Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Environmental Assessment Screening report for the refurbishment of the Pickering “B” Nuclear Generating Station received approval by The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Approving the report is a key step in the regulatory process to rebuild the aging reactors and extend operations at Pickering “B” until 2060.
The CNSC issued the decision January 26, 2009 following a public hearing in which they heard oral submissions on the report. Over 100 individuals and organizations, including Great Lakes United, the Pembina Institute, CELA, The David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace and Lake Ontario Waterkeeper submitted comments on the proposed refurbishment project.
CNSC staff who reviewed the report identified several areas of environmental concern, including:
- Impingement, entrainment and temperature impacts which kill over 800,000 fish and 62 million fish eggs annually
- Tritium releases into groundwater and Lake Ontario
- Reduced enjoyment of public and private recreation areas
The Commission’s decision has classified these decisions as “residual” – allowing the project to continue without mitigation measures that fully resolve the issues. The CNSC concludes that the OPG’s submission is a complete Environmental Assessment Screening Report that considers all factors as defined by the CEAA.
The CNSC must now consider amending the license OPG holds to operate the plant under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The expansion of nuclear power in Ontario continues despite the ongoing questions raised by organizations and individuals as to the impacts on the environment, and is the subject our recent episode of Living at the Barricades.
Greenlight: nuclear expansion in Ontario (Feb. 10, 2009)
Listen to Living at the Barricades.
This week, Krystyn and Mark look at the refurbishment of Pickering "B" nuclear power plant. Guests include Shawn Patrick Stencil of Greenpeace, US Attorney Reed Super, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Helen Caldicott, and Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
We are also proud to unveil our new theme song, "The kids don't get it", graciously donated by the Tragically Hip (available on The Hip's album World Container).
Music on this week's show:
The kids don't get it - The Tragically Hip
Burning and Lootin' - Bob Marley and the Wailers
You can't Blame the Youth - Bob Marley and the Wailers
Stop that train - Bob Marley and the Wailers
Get up, Stand up - Bob Marley and the Wailers
LOW submission to the CNSC on the Pickering Refurbishment
LOW submission to the CNSC on the Darlington New Build
LOW submission to the Ministry of the Environment on a drinking water standard for Tritium
Excerpts from Chairman Michael Binder at the CNSC hearing on the Pickering refurbishment