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NEWS: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission delays Great Lakes shipments

CBC reports that, “Bruce Power will have to wait a bit longer to see if it has permission to ship 16 radiation-contaminated steam generators through the Great Lakes and down the St. Lawrence River en route to Sweden. …The CNSC had public hearings on the issue at the end of September and was supposed to make a decision by Nov. 11.” The Canadian Press notes, “It’s (now) encouraging the 79 participants (including the Council of Canadians) in a hearing held last month on the proposed shipment to file supplementary written submissions by Nov. 22.”

“The extra information released (by the CNSC on) Monday looks at three areas of the controversial plan that many opponents say have not been properly addressed. They include questions about the environmental impact of shipping boilers that contain radioactive material, scenarios for dealing with an accident, and more details about the rules for moving the material through international water.”

“The change means the commission is unlikely to issue a decision on the project until the end of November or mid-December.”

It seems likely that this means the shipments could be delayed until at least the spring. The Owen Sound Times has reported that the company says that it could take “as much as 22 days” to truck the 16 steam generators from the nuclear plant down a highway, through Owen Sound, then to the harbour where they would be loaded on to ships. Earlier this month, Bruce Power spokesperson John Peevers said, “The St. Lawrence, we’re told, is open roughly and generally until Dec. 21st based on weather and past history, so it’s something we’ll have to look at pending the decision.”

Peevers said yesterday that, “Certainly there’s the potential this may get pushed until spring but we’ll just have to continue to let the process work and we’ll make that decision once we get a decision from the CNSC.”

To read about the Council of Canadians presentation to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on September 29, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4770