Should we be concerned about a few leaks here and there? Radioactive Leaks that is!
There seems to be some concern over Nuclear in Alberta. The following is a letter to the editor in regards to Bruce Powers bid to build a Nuclear Plant in Alberta. This letter talked about a radioactive leak at the Chalk River Nuclear Plant in December. Following the letter to the editor are some news articles about the radioactive leaks.
I could not attend any of the open houses that Bruce Power held in Haldimand County. Were these concerns addressed? Was the public told that a leak here and there is normal?
One of my concerns in regards to Nuclear has been the storing of the waste, and the decommissioning of a Nuclear Plant.
Should we worry about environmental problems 60 or 70 years from now?
Posted 10 hours ago
I have read with dismay the continuing attempts by Bruce Power to sway public opinion in favor of its attempt to build a nuclear-generating power plant downstream from Peace River.
A presentation in Fairview last year was attended by over 200 concerned citizens. Many concerns were expressed, but few assurances were convincingly offered. The location of a nuclear plant on the north side of Lac Cardinal was unacceptable to the majority because of the risk of contamination of Grimshaw Gravels. The meeting ended in complete disarray, and most of those in attendance simply turned their backs on Bruce Power’s presenter and walked out. Now Bruce Power has quietly changed their strongly-held position that Lac Cardinal was safe, and have switched to the present site proposal. They haven’t had another public meeting in Fairview.
At the Fairview meeting, Bruce Power held that wind, solar or other "green" power-generating methods were inferior to nuclear. However in a recent half page ad in the Edmonton Journal, Bruce Power included wind, solar and other green electrical-generating methods to be part of their future agenda.
An extensive article also appeared in the Journal reporting the concerns of farmers whose land will be near the proposed site on the river, and the expressions of a few in the "pro" nuclear camp. The latter group, led by messers Pimm and Johnson, has no qualifications to assess the broader concerns about nuclear power, and I suspect that their supporters don’t either. Their only support for this project stems from their stated desire to obtain economic gain and employment for young people. Naturally, Bruce Power will "massage" the egos of these people and hold them up as the desire by the populace to support nuclear power, yet nothing could be farther from the truth.
Bruce Power is a private company, seeking the massive profits to be obtained from the sale of electricity. Their representatives in the Peace, trying to gain our favor, are not altruistic. They could care less about the long-term effects of nuclear power on this or other communities in the north. And you can bet that they are not giving up their homes and lifestyles in Ontario.
Today, the national news sources have disclosed that there was leakage of radioactive water into the Ottawa River in early December from the Chalk River nuclear plant, but was not reported for nine days. Downriver towns and cities, including Ottawa, are now trying to assess the danger to their water supplies. I wonder how Bruce Power will defend the industry next week?
Uranium sources are considered to be available on our planet for only the next 40 or 50 years. Yet nuclear plants turn out deadly radioactive waste with life spans of thousands and hundred of thousands of years. Short term gain for long term pain is the ultimate irresponsible and stupid act in my opinion.
Maybe the worldwide economic crisis will be the most beneficial thing to happen to us. Dangerous business ventures like Bruce Power’s may be stopped in their tracks.
Trevor Jones, Fairview
Feb 3, 2009 3:26:00 PM MST
Small leaks at Chalk River nuclear facility part of normal operations: AECL head (AECL-Chalk-River)
CALGARY _ The head of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. says a small radioactive leak at the Chalk River nuclear facility in Ontario was part of normal operations, and was dealt with appropriately.
CEO Hugh MacDiarmid says there´s no way to completely prevent leaks.
He says the company instead has plans to make sure they can deal with them quickly, and that´s what happened.
AECL has confirmed the leak at Chalk River occurred in early December.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission says the leak did not put the public or environment at risk. MacDiarmid says the Chalk River facility shuts down for five days every three weeks, and that repairs to the leak will be done during one of those periods.
Chalk River reactor can't be scrapped overnight
Posted By GREG WESTON
Posted 1 day ago
Amid growing political fallout from a recent radioactive spill at the antiquated Chalk River nuclear facility west of Ottawa, the Conservative government is desperately trying to wash its hands of the whole leaky reactor.
