This is one of the freebie giveaways when the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission was in Sheenboro in April 2017. It is up to all of us to keep this “Shopping-Bag Mission Statement” in the forefront during all discussions about matters at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories.




I have experienced a crash of this entire page. Rebuilding it will take some time. Meanwhile, recent bulletins are posted.




You may also check out our OFWCA webpage on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/OFWCARadioactive




This is the link to Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, a group that OFWCA is closely allied with:
https://concernedcitizens.net/

This is their Facebook page link:
https://www.facebook.com/RadWasteAlert/






Nuclear Update

Sent as a Cottager Bulletin on July 4, 2018


Hello, Friends and neighbours!

This Bulletin offers the latest update from Johanna Echlin and her team on our infamous upriver nuclear facilities. There is a lot here, all related to the scary plans for the decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) Project located just below the des Joachims hydro dam.


Johanna first presents the Resolution that will be placed before the Membership at the Annual General Meeting of the Old Fort William Cottagers' Association at the Hotel Pontiac on Saturday, July 21. It will be voted on by all members whose dues have been paid by then.


Our Bulletins of January 9, February 4, and April 16 contained lots of information regarding CNL’s proposal to entomb the NPD reactor. Please see the OFWCA website for these editions of the Bulletin.


We will start with the Resolution (be sure to read note about proxy voting) and then move on to the details of the project and present information you need to know.


Annual General Meeting, July 21, 2018

Last summer OFWCA adopted a resolution in opposition to the mega-dump for radioactive waste at Chalk River. This summer members will vote on a resolution in opposition to the entombment of the NPD (Nuclear Power Demonstration) reactor at Rolphton, Ontario (about 25 kilometres upriver from Chalk River).


Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

Proposed Resolution, July 21, 2018

Opposing Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ proposal for the Decommissioning of the
Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) Reactor at Rolphton, Ontario 


OFWCA strongly opposes CNL’s flawed proposal to entomb the NPD reactor at Rolphton, Ontario, by filling it with grout and covering it with a concrete cap.


The NPD reactor vessel and components are highly contaminated with “post-fission” radioactive materials (including both low-level and intermediate-level). Entombing plutonium and other human-made radioactive materials (by-products of nuclear fission) as well as other mixed wastes such as mercury, lead, asbestos and PCBs just below the surface is completely against International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards. 


The IAEA states that entombment should only be considered under exceptional circumstances (e.g., a severe accident) and should not be an option in the case of a planned permanent shutdown. 

Entombing and abandoning these same radioactive materials that will be hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years as well as other toxic mixed wastes a hundred metres from the Ottawa River, where all surface water and groundwater migrates to that river, is totally unacceptable. 

Extracting this radioactive material from this grouting and concrete in order to transfer it from Rolphton to a proper facility (when one becomes available) would be difficult and costly. 


There are no guarantees that the grouting will not crack, allowing water to infiltrate this shallow underground grave. And there are no guarantees that the concrete will last anywhere near as long as the radioactive materials will remain hazardous.


OFWCA calls for a halt to the current entombment plan and a proper assessment of the alternatives to entombment. OFWCA calls for public consultations on managing radioactive wastes, including consideration of Retrievable Storage or “Rolling Stewardship” in which radioactive waste is contained, retrievable and monitored; and information and responsibility are transferred from one generation to the next (http://www.ccnr.org/Rolling_Stewardship.pdf). OFWCA requests that an independent science-based body operating under the auspices of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change be charged with conducting environmental assessments related to radioactive waste management.



As we did in 2017 at the AGM, we will again be offering Proxy Voting to those who cannot attend the meeting. Note that your dues must be paid up by the day of the meeting, or your vote will not be counted. For a proxy vote form, 20180704 NPD Proxy ResolutionR.pdf.


______________________________



Additional Information About NPD from Gordon Edwards


Included below is a recent letter from Gordon Edwards as well as (#1) an article that Gordon has just written about NPD Rolphton, and (#2) his submission to the CNSC.


June 24, 2018

Hello, friends:


Here in Canada we are threatened with the “in-situ decommissioning” [“entombment”] of two old nuclear reactors that have both been shut down for several decades.


These two reactors are both owned by the federal government, not by any utility company — the WR-1 reactor on the Winnipeg River in Manitoba, and the NPD reactor (NPD = Nuclear Power Demonstration) on the Ottawa River about 250 km upstream from the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa. These reactors have already been defueled and drained of their coolant, and the solid dry radioactive structures are now ready for decommissioning.


Until a few years ago, it was always understood that the structures of defunct reactors would be carefully dismantled, the radioactive rubble would be packaged and transported offsite for eventual emplacement in a suitable waste repository, and the site would be returned to “green field” status.


But now the decommissioning enterprise has been placed in the hands of a consortium of multinational corporations, and they — using public money — have radically altered the plan. They want to just drop all the radioactive debris into the sub-basements of the reactor buildings and then flood those underground structures with Portland cement, creating a subterranean cement mausoleum (I call it a radioactive outhouse) for eternity.


Item 2 below is a brief that I wrote on behalf of CCNR regarding the NPD entombment project. If you read pages 9–11 of the “Radioactive Outhouse” you will see the nub of our objection to this “entombment” option.


Reactors must be built close to water for cooling purposes. Radioactive waste should be as far away from water as possible. Since entombment uses the same site for both the reactor and its waste, it is a completely unscientific and irresponsible proposition. It turns the reactor site into a radioactive waste disposal site, despite the fact that it was never intended for that and never qualified for that.


I have also included an article (item 1 below) I wrote last week on this subject (i.e., concerning the NPD reactor).


