***** UPDATE: To no one’s surprise, the CNSC has granted the 10-year license OPG was requesting for the Pickering Nuclear Waste Generating Station. Since CNSC (a license-granting body) never turns down license requests, this was exactly what veterans of the process had anticipated. Find the CNSC news release with their decision here. And here, an Oshawa Express news item in which “Nuclear critics pan licence renewal for Pickering.” (Written transcript of the hearing can be found here. Webcast here.)
Next week (June 25-29) Canada’s nuclear “regulator” will hold a public hearing in Pickering, Ontario to hear all the pros and cons about OPG (Ontario Power Generation)’s plans to run this aging dinosaur of a nuclear generating station another 6 years.
Well, they are saying 6 years at this point. Who knows what they'll say when 2021 or 2022 comes along?? In all likelihood they’ll want to extend the license yet again.
That would not be the first time they've gone down that road.
At any rate, next week = Pickering hearing time.
Details from the “regulator” can be found here. Including the revised agenda.
You can click on the ‘Download hearing submissions’ button, & I recommend you do!
You’ll find many incredibly intelligent, enlightening submissions there. More on that in just a moment.
Why do I say this license is “already in the bag”?
1. CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) never turns down a license request. It’s documented. By the CNSC! Here.
2. I read the CNSC staff CMD Executive Summary. (CMD stands for Commission Member Document.) It states:
“In 2010, OPG announced that Pickering NGS would continue operation until 2020, at which time the station would shut down. In January 2016, OPG was requested by the Province of Ontario to plan for safe and reliable continued operation beyond 2020. In response, on June 28, 2017, OPG informed the CNSC that all Pickering units would cease commercial operation on December 31, 2024. Following the permanent shutdown of the units, the station will be transitioned to a safe storage state.”
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that OPG is calling the shots here … not the CNSC. (CNSC receives 70% of its funding from its nuclear licensees. In general, one does not bite the hand that feeds one, right??)
You can find that CNSC staff CMD here.
Read it for yourself! That gem of a paragraph (which certainly reveals a lot right off the top) is on page 9 of the pdf (pg. 1 of the Executive Summary).
Submissions Worth a Read!
I promised I’d return to this…
There are many “intervenors” (this just means human beings who decide to speak up at one of these intimidating shindigs) who have plenty of intelligent things to say.
On a variety of fronts.
On technical/safety issues, check out:
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
& likely others.
CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)
Ian Fairlie (radiation biologist)
Impacts to Lake Ontario
Swim, Drink, Fish (Lake Ontario Waterkeeper)
Inadequate emergency planning
CELA (Canadian Environmental Law Association)
DNA (Durham Nuclear Awareness) ** DNA has been calling on the provincial gov’t to do better nuclear emergency planning ever since the late 1980s. See this letter the group sent to the Province in 1997. DNA's submission can be found here & our supplementary here.
RNAO (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario)
Toronto District School Board & likely many others
Note: a short collection of media stories from 2011 - present day, about inadequate nuke emergency plans, is found down below.
Louis Bertrand ++ one intervenor whose submission has unfortunately been excluded.
Ontario Clean Air Alliance &
There is simply tons of good information in these submissions!
Of course too, there are many submissions (& there will be many presentations next week) from folks/bureaucrats/bureaucracies/companies that profit in some way financially from the operation of the Pickering nuclear station. It’s pretty easy to spot these for yourself.
It doesn’t take the discerning citizen very much energy or time to figure out who is speaking the truth, & who is parroting phrases & lines that may very well have been fed to them.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
But there will be lots of intelligent truth-telling over the five days. While little of it is liable to have any (or much) impact on the outcome (as previously explained); still, there is power & inspiration in speaking the truth & in hearing truth spoken powerfully and well. So, if you can get there to support the brave intervenors, please do!
(You can also watch the hearing via live Webcast.
From CNSC: "The public hearing will be webcast live and available on the CNSC website at nuclearsafety.gc.ca.")
Rally to Close Pickering
This will take place on Tuesday, June 26th, during the lunch break (12:30-1:30 approximately).
Check out the Facebook event page for details.
Who knows who-all may wind up attending?
The timing (middle of a weekday & a work day for many) is not exactly ideal.
But there may be some unexpected participants who will liven things up. We shall see!
Whoever shows up,
No matter that we mere citizens seem to hold no sway whatsoever over “the powers that be” & the forces that really run things in our culture/province/world/on Planet Earth …
The rally will be fun.
And there will be music!
** Media Stories about Inadequate Nuclear Emergency Planning
** just for the record. Most recent first
Secret report on toxic workplace at Ontario’s fire and emergency agency leads to change — but report remains secret, Kevin Donovan, Toronto Star, June 9/18.
Are Ontario's nuclear emergency plans dead in the water? Michelle Adelman, NOW Magazine, Feb. 5/18.
Ontario’s long-awaited new nuclear emergency plan falls short, Greenpeace says , Rob Ferguson, Toronto Star, December 28/17.
Is Toronto ready for a radiation emergency? Daniel Otis, Toronto Star, Jan. 5/16.
Ontario Power Generation under pressure to provide more information to residents as three-day mock emergency begins Monday. Kristin Rushowy, Toronto Star, May 26/14.
Is Ontario Ready for a Nuclear Disaster? Tyler Hamilton, Toronto Star, March 18/11.
**** Be sure to check out this great new collection of nuke quotes!!