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UPDATE: Our campaign against radioactive shipments on the Great Lakes

Emma Lui presenting to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, September 29, 2010

Emma Lui presenting to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, September 29, 2010

Over the past eight months, the Council of Canadians has been actively opposing plans for the ongoing shipments of radioactive steam generators across the Great Lakes for processing in Sweden.

In August 2010, we issued an action alert opposing these shipments. That can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4410.

By September, our work had caught the attention of the Ontario Provincial Police and they contacted us to find out what further plans we might have to stop these shipments, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4632.

Later that same month, Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui presented a deputation to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at their hearings on this issue, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4770.

In October, we called on the International Joint Commission to speak out against the shipments on the Great Lakes, http://canadians.org/media/water/2010/19-Oct-10.html.

And in November, we followed up our September oral presentation to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission with a written supplemental outline of our concerns.

We were disappointed in February 2011, when – despite widespread opposition to the shipments – the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission approved the Bruce Power request to ship the radioactive materials on the Great Lakes, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=6278. We condemned their decision in this media release, http://canadians.org/media/water/2011/05-Feb-11.html.

That same month, the Council of Canadians was in the media countering the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s briefings – which in their words were intended to “correct misinformation” about their plan – to the media and Members of Parliament.

In March, we submitted our comments to the House of Commons Natural Resources standing committee studying this situation, and issued an action alert requesting relevant Ontario ministers to intervene against the shipments http://canadians.org/action/2011/great-lakes.html.

Later this month, Emma and Ontario-Quebec regional organizer Mark Calzavara will be in Owen Sound (near the Bruce Power nuclear plant) to meet with the mayor of Blue Mountain and a local citizens coalition, map the route of the trucks that will take the radioactive materials to the Owen Sound harbour, meet with Indigenous leaders, outreach to local media, and do a video blog.

And in April, we will be meeting with key European groups – including Nuclear Free Local Authorities (“an umbrella group that includes 75 local governments throughout the British Isles”) and KIMO International (Kommunenes Internasjonale Miljøorganisasjon, a group “designed to give municipalities a political voice at the international level”) – to strengthen international opposition to the Great Lakes shipments. When Nuclear Free Local Authorities spoke against the shipments this past February it made headlines in Canada, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=6426.

In this campaign, we’ve also noted that Ottawa is looking at locations in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario to store millions of spent radioactive bundles from nuclear plants in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Just as many are opposing the shipment of radioactive waste on the Great Lakes, many are also calling for a nuclear waste ban in Saskatchewan.

We continue to monitor news and developments on this issue. You can read those blog posts at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?s=radioactive+%2B+great+lakes.