Gordon Edwards



1. Link to article: 

www.ccnr.org/Madawaska_2.pdf


2. Link to Gordon Edwards’ Submission to the CNSC:

www.ccnr.org/CCNR_NPD_pack.pdf



Grout


Ole Hendrickson and Craig Robinson attended an “Environmental Stewardship Council” meeting at CNL on June 21, which included a presentation on the “grout” to be used in CNL’s proposal to entomb NPD Rolphton. Ole points out that CNL has its own definition for grout: “Grouting is the process of placing, by pumping, a mixture of Portland Cement and water that produces a pourable, concrete-like, mixture to ensure filling of gaps and crevices throughout the facility. All below-grade areas are to be filled with grout.”


Here is Ole’s report:


“So, CNL intends to fill all the below-ground parts of the NPD with “grout” — hardly the same meaning as filling the crevices between tiles in a bathroom shower.


As Craig and I learned on Thursday, the volume of “grout” will be 16,000 +/- 20% cubic meters. That’s a lot of gaps to be filled.


And, CNL has changed its mind almost completely about what that “grout” would be made of. They now propose that it would only be 10% Portland cement. The main component would be 90% pulverised blast furnace slag. Except — this yields a very alkaline final pH around 13.5, which would allow lead, a major contaminant in the reactor, to readily leach out of the grout and eventually get into the Ottawa River. So one of the rooms in the reactor that has a particularly large quantity of lead — the engine room — would be filled with a mixture of fly ash, calcium aluminate binder, plaster of Paris, and boric acid. This would bring the pH down to around 10, which in theory reduces the mobility of lead. 


Brad Phillips said that they would like to fill the whole reactor with this fly ash-based grout, but they couldn’t come up with a readily available supply, so they want to go with blast furnace slag instead for the “bulk fill”.


So much for these finely tuned grout mixtures that we heard so much about during the initial few ESC meetings where in-situ decommissioning was discussed! They’re more or less making this up as they go along.”



CNSC has announced delays for NPD Rolphton

On June 13 the following notice was received from CNSC regarding delays.

Previously, CNL was to submit the final environmental impact statement in June 2018 and the CNSC was to issue the environmental assessment in October 2018. Now no dates are given. CNL is obviously having trouble addressing all the questions and missing information raised in submissions sent to the CNSC in February pertaining to CNL’s draft environmental impact statement. A delay is good news as it gives those of us in opposition more time to get our message out there.


Nuclear Power Demonstration Closure Project – Update on the status of the environmental assessment process

To: CNSC.Info.CCSN@canada.ca

The public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Nuclear Power Demonstration Closure Project closed on February 13, 2018. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is currently addressing all comments received, as well as the CNSC’s requests for information. CNL has indicated that additional time is required to complete these deliverables. As a result, the final EIS, originally expected in June 2018, and the public hearing, which had been tentatively planned for December 2018, will be delayed. A revised timeline for project deliverables will be made available to the public once finalized.


For more information: 

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/evaluations/document/122910?culture=en-CA 




The latest on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

http://www.cnl.ca/en/home/news-and-publications/news-releases/2018/cnl-announces-strong-interest-in-siting-an-smr-dem.aspx


CNL announces strong interest in siting an SMR demonstration unit

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory receives responses from four SMR proponents seeking to construct small modular reactor demonstration projects at CNL-managed sites

Chalk River, ON, June 12, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that four small modular reactor (SMR) project proponents have submitted responses to CNL’s recent Invitation for SMR Demonstration Projects at a CNL-managed site. The invitation, which began with an optional pre-qualification stage, is an opportunity for CNL to evaluate technical and business merits of proposed designs, assess the financial viability of the projects, and review the necessary national security and integrity requirements.


Note: In August CNL indicated that 15 companies were interested in building a prototype. Now there are only four companies, and CNL has not given any further information.

We will keep watching this story as it unfolds.



Ottawa Riverkeeper: Radioactive Waste and Water Don’t Mix


Everyone please TAKE ACTION: and support the efforts of the Ottawa Riverkeeper to protect the Ottawa River. The Riverkeeper will send a letter on your behalf to your MP (and the Ministers of the Environment and Natural Resources) regarding the need for better plans for radioactive waste on the Ottawa River as well as the need for a federal plan for the management of radioactive waste. Act now and fill in the form by clicking Take Action above or on the message below copied from the Riverkeeper’s website. It takes just minutes to do and could make a real difference.

Please also consider forwarding this message to friends and family. 


PROTECT OUR RIVER: 

NUCLEAR WASTE AND WATER DON’T MIX

You might be surprised to learn that a significant portion of Canada’s largest environmental liabilities lie within our own Ottawa River Watershed. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) has accrued about 8 Billion dollars worth of liabilities in the form of contaminated wastes that must be safely stored in order to protect our water and life. You can read a bit more on these liabilities in this blog written by our Riverkeeper, Meredith.

With this in mind, we find it shocking that our country has no official policy regarding the long-term management of non-fuel radioactive waste. As Canadian taxpayers, we are all on the hook to clean up our nuclear waste on the Ottawa River and beyond.

A federal policy on non-fuel radioactive wastes is urgently needed.

TAKE ACTION:

Make your voice heard! Tell your local MP, as well as our Ministers of the Environment and Climate Change, Natural Resources, and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs that clean water is Canada’s most important resource and that we need an official policy regarding the long-term management of non-fuel radioactive waste.









Nuclear Update

Sent as a Cottager Bulletin on April 16, 2018


Despite Johanna Echlin's optimistic opening line below, there is no Spring in Sheenboro. After snow last week, now we are in the midst of a multi-day festival of snow, rain, sleet, and freezing rain. It will begin to get better in less than a week, it appears. 


