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[cdn-nucl-l] " Not in our seaway: Mohawks "
Mohawks say no to shipment
The Gazette October 1, 2010 3:04 AM
Mohawks in Kahnawake say they are determined to prevent an Ontario nuclear
power station from shipping 16 steam generators through the St. Lawrence
Seaway for recycling in Sweden. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake says it will
join Mohawks in Akwesasne to try to persuade the federal government to
cancel the plan. Concerns about toxic materials spilling into the St.
Lawrence have risen after diesel fuel leaked into the river from a Montreal
East refinery this week. But an official with the power utility intending to
transport the generators says there is no danger of radioactive material
Michelle Lalonde reports on the controversy.
Not in our seaway: Mohawks
Opposed to shipment of generators. Nuclear power station official insists
no danger of radioactive damage
By MICHELLE LALONDE, The Gazette October 1, 2010 3:05 AM
The Mohawk community of Kahnawake is determined to stop a plan by an Ontario
nuclear power station to ship 16 massive steam generators along the St.
Lawrence Seaway for recycling in Sweden.
"The fact that the seaway was built through our territory without our
approval in the first place is bad enough," said Clinton Phillips, the chief
responsible for environmental issues on the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.
"To use it to transport nuclear waste literally through our backyard would
be adding insult to injury in a huge way. There is absolutely no way we'll
stand for it."
Council spokesperson Joe Delaronde said the community has no plan to
physically block the project, but will join Mohawks in Akwasasne to try to
persuade the federal government to cancel it.
He said the council intends to pass a resolution Monday to formally oppose
the transportation through Mohawk territory of any nuclear fuel or waste
Concerns about toxic waste spilling into the St. Lawrence have been
heightened by Tuesday's leak of about 35 barrels of diesel fuel into the
river from a conduit owned by Suncor Energy's refinery facility in Montreal
Suncor spokesperson Michael Southern said yesterday the cleanup for that
spill was almost complete, while an investigation into what caused the leak
"It is clear that one of the four lines that connect the refinery to the
dock was breached," Southern said, adding all four lines have been shut down
during the investigation.
This kind of accident has environmental groups as well as residents along
the river asking questions about projects that might affect water quality.
Bruce Power official John Peever said the plan to ship generators from the
southwestern Ontario nuclear plant to Sweden for recycling poses no danger
of radioactive material spilling or escaping.
The steam generators, weighing about 1,000 tonnes each, are considered low
level radioactive waste, he noted. Radioactive components are sealed within
two-inch thick, steel shells. Peever said there are no "credible scenarios"
that would cause the release of dangerous levels of radioactive materials.
The plan is to haul the generators on flatbed trucks from the Bruce facility
to Owen Sound, Ont., to be loaded onto a special ship. From there, they are
to be shipped from Georgian Bay through the Great Lakes, along the St.
Lawrence Seaway, and on to the Studsvik nuclear recycling facility near
There, the generators' steel shells are to be cleaned, melted and mixed with
other recycled steel from non-nuclear sources. The resulting steel ingots
can then be sold for reuse.
Empty metal tubes (called U-tubes) inside the generators that held heavy
water remain radioactive. These are to be shipped back to the Bruce facility
for storage. The project reduces by about 90 per cent the volume of waste
stored at the Bruce facility.
Peever called the project "revenue neutral" in the long term. The goal, he
said, is to reduce waste. This week, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission,
which regulates Canada's nuclear industry, held two days of public hearings
on the project in Ottawa. A decision on whether to license the project is to
be rendered within 30 working days.