Local groups oppose plan for nuclear waste site on Ottawa Ri

Local groups oppose plan for nuclear waste site on Ottawa Ri

Postby Oscar » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:28 am

Local groups oppose plan for nuclear waste site on Ottawa River

[ http://canadians.org/blog/local-groups- ... tawa-river ]

March 13, 2017 - 3:43 pm

Chalk River Laboratories is a nuclear research facility in Deep River, Renfrew County, Ontario, is situated on the Ottawa River near Chalk River, north-west of Ottawa.

The Council of Canadians expresses its solidarity with local groups that are in opposition to a proposed radioactive waste disposal facility on the Ottawa River near the Chalk River nuclear facility.

The facility would also be upstream from about a million residents in the National Capital River and surrounding communities.

A media release by the local groups notes, "If approved, the 30–hectare 'Near Surface Disposal Facility' would dispose of up to one million cubic metres of low- and medium-level radioactive waste in a huge mound up to 25 metres high, about 1 kilometre from Ottawa River at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories [near Chalk River]. ...A consortium of multinational companies is behind the proposal, currently under review by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission [CNSC]."

Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County says, "The site is not suitable for a dump of any kind given its location beside the Ottawa River - a drinking water source for millions of Canadians. The Canadian Nuclear Laboratories are virtually surrounded by water. The site was an island in the river in recent geological times. Leaks from the dump could contaminate drinking water for homes and cottages, villages, towns and cities downstream."

The media release notes that the Old Fort William Cottagers' Association (OFWCA), which represents residents in Sheenboro and Fort William, two communities in Quebec just south of Chalk River, is encouraging downstream municipalities to pass resolutions against the facility. A previous iteration of this proposal in the 1990s - known as the Deep River Disposal Project - resulted in more than 50 municipalities in Ontario and Quebec passing resolutions against the project.

In April 2012, the Canadian Press reported, "The federal government is eyeing the site of the Chalk River nuclear reactor, 160 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, as a radioactive waste site. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. says 267,000 cubic metres of low- and medium-grade nuclear waste is now stored above-ground in steel containers at the Chalk River site. The amount of radioactive material is expected to grow to 360,000 cubic metres by 2100."

Given the proposed storage facility could house up to one million cubic metres of nuclear waste, and the amount of waste from the nuclear laboratory is projected to grow to 360,000 cubic metres, concerns are being expressed that the extra storage space could be filled from "waste arising from commercial activities" as a way to generate revenue from "commercial activities".

An environmental assessment of the project began in May 2016 and is scheduled to be released this March 17.

Once the resulting environmental impact statement is posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) website, the public will have 60 days to comment on it.

In their fact sheet, Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area adds, "A decision on project approval is scheduled to take place at a January 2018 CNSC hearing on renewal of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' (CNL) 'site licence'. With CNSC approval, construction of the mega-dump could begin as soon as Fall 2018."

That fact sheet also notes that it is the CNSC that has the sole responsibility for project approval, not the federal cabinet. This is as a result of changes the Harper government made to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in 2012.

We will continue to monitor this situation.

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ http://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
Oscar
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Re: Local groups oppose plan for nuclear waste site on Ottaw

Postby Oscar » Tue May 16, 2017 9:44 am

EDWARDS: CCNR Commentary on the Expert Panel's Report on Environmental Assessment

----- Forwarded message from Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca> -----

Date: Sat, 6 May 2017 13:56:00 -0400
From: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>
Reply-To: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>
Subject: [cleangreensask] CCNR Commentary on the Expert Panel's Report on Environmental Assessment
To: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>

Background

This was submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change just before the midnight deadline on May 5, 2017. The Expert Panel on Environmental Assessment has recommended that a single independent agency be set up to handle the multidimensional considerations surrounding a project to enable a proper environmental assessment, encompassing potential adverse effects on health, environment, social life, economic prosperity, and indigenous people’s rights.

To learn more about the Chalk River mega-dump go to [ http://ccnr.org/#crl ] .

Gordon Edwards

--------------------------------

The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) agrees with the Expert Panel that placing environmental assessments for nuclear-related projects under the sole jurisdiction of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is not in the public interest.

The CNSC is very closely identified in its goals and its attitudes with the industries that it regulates, almost never mentioning potential adverse health effects or specific potential detrimental environmental effects in its "Reasons for Decision". In the past 17 years, since the Nuclear Safety and Control Act first came into force in 2000, the Commissioners have never refused to issue a licence.