DLP



Happy Spring, everyone! At least we hope Spring will have arrived by the time you receive this Bulletin.


There is much to tell you, and so this Bulletin is long. First, there are two events coming up soon, and there is an E-Petition we hope you will sign. News will follow.


Two big events are scheduled for April 23 — one at the United Nations and one in Ottawa:


1. Ottawa — April 23, 2018: Press Conference, 11:00 am, Charles Lynch Press Conference Room (Centre Block, Parliament Hill)

The theme of the press conference will be that First Nations and Citizens' groups are taking their concerns about radioactive waste to international forums and UN bodies (the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) because the Canadian government is not listening to our concerns.


Lynn Jones of Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County is organizing this event. It is still in the planning stage, but one speaker has been confirmed: Grand-Chief Verna Polson, of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council. A letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency will be mentioned at the press conference. The letter addresses Canada’s failure to live up to its international obligations regarding the management of radioactive waste.


Following the press conference there will be a demonstration at noon — perhaps people will go down by the river behind Parliament Hill, and it might involve the Red Canoe. If anyone would like to participate and needs more information, send an email to johanna@ofwca.org and we will forward more information as it becomes available.

 


2. A Special Event at the United Nations, NYC, April 23, 2018, 1:15-2:30 pm:

Radioactive Waste and Canada's First Nations


On the occasion of the 17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, meeting from April 16 to 27 in NYC, the Anishinabek Nation and the Iroquois Caucus are hosting a special event to address "Canada's First Nations and Radioactive Waste."


The special event will take place in Room S2925 BR in the UN Secretariat Building, NYC, April 23, 1:15 to 2:30 pm. In attendance will be Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee of the Anishinabek Nation, Chiefs Clinton Phillips and William Diabo of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, and Chiefs Troy Thompson and April Adams-Phillips of the Mohawk Council of Akwasasne.


Candace Neveu of the Bawatang Water Protectors will provide the perspective of a First Nations youth and mother.


Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and Dr. Ole Hendrickson on the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area will also be in attendance as resource persons and technical advisors.


Click here to see the flyer.



3. E-Petition

There is a petition to sign if you have not already done so — and if you are Canadian! This was initiated in January by Dr. Ole Hendrickson and Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party, regarding the necessity for regulations and reforms for the best management of radioactive waste. The deadline is May 11, and it is crucial that there are many signatures. It only takes a minute or two to do this. So, please. (There were over 3,000 signatures on the last petition and we hope for as many on this one.)


Click here to sign it: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1450


PS: I just signed it; it took about 2.5 minutes including retyping my phone number with no spaces or non-numeric symbols (be warned!) and waiting for, and clicking on, the validating email. Easy! — DLP




Update on What Has Been Happening Here

Press Conference and March in Ottawa, January 18, 2018

The week before the CNSC License Hearings in Pembroke, there was a press conference on Parliament Hill. It was a great success! Lynn Jones and Ole Hendrickson of Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County did a terrific job organizing the event. Lynn Jones, Patrick Nadeau, Executive Director of Ottawa Riverkeeper, and Patrick Madahbee, Grand Council Chief of the Anishinabek Nation, spoke. Patrick Madahbee said it was “insane” to store radioactive waste near the Ottawa River.


After the press conference, there was a march from Parliament Hill through some downtown streets. En route, they delivered letters to Michael Binder, CNSC; Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa; and Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment. Protesters carried a red canoe decorated with signs. Their goals were to get media attention for the Licensing Hearings in Pembroke January 23-25 and to attract and inform new people. They certainly succeeded.


See below coverage of the event including some videos.


January 17, 2018: Anishinabek News, Concerned citizens march through downtown Ottawa for nuclear safety

http://anishinabeknews.ca/2018/01/17/concerned-citizens-march-through-downtown-ottawa-for-nuclear-safety/#


January 18, 2018: APTN News, Annette Francis, Groups fighting nuclear plant near Ottawa River

http://aptnnews.ca/2018/01/18/groups-fighting-nuclear-plant-near-ottawa-river/

Note: attached to this article is a 2-minute video of the press conference and march in Ottawa — excellent and worth viewing. 


January 17, 2018: CBC News, Julie Ireton, Groups opposed to new nuclear license march in Ottawa

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/nuclear-chalk-river-license-renewal-1.4492167


January 18, 2018: CBC News, Julie Ireton, Insanity to allow nuclear waste disposal near Ottawa River, Indigenous groups say

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/chalk-river-nuclear-waste-indigenous-1.4492937

(see video included in the above)


January 18, 2018: Daily Observer, Stephen Uhler, Getting the message out

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2018/01/18/getting-the-message-out



CNSC License Hearings in Pembroke, January 23-25

Cheers to all of you who wrote a submission regarding the 10-year license, and especially to those of you who made presentations at the hearing. Joann McCann made an excellent presentation on behalf of OFWCA. And thanks also to all those who helped and supported presenters and kept the rooms upstairs full of food and entertainment.


Here is a copy of Chris Cavan’s (OFWCA) email that gives a vibrant summary of the Hearings: Link to PDF



Stephen Uhler of the Daily Observer covers the Hearings and our news for the last time. Sadly, Stephen passed away recently.

