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NEWS: Opposition growing to using the Great Lakes as a ‘highway for radioactive material’

The Kingston Whig-Standard reports on the growing opposition to “a plan by Bruce Nuclear, on Lake Huron near Owen Sound, to send 16 decommissioned generators contaminated with nuclear materials by ship to Sweden, where they will be scrapped. …Opponents include environmental groups, an organization representing American Indian tribes and a bi-national group of 70 mayors representing cities and towns on both sides of the Great Lakes, as well as citizens’ groups that are already vowing massive public demonstrations.” The Council of Canadians is one of these groups opposing these shipments.

“Later this month (on September 28-29) in Ottawa, opponents will argue even a slight risk of polluting the largest reservoir of fresh water in the world is unacceptable.” Council of Canadians researcher Emma Lui will be presenting at this hearing on our behalf.

“The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, representing mayors of towns and cities on both sides of the Great Lakes — including Kingston — criticize the (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) for not consulting them and not releasing an analysis of what would happen if there is an accident. Kingston mayor Harvey Rosen said given the vital importance of the lakes to those living around them, the government needs to give more assurances that the shipment will be safe. …The mayors’ group argues that the amount of nuclear waste in the proposed shipment exceeds by 50 times the International Atomic Energy Agency’s radioactivity standard for a single freight vessel on the lakes.”

The Owen Sound Sun Times reports that, “(Owen Sound has) no power to approve or reject Bruce Power’s plan to load the generators onto a cargo ship in the Owen Sound Harbour and transport the vessels through the Great Lakes, since the harbour is owned by the federal government. But, up until this week, city officials said Bruce Power needed a heavy load permit from the city before it could truck the school bus-sized, decommissioned steam generators on city-owned streets. Local critics of the plan had hoped to use the city’s bylaw as leverage and pressure city council to block Bruce Power’s shipment plan. A group of residents, led by Sharen Skelly, presented council with a 220-name petition last week that calls on council to reject an anticipated application from Bruce Power for a heavy load permit.”

The Kingston Whig-Standard adds that, “According to the plan, a freighter would carry the generators from Owen Sound Harbour down Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and then across the Atlantic Ocean.”

United Press International
reports that, “U.S. and Canadian towns along the proposed route are angry they were never told about the plan, and three Canadian mayors and two Michigan state legislators say they are opposed to the shipment. ‘The Great Lakes are a tremendous economic engine for the state,’ state Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, said. ‘I just don’t think we should support any kind of threat that would harm a single job.'”

For Council of Canadians analysis please see:

ACTION ALERT: Stop the shipment of radioactive components through the Great Lakes, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4410

NEWS: Council defends the Great Lakes against radioactive shipments, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4615

NEWS: OPP contact the Council about our opposition to radioactive shipments on the Great Lakes, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4632