Senior government sources say Stephen Harper's administration is actively considering options to get rid of the nightmare nuke built in 1957, and operated by the country's perpetually money-burning nuclear agency, Atomic Energy of Canada.
However worthy the idea, it is a lot easier said than done.
First, the government can't just pull the plug on the Chalk River reactor tomorrow and sell it for scrap.
Despite its leaks, the reactor is currently running at double its normal capacity in order to produce up to 70 per cent of the world's supply of radioactive isotopes used in critical medical scans and treatments for millions of heart and cancer patients.
A shutdown of only a few weeks a year ago forced the cancellation of thousands of critical cancer treatments across Canada, the U. S. and parts of Europe.
Hitting the off-switch for good would cause an international health crisis.
Second, there aren't a lot of buyers for a leaky 52-year-old reactor on a site so contaminated that the auditor general has warned a clean-up could cost billions.
Insiders say an international consortium wanting a piece of the isotope biz put an offer on the table last year to run the existing facility while they were building a whole new reactor.
Taxpayers, of course, get to keep the contaminated site.
A senior government official hinted last week that the offer may still be alive.
It may be too late. Last month, one of the largest multinational distributors of medical isotopes, Covidien, announced a U. S. joint-venture to build the first American production reactor.
The move would likely wipe out the vast majority of the current isotope market for the Chalk River reactor that already loses millions of dollars a year, and make a Canadian replacement facility equally uneconomical.
No matter. Canadian taxpayers are already funding preliminary work on a project that might be able to produce medical isotopes with light beams and no nuclear reactors at all.
The problem is the proposed technology is still on the drafting board, and could take more years to design and build than the Chalk River facility will reasonably last.
However great the challenges of nuking Chalk River, no one could blame the Harper government for trying.
The reactor is now decades past its best-before date, and has long been an accident waiting to happen. The nuclear leak on Dec. 5 released radioactive tritium into the air, and spewed out an estimated 800 litres of contaminated water, most of which was contained.
Another unrelated crack in the reactor has been leaking 7,000 litres of very low-level radioactive water a day for over six weeks.
Most of that water, according a spokesman for Atomic Energy, ultimately ends up in the Ottawa River.
Officials at Atomic Energy and the Nuclear Safety Commission claim there was never any danger to humans or the surrounding environment from the leaks. But that doesn't explain why both agencies went to great lengths to keep the incident under wraps until we reported it last week, or why their subsequent explanations have been full of contradictions.
Even the Prime Minister's Office was furious at being kept in the dark about the spill, having been told (like everyone else) only that the reactor had some "unanticipated technical challenges."
That said, the Harper government isn't being entirely forthcoming, either.
The recent federal budget gives Atomic Energy a whopping $351 million this year, but no one is saying exactly how the money will be spent.
Far from fixing radioactive leaks, a tonne of that money may well be going towards the dismantling of the infamous Maple reactors.
Last year, the Harper government wisely pulled the plug on the two so-called Maples built to replace the Chalk River clunker.
The project was years late, more than $400 million over budget, and worst of all, the reactors don't work.
Last week, the office of Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt issued a written statement saying: "Clearly, there is no quick or easy solution to guaranteeing the long-term global supply of medical isotopes."
Until one is found, the government -- and the public -- will continue to be caught between a leaky reactor and a medical crisis.
Article ID# 1416903
No link between radioactive sludge and reactor leak: minister
8 hours ago
OTTAWA — The federal minister of Natural Resources says there is almost certainly no connection between radioactive sludge in Ottawa and a reactor leak at Chalk River some 200 kilometres upriver.
Lisa Raitt accused Liberal MPs of "fear-mongering" in the Commons after they asked her to clarify whether any link existed.
Raitt says the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has assured her the low-level radiation found in sludge from a sewage plant is likely residue from a medical device.
Two truckloads of sludge were turned back at the United States border last week after radioactivity was detected.
City officials in Ottawa have found no contamination at the waste-water facility and say repeated tests of both the Ottawa River and city drinking water have turned up no unusual radiation levels.
A leak in December at the aging research reactor at Chalk River, Ont., has sparked renewed calls for government action to safeguard the public and to ensure a continued supply of medical isotopes produced at the facility.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Should we be concerned about a few leaks here and there? Radioactive Leaks that is!