January 23, 2018: Daily Observer, Stephen Uhler CNL Licensing Hearing Starts

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2018/01/23/cnl-licencing-hearing-starts


January 24, 2018: Daily Observer, Stephen Uhler, Hearings Continue for CNL

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2018/01/24/hearings-continue-for-cnl


January 26, 2018: Daily Observer, Stephen Uhler, CNSC Hearings Wrap Up

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2018/01/25/cnsc-hearings-wrap-up


January 26, 2018: Ottawa Citizen, Stephen Uhler, Indigenous reps oppose 10-year licence extension for Chalk Labs operation

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/indigenous-reps-oppose-10-year-licence-extension-for-chalk-labs-operation


Infuriatingly, in spite of all the opposition, all the presentations, and all the work and energy poured into this event, the CNSC announced their decision to grant CNL a 10-year license on the eve of the Easter weekend. It is almost as though they ignored all that was said during those three days (see below the Fact Sheet with 11 key concerns ignored by CNSC). Unfortunately this decision was anticipated as the CNSC is a captured regulator, and former consortium executives are in charge of AECL, the supposed overseer. The decision certainly raises our concerns. This 10-year license could pave the way for CNL to plow ahead with their plans to create the giant dump at Chalk River and to entomb the reactor at Rolphton. CNL also has plans to experiment with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that will create more radioactive waste before there is a proper facility in which to store that waste.


Fact Sheet

Eleven key concerns ignored by CNSC in approval of 10-year license for Chalk River

(If this link does not open, re-click. Strangely, this has worked for two of us in tests!) 


April 11, 2018: Pontiac Journal, Lynn Jones, Federal decision paves way for Chalk River radioactive dump and growing stocks of waste

http://www.pontiacjournal.com/news/federal-decision-paves-way-chalk-river-radioactive-dump-and-growing-stocks-waste


You can download all 88 interventions on the CNSC website at this link (see January 23-25 public hearing):

http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/the-commission/hearings/cmd/index.cfm


Commission Hearing videos are still available (though we do not know for how long).

http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/the-commission/webcasts/archived/january2018/index.cfm#CommissionHearing


Approximately two-thirds of the interventions express serious concerns about the length of the proposed license, extensive deletion of license conditions, weakening of regulatory oversight, and other matters.


Here are some highlights that Lynn Jones and Ole Hendrickson put together:

Submission from W. Turner, D. Raman, J. Walker

Former AECL scientists, including a former director of Safety Engineering and Licensing, highlight instability in CNL management, lack of knowledge of key regulations and international obligations, and lack of open and transparent public engagement. The submission concludes as follows:

“This evaluation raises questions as to whether CNL “... is qualified to carry on the activity that the licence will authorize the licencee to carry on…” and “We respectfully submit that a decision by the Commission to grant a 10-year licence to CNL would be an unsafe and unsound decision.”

 

Submission from the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area (CCRCA)

Prepared by Dr. Ole Hendrickson, and supported by intervenor funding from the CNSC, this submission provides a detailed analysis of proposed deletions from the site license and license condition handbook. Asks, "Why do the proposed CRL license and license condition handbook contain sweeping changes that would reduce regulatory oversight, and why do CNSC staff provide no information about these changes, or their implications?"

 

Submission from the Canadian Environmental Law Association

Filed in support of the CCRCA submission. Notes that half of current license conditions are proposed for deletion. States, “the level of generality and vagueness being introduced into the text of this legal instrument, and the accompanying licence condition handbook, is an open invitation for non-compliance.” Requests that the CNSC issue an order rejecting the CNL site license renewal application as submitted by CNL and endorsed by CNSC staff.

 

Submission from the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

This submission was written by Johanna Echlin and presented by Joann McCann. It states, “This is definitely not the time for the CNSC to modify, eliminate, or substantially weaken any of the current regulations…All reporting and record keeping requirements should be maintained…” and “A 10-year license has not been granted before for CRL. OFWCA questions why it would even be considered now. Why would the license be longer than CNL’s contract, which comes up for renewal in three years — in 2021? … We strongly urge CNSC to limit a new license to a maximum of three years or to extend the current license for a maximum of three years ending in 2021.”

 

Submission from the Ottawa Riverkeeper

Warns that some proposed licence changes may be “intentional to enable the NSDF,” citing the example of “the removal of the prohibition of controlled liquid waste releases to the ground,” adding that “Ottawa Riverkeeper is not supportive of the plans to collect, treat and release polluted water from the NSDF into the groundwater table.”

 

Submission from J. P. Unger, Ottawa

Points out that the lead Canadian member of the consortium that owns CNL, SNC Lavalin, is currently debarred from the World Bank for 10 years and facing charges in Canada for fraud, bribery and corruption, and that the consortium member CH2M has been convicted in the United States of fraud.



The NSDF and Découverte’s Documentary


On a brighter note, we hope you were able to see Découverte’s excellent one-hour documentary. The program focuses on the threat posed to the Ottawa River by the giant radioactive Chalk River Mound. It took eight months to produce and includes segments filmed on the Ottawa River (in September and later in the Fall at CNL) and in France. A French nuclear physicist, David Boiley, who studied the NSDF draft environmental impact statement upon Découverte’s request, states that the following very painful lessons learned in France about nuclear waste have not been transmitted to Canada: 1. nuclear waste should never be stored or disposed of near water bodies 2. radioactive waste should never be exposed to the elements — it should always be covered by a roof. In contrast, the NSDF will be exposed to the elements for at least the first 50 years before it is covered, and it will be situated beside the Ottawa River.


Dr. Boiley also said some very concerning things about tritium that we all need to be aware of. CNSC and CNL are always insisting that the concentrations or levels of tritium in the river are very low. However, Dr. Boiley says that low levels are beside the point — the point is that if people are drinking this water day after day, year after year, tritium will accumulate in the body and will increase the risk of a number of diseases. Imagine what the fish are taking in.


We really have to question when CNSC and CNL try to convince us that all is safe. I seriously doubt they are right.


The filming on the river is extraordinary — watch the film even if you do not understand French — it is well worth it visually. There is also quite an extensive look at Chalk River and the location for the dump. It is a closer view than most of us have ever seen. The graphics regarding the NSDF are incredibly good.


Link to 42-minute Découverte film (sorry, it will start with an ad):

http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/decouverte/site/episodes/403264/chalk-river


Link to a 2-minute overview of the 42-minute film, as well as a good article by Daniel Carrière about the NSDF, here:

http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1090853/chalk-river-construction-site-stockage-dechets-nucleaire-riviere-outaouais-craintes-environnement


English translation (google) of the Daniel Carrière Découverte article.

https://tinyurl.com/yb9qbjxb


April 11, 2018: Pontiac Journal, Letter to the Editor, Ole Hendrickson/J. Echlin, NSDF: threat to drinking water on national television

http://www.pontiacjournal.com/letter/nsdf-threat-drinking-water-national-television



NSDF Updated Timeline

As stated in our December Bulletin, CNSC announced at the end of November that CNL would be delayed in issuing their final environmental impact statement (EIS). The final EIS was originally scheduled for January 2018.


We have learned from Meredith Brown (Ottawa Riverkeeper), Ole Hendrickson and Craig Robinson, who attended a CNL Stewardship Council meeting last week, that the project timelines have been pushed well into the future, and the actual hearing will probably take place in 2019. For example, the Ecological Risk Assessment is unlikely to be issued before the end of 2018.


All submissions in opposition have had an impact — a delay of at least a year from their original plans! More time to fight this proposal.


CNL continues to say that this giant, above-ground landfill for one million cubic metres of radioactive waste will only include “low-level waste.” This is deceptive because CNL does not say that the dump will also include significant quantities of long-lived alpha, beta, and gamma emitters.


CNL’s 10-year plan also does not include any strategy for the permanent disposal of intermediate- and high-level radioactive waste. CNL seems to deny any responsibility for these wastes that exist at Chalk River.


OFWCA recognizes the importance of the economy and jobs in this region. But short-term economic gain must not compromise for centuries to come the Ottawa River, the local environment, and the health and safety of all people living downriver.


OFWCA must continue to pressure CNL to begin again and design a state-of-the-art facility that is in compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency standards. It should also include intermediate-level waste to safely store Canada’s legacy and future wastes in a location that is at least 25 kilometres away from the Ottawa River.



Decommissioning of the Rolphton Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) Project

The deadline for submissions to the CNSC regarding CNL’s draft environmental impact statement for the NPD facility at Rolphton was February 13. Thank you to all those who responded to our pleas in February’s Bulletin and made a submission! There were nearly 100 submissions, and the proposal was widely criticized.


The proposal to decommission the NPD reactor at Rolphton (just 25 kilometres upriver from Chalk River) is to entomb (or bury) the reactor and its radioactive components in grout and concrete just below ground in the same place it has always been. The site is just over 100 metres from the Ottawa River. The plan is to abandon the entombed reactor within 100 years.


We believe that the long-term care of the reactor at Rolphton should continue until a suitable facility for the disposal of the reactor and its components is available.


CBC’s Julie Ireton has written an article about the proposed entombment of the NPD reactor at Rolphton and the great concern about releases of radioactive water into the river. Wilf Ruland, a specialist in groundwater and surface water contamination, was retained by the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council to review the proposed decommissioning of the demonstration reactor (find link to his submission below). He reported that from 1997 to 2015, an annual average of 26,000 litres of radioactive water was discharged into the Ottawa River from the NPD reactor and that these releases still continue today. Entombment of the reactor will not resolve this situation.


March 21, 2018: CBC Julie Ireton, Reactor's neighbours alarmed over radioactive toxins in river — Ottawa

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/nuclear-contamination-plan-containment-rolphton-cnl-algonquins-1.4584336


March 28, 2018: Pontiac Journal, Letter to the Editor, “Crazy proposal” to entomb nuclear reactor; Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County & Area, Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

http://www.pontiacjournal.com/letter/“crazy-proposal”-entomb-nuclear-reactor


Here are Lynn Jones’s Nine quick facts on the crazy plan to "entomb" a nuclear reactor beside the Ottawa River.


Links to NPD submissions:

All submissions:

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/documents-eng.cfm?evaluation=80121


Submission by Wilf Ruland for the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council

Submission by Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility

Submission by Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area

Submission by the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

Submission by Dr. J. R. Walker, retired senior manager, AECL

Submission by the Algonquins of Ontario

ConsolidatedTable of Federal and Provincial Comments



CNL’s Time-line for NPD Rolphton

June 2018: CNL will submit final EIS to the CNSC

October 2018: CNSC will issue the EA report and licensing document

Public comment period of 30 days will follow

December 2018: CNSC Commission Hearing (EA & Licensing decision)



And here is a great article by Fred Ryan that pretty well sums it all up!

Feb. 14, 2018 Pontiac Journal, Fred Ryan, They think we are idiots"

http://www.pontiacjournal.com/column/they-think-we-are-idiots



Municipal Resolutions

In our 2017 December Bulletin, we brought you good news about municipal resolutions being adopted in opposition to the NSDF, including from Sheenboro and MRC Pontiac.


Letters have gone out to municipalities from our ally Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive, OFWCA’s Elssa Martinez, and just this past week from Lynn Jones and me. Mayors were advised to watch the Découverte documentary and were urged to pass resolutions opposing both the NSDF, if they had not already done so, and the proposed entombment of the NPD reactor at Rolphton.


Municipal resolutions continue to arrive.

Please find here the current List of Municipal Resolutions



Federal Government

The federal government is now proclaiming nuclear as the solution to combating climate change — the problem is they are calling it “clean energy” — even "NICE!"


Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future – NICE Future

See the posting on the website for: Department of Natural Resources

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/20719

From Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources



March 28, 2018: Pontiac Journal, Peter Smith, Feds give $1.2 billion to revitalize Chalk River site

http://www.pontiacjournal.com/news/feds-give-12-billion-revitalize-chalk-river-site


Le 28 mars 2018: Pontiac Journal, Ginette Charbonneau, L’énergie nucléaire n’est pas de l’énergie propre!

http://www.journalpontiac.com/letter/l’énergie-nucléaire-n’est-pas-de-l’énergie-propre



Greg Fergus MP for Hull-Aylmer has organized several town hall meetings about the NSDF. Both Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive and STOP Oléoduc Outaouais have been active at these events.


What about our MP William Amos? He continues to sit back and say we should just wait and trust the CNSC. How can we trust the CNSC after it granted CNL a 10-year license? We encourage OFWCA members to write a letter to our MP and insist on action. The federal government must intervene.


Johanna Echlin








Next Action: Decommissioning the NPD in Rolphton

Sent as a Cottager Bulletin on February 4, 2018


It's completely understandable that you cannot believe that there is yet more happening on the nuclear front just up the River from us. It’s an imperfect storm of imperfect projects that are piling on us all over the span of less than a year. 


We are sorry, but we need your help again! 


We need our readers to write a short letter (one page) to CNSC expressing their views about this proposal and its impact on the river — letters as you wrote for the NSDF at Chalk River. We want CNSC to know what our community and others think about CNL’s proposal at Rolphton. If we do not write, the danger is that CNSC can interpret the silence to mean anything that they want it to mean — they might interpret it to mean that we are all supportive of this project, that none of us are in opposition to it, or that we simply do not care what CNL does at Rolphton (which is just metres away from the river). 


First, a quick word about the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's Licensing hearings that took place in Pembroke for three days beginning January 23. We hope to get a summary out soon, but it went well from our side. There were dozens of presentations, and by far the majority of them (especially when counting all the submissions) were very much with us. Of course, it is difficult to forecast what the CNSC will decide. 

 

Johanna Echlin is back with us after an illness that sidelined her for a few weeks, and she's making up for lost time! She developed the following document as a springboard for the crafting of public comments by you and me. We included it in an earlier Bulletin as a PDF link, but we were all dealing with licensing then, and the NPD undeerstandably was shuffled to our collective back burners. 

 


The NPD

 Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) Rolphton

CNL (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories), the proponent for the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) closure project, submitted the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (in both official languages) on November 15. 


There is a link way to the EIS way down below, look for the big red asterisk!

The CNSC will be accepting comments (in either language) on the draft EIS until February 13th.  “CNL encourages members of the public and Indigenous groups to participate in the EA process by sharing their comments with the CNSC.” 

Where is NPD Rolphton Located?

The NPD site is on the south bank of the Ottawa River - 3 km downstream from the Des Joachims Dam and approximately 25 kilometres upstream from the CNL Chalk River site.  It is in Rolphton Township, in the Town of Laurentian Hills in Renfrew County, Ontario, approximately 200 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

Background:

The NPD reactor, a prototype for the CANDU reactor design, was the first nuclear power reactor to produce electricity in Canada and was operated by Ontario Hydro from 1962 until 1987 when it was shut down and placed in long-term storage with surveillance. The nuclear fuel was removed and put in storage at Chalk River.  In 2015 CNL announced its plan to fully decommission the facility in-situ. CNL’s goal is to complete closure by 2020.

Project Description:

“The proposed in-situ decommissioning activities include removing the above ground structure and placing contaminated materials into the below grade structure. The below grade structure, reactor vessel and systems and components will be sealed by grouting. The structure will then be capped with concrete and covered with an engineered barrier. In-situ decommissioning will isolate the contaminated systems and components inside the below grade structure.”

The ventilation stack will remain standing as it is home to chimney swifts.

Objective: CNL’s stated objective is to reduce Canada’s legacy long-term liabilities and eliminate interim waste storage at this site.


Timeframe:

Grouting of below surface: 2018

Removal of above-surface structures and use as backfill: 2018–2019

Install concrete cap and engineered barrier: 2019–2020

Long-term care and maintenance: 2020–2120

Abandonment

 

Wastes to be entombed: 

Radionuclides embedded in metals and other materials (due to interaction of neutrons from reactor operation).

Radioactive contamination on surfaces.

Lead, mercury, PCBs (including a number of light ballasts containing PCBs), asbestos, oil (from oil leak).

 

CNL states that any waste that cannot be disposed of onsite (e.g., if concrete encapsulation is deemed an unacceptable method) will be transported offsite — to Chalk River?

Concerns/Criticisms stated in Submissions re: Project Description:

Location: The NPD site is only about 400 metres from the Ottawa River and all surface drainage on the site ultimately drains into the river (see photo). The NPD site is located within unceded Algonquin Territory.

 

The Project Description states: “There is the potential for radionuclide releases to groundwater from the in-situ decommissioned reactor and radionuclide migration to the Ottawa River.”

 

IAEA does not recommend Entombment  (see links below: William Turner, Michael Stephens)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does identify three decommissioning strategies: immediate dismantling, deferred dismantling, and entombment.  

However, IAEA does not recommend entombment except under exceptional circumstances (e.g., a severe accident). Entombment is not an acceptable practice in world nuclear community.

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1652web-83896570.pdf

William Turner (ex-AECL employee) states, there is no evidence that entombment will reduce liabilities. Mr. Turner argues that the best method is to just let it continue to decay (deferred dismantling) — no purpose for entombment.

J.R. Walker (ex-AECL employee) considers that the “proposal and its assessment lack credibility.” He writes “The material contained in the proposed facility will remain hazardous for tens of thousands of years, which is far longer than the expected life of the proposed facility, its cover, and the grout.”

Michael Stephens suggests that this entombment could actually increase the liabilities as entombment leaves it in a “difficult-to-retrieve” state — making it impossible to retrieve for proper disposition when an appropriate waste facility becomes available.  

Entombment is also not suitable for materials that contain long-lived isotopes as these materials should not be disposed of so near the surface.  

 

Cracking of grout/concrete

What assurance is there that grout will fill all cracks and there will be no infiltration of water over the long-term.

 There is no assurance that seals to the walls of below ground structures will not expand and crack, or shrink creating fissures.  

 

A multitude of concerns 

What happens in the event of any of the following? Earthquake, flood, dam break at Joachim, ice age

 

Why the rush now?

NPD has been decaying for nearly 30 years.  Why this change now?  What is the rush to have this completed by 2020? 

 

Long-term care

Long-term care will end in 2120. Wouldn’t that be the time when maintenance might really be necessary?  How long does concrete last in our climate?  

What are the provisions for long-term care? Where will the necessary resources come from? How will it be funded? By taxpayers?

 

Little public consultation

CNL (as with the Chalk River proposal) has taken the “Decide-Announce-Defend” approach to public consultation

 

Species at Risk

Nine species at risk have been reported at the NPD site: Bald Eagle, Chimney Swift, Common Nighthawk, Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Milksnake, Eastern Small-footed Myotis, Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis and the Monarch Butterfly.

 

Several recommended submissions

January 2, 2018 JR Walker submission NPD Rolphton  (submission on environmental impact statement) 

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/documents/p80121/121343E.pdf

December 13, 2017 William Turner submission NPD Rolphton (submission on environmental impact statement)

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/documents/p80121/121233E.pdf

June 12, 2017 Michael Stephens submission NPD Rolphton (submission on project description)

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/documents/p80121/114831E.pdf

June 24, 2017 Northwatch submission NPD Rolphton (submission on project description)

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/documents/p80121/114833E.pdf

 

Important Links:

English

Public Notice from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


*EIS links:

Environmental Impact Statement for the NPD closure project

Environmental Impact Statement Summary (Interactive version)

Environmental Impact Statement Summary (Printable version)

French

Avis public de la Commission canadienne de sûreté nucléaire

l’Énoncé des incidences environnementales de Projet de fermeture du réacteur nucléaire de démonstration

Sommaire de l’Énoncé des incidences environnementales (Interactif)

Sommaire de l’Énoncé des incidences environnementales (pour imprimer)

If you would like more information related to the NPD closure project, you can email Margot Thompson at margot.thompson@cnl.ca, or visit the project’s web page – www.cnl.ca/npd.

 

 

Written comments in either official language must be submitted by February 13, 2018, to:

Lucia Abellan, Environmental Assessment Officer

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Email: cnsc.ea-ee.ccsn@canada.ca

Again, we urge you to add a bcc to  info@ofwca.org   so I can share it with your OFWCA CNL team. 


In fact, we'll make it easier for you, as we did before: click on the link below, and your email software should open up a New Message with the appropriate blanks filled in, all ready for you to paste your submission or attach your document. 


Click here for ready-to-go blank message!

We would suggest that you move the OFWCA address to the cc or the bcc field in your message. Thanks. 


All comments on the draft EIS will be posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry in the language in which they were received.



Thank you, once again, for your help! 










Current Status of Issues with CNL

Sent as a Cottager Bulletin on January 9, 2018


Here is another one of our news-filled Bulletins to fill you in further about what you need to know about the latest news regarding our neighbours up the River.


Note the three sections below:

We are covering the License Hearings in Pembroke for the CNL, information regarding the public submission regarding the Decommissioning of the Rolphton Nuclear Demonstration Plant (NPD), and a Demonstration in Ottawa on January 18 to build awareness of the CNSC hearings that begin on January 23. 


The NPD issue is our Next Big Thing. The information in this Bulletin is very important and is to alert you to what is at stake. Once again we will be asking our cottagers, Sheen friends, and neighbours to submit their thoughts on this project to the CNSC. Deadline is February 13. Please read the section down below to give you some preliminary information so that you understand what is at stake (once again!). We are well aware that we are wearing you down in this perfect storm of three major nuclear issues in the last two years.  


If you want to help your non-subscribing friends to be updated, or if you have missed or misplaced some Bulletins yourself, all the news can be found on this page at the OFWCA website:

http://ofwca.org/SheenOFWCA/OFWCACNL.html




The CNSC License Hearings, Pembroke, January 23–25

 

The hearings regarding the renewal of the CNL Operating License were originally scheduled for two days, but an extra day has been added due to the wide public response. The meetings will take place at the Best Western in Pembroke, right off Highway 17, so that is the centre of activity. 

 

Licensing Hearings 

CNSC is drawing up a new Chalk River site license. Our ally from the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County, Ole Hendrickson, and others have identified major changes in this new license that are very disconcerting.  First, it is for 10 years (the previous license was for 5 years).  As well, the CNSC is eliminating many of the previous regulations that were there to protect the public and the environment. What this means is that the CNSC’s oversight of CNL’s activities will be reduced even more. We must not let this happen. 

 

Here is the schedule of oral and written presentations for the Public Hearing in Pembroke re: the proposed new 10-year license for Chalk River. 


Click here for presentation schedule


We hope some of you will be able to attend even if you are not presenting. Joann McCann will be doing the OFWCA presentation, and there will be some other people you know presenting as well. I will certainly be cheering all presentations in opposition to this new license.  