At the present time, the CNSC is being asked to give consent to several projects involving the eventual abandonment of long-lived highly toxic nuclear wastes right beside major water bodies -- i.e. the Chalk River mega-dump to be abandoned beside the Ottawa River, the in-situ grouting and abandonment of the radioactive remains of the WR-1 nuclear reactor right beside the Winnipeg River, and the in-situ grouting and abandonment of the radioactive remains of the NPD nuclear reactor right beside the Ottawa River.

These projects are not intended for 20 or 30 or 40 years, but for eternity.

It is both unwise and socially unacceptable that such unprecedented and important decisions should be left in the hands of Canada's nuclear establishment, which includes the CNSC. The CNSC is on record as denying and/or trivializing the potential dangers of nuclear power. On one of CNSC's annual reports, we read the words: "FACT: In Canada, nuclear power is safe.”

Until the recommendations of the Expert Panel have been implemented and a new independent IA agency has been created, the federal government (on the advice of the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development) should suspend the current and planned environmental assessments of all nuclear waste storage and abandonment projects that are currently entrusted to the sole authority of the CNSC.

Already the Chalk River radioactive waste project -- a gigantic radioactive waste mound on the surface, over 90 feet high, with a base area equal in size to 70 NHL hockey rinks, containing a total volume of a million cubic metres of radioactive waste of which 10,000 cubic metres (1 percent) will contain long-lived fission products and transuranic actinides such as plutonium and americium -- has sent shock waves through the environmental community, the population of Quebec, and the First Nations of Ontario and Quebec.

Although the proposed Chalk River mega-dump for low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes (five times more voluminous than OPG's proposed DGR for LILW at Kincardine Ontario) is situated right on the border of Quebec, and although the Ottawa River flows down through Ottawa to Montreal where the waters enter the mighty St. Lawrence River, the EIS documents for the mega-dump were not even made available in French until an official complaint was launched by a Quebec citizen. Such a major oversight reveals a shocking lack of seriousness on the part of the proponent and the regulator.

It is self-evident to many thinking people that for Canada to consider abandoning long-lived highly toxic nuclear waste materials beside major rivers and lakes sets a dangerous example to the world that may be used to justify abuses in many other countries when it comes to the dumping of radioactive waste materials.
Oscar
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Re: Local groups oppose plan for nuclear waste site on Ottaw

Postby Oscar » Tue May 16, 2017 9:59 am

----- Forwarded message from Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca> -----

Date: Tue, 16 May 2017 00:19:42 -0400
From: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>
Reply-To: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>
Subject: [cleangreensask] IMPORTANT: Comment period on Chalk River'sradioactive mega-dump extended until at least August 16 2017
To: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>

Good evening all:

The original deadline for submitting written comments to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in relation to the proposed Chalk River Mega-Dump, has now been officially extended for at least three months — from May 17 (this Wednesday) until at least August 16, 2017, and perhaps even later.

The extension was brought about in large part by our friend and colleague Gilles Provost, who filed an official complaint regarding the fact that the Environmental Impact Statement (almost 1000 pages) was not made available in French — even though Chalk River is directly across the river from Quebec, and even though the Ottawa River runs down to Montreal where it joins the St. Lawrence River.

Translating 1000 pages of dry technical information takes time. In the meantime, I invite all of you to read some of the great two-page summaries that have been prepared by Dr. Ole Hendrickson and Lynn Jones on this terribly ill-conceived project. Seet: http://ccnr.org/index#crl .

I especially recommend the one entitled “Ten Things Canadians Should Know…”
[ http://ccnr.org/10_Things.pdf ]

and the one entitled “Five Fatal Flaws…”
[ http://ccnr.org/Five_Fatal_Flaws.pdf ]

but in fact they are all worth reading — simple, in plain language, easy to understand.

There will be more background sheets added over the next few weeks, so please check in again….

Cheers,

Gordon Edwards.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Update on public comment period on Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ draft environmental impact statement
Date: Mon, 15 May 2017 15:16:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: CNSC.Information.CCSN@canada.ca
To: CNSC.Information.CCSN@canada.ca

The proponent for the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility Project, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), has committed to and is currently translating the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) into French. The draft EIS provides an analysis of the potential environmental effects of the project and measures to mitigate those impacts. From the time the French version of the draft EIS is made available to the public, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will relaunch the public comment period for 60 days to allow all Canadians to comment on the project in the official language of their choice. The public comment period will be open until at least August 16, 2017.A revised notice will be issued once the translated version of the EIS is available, and will provide further details on the dates of the public comment period.

