” community to accept thousands of tonnes of spent fuel that will remain highly radioactive for thousands of years.

This means there is little chance the waste currently being stored at Pickering is going anywhere in the next 60 to 100 years. To add insult to injury, while Ontario Power Generation is planning to expand its conventional storage facilities so that Pickering can continue to produce and store more toxic nuclear wastes, it has no plans to make its new storage facilities as safe as possible. Specifically, it has no plans to build above-ground, attack-resistant, reinforced-concrete vaults to protect Pickering’s wastes from a terrorist attack.

Continuing to operate this patched-up nuclear plant surrounded by millions of people, while piling up more and more toxic nuclear wastes in conventional commercial storage buildings, is the very definition of an extremely bad idea that can only get worse.

Those who support keeping Pickering running until 2024 or beyond, such as Premier Doug Ford, need to explain how they plan to safeguard the thousands of tonnes of deadly waste already stored at the site and why it is a good idea to continue adding more.

— Angela Bischoff is the director of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. We’re behind Ontario’s coal phase-out and are now working to move Ontario to a 100-per cent renewable electricity system.

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July 21, 2018 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Remediation of low-level radioactive waste begins in Port Hope

 Global News 

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Man Buries 42 Buses to Build Nuclear Shelter in Canada 

By Pam Wright, 6 July 18 weather.com 

At a Glance

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Pickering nuclear critics call for more emergency preparedness

Durham Region.com NEWS Jul 04, 2018 by Kristen Calis  Pickering News Advertiser 

PICKERING — Questions from concerned advocacy groups regarding the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station remain, while Ontario Power Generation continues to defend its position to justify the plant’s continued operation.This was the scene at the second round of Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission hearings regarding OPG’s request for a licence extension to operate the Pickering power plant to 2024, followed by safe storage activities until 2028. The plant is currently scheduled to close on Aug. 31.

Shawn-Patrick Stensil, senior energy analyst for Greenpeace, spoke Thursday at the Pickering Recreation Complex during the hearings. The CNSC will make the decision on the extension request.

In his submission on behalf of Greenpeace, Stensil said there is no justification for Pickering’s operation and the commission should reject OPG’s “request to expose millions of people within the (Greater Toronto Area) to the possibility of a nuclear accident.”

The week of hearings wrapped up on Friday. The first round took place in Ottawa in April.

……….The advocacy group was granted funding from the CNSC to poll the public on specific issues for the purpose of the hearing and presented its results.

The poll found 93 per cent of those surveyed want detailed nuclear emergency plans in place to protect residents from a possible large-scale accident at Pickering (or Darlington).

“Population density around the Pickering station is already too high yet intensification is being stepped up,” McNeill said.

The poll also found 87 per cent believe the radius for predistribution of KI pills should be extended. Currently its delivered within 10 kilometres. Only 17 per cent are aware they can order the KI pills free from preparetobesafe.ca…………..https://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/8704832-pickering-nuclear-critics-call-for-more-emergency-preparedness/?s=n1

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Toronto schools want anti-radiation pills in case of nuclear incident at Pickering plant

 https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/06/28/toronto-schools-want-anti-radiation-pills-in-case-of-nuclear-incident-at-pickering-plant.html By  June 28, 2018

The boundary would encompass almost all of the city’s schools and goes well beyond the current distribution radius of 10 kilometres, said Trustee Jerry Chadwick, who was part of committee that made the recommendation recently approved by the Toronto District School Board.

“All of our schools east of Morningside Ave. have had the potassium pills for years,” said Chadwick, who represents Ward 22 in the southeast end of Scarborough. “The TDSB did not have to request them, they were provided as part of the range covered by Pickering.

“Now we are asking them to cover schools in the 50-kilometre radius, which covers most of our schools.”

The issue of schools being provided with stockpiles of potassium iodide, or “KI” pills — which protect the thyroid in case of radiation exposure — dominated hearings held on the future of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, said attendee Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace.

In Greater Toronto, there are two plants — Pickering, about 30 kilometres from Toronto’s Yonge St., and Darlington, which is about 60 kilometres away.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Protesters rally in Pickering to decommission nuclear power plant

  A group of protesters rallied outside the Pickering Recreation Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Decision to keep Pickering Nuclear Station going does not make financial sense

Clean Air Alliance 21st June 2018,  Today Ontario Premier-Designate Doug Ford failed to seize his opportunity
to lower Ontario’s electricity costs by $1.1 billion per year by
directing Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to close the Pickering Nuclear
Station in August when its licence expires.

