Underground storage of nuclear waste isn’t the answer, speaker argues (February 2013)

February 11, 2013

HEATHER BOA Bullet News CLINTON – Underground storage is not the long-term solution for more than 50,000 tonnes of high-level radioactive waste stockpiled at nuclear electricity generating facilities across the country, says a member of a coalition on environmental issues.

“There are known uncertainties with geological repositories,” Brennain Lloyd of North Watch told about 50 gathered at REACH Huron in Clinton for an information session hosted by Huron National Farmers Union, Local 335 in co-operation with the Huron District of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. More than 20 communities, including the Municipality of Central Huron, have expressed an interest in learning more about hosting a deep geologic site to store the country’s high-level radioactive waste from nuclear electricity generation. Feb. 19, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization will deliver to Central Huron Council an independent consultant’s initial screening report, which is a desktop study to determine whether there are any red flags that would rule out the municipality as a potential site.

Lloyd said after looking at proposals from around the world for underground storage and considering how they have evolved in Canada over the past 25 years, “we have no confidence those uncertainties are going to be resolved in the near future to a level of reasonable satisfaction.”

She said uncertainties include that the copper or steel containers could corrode more quickly than expected, heat from radioactive decay could impair the backfill material from trapping radioactive isotopes, built up gas pressure could escape through crystalline rock fractures, future generations could accidentally dig a shaft into the rock around the repository or a well into contaminated groundwater, and earthquakes could damage the containers.

The underground repository requires a subsurface area of about 930 acres at a depth of approximately 500 metres.

Instead, she said they should get on with the job of dealing with the spent fuel cells from nuclear reactions that are currently placed in dry storage after seven to 10 years of cooling and lowering radioactivity levels in pools of water. In Ontario, the bundles are stored on an interim basis.

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Nuclear Waste On-Line: Webinar Series February 5 – March 1 (February 2013)

Nuclear Waste On-line is a series of on-line presentations throughout February 2013 about nuclear waste  Weekly workshops provide an introduction to nuclear waste in Canada, an overview of how nuclear facilities are regulated, a outline of proposals for the deep burial of nuclear waste, and a comparison of different country approaches to assessing nuclear waste burial proposals. Twice per week, February 5 to March 1. Join us!

See details at http://www.knownuclearwaste.ca. Pre-registration is not required – you will be asked for your name and email as you enter the workshop – but you are encouraged to visit www.anytime.com/Northwatch in advance to become familiar with the system.  To join a webinar, either pre-register or sign in a few minutes before each webinar at www.anytime.com/Northwatch

Webinars will be at noon each Tuesday and 2 pm each Friday throughout February; the on-line conference will be open between 10 a.m. and 10:30 the day of each workshop for first-time users to take a trial run.

February  5th & 18th: Nuclear Waste: Top Ten Things to Know. An introduction
February 12th and 15th: Safe by What Standard? How nuclear facilities are regulated in Canada
February 19th and 22nd: Burying Trouble: Deep Geological Repositories for Nuclear Waste
February 26 & March 1st: Judging Geological Repositories: How Different Countries Evaluate Nuclear Waste Burial  Proposals

Plan for nuclear waste storage should be met with caution, says farmers union president (January 2013)

Huron Bullet News
January 26, 2013

CENTRAL HURON  – The idea of storing high-level nuclear waste in Central Huron should be met with caution, says a local farmers union president.

:The decision to put all of Canada’s high level radioactive reactor fuel waste under some of Canada’s best farm land and beside the Great Lakes is one that should be considered very cautiously” said Tony McQuail, who is the president of the Huron National Farmers Union (NFU) Local 335.

In co-operation with the Huron District of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Huron NFU has scheduled an information session on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. at the Regional Equine and Agricultural Centre of Huron, which is located in Clinton. It expects to have information on both the benefits and risks of storing the country high-level nuclear waste.

More than 20 communities, including the Municipality of Central Huron, have expressed an interest in learning more about hosting a deep geologic site to store the country’s high-level radioactive waste from nuclear electricity generation.

Brennain Lloyd of North Watch will present Deep Trouble: Nuclear Waste Burial in the Great Lakes Basin. There will be an opportunity for questions following the presentation.

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Nuclear Waste: Safe by What Standard? Workshops in White River and Hornepayne

An Overview of How Nuclear Facilities are Regulated in Canada

Wednesday, November 21 , 7 – 9 pm
Join us for light refreshments at 6:30 pm
White River Seniors Harmony Club

Thursday, November 22 , 7 – 9 pm
Join us for light refreshments at 6:30 pm
Hornepayne Royal Canadian Legion Branch 194

A presentation by Theresa McClenaghan
Executive Direction and Senior Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association

A brief overview by Northwatch of the current effort by the nuclear industry’s site selection process underway for a burial location all of Canada’s high level nuclear fuel waste will be followed by a presentation by Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Senior Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association on how nuclear facilities are regulated. The presentation and following discussion will address how nuclear projects are reviewed, how standards are set, and how regulations relate to the protection of human health and the environment.

Presented by Northwatch and the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

MP Bruce Hyer to Launch Nuclear Waste Route Tour (October 2012)

Independent MP to consult communities that could see 50,000 tonnes of radioactive waste

October 26, 2012

OTTAWA – Independent Member of Parliament Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North) is launching a series of town hall style meetings in communities along likely transportation corridors for much of Canada’s nuclear wastes, mostly accumulated radioactive fuel bundles used to generate electricity.

“Many people won’t know it, but there is a stockpile of approximately 50,000 metric tonnes of nuclear wastes waiting to be stored in an interim or permanent nuclear waste repository,” said Hyer, a former Ontario environmental adjudicator.

“Canada’s nuclear industry is getting closer to picking a permanent site for that nuclear waste, but regardless of the location that’s chosen people in a number of communities are likely to see trucks or trains loaded with nuclear waste passing near, or through, their town someday. The communities on the transportation route will bear some risk on any potential nuclear waste spill or accident, so they should have a say sooner rather than later.”

“It’s one of the biggest decisions that these community residents will ever have to make,” continued Hyer. “Some of the wastes have half-lives of tens of thousands of years. I feel it is my job as an MP to help to make sure that they are aware of the options, and have early opportunity to learn and comment.”

The first leg of the tour, to take place in November 2012, will see public meetings held Parry Sound, Sudbury, and Sault Ste. Marie, and near the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant. Further details, and details of future legs of the tour, will be announced soon.

Says Hyer: “I don’t yet have a personal or professional opinion on the best long-term storage solution for nuclear wastes. However, I have been requesting for years that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization consult more widely, including along likely or possible transportation routes. NWMO has chosen so far to only consult the 21 communities that have expressed interest in hosting a long term nuclear waste repository. So I will be giving other citizens and groups – including NWMO – an opportunity to share information at my MP meetings”.

“I’m inviting all residents to come out to a meeting,” said Hyer “I’d like to hear their questions and concerns, and I hope to learn about their thoughts on the nuclear waste issue in their community.”

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Nuclear Waste Burial in the Great Lakes Basin – Presentation September 30th in Port Huron

Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

By Jim Bloch, Voice Reporter

The dangers to the Blue Water Area posed by nuclear power move to the front burner this weekend as two prominent anti-nuclear activists visit St. Clair County Community College.

Brennain Lloyd, program coordinator of Northwatch, and John Jackson, interim executive director of Great Lakes United, will speak on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 150 of the MTEC Building, St. Clair County Community College.

Their presentation is entitled “Deep Trouble – Nuclear Waste Burial in the Great Lakes Basin.”

The pair will discuss a proposal by Ontario Power Generation to build an underground repository for 200,000 cubic meters of regional nuclear waste near the Bruce Peninsula, about 120 miles north-northeast from Port Huron. They will also talk about the nuclear industry’s efforts to build dumpsites for all of Canada’s high-level radioactive waste, possibly on shores of Lake Huron; 15 of the 21 communities under consideration for the dump are in the Great Lakes Basin.

SC4’s Green Team and Blue Water Sierra Club are sponsoring the presentations.


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FALL 2012: GIVING A VOICE BACK TO THE PEOPLE! Saskatchewan Tour Against Nuclear Waste (September 2012)


The Committee for Future Generations is starting off this fall with a 7000 Generations Northern Tour Against Nuclear Waste, from September 17 to October 3, 2012, featuring Pat McNamara, author of three books on nuclear issues in Canada. Check out the 7000 Generations Tour Against Nuclear Waste poster and pass it on. Community presentations, radio interviews and kitchen table sessions have been organized in several communities and more details will be announced later this month, so stay tuned!

Pinehouse Lake: September 17 and 18.
Ile-a-la-Crosse: September 19, 9:30am radio show, 6:30pm-8pm book reading at the public library
Buffalo Narrows: September 22, 1pm at the Friendship Center
La Loche: September 24, 7pm Dene High Community School Room
Canoe Lake / Jans Bay / Cole Bay: September 26, location TBA
Beauval: September 27, 7pm at Valley View School
Creighton: September 30 to October 3, details TBA
PatuanakDillon and Turnor Lake TBA

For more details, to request a community visit, or to support the Committee for Future Generations with much-needed travel funds, get in touch: committeeforfuturegenerations@gmail.com or visit http://committeeforfuturegenerations.wordpress.com/coming-events/