No Nuclear Neigbours (July 2014_

Manitobans owe a debt of gratitude to Eileen Linklater and the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation for their courage in refusing a high-level radioactive waste repository in or near their territory (Northern band says ‘no’ to nuclear waste, July 17).

Creighton, Sask., is currently being considered for the final resting ground of Canada’s stockpile of nuclear fuel rods. As an immediate neighbour to Flin Flon, it shares in Flin Flon’s abundant freshwater resources.

Storing high-level nuclear waste in Creighton puts that water at risk of contamination, a fact duly noted and deemed unacceptable by the band, even given the potential economic spinoffs.

Any nuclear waste going to Creighton will have to pass through the lake country, population centres (notably Winnipeg), agricultural lands and boreal forests of this province on its journey from Eastern Canada.

Manitoba rejected nuclear-waste disposal in this province with legislation back in 1997. Let’s be clear that we do not want this material on our train tracks or highways, putting our communities, land and water at risk.

Anne Lindsey


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 22, 2014 A8

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Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation says ‘no’ to nuclear waste in Flin Flon area

By Jonathon Naylor, Winnipeg Free Press, July /17/2014

The most controversial economic-development proposal in the history of this area may have just had its Elijah Harper moment.

Brandishing a feather in her hand, Eileen Linklater announced her native band, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, is against bringing radioactive waste to the Flin Flon region.

"We don’t want (any) nuclear waste in our territory," Linklater, a PBCN councillor, told officials studying the concept in May.

To say PBCN’s opposition complicates the potential of nuclear-waste storage in Creighton, Flin Flon’s sister community just across the Saskatchewan border, is an understatement.

Creighton (pop. 1,498) is involved in the early, learning phase with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), which is mandated to find a site to stockpile Canada’s nuclear waste.The waste — spent nuclear fuel rods from nuclear power plants — will be buried about 500 metres underground in a highly secure repository.

The geology of the chosen area must be sound, but just as importantly, surrounding residents must convincingly demonstrate they want the project. On that point, NWMO has placed heavy emphasis on the will of First Nations people, recognizing they have "unique status and rights," says the agency’s website. With this in mind, Linklater attended a May meeting of the Community Liaison Committee, a group that forms a bridge between Flin Flon-Creighton-area residents and NWMO.

During question period, she dropped the bombshell that her band had adopted a resolution opposing any nuclear-waste storage "in or around PBCN communities, lands, or traditional territories.""You should know of the pros and cons," Linklater, a grandmotherly figure with a no-nonsense air about her, told the meeting. "All you think about is money here. Money. But after that money is gone, what’s going to happen?"

"…science is not infallible, and PBCN — as well as many residents — worry something could go terribly wrong."

PBCN is one of the largest native bands in Saskatchewan, with over 10,000 members in northeastern Saskatchewan. Many PBCN members live in Flin Flon-Creighton, and even more utilize the community as a service centre.

Despite the band’s lucidly worded resolution, NWMO says Creighton remains in the learning phase of the project along with more than a dozen Ontario communities."NWMO will continue its efforts to engage PBCN, to answer their questions, address their concerns and understand their views on Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term care of used nuclear fuel," said NWMO spokesman Mike Krizanc.

Krizanc reiterated, as he often does, that Creighton is in the early stages of a lengthy procedure to learn about nuclear-waste storage.

The final decision on where the repository will go is probably a decade away. PBCN’s hostile position disappoints advocates who genuinely view the repository as the region’s best hope to finally shed its status as a one-industry (mining) town.

NWMO foresees 400 to 1,200 jobs during a construction phase of up to a decade. After that, it will take upwards of 40 years to truck waste to the repository, creating 600 to 800 jobs. Once transportation is complete, roughly 200 people will be needed to maintain the repository for an undetermined period of time, perhaps indefinitely.NWMO has gone to great lengths to illustrate the safety of the project and its reliance on the best available science.

Earlier this year, Neale Hunt, manager of safety assessment for NWMO, shared research showing the anticipated annual radiation dose for someone living atop a nuclear-waste repository would be far, far less than an average Canadian’s exposure from everyday sources.

Still, science is not infallible, and PBCN — as well as many residents

Mayor Ginn encourages citizens to speak up at the 2nd annual Mayorís Mingle

On June 30 the 2nd annual Mayor’s Mingle was held at the Central Huron Community Complex in Clinton. The mingle was an informal event geared towards Central Huron residents who are interested in talking to Central Huron council one-on-one and learning about what is happening within the municipality.

Three presentations were delivered at the event. Joanne Facilla, the director of social research and dialogue at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), delivered a presentation regarding the future location of the nuclear waste deep geological repository project. Brenda MacIsaac, the clerk for Central Huron, then spoke about the upcoming changes to the municipal election and discussed how, in the future, the municipality will be ditching the traditional ballot in favor of internet and telephone voting. And, Claire Fleming, the last speaker, described her and her brothers fundraising bike tour across Canada and accepted a Youth In Motion certificate from Mayor Ginn.

Before and after the presentations, various citizens took the chance to talk to the Mayor directly which the Mayor himself encouraged. This is one of the ways we are making it easier for residents to come and express their opinions on all topics without the need to go through the formality of a council meeting, stated Mayor Ginn, we know people have questions and this is a great, casual event to come and have those questions answered.

Tara Ostner, The Clinton News Record – Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:00:05 EDT PM
Mayor Ginn greets citizens.

A safe nuclear waste repository is not possible (U.S.) July 2014

July 4, 2014 – Newburyport Daily News

To the editor:

No More Fukashimas applauds The Daily News for printing the editorial from Meriden, Conn., entitled Storing nuclear waste on June 17. The editorial warns that the best-laid schemes of the countrys regulators ­ the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy ­ seem to have gone awry, [since] even though they have been trying for decades to establish a secure national dumping place for depleted nuclear fuel, it hasnt happened. Nevadas Yucca Mountain was supposed to be the site but that plan fell through.

The result is that nuclear plants including Seabrook are storing their high-level nuclear waste in our backyards indefinitely, even though nuclear plants were not designed to permanently store spent fuel.

The permanent, safe disposal of nuclear fuel is a problem that may never be solved. Putting aside the formidable technical challenges of locating a proper geologic site, governors and legislatures vigorously oppose siting a nuclear waste repository in their states. In Nevada, billions of federal dollars were spent at Yucca Mountain before the government had second thoughts and stopped the project.

The reason for the states relentless opposition is that voters, however open to nuclear power they might be, do not want a national nuclear waste repository in their backyards.

But, in any event, a national waste repository would not guarantee safe spent fuel storage because it would create horrible new risks for the nation. If a waste repository opened, it would result in thousands of shipments of high-level radioactive spent fuel moving across the United States, raising the specter of 1.) weather or transport related accidents; or 2.) terrorism in the states through which the spent fuel travels. This threat to our nations security is not worth the risk.

The only way to begin to effectively address the nuclear waste storage problem is to stop generating new spent fuel by banning the licensing and relicensing of nuclear plants, including Seabrook. A ban would gradually end production of new spent fuel as plant operating licenses lapse. Obviously, the U.S. would still need to address spent fuel that has already accumulated. As the editorial stated, we are stuck with the consequences of nuclear waste that has already been created. But we can stop creating more.

Tom MacLachlan