On the contrary, Mr. Ford announced that he will allow the 4th oldest nuclear station in North
America to continue to operate in the middle of the GTA until 2024. Mr.
Ford’s decision does not make financial sense for Ontario’s electricity
consumers. The annual savings from closing the Pickering Nuclear Station
would be 183 times greater than the savings from firing Mayo Schmidt, the
CEO of Hydro One. According to the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
association, the Pickering Nuclear Station’s performance is
“persistently abysmal…by any objective standard.”
http://www.cleanairalliance.org/ford-fails-to-seize-opportunity-to-lower-ontarios-electricity-costs-by-1-1-billion-per-year/

June 25, 2018 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Tough times for uranium company Cameco – and no improvement in sight

Motley Fool 28th May 2018 , It has been a tough few years for one-time high-flying uranium miner Cameco Corp.. Over the last five years, its value has plummeted by 38% after nuclear power fell into disfavour after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, which caused the price of uranium to collapse.

Since then, uranium has remained caught in a protracted slump, despite claims by industry insiders and analysts that it is poised to rebound because of a combination of growing demand and emerging supply constraints. Nonetheless, despite these claims, there has been no sign of a sustained rally, and an upturn in the fortunes of the radioactive metal may never occur.

This is because the outlook for uranium is not as bright as claimed, and there is every indication that nuclear power will remain in disfavour. That will continue to weight on Cameco’s market value.
https://www.fool.ca/2018/05/28/despite-an-improved-1st-quarter-2018-the-outlook-for-cameco-corp-remains-poor/

June 1, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, Uranium | Leave a comment

Ontario could save $1.2B by closing Pickering plant, buying power from Quebec – Greens

Ontario Greens would close nuclear plant this summer

Province could save $1.2B by closing Pickering plant, buying power from Quebec, leader says  CBC News 

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Ontario NDP only party speaking out against nuclear waste bunker near Lake Huron

Global News, The Canadian Press   24 May 18, TORONTO — Of the three main parties vying for office in Ontario’s spring election, only the NDP has spoken out against building a $2.4-billion nuclear waste bunker near Lake Huron.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Canada, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Call from Michigan to stop nuclear waste dumping near Great Lakes

No nuclear waste near Great Lakes, Detroit NewDebbie Dingell and Fred Upton  May 9, 2018  

May 11, 2018 Posted by | Canada, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Indigenous, environmental, groups warn that Canada is mismanaging nuclear wastes

Toronto Star 23rd April 2018 , Canada mishandling nuclear waste plans, Indigenous, environmental groups
warn. First Nations leaders say they have not been properly consulted about
the prospect of a nuclear waste disposal site being established northwest
of Ottawa near a prominent nuclear research centre.

Environmental groupsalso say the controversy over the site near Chalk River, Ont., illustrates
the fact that the federal government lacks suitable policies to regulate
the handling of nuclear waste. Glen Hare, deputy grand chief of the
Anishinabek Nation, says his people were not consulted about the proposed
dump site, which is located less than a kilometre away from the Ottawa
River.
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/04/23/canada-mishandling-nuclear-waste-plans-indigenous-environmental-groups-warn.html

April 27, 2018 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Canada’s clean and beautiful forests, lakes and rivers threatened by nuclear waste plan at Chalk River

Ottawa Citizen 23rd April 2018 , What makes Canada stand out in the world is unlimited natural beauty: miles
of unspoiled forests, lakes, rivers, prairies and tundra. We are a green,
clean country. Or so we like to think.

So it may come as a surprise that we
plan to put 40 per cent of Canada’s radioactive waste in a gigantic dump
at Chalk River, next to the Ottawa River. The dump will hold
“low-level” waste that contains radioactive uranium, plutonium, cesium,
strontium, iodine and tritium (among others).

Rain and melting snow will leach radioactive elements from the dump. Every year, Canadian Nuclear
Laboratories estimates an average of 6.5 million litres of this water will
be treated and discharged into a nearby wetland and thence the Ottawa
River. An unforeseen event – earthquake, deluge or explosion – could
contaminate the Ottawa River and its riverbed from Chalk River to Montreal.
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/shacherl

April 27, 2018 Posted by | Canada, water | Leave a comment

“Radioactive Waste and Canada’s First Nations” – perilously close to ruining this Earth

Mother Earth and the “too late” time https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/04/24/radioactive-waste-first_nations/ We are getting perilously close, warn First Nations, By Linda Pentz Gunter

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

1C rise in atmospheric temperature causes rapid changes to world’s largest High Arctic lake

An interdisciplinary team of scientists explores Lake Hazen’s response to climate change, Science Daily 
April 6, 2018

Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
An interdisciplinary team of scientists examining everything from glaciology to freshwater ecology discovered drastic changes over the past decade to the world’s largest High Arctic lake. And from glacial melt to the declining lake ice to changes in lake ecology, the results from Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island in Canada are alarming……..https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180406155402.htm

April 9, 2018 Posted by | Canada, climate change | Leave a comment