New Group “Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump” formed to fight OPG’s DGR (December 2012)

A new group Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump has formed to fight Ontario Power Generation’s deep geological repository in Kincardine.

From their web site at


“Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump Inc.” is a non-profit organization of concerned citizens – ordinary Canadians. We are deeply concerned about Ontario Power Generation’s proposal to build a Deep Geological Repository to bury radioactive nuclear waste on the shores of the Great Lakes. We believe that radioactive nuclear waste should not be buried underground anywhere in the Great Lakes Basin. We believe that the protection of our Great Lakes from buried radioactive nuclear waste is responsible stewardship, and is of national and international importance. The Great Lakes provide safe clean drinking water for 40 million people in two countries, as well as providing recreation, fishing, supporting agriculture, plant and aquatic life.


We believe that there is an almost complete lack of awareness among Canadians and Americans of Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) plans to bury radioactive nuclear waste “approximately 1 km inland from Lake Huron at the surface and more than 400 metres below the deepest near-site point of Lake Huron”.1  OPG’s Nuclear Waste Dump proposal sets a precedent for the establishment of future nuclear dumps on the Great Lakes potentially impacting people on both sides of the border.

Raise Public Awareness:  A matter of this magnitude needs to be brought to the attention of all Canadians and Americans.

Cracks found in Swedish nuclear waste pools (December 2012)

Published: 12 Dec 12 16:01 CET

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Strlskerhetsmyndigheten) has asked nuclear waste contractors at the Oskarshamn nuclear plant to review their security requirements after cracks were found in the pools where nuclear waste is temporarily stored on site.

Cement walls are cracked in two of ten waste pools at the Clab storage facility, which is run by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (Svensk Kornbronslehantering, SKB).

SKB must now look into whether the pools still live up to safety requirements and report back to the Radiation Safety Authority.

The main aim at the interim storage is to make sure no water nor gas can leak out, the statement pointed out.

One security requirement details that any cracks on the inside of the pools not be wider than 0.4 millimetres, the agency noted in its report.

It is the second time in less than a week that the Radiation Safety Authority has wagged its fingers at the Oskarshamn nuclear plant.

On December 6th, 2012, it ordered the temporary closure of one of the three reactors.

“We decided that Oskarshamn nuclear power plant (OKG) should take nuclear reactor O2 offline immediately,” the Radiation Safety Authority (Strolskerhetsmyndigheten) said in a statement.

The plant operator was told to put one of its diesel generators through a 48-hour test run, the statement read. There was no immediate danger, it added.

“The power supply to the reactors is extremely important. This was one of the main problems at Fukushima,” safety inspection chief Leif Karlsson told the TT new agency.

“If you don’t have this system running, you cannot add water to the reactor.”

TT/The Local/at

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“Waste: The Nuclear Nightmare” film wins export award (December 2012)

December 11

Waste: The Nuclear Nightmare, a coproduction between ARTE France and Bonne Pioche, was named the best-selling French TV documentary of the year during the ninth annual Export Awards, part of the PROCIREP French Film and TV Producers Association Awards ceremony held in Paris Monday evening (December 10).

The documentary examines what is actually known about the risks inherent in nuclear waste, through cases in France, Germany, the United States and Russia.

Other nominees in the category included The Way Steve Jobs has Changed the World, distributed by Upside Télévision; and Wildwives of Savannah Lane, distributed by Zed and produced by One Planet, France 5, and Animal Planet International with the participation of Planète, Canal + España, HD Suisse, RTBF, TSR, Canal Futura, and EBS.

The Export Awards ceremony is presented by French TV distribution organization TV France International, and is designed to recognize the French programs that sold the most in the international market in the categories of documentary, animation and fiction.

Also during the PROCIREP awards, Marseilles-based Les films du Tambour de Soie was named as top documentary producer.

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Art Sales

Nuclear Dump in Bruce – Transportation Risks (December 2012)

Monday, December 10, 2012 12:32:18 EST PM


This is the third of my five-part letter explaining why I am opposed to the building of a high-level, deep geological repository (HL-DGR) in Bruce County for the disposal of exhausted fuel rods from nuclear reactors.

In parts 1 and 2, I argued that Bruce County is a completely inappropriate location for a HL-DGR because: (1) it is in the midst of an agricultural and recreation/tourist region, (2) the stigma associated with nuclear waste might depress the county’s economy and also reduce land values, (3) a HL-DGR would create an imbalanced and boom-bust economy and (4) deeply buried nuclear waste has the potential for contaminating the environment and endangering human health.

In this, Part 3, I discuss the transportation risks associated with a HL-DGR and also the flawed site selection process in Bruce County.

Transportation risks.

A HL-DGR in Bruce County would be a centralized repository, serving the nuclear industry in all of Canada.  Thus, it would draw an estimated 53 road shipments per MONTH of highly dangerous radioactive material into the region from reactors and research laboratories in Manitoba, southern and eastern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.  Under the NAFTA agreement, the HL-DGR might also receive shipments from the United States which does not have a DGR.

Shipments to Bruce County from the west would have to be transported around Lake Superior and northern Lake Huron/Georgian Bay by rail or truck  – alternatively, by ship across the lakes.

Shipments from eastern Canada would have to be transported along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River and through the Greater Toronto Area, if not also through the St. Lawrence Seaway which traverses the densest populated regions of the country and is also adjacent to the border with the United States, raising (as does the use of the Great Lakes Waterway) international issues.

A centralized HL-DGR, no matter where located, involves extensive transportation of highly dangerous radioactive material.  And regardless of assurances about safety, accidents happen.  Locating a DGR in Bruce County creates an unacceptable risk to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, as well as to the people living in their vicinity.

Flawed site selection process in Bruce County.

I believe that the search to find a location for the HL-DGR by Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is flawed in Bruce County because payments made to municipalities surrounding the Bruce generating station for their support for a low- and medium-level DGR at the Bruce generating station are a possible incentive for municipal interest in a high-level DGR.

Four of the five municipalities in the county that have expressed an interest in learning more about the HL-DGR have received, are currently receiving and have been promised, under the terms of the hosting agreement for the LM-DGR mentioned above, substantial sums of money (two one-time lump sum payments, in 2005 and 2013, and annual payments of smaller amounts through 2034) for supporting that facility at the Bruce generating station.  These municipalities stand to lose that money if they do not: “… in good faith, [exercise] best efforts to achieve any of … the milestones … to permit the construction and operation of the … [low- and medium-level DGR].”   This places municipal councils in an awkward position, if not a potential conflict of interest situation, with respect to the proposed HL-DGR.  Ontario Power Generation insists that the two projects are separate and distinct.  However, the hosting agreement for the LM-DGR may have influenced the decisions of local councils to express an interest in the HL-DGR  – councils being unwilling perhaps to jeopardize the hosting agreement by not also supporting NWMO’s search process for a HL-DGR and, simultaneously, also risk being left out of a potential future agreement (and financial benefits) for that repository.

Council’s response to criticism, at least in the case of Saugeen Shores, that it took action without prior consultation with the public for a project that is beyond the scope of the official municipal plan, is that the NWMO process incorporates an “Out option” at any time during steps 1 through 5 of the ten-step process, although council has not also suggested when or how that option might be triggered.  Thus, in Saugeen Shores at least, council seems interested in the potential financial benefits of a HL-DGR but appears to have no other considerations on behalf of the municipality; nor does it appear willing to take a leadership role in organizing community discussions, or even a referendum, independent of NWMO.

Lots to think about.

In Part 4 of my five-part letter explaining why I oppose a HL-DGR in Bruce County, I will discuss corporate convenience and scientific issues.

Peter L. Storck

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Under the volcano: living with the mountain of radioactive waste (December 2012)

December 6

After 70 years, nuclear bombs remain the only real re-use for lethal waste.

by Penney Kome, Straight Goods News

Along with freak storms, nuclear reactor accidents have moved from being a 100 year event to being regular occurrences.  “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s probabilistic risk analysis claims a meltdown is a once in a 200 year event,” said nuclear engineer Arne Gundersen.  But the facts contradict the predictions. “There have been five meltdowns in 35 years: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and three meltdowns at Fukushima.”

Fukushima! As the people of Japan struggle with the consequences of the 2010 earthquakes and tsunami, the ongoing catastrophe at the Daichi nuclear power plants has turned Japanese public opinion solidly against starting up the remaining plants.

At the recent “Ending the Nuclear Era” conference, Akiko Yoshida of Friends of the Earth Japan reported what voters there said:  90 percent want all the nuclear power plants shut down immediately and permanently. She also reported that the nukes provide only about 14 percent of Japan’s energy supply, contrary to what most people believe.
Despite decades of warnings, a large section of an industrialized country is undergoing involuntary human experimentation with human-made radiation.


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Penney Kome has been researching and writing about nuclear issues since the 1980s. She is co-editor with Patrick Crean of Peace: A Dream Unfolding (Sierra Club Books 1986), a coffee table anthology about civil society’s successful efforts to fend off a nuclear war during the Cold War.


About Penney Kome


Penney Kome is an award-winning author and journalist who has published six books with major publishers. She is also the Editor of Straight Goods.

“Infrastructure” proposals really nuclear dumps (December 2012)

by Penney Kome, Straight Goods

From December 3 – 5,  the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is holding hearings in Courtice, Ontario, with an unprecedented three different items on the agenda. The meetings had to be postponed from September because of the number of intervenors. Ninety groups or individuals will present in person; at least as many have submitted written presentations.

Northwatch researcher Brennain Lloyd talks about issues now before the CNSC.

In this exclusive SGN video interview, Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch describes the issues and dynamics involved with these hearings. Intervenors have ten minutes to address:

  • re-licensing the Darlington nuclear reactor;
  • re-licensing a high-level (fuel grade) waste facility; and
  • a proposal to refurbish Darlington.

For many environmental groups, the radioactive waste issue is urgent. Currently, the wastes are “imperfectly stored” at the reactor station, said Lloyd.  She cited a decades-long hunt for the perfect geological formation that would isolate fuel waste in perpetuity. Now the regulators have abandoned that hunt, and “any rock will do.”  One proposal is to bury low and medium level wastes deep below the surface of the Bruce generating station, on the shore of Lake Huron.

As well, the CNSC [KNW note: this reference should be to the NWMO] has invited Ontario small cities and townships to participate in a “National Infrastructure Project” – otherwise known as a nuclear dump – advertised as being worth $16 – 24 billion.  Twenty-one communities have agreed to be studied as potentially the site for high-level nuclear waste – mostly without the local people knowing anything about it.

Lloyd said that the CNSC [KNW note: this reference should be to the NWMO] is trying to reassure municipal councils that the radioactive material decomposes over time, so that eventually there will be no radioactivity left. Two key factors are omitted from presentations, however. The first is that decomposition can take centuries, if not millennia. The second is that decomposition means the radioactivity is leaving the material – and potentially going into the local air and water.

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When did Saugeen Shores become an isolated, desert community? (December 2012)

Monday, December 3, 2012 12:05:07 EST PM


Recently, members of council from various municipalities in Bruce County, including Saugeen Shores, attended a heavily funded international conference coordinated by the NWMO.

Of course, the goal of the conference was to promote a DGR for Canada’s highly radioactive nuclear waste. As expected, coming out of the conference, we are starting to hear all about an operational DGR for low and medium level waste in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Our Council, and other champions of a Nuclear Dump in Saugeen Shores, have started promoting Carlsbad as an example of a DGR success story. They are talking about jobs, economic development and support being paid by the nuclear industry.

What you won’t hear in all the glossy propaganda is that the Town of Carlsbad is isolated, a desert community in the southern part of New Mexico, just 150 miles from the border of Mexico. The next closest major community is over 250 kilometres away.

What you won’t hear in all the glossy propaganda is that before the DGR, the community was in a desperate, economic state. In fact, in the decade prior to the DGR, the population had dropped by 16 per cent as a result of a downturn in the mining industry.

What you won’t hear in all the glossy propaganda is that the DGR is located 41 kilometres from Carlsbad, an area completely absent of any significant residential or commercial development.

And most importantly, what you won’t hear in all the glossy propaganda is that Section 12 of their host agreement contains a complete ban on expanding their DGR to include highly radioactive nuclear waste like that being proposed by NWMO for Saugeen Shores.

Champions of the DGR, members of our council and the NWMO seem to want Saugeen Shores to emulate the path taken by Carlsbad, New Mexico – an isolated, desert community that was in a desperate economic state.

In Saugeen Shores, we are so different and have so much to offer already – beautiful beaches; a thriving, diversified economy; a growing tourist industry and a booming retirement population. Mr. mayor and members of council – Saugeen Shores is no Carlsbad, New Mexico! Instead of growing our economy, a DGR will kill everything that makes our community unique and special.

John Harding 

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