 

Take note that the public hearing will be webcast live and will be available on the CNSC website for 90 days at: www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca

 

We have booked 2 rooms (side by side) for all three days of the hearing (Rooms 302 & 304) where you will be most welcomed. If you can help out in any way during the hearings, please get in touch with Lynn Jones (Lynn is making plans, and we will be hoping for some media attention):  hendrickson.jones@gmail.com

 

All 88 interventions for the upcoming public hearing can be viewed on the website of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at this link: 

http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/the-commission/hearings/cmd/index.cfm

 

Approximately two-thirds of these interventions express serious concerns about the length of the proposed license, extensive deletion of license conditions, weakening of regulatory oversight, and other matters.  

 

Here are some highlights that Lynn Jones and Ole Hendrickson have put together:

 

Submission from W. Turner, D. Raman, J. Walker

Former AECL scientists, including a former director of Safety Engineering and Licensing, highlight instability in CNL management, lack of knowledge of key regulations and international obligations, and lack of open and transparent public engagement. The submission concludes as follows:

“This evaluation raises questions as to whether CNL “... is qualified to carry on the activity that the licence will authorize the licencee to carry on…” and “We respectfully submit that a decision by the Commission to grant a 10-year licence to CNL would be an unsafe and unsound decision.”

 

Submission from the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area (CCRCA)

Prepared by Dr. Ole Hendrickson, and supported by intervenor funding from the CNSC, this submission provides a detailed analysis of proposed deletions from the site license and license condition handbook. It also asks, "Why do the proposed CRL licence and license condition handbook contain sweeping changes that would reduce regulatory oversight, and why do CNSC staff provide no information about these changes, or their implications?"

 

Submission from the Canadian Environmental Law Association

Filed in support of the CCRCA submission. Notes that half of current license conditions are proposed for deletion. States “the level of generality and vagueness being introduced into the text of this legal instrument, and the accompanying licence condition handbook, is an open invitation for non-compliance." It also requests that the CNSC issue an order rejecting the CNL site licence renewal application as submitted by CNL and endorsed by CNSC staff;

 

Submission from the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association

States “This is definitely not the time for the CNSC to modify, eliminate, or substantially weaken any of the current regulations… All reporting and record keeping requirements should be maintained…” and “A 10-year license has not been granted before for CRL. OFWCA questions why it would even be considered now. Why would the license be longer than CNL’s contract, which comes up for renewal in three years — in 2021? … We strongly urge CNSC to limit a new license to a maximum of three years or to extend the current license for a maximum of three years ending in 2021."

 

Submission from the Ottawa Riverkeeper

Warns that some proposed licence changes may be “intentional to enable the NSDF,” citing the example of “the removal of the prohibition of controlled liquid waste releases to the ground,” adding that “Ottawa Riverkeeper is not supportive of the plans to collect, treat and release polluted water from the NSDF into the groundwater table.”

 

Submission from J. P. Unger, Ottawa

Points out that the lead Canadian member of the consortium that owns CNL, SNC Lavalin, is currently debarred from the World Bank for 10 years and facing charges in Canada for fraud, bribery and corruption, and that the consortium member CH2M has been convicted in the United States of fraud.

 

We need to be heard loud and clear at this hearing!  

 

 

News from Lynn Jones, Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area

Activities outside the hearing room at the Best Western, January 23-25

Plans for many activities are coming together with lots of inspiration and enthusiasm from Jean Brereton, Kendra Smith, Deedee Sanderson, folks at Morninglory, and others. There will be music and singing, readings from the giant scroll of license deletions by a Town Crier, and a canoe march, up and around the intersection of Highways 17 and 41. 

 

If a schedule of events is published, we will let you know.

Please send Lynn Jones an email if you would like to attend and/or help with any of the activities. 

 

Special request to folks in the Pembroke area** 

We need space to cook, and some beds for out of town visitors! Please get in touch with Lynn Jones if you can help.

 

Lynn Jones    hendrickson.jones@gmail.com

Concerned Citizens www.concernedcitizens.net

Facebook  Concerned Citizens RadWasteAlert

Twitter @RadWasteAlert If any of you are big Twitter users, can you give us Twitter leg-up by following us and re-tweeting some of our tweets?😃

 

 

Please share this info with any of your friends and neighbours who might be interested.

 


 

Decommissioning NPD Rolphton: Deadline to write a letter to CNSC is February 13, 2018

CNL submitted the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the NPD project at Rolphton on November 15. Learn about NPD. Write a letter to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission as you did this past summer regarding the NSDF. The deadline is February 13, 2018.  Many of our learned scientists are as concerned about this NPD project as they are about the “NSDF” at Chalk River. As the EIS is reviewed, we may well learn more reasons why this should be stopped. We will keep you posted.

 

Find all information here about Rolphton and why it is a bad plan. This PDF contains information on who to write to/email address at CNSC before February 13 (PDF is 5 pages and has been updated from an earlier version).


Click here for NPD Rolphton Info

 


 

Public Assembly and March, Ottawa, January 18 

 

March in Ottawa, January 18 at 11 am. The march will start outside the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, where we are holding a press conference (inside) from 10:30 to 11:00. We will march from Parliament Hill, through some downtown streets, to the CNSC headquarters and City Hall, and possibly to Catherine McKenna's constituency office. We will carry one ultralight canoe decorated with signs (we are hoping for a red one; if you know of one we could borrow, please let us know: hendrickson.jones@gmail.com), and hand out postcards. With the press conference and march we are hoping to get some media attention in order to attract some national media to come to Pembroke for the hearing. But it will also be a good opportunity to inform new people. We will hand out postcards along the route.





That's the news! 


Best from Sheentown!

 

CNL Nuclear Issues