nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Canada’s Green Party speaks out persuasively against small nuclear reactors

Sask. government criticized over exploration of SMR technology, David Prisciak, CTV News Regina Digital Content Producer,  May 10, 2022 Saskatchewan Green Party Leader Naomi Hunter accused the government of “kicking the climate crisis down the road,” by exploring small modular reactor (SMR) technology in a press conference Monday.

Hunter was present for a Monday morning event in front of the legislature, where she called on the provincial government to scrap its bid to explore SMR technology.

“We do not have the time for fairy tales that take us far into the future,” she said. “We don’t have 10 years to come up with a solution. (Premier) Scott Moe and the Sask. Party, they’re just kicking the climate crisis down the road like they always do.”

Hunter argued that the government’s move towards nuclear energy is not aiding the fight against climate change.

They claim that this is because they suddenly care about the climate crisis and are looking for solutions,” she said. “If that was the case, we would be installing immediate solutions of green energy: solar, wind, geothermal.”

“This province has the best solar gain in all of Canada and we have some of the best opportunities for wind energy.”…………………

Amita Kuttner, the interim leader of the Green Party of Canada, also attended the event in front of the legislature, and criticized the proposed move to SMR technology as the wrong approach.

What you are trading it for is again corporate power,” they explained. “Which is not solving the underlying causes of the climate emergency.”

Saskatchewan is currently in a partnership with British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario to collaborate on the advancement of SMR technology. ……..  https://regina.ctvnews.ca/sask-government-criticized-over-exploration-of-smr-technology-1.5895830

May 10, 2022 Posted by | Canada, politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | 1 Comment

Why shoreline nuclear power plants pose problem for Great Lakes

 Carol Thompson, The Detroit News, 4 May 22, The dozens of nuclear power reactors situated along the Great Lakes shoreline have produced a sizeable amount of electricity for Canada’s Ontario province and the midwestern United States since they first came online in 1963.

But the reactors also will produce a sizeable problem for the region in the coming decades, as the majority of them are scheduled to shut down and be decommissioned without places to send their nuclear waste for permanent storage. ……….  (Subscribers only)  https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/environment/2022/05/04/why-shoreline-nuclear-power-plants-pose-problem-great-lakes/7445044001/?gnt-cfr=1

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

A call for World-class Cleanup at Chalk River Laboratories

https://concernedcitizens.net/2022/04/14/a-call-for-world-class-cleanup-at-chalk-river-laboratories/ Canada’s $16 billion nuclear waste legacy is in danger of being abandoned in substandard facilities and allowed to leak into our rivers and drinking water. Instead, let’s use our expertise  to turn Canada into a world leader in the cleanup and safe storage of  radioactive waste. 

WORLD-CLASS NUCLEAR WASTE CLEANUP would protect  health, drinking water, property values and peace of mind.    

What do experts say is needed?  

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that radioactive waste  facilities must be carefully sited and waste placed below ground to keep  radioactive materials out of air and water and protect current and future  generations. The IAEA says that siting a facility for long-lived waste in  a “stable geological formation” is “fundamentally important.”  It says that  nuclear reactor entombment should only be used in the case of an  emergency, such as a meltdown. 

Retired AECL scientists say that IAEA guidance must be followed, that  Canada has an obligation to follow the guidelines as a signatory to the  Joint Convention on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.  

First Nations, in a Joint Declaration, endorsed by resolution at the  Assembly of First Nations, say that nuclear waste should be managed  according to five principles: 1) no abandonment, 2) monitored and  retrievable storage 3) better containment, more packaging, 2) away from  drinking water and major water bodies and 5) no unnecessary transport  (exports and imports) 

The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility says radioactive  waste should be carefully managed in monitored and retrievable condition  so that repairs to packaging can be made as needed, to keep the contents  out of the biosphere, our air, soil and drinking water. The CCNR suggests  that a “rolling stewardship” strategy whereby each generation teaches  each subsequent generation how to look after the wastes and keep them  out of the biosphere.

Some countries such as Finland have made good progress building  facilities to keep radioactive waste out of the biosphere. Finland puts  radioactive wastes produced by its four nuclear reactors in bedrock  geological facilities 100 meters deep. It has over 25 years of experience  with these facilities. They will also house the radioactive remains of the  reactors when they are shut down and dismantled. 

WORLD-CLASS NUCLEAR WASTE CLEANUP would bring  money into the Ottawa Valley economy and support good  careers for generations of valley residents.  

WORLD-CLASS NUCLEAR WASTE CLEANUP would involve: 

 Thoroughly characterizing all wastes

 Establishing an impeccable record-keeping system for use by current and many future generations.

 Careful packaging and labelling of the wastes. Repairing packages  when they fail and improving them if safer packaging materials become  available. 

 Regional mapping to locate a site with stable bedrock 

 Construction and operation of an in ground or underground storage facility. Materials that will be radioactive and  hazardous for thousands of years cannot be safely stored on the surface.

 While waiting for all of the above steps to be completed, wastes should  be stored in above ground monitored and reinforced (and shielded if  necessary) concrete warehouses; such facilities were pioneered by  Atomic Energy of Canada Limited in the 1990s.  

WORLD-CLASS NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE FACILITIES  would protect the Ottawa River and future generations.  

April 16, 2022 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Canada’s Federal Budget Funding for New Nuclear Reactors a ‘Climate Throwaway’ 

www.ccnr.org/media_11_April_2022.pdf       version en français: www.ccnr.org/communique_11_avril_2022.pdf

Toronto (April 11 2022) – The 2022 federal budget’s investment in unproven nuclear reactor designs, dubbed Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), is being called a “climate throwaway” by civil society groups. Just days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its starkest report yet urging aggressive climate action, the federal government is choosing to invest in yet-to-be proven technologies that miss the mark for halving emissions by 2030.

SMRs refer to a set of proposed nuclear technologies, designed to produce up to 300 megawatts of electricity. They are promoted for both the electric grid and for remote, off-grid communities to replace diesel reliance and to power resource extraction projects.

120+ civil society groups from coast to coast to coast including the Green Budget Coalition have asked the federal government to reallocate funds for SMRs into cost-effective, socially responsible, renewable energy solutions available now.

The budget dedicates $120 million over five years for SMRs:

●      Approximately $70 million of the budget is for research, geared to waste minimization.

This could include the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel, a chemical process for extracting plutonium from used radioactive fuel waste. Reprocessing is not currently used in Canada and it raises many proliferation and security concerns. Plutonium is a dangerous material not found in nature.  Reprocessing is in no way a solution to reducing radioactive waste, it simply redistributes the highly radioactive fission products into different waste streams. With the fission products removed, the remaining materials are much more susceptible to being stolen or used in nuclear weapons.

●      Approximately $50 million to build capacity within Canada’s nuclear regulator to regulate SMRs.

Investment in regulatory processes will not remedy the fact that SMRs have been removed from the federal impact (environmental assessment) process. SMR projects are only required to undergo a narrow licensing process, conducted by Canada’s nuclear regulator. Their expertise and regulatory framework is not equivalent with impact assessment law, which requires an upfront examination of ecological, socio-economic and sustainability impacts spanning the duration of the project.

The budget also includes two other provisions potentially applicable to SMR projects:

●      A new tax credit of up to 30% for net zero technologies such as battery storage and clean hydrogenNuclear projects should be ineligible for this tax credit as they are not cost-competitive with renewables and as has been previously pointed out, nuclear-powered hydrogen is not renewable hydrogen. Any application for this tax credit must also be required to transparently demonstrate the project’s economic viability.

●      Continuing the $8 billion Net Zero Accelerator initiative for projects with the potential to substantially reduce emissions by 2030 and support the goal of net-zero by 2050. SMRs are in the earliest of planning phases and anticipated dates for operation are well into the 2030s. This, coupled with the nuclear sector’s trend of construction delays and cost overruns, should make SMR projects ineligible as they cannot contribute to meeting the most urgent of climate targets, which requires halving emissions by 2030.

April 12, 2022 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Saskatchewn ponders new small nuclear reactors, but opposition unsure about safety and environmental impacts

‘Will be changed very shortly’: Premier confident nuclear energy generation will be coming to Sask.  Wayne Mantyka, CTV News Regina Video Journalist, 25 Mar 22, ”…………………………..  In 2019, Saskatchewan signed an agreement with Ontario and New Brunswick toward evaluation of new SMR technology. On Monday, SaskPower will announce the next steps in the decision making process and will also now assess reactors on the market and consider possible locations.

The opposition NDP would like to see more public discussions before any final decisions are made.“We’ve been clear about where we’re at on the opportunity and the challenges that SMRs may provide in Saskatchewan,” NDP MLA Aleana Young said. “Of course energy security is of massive concern to everyone in Saskatchewan as is the condition of our grid and the necessity for clean base load power, but there are going to be a huge number of people in the province who have questions and who have concerns.”

We’re not like Ontario. We don’t have existing nuclear power facilities and this needs to be a real conversation with people in Saskatchewan, not just about the business case and dollars and cents but about the environment and all of the implications for our communities,” Young added.

SaskPower has not made a decision about generating nuclear energy. If the idea wins public support and proves feasible, a small modular reactor could be operating in the province as early as 2030……………….   https://regina.ctvnews.ca/will-be-changed-very-shortly-premier-confident-nuclear-energy-generation-will-be-coming-to-sask-1.5833828

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Ottawa’s Nuclear Funding Delays Climate Action, Ignores Indigenous Objections, Opponents Warn

Ottawa’s Nuclear Funding Delays Climate Action, Ignores Indigenous Objections, Opponents Warn The Energy Mix March 20, 2022

The federal government is delaying climate action by subsidizing small, modular nuclear reactor (SMR) development, over the objections of the remote, Indigenous communities the technology is supposed to serve as an alternative to diesel generators, opponents warned last week.

“There is no guarantee SMRs will ever produce energy in a safe and reliable manner in Canada,” the groups said in a release, after Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced a C$27.2-million grant for Westinghouse Electric’s $57-million bid to move its e-Vinci reactor toward licencing. They said systems of the type Westinghouse is developing “are not the energy answer for remote communities”, since they “do not compete when compared with other alternatives.”

In a study conducted in 2020, “the cost of electricity from SMRs was found to be much higher than the cost of wind or solar, or even of the diesel supply currently used in the majority of these communities,” the release added.

“Canadians want affordable energy that does not pollute the environment,” said Susan O’Donnell, spokesperson for the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick. “Why would we invest in unproven technologies that, if they ever work, will cost two to five times more than building proven renewables?”

“The nuclear industry is promoting a nuclear fantasy to attract political support while purging past failures—like cost overruns and project delays—from public debate,” said Kerrie Blaise, northern services legal counsel at the Canadian Environmental Law Association. “Before Canada invests any public dollars in this yet-to-be-developed technology, they must fully evaluate the costs of nuclear spending and liabilities associated with the construction, oversight, and waste of this novel technology.”

“Studies have shown that electricity from small modular reactors will be more expensive than electricity from large nuclear power plants, which are themselves not competitive in today’s electricity markets,” said M. V. Ramana, a professor at the University of British Columbia School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, one of the co-authors of the 2020 study. “There is no viable market for small modular reactors, and even building factories to manufacture these reactors would not be a sound financial investment……………….

Last week’s government release added that SMR development will “help communities that rely on heavy-polluting diesel fuel to transition to a cleaner source of energy.” But the opposing groups say many of those remote settings are Indigenous communities, and SMR development isn’t the help they’re looking for. A December, 2018 resolution by the Assembly of First Nation Chiefs asked the industry to stop pursuing SMR development and the government to stop funding it, and “other Indigenous communities, including the Chiefs of Ontario, have passed resolutions opposing funding and deployment of SMRs”. https://www.theenergymix.com/2022/03/20/ottawas-nuclear-funding-delays-climate-action-ignores-indigenous-objections-opponents-warn%ef%bf%bc/

March 24, 2022 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Canada’s green bond program specifically prohibits investments in nuclear energy


Is nuclear energy green or not? Federal government sending conflicting messages, critics say

At the same time the government invests in small modular nuclear reactor projects, its new planned green bond program specifically prohibits investments in nuclear ene
rgy

Excerpt from the National Post, Mar 18, 2022  •The Liberal government is being accused of sending conflicting messages about the nuclear industry and how it can help adapt to a green environment.

The week the Liberal government put $27.2 million into a promising new small modular nuclear reactor — but at the same time its green bond program, meant to boost environmentally-friendly programs, specifically excludes investments in nuclear power.

The conflict shows mixed support at best for the industry, say critics………….

The green bond program was announced in last spring’s budget and detailed rules were released earlier this month. The green bonds would be part of Canada’s broader debt program, but the money would be specifically diverted to environmentally-friendly programs, such as climate change adaptation measures, other forms of renewable energy, and energy efficiency……….

Adrienne Vaupshas, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Canada’s green bonds were following international standards.

“Canada’s green bond framework is fully aligned with international green bond standards and market expectations,” she said….

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Canada, climate change, politics | Leave a comment

Indigenous, scientific, environmental and citizen groups strongly oppose Ottawa’s push for small nuclear reactors

 Ottawa pours more money into next-gen nuclear tech; critics to push back
against ‘dangerous distraction’. Innovation, Science and Industry
Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced a $27.2-million investment
Thursday in the development of next-generation nuclear technology he said
will make energy more accessible to remote communities.

However, numerous Indigenous, scientific, environmental and citizen groups have called the
technology a “dirty, dangerous distraction” from real climate action.
The money will go to the development of Westinghouse Electric Canada
Inc.’s eVinci micro-reactor, a small modular reactor (SMR) the company
says will “bring carbon-free, transportable, safe and scalable energy
anywhere Canada requires reliable, clean energy.”

 National Observer 17th March 2022

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2022/03/17/news/ottawa-pours-more-money-next-gen-nuclear-tech-prompting-critics-push-back-against

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Small modular nuclear reactors – no good for Canada’s indigenous communities, no good for climate action

The Government of Canada is further delaying climate action with an
announcement of $27 million in funding today to develop a Small Modular
Nuclear Reactor (SMR).

There is no guarantee SMRs will ever produce energy
in a safe and reliable manner in Canada. During his remarks for the
announcement, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science
and Economic Development Canada, as well as Westinghouse representatives,
said that the technology to be developed, the e-Vinci reactor by the
Westinghouse Electric Company, will be suitable for remote Indigenous
communities currently using diesel energy.

However, research has demonstrated that small modular nuclear reactors such as the type
Westinghouse is proposing are not the energy answer for remote communities.
The researchers–Froese, Kunz & Ramana (2020)–concluded that the
economics of SMRs do not compete when compared with other alternatives. The
cost of electricity from SMRs was found to be much higher than the cost of
wind or solar, or even of the diesel supply currently used in the majority
of these communities.

 Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility 17th March 2022

http://www.ccnr.org/

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Fossil and nuclear energy regimes threaten global security

Opinion: The deadly power of the troika of oil, gas and nuclear energy is unfolding before our eyes

New Brunswick Media Co-Op, by Janice Harvey, March 14, 2022

Vladimir Putin’s terror campaign against Ukraine has pulled back the curtain on the tightly integrated, brittle, and destructive energy regime that fuels the industrialized world. This regime poses an immediate threat to the survival of the people of Ukraine, and the longer-term survival of civilization itself. The deadly power of the troika of oil, gas and nuclear energy is unfolding before our eyes as Ukraine pays the price for a path all our countries have forged.

Energy is a source of two kinds of power – the kind that turns on lights, heats homes, and turns engines and the kind that drives politics. While there are many options for providing the energy services we all need, only some create authoritarian petrostates, transnational corporations with budgets larger than many nations, and billionaire oligarchs. Only some finance wars and inflict gross injustices on those in the paths of rigs and pipelines. Only some emit pollutants that kills millions every year.  Only some create deadly wastes that will persist longer into the future than humans have walked on this Earth. Only some turn a conventional missile into a nuclear weapon. Only some destroy the climate that makes Earth liveable.

All these existential threats are associated with the global networks of political and economic power built by transnational energy corporations. Energy policy has long been dominated by ‘iron triangles’ of energy business interests, ‘client’-oriented energy bureaucrats, and captured politicians. Whether it is Putin’s transnational petrodollars, Western Europe’s energy tap line to Russia, or nuclear plants dotting the European landscape, governments and whole countries have become entangled in a dangerous, brittle system that now threatens global security.

The inevitable outcome is the world on a knife-edge.

In the midst of Russia’s oil-financed terror campaign, the international climate science body issued its latest report documenting our collective descent into climate hell. UN Secretary-General Guterres called the report ‘an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.’

Enter the nuclear industry. After languishing for decades in Western countries due to intractable liabilities, and a legitimacy crisis following narrow escapes and full-blown disasters at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, opportunistic nuclear interests have seized on the climate emergency to promote itself as the ‘clean’ energy solution. This falsehood has now been exposed in Ukraine. Every nuclear reactor and nuclear waste storage site is a potential nuclear weapon, minus the blast and fireball. All Putin has to do to wreak radioactive havoc across Europe is target a nuclear facility or two with conventional missiles. Uncontrolled nuclear reactions and wind currents will do the rest.

Yet, the Liberal government’s climate action plan includes pouring hundreds of millions into an industry that would build modular nukes to export around the world, each one a target for a despot or a terrorist. This is all laid out in the federal “SMR Action Plan” that the nuclear industry helped to write, with funding disguised within the $8 billion “Net Zero Accelerator”.

New Brunswick is vying to become the hub for producing this deadly commodity. Nuclear experts from the United States have exposed the security threat inherent in the plutonium feedstock – the stuff of nuclear weapons – that one of the New Brunswick models requires. But even without diverting that fuel into a nuclear weapons program, the plant only needs to exist to be a nuclear target.

The Ukraine catastrophe should be enough to halt nuclear expansion in its tracks. Trading one existential threat (fossil fuel dependency) for another (an even wider network of nuclear targets) is a callous, willful betrayal of the public trust by those politicians enabling it…………..

Political leaders in Canada and abroad have two choices before them. They can deepen domestic and global energy and security vulnerabilities and hasten climate breakdown by building more pipelines, escalating oil and gas production, and enabling the expansion of the nuclear industry. Or they can work towards the elimination of energy as a geopolitical weapon and an existential threat to the civilization. It is up to us citizens to hold them accountable for the choice they make.

March 15, 2022 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

MPs and groups oppose hearings to license Canada’s first permanent radioactive waste dump.

MPs and groups oppose hearings to license Canada’s first permanent radioactive waste dump

MPs and groups oppose hearings to license Canada’s first permanent radioactive waste dump, https://concernedcitizens.net/2022/02/16/mps-and-groups-oppose-hearings-to-license-canadas-first-permanent-radioactive-waste-dump/  OTTAWA, February 16, 2022 – Members of Parliament and 50 environmental and citizen groups are opposed to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)’s forthcoming hearings to license Canada’s first permanent “disposal” facility for radioactive waste.

statement calling for suspension of the hearings is signed by three MPs: Laurel Collins, NDP environment critic; Elizabeth May, Parliamentary Leader of the Green Party of Canada; and Monique Pauzé, environment spokesperson for the Bloc Québécois. 

Union signatories of the statement include Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – Québec, Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses du Québec (FTQ) and the Unifor Québec Health, Safety and Environment Committee Unifor.

Other signatories include Friends of the Earth, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive, National Council of Women of Canada, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, and Quebec’s Front commun pour la transition énergétique. Ottawa Valley groups include Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association, Action Climat Outaouais, and Pontiac Environmental Protection, among others.

On January 31, the Kebaowek First Nation asked that the hearings be halted until a consultation framework between them and the CNSC is in place. The hearings are for authorization to build a “Near Surface Disposal Facility” for nuclear waste at Chalk River, Ontario, on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabeg lands alongside the Ottawa River.

The CNSC staff report recommends licensing the construction of the mound for 1 million cubic metres of radioactive and toxic wastes accumulated by the federal government since 1945. The CNSC has scheduled licensing hearings on February 22 and May 31. No separate environmental assessment hearing is scheduled.

The proposed facility would be an aboveground mound a kilometre from the Ottawa River, upstream from Ottawa and Montréal. 140 municipalities have opposed the project and fear contamination of drinking water and the watershed.

In 2017, the CNSC received 400 submissions responding to its environmental impact statement, the overwhelming majority of them opposed to the plan.

February 17, 2022 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Canadian First Nations do not want small nuclear reactors on their lands


Decolonizing energy and the nuclear narrative of small modular reactors   
https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/february-2022/decolonizing-energy-and-the-nuclear-narrative-of-small-modular-reactors/
Kebaowek First Nation is calling for an alternative to a planned SMR project, one that won’t undermine proper consultation and leave a toxic legacy.

by Lance Haymond, Tasha Carruthers, Kerrie Blaise, February 7, 2022  In early 2021, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission began reviewing the application from a company called Global First Power to build a nuclear reactor at the Chalk River Laboratories site about 200 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

This project, known as a micro modular reactor project, is an example of the nuclear industry’s latest offering – a small modular reactor (SMR).SMRs are based on the same fundamental physical processes as regular (large) nuclear reactors; they just produce less electricity per plant. They also produce the same dangerous byproducts: plutonium and radioactive fission products (materials that are created by the splitting of uranium nuclei). These are all dangerous to human health and have to be kept away from contact with people and communities for hundreds of thousands of years. No country has so far demonstrated a safe way to deal with these.

Despite these unsolved challenges, the nuclear industry promotes SMRs and nuclear energy as a carbon-free alternative to diesel for powering remote northern communities. The Canadian government has exempted small modular reactors from full federal environmental assessment under the Impact Assessment Act. Many civil society groups have condemned this decision because it allows SMRs to escape the public scrutiny of environmental, health and social impacts.

The proposed new SMR in Chalk River, like the existing facilities, would be located on Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation territory and the lands of Kebaowek First Nation – a First Nation that has never been consulted about the use of its unceded territory and that has been severely affected by past nuclear accidents at the site.

At this critical juncture of climate action and Indigenous reconciliation, Kebaowek First Nation is calling for the SMR project at Chalk River to be cancelled and the focus shifted to solutions that do not undermine the ability of First Nations communities to be properly consulted and that do not leave behind a toxic legacy.

While these reactors are dubbed “small,” it would be a mistake to assume their environmental impact is also “small.” The very first serious nuclear accident in the world involved a small reactor: In 1952, uranium fuel rods in the NRX reactor at Chalk River melted down and the accident led to the release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere and the soil. In 1958, the same reactor suffered another accident when a uranium rod caught fire; some workers exposed to radiation continue to battle for compensation.

What makes these accidents worse – and calls into question the justification for new nuclear development at Chalk River – is that this colonized land is the territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation territory (which consists of 11 First Nations whose territory stretches along the entire Ottawa River watershed straddling Quebec and Ontario). Kebaowek First Nation, part of the Algonquin Nation, was among those First Nations never consulted about the original nuclear facilities on their unceded territory, and is still struggling to be heard by the federal government and nuclear regulator. Its land has never been relinquished through treaty; its leaders and people were never consulted when Chalk River was chosen as the site for Canada’s first nuclear reactors; and no thought was given to how the nuclear complex might affect the Kitchi Sibi (the Ottawa River).

History is being repeated at Chalk River today as the government pushes ahead with the micro modular reactor project without consent from Kebaowek. Assessments of the project have been scoped so narrowly that they neglect the historical development and continued existence of nuclear facilities on Kebaowek’s traditional territory. The justification for an SMR at this location without full and thorough consideration of historically hosted nuclear plants – for which there was no consultation nor accommodation – is a tenuous starting point and one that threatens the protection of Indigenous rights.

The narrative of nuclear energy in Canada is one of selective storytelling and one that hides the reality of the Indigenous communities that remain deeply affected, first by land being taken away for nuclear reactor construction, and later by the radioactive pollution at the site. All too fitting is the term radioactive colonialism coined by scholars Ward Churchill and Winona LaDuke, to describe the disproportionate impact on Indigenous people and their land as a result of uranium mining and other nuclear developments. In country after country, the uranium that fuels nuclear plants has predominantly been mined from the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples at the expense of the health of Indigenous Peoples and their self-determination.

Kebaowek First Nation has been vocal in its objection to the continuation of the nuclear industry on its lands without its free prior and informed consent, as is its right under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Despite requests for the suspension of the SMR project, pending adequate provisions for Indigenous co-operation and the Crown’s legal duty to initiate meaningful consultation, Kebaowek has yet to see its efforts reflected in government decisions and Crown-led processes.

Nuclear is a colonial energy form, but it is also bio-ignorant capitalism – a term coined by scholars Renata Avila and Andrés Arauz to describe the ways in which the current economic order ignores the planetary climate emergency, human and ecological tragedies, and the large-scale impact on nature. The narrative of nuclear as a “clean energy source” is a prime example of this bio-ignorance. Decision-makers have become fixated on carbon emissions as a metric for “clean and green,” ignoring the radioactive impacts and the risks of accidents with the technology.

It is more than 70 years since Chalk River became the site for the splitting of the nucleus. The continuation of nuclear energy production on unceded Indigenous territory without meaningful dialogue is a telling example of continued colonial practices, wherein companies extract value from Indigenous land while polluting it; offer little to no compensation to impacted communities; and abide by timelines driven by the project’s proponents, not the community affected. We need to move away from this colonial model of decision-making and decolonize our energy systems.

The challenge of climate change is urgent, but responses to the crisis must not perpetuate extractivist solutions, typical of colonial thinking, wherein the long-term impacts – from the production of toxic waste to radioactive releases – lead to highly unequal impacts.

The authors thank Justin Roy, councilor and economic development officer at Kebaowek First Nation, and M.V. Ramana, professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, for contributing to this article.

February 8, 2022 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

NB Power and New Brunswick government gamble on untested, non existent ”small” nuclear reactors (SMRs)

While the world is turning overwhelmingly toward renewable sources of
energy, currently about four times cheaper than new nuclear plants and with
an established track record, NB Power and the New Brunswick government
insist on gambling on two new unproven nuclear plants, misleadingly termed
“small modular nuclear reactors” (SMNRs or SMRs).

SMRs do not exist at all in Canada except on paper or as computerized plans. There is no
guarantee these new untested reactors will ever succeed in producing
electricity in Canada in a safe and affordable manner.

But public utilities across the country are being pressured to generate power without emitting
greenhouse gases during operation. Instead of investing big bucks in
negawatts (energy efficiency) or renewables, four provinces are promoting
new nuclear plants – SMRs – as their best strategy for combatting
climate change. Since these plants are not likely to materialize for more
than a decade, if ever, the nuclear strategy is another way of “kicking
the can down the road.”

 NB Media Co-op 27th Jan 2022

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Canada’s state broadcaster CBC peddles lies and slanders about jailed journalist Julian Assange

Canada’s state broadcaster CBC peddles lies and slanders about jailed journalist Julian Assange, WSW, J.D. Palmer, 24 January 2022 J.D. Palmer, a freelance journalist and fiction writer from Montreal. Palmer recently submitted a formal complaint to Canada’s state broadcaster, CBC, over its coverage of last month’s UK court ruling against the acclaimed journalist Julian Assange, 

Following the calamitous ruling on December 10, 2021 by a British court to extradite Julian Assange to face espionage charges in the US, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired two reports, densely packed with hideous deceptions that lend support to Washington’s efforts to persecute and silence the award-winning journalist.

I filed a complaint with the CBC Ombudsman on December 18, wondering how Canada’s public broadcaster could possibly justify its malevolent reportage.

Having laid bare the US empire as a never-ceasing conveyor belt of war crimes, Assange exposed Washington’s lies of “nation building” in Afghanistan and Iraq as a vast “money laundering” operation.

And yet, as his legal case progressed, it was clear that the Wikileaks founder’s heroism was resulting in his slow murder via multi-state judicial corruption. In response to this remarkable case, in one of many examples of journalistic malfeasance, Chris Brown, in his report for the CBC’s flagship news program “The National,” falsely asserts that Assange “leaked” the cables that contained the infamous Collateral Murder video. Brown, a long-time CBC correspondent, can presumably distinguish between publishing and leaking. Determined to confuse the viewer, Brown fails to mention the role of whistleblower Chelsea Manning (Assange’s source) and through conflation taints the journalistic credentials of the man who exposed torture at Guantanamo.

Brown knows quite well that publishing leaks is the backbone of national security journalism with the quotidian apparatus of “legacy” newspapers like the New York Times, providing potential whistleblowers with technical instructions on their websites for evading detection. That’s why, as CBC fails to inform the viewer, the Obama administration chose not to prosecute Assange (a decision later reversed by Trump’s Department of Justice or DOJ). Due to what it deemed the “ New York Times problem,” such a precedent, Obama’s DOJ concluded, could be used against fellow elites.

Now in the hands of Biden’s DOJ, this clear case of selective prosecution by the US and its colluding vassal state, the UK, has been denounced by legal experts, a swath of trade unions and activists. And while one can reliably count on Canada’s public broadcaster to ignore grassroots campaigns, what’s remarkable is that the CBC’s reporting on this historic case sinks below even the corporate media’s degraded standards.

Both CBC reports dodged press freedom groups, humanitarian organizations, politicians and the sorts of celebrity activists that would normally be made the unabashed focal point of any press coverage of a humanitarian cause. Brown’s segment, as well as Tessa Arcilla’s segment for the CBC morning news, made reference only to Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, and “supporters,” aiming to paint protestors as merely fringe and familial.

When I contacted Moris about my intention to file a complaint with the CBC’s Ombudsman, she wondered why CBC had not, at the very least, “… provided equal length to the defence arguments or arguments from press freedom groups and Amnesty [International]?”

By December 10, Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, was just one of many impartial legal and humanitarian experts seeking the attention of any media organization that would listen. Melzer, along with a medical team, had adjudicated Assange as a victim of torture, after finding him in a degraded and frail state in Belmarsh Prison, “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay.”

While other networks provided at least some time for humanitarian lawyers, such as Reporters Without Borders’ Rebecca Vincent, to refute the US’s case, no legitimate expert found their way onto the screens of CBC’s viewers. Instead, viewers were presented with camouflaged shills………………….

While CBC’s upper management vociferously decries “misinformation” in self-congratulatory, tone-deaf blogs, presenting itself as brave gate-keepers “battling the growing scourge of disinformation,” their history of covering the Assange case provides a window into just how depraved its journalistic culture has become.

Blighting what an international panel of jurists at the UN adjudicated as Assange’s “arbitrary detention” in the Ecuadorian embassy, CBC Radio, from 2018 to 2019, aired a series of smear pieces in the guise of lifestyle segments, comedy and news. Often aimed at the Wikileaks founder’s alleged hygiene failures, these dehumanizing broadcasts trotted out sketch comedians, UK diplomats and other Assange enemies (such as discredited filmmaker Alex Gibney, and co-fabricator of the debunked Manafort-Assange conspiracy theory, Dan Collyns) as neutral experts. In one sickening case, CBC (in a painfully long segment) offered up a “master butler” to smugly chasten Assange, “If that’s the type of service you want, you need to go to a hotel.”

None of CBC’s hacks seemed to care that they might be willing pawns in a disinformation campaign launched by vicious technocrats, something proven years later when senior members of the UK government were revealed to have conspired to violate Assange’s asylum rights…………..

Absent any whiff of a moral ballast, the CBC fails to grasp the irony of imprisoning a journalist for publishing evidence of war crimes and not the criminals who committed them. As the US led global shop of horrors comes nearer to its goal of criminalizing substantive journalism, the CBC and its gutless class of information dilettantes can rest safely knowing they pose no threat.   https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/01/25/cbca-j25.html?pk_campaign=assange-newsletter&pk_kwd=wsws

January 27, 2022 Posted by | Canada, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Chief Hugh Akagi will present the case against having a CANDU-6 nuclear reactor on Peskotomuhkati land

Canada’s nuclear regulator starts hearings on Lepreau,  h

Chief Hugh Akagi says he’ll listen today and speak his mind this spring

Rachel Cave · CBC News · Jan 26, 2022  Chief Hugh Akagi says his 15 minutes is coming in May.

That will be his time to tell Canada’s Nuclear Safety Commission that he objects to having a CANDU-6 reactor on traditional Peskotomuhkati land.

“If anything goes wrong,” said Akagi, his voice trailing away as he contemplated the possibility of a nuclear accident. “Nuclear is being touted as green energy and I just do not feel that there is any compatibility there at all.”

Akagi will be speaking for the Passamaquoddy Recognition Group.

The organization has been granted $45,000 in federal funding to research and prepare a presentation that will take place this spring.

That’s part two of the licensing hearings that start today, as NB Power seeks approval to operate Lepreau for another 25 years.

N.B. Power will try to make the case that Lepreau has an outstanding record for safety and reliability.

There’s never been an industrial accident on site since it started operating in 1983.

However, the off-site emergency plan does raise the spectre of some devastating possibilities.

They include an active attacker on site, a hostile takeover of the control room, a potential aircraft impact, a credible bomb threat and the accidental release of radioactive material.

Akagi says he’s disturbed by the idea of having radioactive waste stored on site, and so close to the Bay of Fundy.

“This is one of the most productive ecosystems in the world,” said Akagi. .

“The damage… if anybody could imagine the damage. You’re sacrificing all the fish, the clams… everything would be gone.”

At 75, Akagi says he’s been before the CNSA at least three times before.

Most recently, he presented to the Commissioners in 2017, when the regulator agreed to a five-year renewal of Lepreau.  ……………. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nuclear-regulator-hearings-lepreau-1.6327509

January 27, 2022 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues | Leave a comment