For more information:

[ http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/document-eng. ... ent=118991 ]

------------------------
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Re: Local groups oppose plan for nuclear waste site on Ottaw

Postby Oscar » Tue May 16, 2017 10:08 am

----- Forwarded message from Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca> -----

Date: Sun, 14 May 2017 11:19:38 -0400
From: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>
Reply-To: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>
Subject: [cleangreensask] Highly Radioactive Liquid Shipments Have Begun - But Can Still be Stopped
To: Gordon Edwards <ccnr@web.ca>

Highly Radioactive Liquid Shipments Have Begun - But Can Still be Stopped - May 14 2017

On this Mother’s Day, I regret to inform you that the trucking of 23,000 litres of highly radioactive liquid material from Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) in Ontario to the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina has begun. The first truckload arrived at SRS last month (see the official communication copied below).

In the week ending April 21, 2017, SRS workers oversaw the remote-controlled operation used to extract each one of the four liquid containers from the shipping flask [see http://ccnr.org/TRM_Transport_CRL-SRS.pdf] and place it in a solid-cast lead container called a “pig” (http://www.imagesco.com/geiger/containers.html).

The lead “pig” is intended to provide radiological shielding to limit the exposure of workers to “acceptable levels” of penetrating gamma radiation given off by the radioactive liquid. The pig is also coated with a thin layer of plastic to prevent workers from touching the lead (a chemically toxic heavy metal) directly.

However, the radioactive shielding in one of these pigs was found to be defective, as a “hot spot” was detected that could give an unacceptably high level of gamma radiation exposure to SRS workers. That pig has been replaced with a spare pig.

The disocvery of an unexpected “hot spot” in one of the pigs is the result of a manufacturing defect. It underscores other equipment defects and malfunctions that have been discovered in the last two years, all connected with the same type of transport cask (the NAC-LWT cask).

In October 2015, the bottom of a “caddy” used to transfer solid irradiated nuclear fuel unexpectedly failed, dropping open and sending the highly radioactive spent fuel rods to the bottom of a high-level waste storage pool at Chalk River. The failure of the caddy was caused by poor welds, a manufacturing defect that was also evident on a number of other caddies designed to serve the same purpose. These caddies are manufactured by the same company (NAC) that makes the transport casks, and are part of the equipment that goes with the NAC-LWT cask

In April 2016, a grapple crane used to lift a “basket” of highly radioactive spent fuel for emplacement in an NAC-LWT cask suddenly failed, dropping the basket with its radioactive contents. Again, the grapple crane that failed was part of the equipment that accompanies the NAC-LWT cask.

The liquid contents of the first truckload have now been removed from the cask and have been transferred to the robotically operated chemical separation facility called the “H Canyon”.

The H Canyon is a reprocessing facility. It was originally designed to chemically extract weapons-grade plutonium from irradiated nuclear fuel (in liquid solution) to be used as a primary explosive in nuclear warheads and other nuclear weapons.

In this case, the H Canyon will be used to chemically separate the weapons-grade Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) from the Chalk River liquid solution. Once extracted, the HEU will be "down-blended" to “low-enriched uranium” (LEU) that cannot be used as a nuclear explosive but can be used as a reactor fuel.

If the down-blending had been carried out at Chalk River, as originally planned, these shipments of extremely radioactive liquid waste over public roads and bridges could have been avoided altogether. In 2016, in a matter of months, Indonesia did exactly that: the Indonesian nuclear authorities down-blended their own stock of highly radioactive liquid containing weapons grade uranium. They did this on-site so that no transportation of liquid material was required!!

It is still not too late to do the same at Chalk River. We do not need to risk another hundred truckloads of highly radioavctive liquid passing through hundreds of communtiies and endangering the Great Lakes and other water bodies along the way. If spilled, two ounces of this liquid material from Chalk River is enough to ruin the drinking water supply of a city as large as Washington DC.

We should continue to insist that nuclear authorities do the right thing. Sending a hundred more shipments down the highway is like rolling a pair of dice a hundred times. Sooner or later our luck may give out and we will roll "snake-eyes”.

Gordon Edwards.

=================

April 21, 2017
TO: S. A. Stokes, Technical Director
FROM: M. T. Sautman and Z. C. McCabe, Resident Inspectors
SUBJECT: Savannah River Site Resident Inspector Report for Week Ending April 21, 2017

Target Residue Material (TRM): H-Canyon personnel started processing the first shipment of liquid Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) this week. Each container of HEU is pulled from the shipping cask into a shielded “pig” that provides radiological shielding for H-Canyon personnel. After loading a pig, radiological protection (RP) identified an unexpected hotspot on the side of the pig indicating that the pig was not providing adequate radiological shielding. RP labeled the hotspot before H-Canyon personnel relocated the pig so the hotspot would be facing the wall. H-Canyon personnel did not identify any similar issues on the other pigs and are planning to use the one spare pig for future evolutions. All of the containers have been removed from the cask and H-Canyon personnel have begun transferring the HEU into H-Canyon for processing.

----- End forwarded message -----
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