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Safety documents by Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) are vague, inadequate and put Canadians at risk  

Nuclear waste regulations put Canadians at risk  https://www.trailtimes.ca/opinion/cannings-nuclear-waste-regulations-put-canadians-at-risk/    Richard Cannings is in his second term as MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, Jul. 2, 2020 The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) should not approve a suite of regulatory documents on radioactive waste at its meeting June 18, 2020 and instead live up to the Liberal government’s commitment to openness and transparency for regulatory development.

Some of these regulations developed by commission staff are at best vague guidelines that leave nuclear waste policy decisions in the hands of private industry, instead of actually prescribing actions that are in the public interest.

These regulatory changes would pave the way for several controversial nuclear waste disposal projects, including a giant mound at Chalk River, Ontario, two entombments of shut-down reactors, and a proposed deep geological repository for the burial of high-level nuclear fuel waste.

This proposal does not meet Canada’s commitment to meeting or surpassing international standards for the handling of nuclear waste.

For example, the entombment of nuclear reactors is designated as “in-situ decommissioning”, a practice that the International Atomic Energy Agency says should only be used as a last option for facilities damaged in accidents.

Of further concern is the lack of clarity in the proposed regulations.

In many cases the licensee is directed to develop safety requirements with no explicit directions as to what those safety requirements are.

The giant mound at Chalk River is meant to contain up to 1 million cubic metres of low- to intermediate-activity nuclear waste but these activity levels are not defined and the private owner of the facility would get to decide what materials are stored in that mound of nuclear waste.

The Minister of Natural Resources has committed to consulting Canadians on a policy framework and strategy for radioactive waste. Instead we have this backdoor process with limited public input and no parliamentary oversight.

The minister should be conducting a public process to develop a Canadian framework for radioactive waste management that meets or exceeds international best practices, a framework that does not allow the nuclear industry to police itself.

Richard Cannings is NDP Natural Resources Critic and MP for South Okanagan-West Kootenay

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

No nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron: opposition of indigenous people, Saugeen Ojibway Nation, the deciding factor

OPG ends quest for nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron, Opposition of Saugeen Ojibway Nation is pivotal,   The Voice By Jim Bloch For MediaNews Group Jun 30, 2020

The quest for a deep geologic repository for nuclear waste on the lip of Lake Huron in Ontario is dead.

The 15-plus-year-old effort by Ontario Power Generation to build the underground dump for low and intermediate nuclear waste from Ontario’s 20 reactors appeared to end in January, following the vote of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation against the repository. Eighty-six percent of the first nation voted against the dump, 1,058-170.

SON is made up of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation. Their territory includes the Bruce Peninsula and runs down the coast of Lake Huron past Goderich and along the shores of Georgian Bay to just beyond Collingwood. SON has roughly 4,500 members.

In 2013, OPG promised that it would not build the nuclear waste dump without SON’s support.

OPG officially terminated the project on May 27 in a letter to Jonathon Wilkerson, the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, asking for the withdrawal of its application for a building license and ending the environmental impact assessment for the DRG.

“… OPG has informed the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission that we do not intend to carry out the Project and have asked that the application for a Site Preparation and Construction License be withdrawn,” said Lise Morton, vice president of OPG’s Nuclear Waste Management Division. “Similarly, OPG requests the minister to cancel the environmental assessment for the Project.”

Wilkerson responded on June 15.

“I accept Ontario Power Generation’s request to withdraw the project from the federal environmental assessment process…,” said the minister.

Wilkerson also forwarded his decision to Rumina Velshi, president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission……..

The long term safety of the project — located less than a half-mile from Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes that provide drinking water to at least 34 million people in two countries — was at the heart of the controversy. …..

The underground dump was designed to store 200,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste, some of which would remain toxic for at least 100,000 years, roughly 10 times longer than the Great Lakes have been in existence; some of it would remain lethal for more than a million years.

Depositing so much toxic waste on the edge of 20% of the world’s surface fresh water was dubbed as insanity by critics, who pointed to the possibility of the DGR being overtopped by fresh water tsunamis like the Great Lakes Hurricane of 1912, breached by seismic activity in the region, of which there has been a significant amount, threatened by rising lake levels due to climate change, or even targeted by terrorists.

Critics noted that all major underground repositories for nuclear waste to date have failed.  https://www.voicenews.com/news/opg-ends-quest-for-nuclear-waste-dump-on-lake-huron/article_9c8334ac-bb07-11ea-8003-7fbee9888ced.html

July 2, 2020 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues, wastes | Leave a comment

Small modular nuclear reactors fraught with problems

‘Many issues’ with modular nuclear reactors says environmental lawyer 
Jordan Gill
· CBC News ·Dec 03, 2019   Modular nuclear reactors may not be a cure for the nation’s carbon woes, an environmental lawyer said in reaction to an idea floated by three premiers.

Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, said the technology surrounding small reactors has numerous pitfalls, especially when compared with other renewable energy technology.

This comes after New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Ontario Premier Doug Ford agreed to work together to develop the technology……..

The premiers say the smaller reactors would help Canada reach its carbon reduction targets but McClenaghan, legal counsel for the environmental group, disagrees

“I don’t think it is the answer,” said McClenaghan. “I don’t think it’s a viable solution to climate change.”

McClenaghan said the technology behind modular reactors is still in the development stage and needs years of work before it can be used on a wide scale.

“There are many issues still with the technology,” said McClenaghan. “And for climate change, the risks are so pervasive and the time scale is so short that we need to deploy the solutions we already know about like renewables and conservation.”

Waste, security concerns: lawyer

While nuclear power is considered a low-carbon method of producing electricity, McClenaghan said the waste that it creates brings its own environmental concerns.

“You’re still creating radioactive waste,” said McClenaghan.

“We don’t even have a solution to nuclear fuel waste yet in Canada and the existing plans are not taking into account these possibilities.”

McClenanghan believes there are national security risks with the plan as well.

She said having more reactors, especially if they’re in rural areas, means there’s a greater chance that waste or fuel from the reactors could be stolen for nefarious purposes.

“You’d be scattering radioactive materials, potentially attractive to diversion, much further across the country,” said the environmental lawyer.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/many-issues-modular-nuclear-1.5381804

June 27, 2020 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Ontario Power Generation pulls the plug on nuclear waste project

June 27, 2020 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Coalition for Responsible Energy Development wants a stop to nuclear expansion in Canada

New Coalition Wants All Nuclear Expansion Abandoned,  https://www.country94.ca/2020/06/24/new-coalition-wants-all-nuclear-expansion-abandoned/  Saint John, NB, Canada / Country 94, Stephanie Sirois, June 24, 2020  A new coalition wants the provincial and federal governments to close down coal burning stations and abandon all plans for nuclear expansion.

The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick includes public interest organizations and individuals and is intended to advocate for responsible energy development.

David Thompson is a project coordinator for CRED-NB.

“I guess a number of people in the province were looking at organizations also, were looking at the way energy was proposed to be developed and the kind of energy we had here and we felt that something a lot better could happen,” he said.

Thompson said there is a need to reduce the demand for energy in the province by eliminating energy waste and maximizing energy efficiency.

“We respond to climate change and to promote emission-free and waste-free energy, that sort of thing and to get on the bandwagon of the new renewable energies,” he said.

CRED-NB wants the provincial and federal government to invest in sources of renewable energy such as wind, solar, geo-thermal, tidal, certain types of bio-energy and water-driven power.

“I think everyone wants more cost-effective energy and energy that’s not going to leave behind waste or pollute our environment and we have to get energy in place rather quickly now to deal with climate change.”

The coalition is calling upon governments to invest in less costly and safer renewable energy, coupled with energy efficiency and conservation programs. CRED-NB says this will create more jobs and economic activity in New Brunswick.

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Opposition by Saugeen-Ojibway nation brings end to plan for nuclear waste near Lake Huron

Ontario Power Generation Formally Ends Effort To Place Nuclear Storage Site Near Lake Huron, WKAR

By BEN THORP 24  June 20, A Canadian company has officially ended efforts to place an intermediate-level nuclear storage facility along the shore of Lake Huron. The decision comes after the Saugeen-Ojibway nation, on whose land the nuclear site was proposed, voted overwhelmingly against the project.

In letters sent in May, Ontario Power Generation officially withdrew from an environmental assessment of the project and an application for a construction license. Those withdrawals were first reported in the Detroit Free Press.

Fred Kuntz is with OPG. He said after fifteen years the company decided to look elsewhere to build a storage facility.

“You need three things in Ontario for a project like this to proceed. You need good geology, which we had, you need municipal support, which we had, and you need indigenous support. Without that, we couldn’t proceed with the project.”

Kuntz said the company will begin looking for alternate locations. …….

In letters sent in May, Ontario Power Generation officially withdrew from an environmental assessment of the project and an application for a construction license. Those withdrawals were first reported in the Detroit Free Press.

Fred Kuntz is with OPG. He said after fifteen years the company decided to look elsewhere to build a storage facility.

“You need three things in Ontario for a project like this to proceed. You need good geology, which we had, you need municipal support, which we had, and you need indigenous support. Without that, we couldn’t proceed with the project.”

Kuntz said the company will begin looking for alternate locations. …..A second, high-level nuclear storage facility could still be built near Lake Huron. The Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization is considering two possible sites for a facility, one of which is near the lake.

A spokesperson for the organization said the Saugeen-Ojibway vote was not a referendum on their plan

The organization is expected to select a site for the facility by 2023. https://www.wkar.org/post/ontario-power-generation-formally-ends-effort-place-nuclear-storage-site-near-lake-huron#stream/0

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Canada’s proposed radioactive waste disposal rules are weak and industry-friendly

Proposed radioactive waste disposal rules are weak and industry-friendly

By OLE HENDRICKSON      JUNE 12, 2020
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is on the cusp of approving new rules for the disposal of nuclear waste in Canada.
On June 18th, Canada’s industry-friendly regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), will formalize new guidance and requirements for disposal of radioactive waste. The CNSC’s new rules are tailored to allow the nuclear industry to “solve” its waste problem as easily and cheaply as possible…. (subscribers only)  https://www.hilltimes.com/2020/06/12/proposed-radioactive-waste-disposal-rules-are-weak-and-industry-friendly/252501

June 13, 2020 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Delay to community vote on nuclear waste dump for South Bruce, Ontario

June 11, 2020 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Ontario’s nuclear re-build postponed due to pandemic

Pandemic leads to moratorium on Ontario’s nuclear re-build programs, https://www.cleanairalliance.org/pan/  29 May 20,  In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, on March 25th Bruce Power suspended work on the re-building of its Unit 6 nuclear reactor. One day later, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced that it will not proceed with the re-building of its Unit 3 nuclear reactor at this time.

Bruce Power’s and OPG’s actions provide Premier Ford with the opportunity to reconsider whether it makes sense to continue with the previous Government’s high-cost plan to re-build 10 aging nuclear reactors and to continue to subsidize our electricity rates to the tune of $5.6 billion per year.

By investing in energy efficiency instead we can keep our lights on at less than one-quarter of the price of nuclear power and create good jobs in every community in Ontario.

In New York State, giant utility Consolidated Edison announced on May 18th that it is tripling its energy efficiency budget.  Ontario should too. According to Consolidated Edison’s Chairman and CEO, John McAvoy: “I believe one of the keys to rebuilding our communities and boosting the economy is maintaining our focus on clean energy. We’re building tomorrow’s grid so that it stands up to climate change and so it can integrate renewable energy sources like solar and wind.”

Please email Premier Ford here and tell him you support getting Ontario back to work by launching an energy retrofit program for our homes and businesses that will also lower our electricity bills.

May 30, 2020 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

Opposition in Canada to nuclear waste dump on agricultural land

Opposition gathering to nuclear fuel disposal vault in South Bruce, The Sun Times, 29 May 20 

May 30, 2020 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Canadian farming community not happy about taking on nuclear wastes

Teeswater area debating taking on ‘forever’ nuclear waste project, Scott Miller CTV News London  25 May 20, WINGHAM, ONT. — Anja van der Vlies is worried about the future of her 1200 dairy goat operation, if Canada’s most radioactive nuclear waste is buried a couple side roads away from her family’s farm.

“It’s fairly close to where we farm. If I just look at the radius of 10 kilometres from the proposed site, so much food is being prepared here. What’s going to happen to that?”she says.

Right next door, dairy farmer Ron Groen has posted signs around his property sharing his concerns about the proposed project, just north of Teeswater.

“The waste is going to be radioactive for a million years, so basically the waste will be eternally radioactive and our kids, grandkids, 33,000 generations after us living in and around town will have to worry about this problem,” he says.

About 1200 acres of farmland north of Teeswater has been optioned by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to potentially build Canada’s first permanent nuclear waste facility.

Over five million used nuclear fuel bundles, would be buried 500 metres under these Bruce County farms, if the community agrees to it.

Darren Ireland is one the landowners, whose agreed to option his land for the project.

“For me, it’s about five generations. This area has struggled for years to keep things going. I look at this as something, that we could be looking at for five generations, that’s huge,” he says.

The mayor of the municipality of South Bruce, Robert Buckle, also sees upside to the project…….

Signs opposing the project starting going up around the area around March. A local group has formed to keep nuclear waste out of South Bruce’s soil.

“The sooner we can stop this, the better for our community,” says van der Vlies…….

Two communities remain in the running to house Canada’s most radioactive waste. Ignace, in Northern Ontario, and the Municipality of South Bruce, north of Teeswater. One site will selected, no later, than 2023. https://london.ctvnews.ca/teeswater-area-debating-taking-on-forever-nuclear-waste-project-1.4953737

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Bruce Power and the Ontario Government ordered come clean on the cost of nuclear power

Bruce Power ordered to reveal prices  https://www.cleanairalliance.org/bcost/  Angela Bischoff, Director, 23 May 20 The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner has ruled that Bruce Power and the Ontario Government must come clean on the cost of power from rebuilt reactors noting that “the public has a right to know what the electricity cost will be from the multi-billion Bruce NGS [Nuclear Generating Station] project as they are paying for it and will be locked into paying for it for almost 50 years.”
In her response to an appeal by Bruce Power of an earlier decision, Adjudicator Diane Smith acknowledged that the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has the power to suppress this information, but ruled that the public right to know trumped this authority.

In ruling that the pricing information should be released, the Adjudicator reasoned that “the annual price of the Bruce NGS electricity options… would allow the public to assess and potentially advocate for alternative energy sources, such as conservation, demand response, hydro power imports from Quebec, renewable generation, and energy storage. Environmental advocates need the annual price of the nuclear option as soon as possible to advocate for alternatives that may take up to 10 years to implement.”

Further, the Adjudicator found the IESO and Bruce Power rationale for suppressing information about the price of power from rebuilt Bruce reactors to be without substance. She noted that contrary to the IESO’s assertions, “I find that the amount of information already disclosed is not adequate to address the public interest considerations.” She also found Bruce Power’s assertion that disclosing the information would somehow raise electricity prices rather baffling, noting “neither the IESO nor Bruce Power provided particulars that support their concerns about this.”

It’s important to note that pricing information for all renewable energy projects in Ontario is fully public and there is no need for citizens or environmental organizations to undertake long and costly Freedom of Information appeals to see this information. Similarly, Ontario Power Generation must publicly disclose all its costing information through the Ontario Energy Board. Only Bruce Power has had the special privilege of keeping all its pricing information firmly under wraps – until now.

Thanks to the Privacy Commissioner we are optimistic we will soon see just what kind of deal Bruce Power is really offering the people of Ontario. The nuclear industry loves to talk about how it supplies “low cost power” though the numbers tell a very different tale.

This matter should never have required a multi-year effort by an environmental NGO. If the Ontario government was serious about reducing hydro costs, it would have long since ordered this information be made public to allow a real comparison of the cost of different energy options. We cannot have an informed debate about the best options for Ontario when one powerful entity and our electricity system manager cling to secrecy.

 

May 22, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Over 100 public interest organisations call on Canadian govt to halt decision on nuclear waste disposal

Groups ask Ottawa to press ‘pause’ on nuclear  waste disposal  https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/groups-ask-ottawa-to-press-pause-on-nuclear-waste-disposal-2361184   ‘There’s no rules’ for evaluating an underground storage site, spokesperson says.   By: Gary Rinne  OTTAWA — More than 100 public interest organizations, environmental groups and others are calling on the federal government to suspend all decision-making regarding radioactive nuclear waste disposal.

In a letter to Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, they describe Canada’s current nuclear waste policy as “deficient,” saying it must be improved in consultation with the public and Indigenous peoples.

Among the signatories are numerous groups in northern Ontario, including Thunder Bay-based Environment North and Keep Nuclear Waste Out of Northwestern Ontario.

The letter follows a February report from the International Atomic Energy Agency which recommended that the government “enhance” its existing radioactive waste management policy.

The IAEA said the policy framework “does not encompass all the needed policy elements nor a detailed strategy” required for long-term nuclear waste management.

The signatories say their request is urgent because the regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, is pressing ahead with licensing decisions on a number of radioactive waste projects.

“Fearing Canada’s deficient radioactive waste framework will imprint itself on decisions affecting the health and safety of future generations and the environment, signees urged Canada to provide leadership, and establish sufficient guidance and federal policy,” they said in a statement Tuesday.

The groups also want Ottawa to establish objectives and principles to underly a nuclear waste policy, and that the government identify “the problems and issues exposed by existing and accumulating radioactive waste.”

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is currently studying potential future underground nuclear waste storage sites in the Ignace area and South Bruce in southern Ontario.

Brennan Lloyd of North Bay-based Northwatch said NWMO’s search for a future repository is “part and parcel” of concerns about Canada’s overall approach to managing radioactive waste issues.

Nuclear waste disposal isn’t the only pressing matter, Lloyd said, but “we have lots of concerns about the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, their operation…going back to 2002 when the Nuclear Waste Fuels Act allowed the industry to create the NWMO.”

She added that “the lack of a solid set of rules around radioactive waste, we believe, does affect how the NWMO has conducted itself, but even more importantly it may affect the review process if the NWMO ever actually arrives at a site that they can in some way present as having the support of a host community.”

According to Lloyd, there are no rules as to how such a proposal would be evaluated.

She said that in 1996, the federal government presented a Radioactive Waste Policy Framework that’s less than a page long, and it’s problematic that “almost 25 years later, that’s still all we have in the way of real policy, strategy, rules around radioactive waste at the national level.”

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission staff have recently proposed regulatory documents, Lloyd said, “which are really very general descriptions of how they might go about issuing a licence for various activities. And they really lack rigour.”

She said two of the five regulatory documents the CNSC plans to bring forward next month deal directly with nuclear waste burial.

“One is around how you would assess the long-term performance of a deep geological repository, and one is about how you would characterize a site that was being considered. And both of them are just incredibly weak documents,” Lloyd maintained.

“The dividing line is between ‘shall’ and ‘should.’ The CNSC documents are all ‘should’ or ‘may.’ Which means there’s no rules.”

Lloyd and the other signatories to the letter ask Minister O’Regan to instruct the CNSC to stop developing radioactive waste management and nuclear decommissioning documents until new, overarching policies and strategies are in place.

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

‘Small Modular Nuclear Reactor’ entrepreneurs trying to revive dangerous ‘plutonium economy’ dream

Proposed nuclear projects in New Brunswick would revive dangerous “plutonium economy” https://nbmediacoop.org/2020/04/27/proposed-nuclear-projects-in-new-brunswick-would-revive-dangerous-plutonium-economy/    by Gordon Edwards  The Government of New Brunswick is supporting proposals by two start-up multi-national companies with offices in Saint John to build a type of nuclear reactor judged to be dangerous by experts worldwide.Last year, the government handed $5 million each to ARC Nuclear, based in the US, and Moltex Energy, based in the UK, to develop proposals to build prototypes of so-called Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMNRs) in the province. The government is also supporting both companies in their proposal for millions more taxpayer dollars from the federal Strategic Innovation Fund.

It seems that these two SMNR entrepreneurs in New Brunswick, along with other nuclear “players” worldwide, are trying to revitalize the “plutonium economy” — a nuclear industry dream from the distant past that many believed had been laid to rest because of the failure of plutonium-fuelled breeder reactors almost everywhere, including the US, France, Britain and Japan.

The phrase “plutonium economy” refers to a world in which plutonium is the primary nuclear fuel in the future rather than natural or slightly enriched uranium. Plutonium, a derivative of uranium that does not exist in nature but is created inside every nuclear reactor fuelled with uranium, would thereby become an article of commerce.

The proposed SMNR prototype from ARC Nuclear in Saint John is the ARC-100 reactor (100 megawatts of electricity). It is a liquid sodium-cooled SMNR, based on the 1964 EBR-2 reactor – the Experimental Breeder Reactor #2 in Idaho. Its predecessor, the EBR-1 breeder reactor, had a partial meltdown in 1955, and the Fermi-1 breeder reactor near Detroit, also modelled on the EBR-2, had a partial meltdown in 1966.

Admiral Hyman Rickover, who created the US fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, tried a liquid-sodium-cooled reactor only once, in a submarine called the Sea Wolf. He vowed that he would never do it again. In 1956 he told the US Atomic Energy Commission that liquid sodium-cooled reactors are “expensive to build, complex to operate, susceptible to prolonged shutdown as a result of even minor malfunctions, and difficult and time-consuming to repair.”

The ARC-100 is designed with the capability and explicit intention of reusing or recycling irradiated CANDU fuel. In the prototype phase, the proposal is to use irradiated fuel from NB Power’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. Lepreau is a CANDU-6 nuclear reactor.

The other newly proposed NB SMNR prototype is the Moltex “Stable Salt Reactor” (SSR) — also a “fast reactor”, cooled by molten salt, that is likewise intended to re-use or recycle irradiated CANDU fuel, again from the Lepreau reactor in the prototype phase.

The “re-use” (or “recycling”) of “spent nuclear fuel”, also called “used nuclear fuel” or “irradiated nuclear fuel,” is industry code for plutonium extraction. The idea is to transition from uranium to plutonium as a nuclear fuel, because uranium supplies will not outlast dwindling oil supplies. Breeder reactors are designed to use plutonium as a fuel and create (“breed”) even more plutonium while doing so.

It is only possible to re-use or recycle existing used nuclear fuel by somehow accessing the unused “fissile material” in the used fuel. This material is mainly plutonium. Accessing this material involves a chemical procedure called “reprocessing” which was banned in the late 1970s by the Carter administration in the US and the first Pierre Elliot Trudeau administration in Canada. South Korea and Taiwan were likewise forbidden (with pressure from the US) to use this chemical extraction process.

Why did both the US and Canada ban this recycling scheme? Two reasons: 1) it is highly dangerous and polluting to “open up” the used nuclear fuel in order to extract the desired plutonium or U-233; and 2) extracting plutonium creates a civilian traffic in highly dangerous materials (plutonium and U-233) that can be used by governments or criminals or terrorists to make powerful nuclear weapons without the need for terribly sophisticated or readily detectable infrastructure.

Argonne Laboratories in the US, and the South Korean government, have been developing (for more than 10 years now) a new wrinkle on the reprocessing operation which they call “pyroprocessing.” This effort is an attempt to overcome the existing prohibitions on reprocessing and to restart the “plutonium economy.”

Both New Brunswick projects are claiming that their proposed nuclear reactor prototypes would be successful economically. To succeed, they must build and export the reactors by the hundreds in future.

On the contrary, however, the use of plutonium fuel is, and always has been, much more expensive than the use of uranium fuel. This is especially true now, when the price of uranium is exceedingly low and showing very little sign of recovering. In Saskatchewan, Cameco has shut down some of its richest uranium mines and has laid off more than a thousand workers, while reducing the pay of those still working by 25 percent. Under these conditions, it is impossible for plutonium-fuelled reactors to compete with uranium-fuelled reactors.

And to make matters worse for the industry, it is well known that even uranium-fuelled reactors cannot compete with the alternatives such as wind and solar or even natural-gas-fired generators. It is an open question why governments are using public funds to subsidize such uneconomical, dangerous and unsustainable nuclear technologies. It’s not their money after all – it’s ours!

Dr. Gordon Edwards, a scientist and nuclear consultant, is the President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. He can be reached at: ccnr@web.ca    Note from the NB Media Co-op editors: Dr. Edwards visited New Brunswick in March for a series of public talks on the development of so-called Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. The story of his talk in Saint John can be accessed here. The video of the webinar presentation scheduled for Fredericton can be accessed here.

May 14, 2020 Posted by | - plutonium, Canada, Reference, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste plan divides South Bruce community

residents still have concerns about a high-level nuclear waste DGR in their community.

“The folks in South Bruce, who I would consider the key and primary stakeholders in all of this, are concerned about … health and safety, and the stigma that will be attached to” nuclear waste, Grant explawelined. These stakeholders are also worried about “the value of land and businesses in the immediate vicinity as l as along the transportations route from where the high-level nuclear waste is currently stored into the community.”

The siting process has disrupted families’ property values and farm planning and decision making.

We’ve invested 25 years into this property,” Stein said. And “people aren’t interested in moving into an area that might have all of Canada’s high-level nuclear waste.”

Change.org petition against the DGR has accumulated over 1,300 signatures as of early May, and community members have formed a group called Nuclear Tanks No Thanks to counter the NWMO’s plans

South Bruce divided over nuclear waste, Farms.com Community members clash over the site selection for a high-level nuclear waste deep geologic repository By Jackie Clark, Staff Writer Farms.com Bryon Mckee |May 12 2020  

South Bruce is an Ontario municipality that boasts “rolling hills, scenic highways and warm-hearted people,” on its website. However, over the last several months, a debate over a plan to build an underground nuclear waste facility has divided the community.

Proposals in Bruce County…….

Previously, OPG had proposed a plan to store low- and intermediate-level waste in a deep geologic repository (DGR) near Kincardine, Ont. After more than a decade of consultation, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) members voted not to support the DGR. OPG will honour its 2013 commitment to “not build the DGR at the Bruce site, without the support of SON,” said a Jan. 31 media release.
……………Under the federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, the NWMO is responsible for this waste.

……….The DGR would require about 250 acres or the surface facilities and 1,500 acres for the underground repository. ……..some  residents have not found the community engagement to be satisfactory. Continue reading

May 14, 2020 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment