March 20, 2016
Fukushima: Lessons for the nuclear waste dump proposed for Lake Huron
By Jim Bloch
For The Voice; March 18,2016
Dingell asks Trudeau to stop nuclear waste site
Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press ; March 11, 2016
March 2, 2016
SOS joins call for designation of radionuclides as a “chemical of mutual concern” in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Toronto – More than 100 organizations from around the Great Lakes are calling on the Canadian and American governments to list radionuclides as a “chemical of mutual concern” under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The groups’ call is supported by a new report outlining the shortcomings of current efforts to track radionuclides and explaining what needs to be done to properly monitor these dangerous substances in our Great Lakes.
“The Great Lakes basin is a hotbed for nuclear-related activity, with more than 30 nuclear generating stations, fuel processing facilities, waste disposal and uranium mine tailing sites scattered around the four lower lakes,” points out John Jackson, author of the new report.
“We simply don’t know what the cumulative impact of these nuclear facilities and waste sites is on the lakes because there is no comprehensive monitoring of radionuclides in Great Lake waters,” says Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continues to search for a long-term high-level radioactive waste disposal site, where highly radioactive fuel bundles from all of Canada`s nuclear facilities, including Ontario’s 20 commercial power reactors, would be permanently buried. Eight of the nine sites being considered by the NWMO are in the Great Lakes Basin.
“The evidence is that even very low levels of radiation can have serious health impacts, from cancer- causing cell damage to genetic mutations that can trigger birth defects,” says Kevin Kamps of Maryland-based Beyond Nuclear. In the U.S., the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation panel found that “there is no compelling evidence to indicate a dose threshold below which the risk of tumor induction is zero.”
As well as nuclear power production and its associated supply chain, there are also numerous medical facilities, universities and some industries located in the Great Lakes Basin that work with radioactive substances. On the U.S. side, weapons-related facilities are also potentially significant radionuclide contamination sources.
Concerns regarding radionuclides in the Great Lakes have long been an issue. The Nuclear Task Force of the International Joint Commission highlighted the inconsistency in reporting and monitoring of radionuclides in the Great Lakes basin as far back as 1997.
“What’s important to remember is that radioactive materials are constantly on the move around and across the Great Lakes. Whether it is fuel being shipped from a processing facility to power plants, waste being moved to storage sites, or tritium being shipped to a factory, these materials aren’t just sitting in one place,” says Jackson, adding “this opens up a real risk for accidental releases into the lakes themselves or into waterways that flow into the lakes.”
These movements will increase if the NWMO does develop a long-term storage site for used nuclear fuel. As of 2004, there was 36,000 tonnes of highly radioactive waste sitting in temporary storage at the province’s three nuclear plants. On the American side, there was an estimated 13,825 tonnes of irradiated fuel sitting at nuclear facilities in the Great Lakes basin as of 2011.
“We need to get a better handle on the impact of radionuclides on drinking water quality, fish and wildlife survival and the health of aquatic ecosystems throughout the Great Lakes. Radionuclides are not included in the most comprehensive environmental monitoring programs for the lakes because our governments have not listed them as a chemical of concern. That needs to change so that we start keeping better track of what all of this nuclear activity around the basin means for the health of our lakes and ourselves,” says McClenaghan.
The report is available at www.cela.ca/publications/radionuclides-chemical-mutual-concern-great-lakes-basin.
The groups’ submission is available at http://www.cela.ca/publications/Letter-nomination-radionuclides-chemical-mutual-concern-GLWQA
March 1, 2016
Council defers DGR endorsement
Councilor John Rich brings motion forward to defer making a decision for show of support by Council for proposed deep geologic repository (DGR) for nuclear waste
Saugeen Shores Delays New Motion of Support for D.G.R.
By Jordan MacKinnon on March 1, 2016 4:15am
Council defers decision on show of support for proposed DGR
by Sandy Lindsay
February 29, 2016
Saugeen Shores Council defers motion to endorse DGR.
John Divinski @JDivinski 1h1 hour ago
DGR support from SS Council is deferred until OPG answers new questions asked by Fed Env Minister. Vote was 5-3 @NewsBayshore @98thebeach
FEBRUARY 19, 2016
SOS welcomes Minister’s questions on Great Lakes nuclear waste dump
SOUTHAMPTON ON—Save Our Saugeen Shores, a leading opponent of the plan to build an underground nuclear waste dump on the shore of Lake Huron today reacted with guarded optimism to the Canadian government’s request for more detailed information about the project from Ontario Power Generation announced Thursday afternoon.
“We welcome the Minister’s decision to request more information from OPG because the information she is asking for reflects many of our most fundamental concerns about this highly risky and potentially calamitous project,” Jill Taylor, President of SOS said following the Minister’s announcement.
“We have maintained the site selection process was flawed, not only because no other sites were considered by OPG but also because of the questionable tactics used to create the illusion of public support for the project,” she said. “To select a site for a nuclear waste dump on the shore of the largest body of fresh water in the world purely on the basis of cost, redefines the terms irresponsible and reckless.”
OPG is seeking permission to dig a permanent nuclear waste dump within one kilometer of the shore of Lake Huron to store nuclear waste that will remain highly radioactive for more than 100,000 years. They claim the technology is proven, but global experience proves the contrary. All previous attempts to bury nuclear waste underground have failed to contain the highly toxic waste they were designed to isolate. If this nuclear waste dump were to leak, it could contaminate the Great Lakes for more than 100,000 years.
“Are we happy the Minister is asking these questions? You bet. But nowhere near as happy as we will be when common sense prevails and she brings an end to this incredibly dangerous and colossal folly,” Ms. Taylor said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to do what the Joint Review Panel should have done in the first place; consult with the community and the people potentially impacted by the nuclear waste dump. I am not referring to the people of Kincardine who stand to benefit from some short-term jobs, but to the 40 million people of the Great Lakes basin who would have to live with this immense Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads for the next 100,000 years.”
SOS (saveoursaugeenshores.org) is a non-profit group of Canadian and American citizens originally formed to fight the prospect of an underground nuclear dump in Saugeen Shores, the community immediately north of the proposed nuclear waste dump site. Having successfully defeated that prospect SOS turned their attention to opposing the proposed low and intermediate level nuclear waste dump OPG plans to build less than one kilometer from the shore of Lake Huron.
February 19th, 2016
The Globe and Mail: “Environment minister delays decision on Lake Huron nuclear waste burial site”
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has dealt a setback to Ontario Power Generation’s plan for a nuclear waste burial site on the shores of Lake Huron.
In a letter to the provincially-owned utility Thursday, Ms. McKenna delayed a decision on whether to approve its proposed deep repository for low– and medium-level radioactive waste.
Instead, she told OPG to submit additional studies, including assessments on possible alternatives to the currently proposed site at the Bruce nuclear station in Kincardine, Ont., and on the cumulative impacts of siting other nuclear waste facilities in the region.
The additional work will take several months to complete.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency concluded last May that the deep geological repository was not likely to cause any adverse environmental impacts. OPG intends to excavate a chamber 680 metres underground in impenetrable rock to bury waste that is now stored at surface at the Bruce site.
While local municipalities supported the project, some local residents mounted fierce opposition. Cities and town on both sides of the Great Lakes passed resolutions to argue no nuclear waste should be buried so close to the source of drinking water for 50 million North Americans. The Michigan state senate passed a resolution opposing the project.
In a statement, OPG said it understands the sensitivity around the burial of nuclear waste and respects the minister’s desire for more information to inform her decision.
Ontario recently committed to extending the life of its Bruce and Darlington nuclear stations but still has no permanent plan for disposing of the nuclear waste. An arm’s-length federal agency is also working on a plan to bury high-level radioactive waste, but has not selected a site.
OPG said it is confident further study will confirm “that a deep geologic repository is the right answer for Ontario’s low and intermediate level waste, and that the Bruce site is the right location.”
Beverly Fernandez, founder of the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump group, said the government should have simply killed the proposal rather than delay a decision.
“No matter what process is followed, burying and abandoning radioactive nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin will always be a bad idea,” Ms. Fernandez said. “The Trudeau government’s environmental credibility is on the line.”
(Shawn McCarthy, posted February 19th, 2016)
February 18, 2016 – Breaking News!
ENVIRONMENT MINISTER DELAYS DECISION ON DGR, ASKS OPG FOR MORE INFORMATION
Deep Geologic Repository Project – Ministerial Request for Additional Information February 18, 2016 – The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, today requested additional information and further studies on the environmental assessment for the proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) Project for Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste in Kincardine, Ontario.
After considering the Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment Report, the Minister has requested that the proponent, Ontario Power Generation, provide additional information on three aspects of the environmental assessment: alternate locations for the project, cumulative environmental effects of the project, and an updated list of mitigation commitments for each identified adverse effect under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).
Ontario Power Generation has been asked to provide the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, by April 18, 2016, with a schedule for fulfilling the information request. The Minister will contact the Panel, at a future date, regarding its role in the review of the additional information and studies.
The Minister’s request for information from the proponent has paused the timeline for an environmental assessment decision to be issued, as per section 54(6) of CEAA 2012. At a later date, the Minister will seek a further timeline extension from the Governor in Council.”
Read official statement here.
Feb 18, 2016
Saugeen Shores Council will vote to endorse the DGR 1 in Kincardine on February 29, 2016.
Dear SOS Members and Friends,
Today, February 18, 2016, the Canadian Minister of the Environment and Climate Change delayed her decision to accept or reject the report to approve the DGR 1 for radioactive waste and asked OPG for more information related to environmental concerns; alternative locations, cumulative effects, and mitigation commitments.
In spite of overwhelming evidence against the DGR, and lack of widespread community consent, our local councils continue to express their support of OPG’s plans. They continue to state that there is acceptance of the DGR in our towns and county despite clearly demonstrated widespread opposition. They have prepared letters to send to the Minister .
On Monday night, February 8th, Saugeen Shores Council approved an oral amendment to the agenda that will allow for a vote on February 29 to endorse the OPG plan and the DGR report . The Municipality of Kincardine, the Township of Huron-Kinloss, and Bruce County Council have already passed such motions. Some of these endorsements include statements to the effect that the majority of citizens are unequivocal in their support for the proposed deep geologic repository for low and intermediate nuclear waste.
This is NOT TRUE! There is no evidence of this support, only plain evidence to the contrary.
We must stop the Council of Saugeen Shores from endorsing the DGR 1. We must tell the Council of Saugeen Shores that the vote on February 29th should be to REJECT the DGR, not to endorse it. We must let the other local councils know that they have acted against their constituents wishes and best interests.
If you live in North America, this concerns you. If you live on or near the Great Lakes and rely on the fresh water they provide for your drinking water, and if you are opposed to our Councils endorsing the DGR, please send a letter this week. This is your water and your choice, not the choice of temporarily elected officials who have been convinced that a few thousand dollars is worth risking everything. There are countless possible unintended consequences that will impact current and future generations who rely on the Great Lakes for fresh drinking water, transportation, and their livelihood.
Please JOIN US at the Saugeen Shores Council meeting in person on February 29 at 7:30 PM to object to this motion to support the DGR. Prior to the Meeting, beginning at 7:10 p.m., an informal Open Forum is offered to any person to provide comments on the subjects related to items on the Agendas. Council Chambers are located at 600 Tomlinson Drive, Port Elgin. If you can’t be at the meeting in person, please join us by webcast.
Live webcasts are available for each Council Meeting starting at 7:30 p.m. Please view the live webcast here.
Write to the Mayor and Council of Saugeen Shores, and also let Bruce County Council know that you strongly oppose their endorsement of the proposed DGR . In reaching out, be sure to copy members of the Federal and Ontario Governments, including Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and Ben Lobb, MP. Please include Premier Wynne and Lisa Thompson, MPP, in your list of recipients. Finally, as a small favor to us, please send a copy to SOS.
Instructions for quickly emailing your government representatives to voice your objections. Clicking on this link will automatically populate an email addressed to those government representatives, a subject line, and our letter of opposition. After clicking on the link: (1) Sign your name at the bottom of the email, (2) Review and Edit, (3) Click send!
Some devices do not support autogenerated emails, if you have trouble with the link above, click here to access a copy of our form letter and a list of email addresses to use. We apologize for this inconvenience.
Reaching out to your elected representatives and making your voice heard is a cornerstone of a healthy democratic society; we urge you to exercise your prerogative and make it known that a deep geologic repository is never welcome in the Great Lakes Basin.
We will continue to keep you up to date with the SOS plans to stop the DGR.
Thank you for your continued support.
February 16, 2016
- Township of Huron-Kinloss and Municipality of Kincardine Reaffirm Support of DGR1
- Bruce County Council Affirms support for DGR 1
February 14, 2016
New Video ” NO SOCIAL LICENCE “released by the STOP THE GREAT LAKES NUCLEAR DUMP group.
November 27, 2015
MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE DELAYS DECISION ON DGR UNITL March 1,2016
November 13, 2015 13:00 ET
Prime Minister of Canada Makes Ministerial Mandate Letters Public
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Nov. 13, 2015) – Prime Minister’s Office
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Mandate Letter http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-environment-and-climate-change-mandate-letter#sthash.Uh9mrV2c.pK1Ngvvu.dpuf
Among top priorities outlined by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the newly appointed Minster of the Environment and Climate Change , the Honourable Catherine McKenna:
“I expect you to help restore Canada’s reputation for environmental stewardship.”
“Treat our freshwater as a precious resource that deserves protection and careful stewardship, including by working with other orders of government to protect Canada’s freshwater using education, geo-mapping, watershed protection, and investments in the best wastewater treatment technologies.”
“Working in collaboration with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, renew our commitment to protect the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River Basin and the Lake Winnipeg Basin.”
Members of U.S. Congress ask Trudeau to not allow burial of nuclear waste near Lake Huron
The Associated Press | November 6, 2015 12:11 PM ET
Scientists, ministers get green light to speak under Trudeau
Federal ministers are returning reporters’ calls in a timely manner
By Pauline Dakin, CBC News Posted: Nov 06, 2015 2:51 PM AT Last Updated: Nov 06, 2015 9:13 PM
Senators Stabenow, Peters, Congressman Kildee Call for Newly Elected Canadian Prime Minister to Stop Storage of Nuclear Waste on Great Lakes
“U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) today urged newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action to stop nuclear waste from being buried less than a mile from Lake Huron. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Sens. Stabenow, Peters and Rep. Kildee urged the new Canadian government to not approve permits necessary to construct a proposed nuclear waste site in Kincardine, Ontario
This letter was also signed by Representatives Dan Benishek (R-MI), Mike Bishop (R-MI), John Conyers (D-MI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Sander Levin (D-MI), Candice Miller (R-MI), John Moolenaar (R-MI), and David Trott (R-MI).
Full text of the letter can be found below:
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:
Please accept our congratulations on being elected the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada. We are eager to work collaboratively with your administration to advance our many shared interests and mutually reconcile issues where our countries may differ.
We write to you today about a matter of great concern to the citizens of our respective states: the risks to the Great Lakes of constructing a deep geological repository for storing 7,000,000 cubic feet of radioactive waste on the shores of Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario. As you are aware, the previous Administration postponed to December 2 the deadline for rendering the final decision on whether to permit the planning for constructing the facility.
The Great Lakes are our most precious natural resource — providing drinking water to 40 million people on both sides of the border and billions of dollars to our regional and national economies. Given the critical importance of these shared waters to our countries, and the potentially catastrophic damages to the Lakes from a nuclear accident, we urge your administration not to approve this repository and consider alternative locations outside the Great Lakes Basin. At the very least, we ask that the final decision be postponed until we have an opportunity to discuss this matter with you in person.
Thank you for your consideration of our requests. We look forward to working with you and your Administration.”
TAKE ACTION NOW:
1. Email the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency at email@example.com expressing your “unconditional opposition” to OPG’s DGR (include “CEAA Reference No. 17520″ so your comments can be routed to the correct docket).
2. Contact the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change at Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca
Tell her you are unconditionally opposed to OPG’s DGR proposal.
4. Sign the Sum of Us Petition/Spread the Word
5. To our U. S. Friends:
Contact your two U.S. Senators, and your U.S. Congressman (call their offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121), and urge them to co-sponsor the bipartisan U.S. Senate (S.Res. 134) and House (H.Res. 194) resolutions opposing the DGR; Likewise, urge them to co-sponsor U.S. Senate and House legislation, the “Stop Nuclear Waste by Our Lakes Act,” introduced by U.S. Sens. Stabenow and Peters, and U.S. Rep. Kildee (Democrats from Michigan). The “Stop Nuclear Waste by Our Lakes Act” will invoke the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, and mandate the U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission (IJC) to undertake a comprehensive review of the DGR proposal.
Contact the White House, and urge President Obama to instruct Secretary of State Kerry to activate the IJC to undertake a comprehensive review of the DGR proposal.
STGLND MAP : Resolutions Opposing the DGR
U.S. senator plans legislation relating to proposed nuclear waste dump
The Associated Press via CBC | John Flesher | August 10, 2015
Stabenow plans legislation on Canadian waste plan
Residents, lawmakers fight Canadian nuke waste site
SOS attended the International Rally to Protect the Great Lakes at Port Huron on Aug. 16
SOS asks Federal Court to quash JRP Report
June 12, 2015
SOS asks Federal Court to reject the Joint Review Panel’s report approving OPG’s Lake Huron nuclear waste dump because of the Panel’s multiple legal errors, bias and reliance on evidence based on deceptive and unlawful conduct. Read More.
A Statement from SOS
May 07, 2015
Dear SOS Members,
We were informed today that the Ministry of the Environment has released the Report by the JRP on the DGR 1.
The report is highly qualified. It concludes that there will be no likely significant adverse effects caused by the OPG DGR on the Kincardine site, IF the 100 conditions that they have prescribed as mandatory, are acted upon. What this means is that in their view if any of the conditions are not acted upon, there will be SIGNIFICANT environmental impact as well as cause an effect on health and environment from the construction and operation of the DGR as planned.
This is ONE of the steps in the DGR process. This report is being examined by the Minister of the Environment who may accept or reject it, or apply new conditions. It will remain our position that this proposal is altogether unsafe, unacceptable and unscientific. It has involved multiple breaches of due process, secret deals with our municipal leaders, buying of support from the public and multiple examples of unfair treatment of our community.
The Board of SOS would like to gauge support for your continued involvement as we determine strategies for opposing the DGR at this next stage. There will be opportunities for municipal deputations, and for canvassing our federal leaders as we roll toward an election. There is great opposition from the Great Lakes community on this and it is growing. We thank you for your past support, welcome new members and encourage all to become informed and represent your concerns at every opportunity.
Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment Report Released Publicly
May 07, 2015
Joint Review Panel (JRP) Report was issued to the public on May 6th 2015. As you may know the JRP is made up of three experts. They are appointed by the federal government and they gain their mandate through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The report that they authored is just over 400 pages long. It is available through this site and the internet.
The JRP is charged with reviewing relevant documents, conducting hearings and providing summary opinion on the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed Deep Geological Repository (DGR1) for Low and Intermediate radioactive waste: a plan to bury radioactive waste 1.2 kilometers from Lake Huron in sedimentary rock.
The JRP, in writing their report, had three options available to it: rejection of the OPG EIA, acceptance of the OPG application, and conditional acceptance.
The decision of the JRP in the case of the DGR1 is to give Conditional Acceptance. There are 98 mandatory conditions, many of which note that to not comply with them will cause significant adverse effects to the environment. The JRP go on to add that the project will not proceed unless every one of the conditions are met!
SOS is entering a new phase in its continuing effort to foster understanding of the DGR1 and DGR 2 projects and to do something to stop burial of nuclear waste under where we live, work, and play. We owe this to ourselves, our family and friends, and greater community of people and living things that we hold so dear. Most of all we owe it to future generations.
The Panel’s Conclusion, Mitigation and Requirements for Follow Up is outlined in Chapter 16 of the JRP report. See Panel’s 98 Recommendations.
The full Panel Report, which includes a summary, is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at ceaa-acee.gc.ca registry 17520.
Federal Panel OKs Nuclear Waste Site | May 07, 2015 | John Spears & Lauren Pelley | The Star
SOS comment: The importance of the JRP report is evident by the number of articles responding to it. It is important to note that the report gave conditional approval not approval and that it is subject to Ministerial review and public review. It is also subject to a veto by First Nations and review by the United States through treaty agreements specifically dealing with the management of the Great Lakes and nuclear waste. Note as well that the new standard adopted by the US is for surface storage of nuclear waste not burial.
Inside the race for Canada’s nuclear waste:11 towns vie to host deep burial site | February 26, 2015 | Charles Wilkins | The Globe and Mail
Ombudsman Criticizes Politicians: Owen Sound Council criticized for closed door meetings | January 25, 2015 | Bayshore News Staff | 98 The Beach
LANL officials downplayed waste’s dangers even after leak | November 15, 2014 (Updated Feb 17, 2015) | Patrick Malone | The New Mexican
Are Ontario’s scandal-plagued cities due for greater oversight? | November 07, 2014 | San Grewel | The Star
Closed Meetings Investigator finds Bruce County Council meetings with Nuclear Industry Reps in Contravention of Ontario Municipal Act | August 07, 2014 | Brockton, ON
Closed-door nuclear meetings broke the law in Bruce County | August 07, 2014 | John Spears | The Star
4 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT DEEP GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY