GE – Hitachi Toronto Public Meeting – IICPH Intervention

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) held a public meeting in Toronto on December 10-11 2013 regarding GE-Hitachi’s Toronto facility. This facility manufactures uranium pellets used for fuel in CANDU nuclear reactors.  This meeting arose due to concerns raised by residents in the area and their political representatives, as to the nature of operations of this facility, of which they were essentially unaware, and the hazards such a plant poses in a dense residential area. 

However, on the last day, the meeting was cut short, as the CNSC commission walked out.

IICPH delivered both a written submission to the CNSC and delivered an oral presentation at the meeting.

Background of Issue

GE-Hitachi Canada (GEH-C) began its nuclear fuel operations at Toronto (and Peterborough) in 1955. The Toronto facility, which manufactures uranium dioxide (UO2) pellets from UO2 powder received from Cameco’s Port Hope Uranium Conversion Facility, is licensed to produce up to 1,800 tonnes of uranium dioxide pellets per year from natural or depleted uranium dioxide powder. The majority of these pellets are shipped to GEH-C’s Peterborough facility where they are assembled into nuclear fuel bundles for Canadian nuclear reactors. Small quantities of pellets are also shipped to GEH-C’s nuclear fuel plant in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Prior to the pellet plant operations, GE has been operating an industrial facility at this site since 1905, in an area which at that time and for many years was an industrial area, close to a major railway line. 

This plant has recently become the focus of public attention, as residents became aware of the nature of its operations, and raised concerns over the lack of transparency and communication as to the nature of the operations, its emissions of uranium, and the potential adverse health effects, especially on children, and the transportation of uranium dioxide powder and pellets through their community. Public concerns were instrumental in soil sampling tests that carried out in June 2013 by GEH- Toronto (and CNSC) around the facility’s perimeter and by the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE), in public areas surrounding the facility.

Uranium poses a hazard through various routes of exposure: inhalation, ingestion (water, soil and vegetation) and dermal contact. It is both radiologically and chemically toxic. If inhaled or ingested, its radioactivity poses increased risks of lung cancer and bone cancer. It can also cause damage to internal organs, notably the kidneys. It may also affect reproduction and the developing foetus, and increase the risk of leukemia and soft tissue cancers. Cancer is the predominant endpoint. Children, the fertilized ovum, the foetus, newborn, women (especially if pregnant), the immune compromised, and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the health effects of uranium and its progeny.

The processing of uranium by this facility results in releases of fine uranium dust into the air, which will eventually be deposited on soil, water and vegetation, both locally and long-range. This uranium dust is easily inhalable and readily transported to vulnerable tissues of the body.

For more information about the public meeting (and IICPH’s involvement), see the media coverage:

NOW Magazine (January 16-23 2014)

Nuclear failure

Latest chapter in nuke watchdog’s fight with west-end residents over GE uranium plant ends in a meltdown

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=196266

and

Vice News (December 2013)

Activists Are Lashing Out at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/activists-are-lashing-out-at-the-canadian-nuclear-safety-commission

 

To access IICPH’s oral presentation pertaining to the GE-Hitachi facility in Toronto delivered December 12, 2013 click  IICPH Oral Presentation

For IICPH’s full submission to the CNSC on the CNSC Staff Report on the Performance of Canadian Uranium Fuel Cycle and Processing Facilities click  IICPH Full Submission

 

IICPH Attends News Conference in Buffalo

 

Attended by Anna Tilman and Gord Albright.Photo courtesy of The Buffalo News (www.buffalonews.com)

Attended by Anna Tilman and Gord Albright.
Photo courtesy of The Buffalo News (www.buffalonews.com)

IICPH was invited to join with the Sierra Club Niagara Group, Nuclear Information and Resource Services and the Women’s Indigenous Initiatives, at a press conference in Buffalo, NY on May 15, 2013 to inform the citizens of New York State of the DOE plan to ship HIGH LEVEL RADIOACTIVE LIQUID WASTE 1,000 miles across public roads and bridges in the U.S. and Canada. Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) is planning to truck 23,000 liters of highly radioactive liquid waste from its Chalk River Laboratory (CRL) in Ontario to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. The shipments could begin this summer if approved by regulators in both countries. This radiotoxic liquid waste has resulted from using weapons-grade highly enriched uranium in Chalk River’s National Research Universal reactor for decades to produce radioactive isotopes. The waste contains numerous highly radioactive fission products such as cesium-137, iodine-129 and strontium-90.

To read more about this event visit: The Buffalo News and Intercontinental Cry Magazine

 

International Institute of Concern for Public Health Needs Your Assistance

Incorporated as a federal non-profit corporation in Canada on October 9, 1984, the International Institute of Concern for Public Health is committed to the fundamental human right to health for all. It is a Canadian-based charitable organization dedicated to helping communities and individuals assess and improve their environmental health.

We speak truth to Power!

One example is IICPH’s Against Darlington Refurbishment submission. (See the article in our Fall 2012 Newsletter and the full submission at http://concernforhealth.org)

We work for victims or potential victims of industrial, technological, and military pollution with a particular emphasis on assisting the struggles of third world and indigenous people to preserve their human right to life and health.

We educate through our publications, presentations and website. We raise awareness of present and potential environmental health hazards arising from commercial, industrial and military processes or products.

We present the facts based on science and common sense and provide information to community groups, non-government organizations and, in a non-partisan manner, to legislators at all levels of government.

IICPH works in cooperation with Aboriginal peoples, professionals, grassroots and other social organizations and citizen groups in many countries.

Your Donation will help us expand our ability to provide people with the truth about the dangers to Planet Earth from the depredations of those who plunder for the sake of profit and inspire people like yourself to spread the word and to take action to stop the damage to our biosphere.

  SENDING DONATIONS

  BY CHEQUE: Make cheques out to IICPH and mail to  IICPH, PO Box 40017, 292 Dupont St. Toronto ON M5R 0A2

  or  BY PAYPAL or CREDIT CARD:  press DONATE button in  column oo the right.     

IICPH Fall 2012 Newsletter

Our featured articles include Remembering Rosalie Bertell, IICPH Against Darlington Refurbishment, James Bay Cree Nation Declares Permanent Uranium Moratorium, Review of Nuclear Waste Laws, Residents Concerned about GE-Hitachi Uranium Pellet Plan and Nuclear Free Japan.

Newsletter-2012-fall-iicph

Rosalie Bertell Memorial Speech by Claudia von Werlhof, Austria

Memorial: Remembering Rosalie Bertell

Toronto, 29th September 2012, 7 pm, Church, 300 Bloor Str. W

Speech by Claudia von Werlhof, Austria

Good evening!

This speech is about the prolongation of Rosalie´s efforts overseas!

Rosalie Bertell has changed my life:

It happened in 2010, 2 ½ years ago. I had heard about a debate that the terrible earthquake in Haiti in January of the same year may eventually have been produced artificially. It was like a heavy shock for me. And as I had lived nearby in Central America and Venezuela for many years, having been to Haiti as well, I took the opportunity of an interview for an Austrian newspaper to make this debate known publicly. I hoped to reach the people in Haiti and to mobilize researchers to investigate into the case.

What happened in reality was the opposite: I doubt that the people in Haiti ever have heard about those rumors until today. And for several weeks I was fiercely attacked by the media, my Institute at the University and Internet blogs for being a conspiracy theorist, mentally ill, and demands to be thrown out of my position at the University of Innsbruck grew. I was even attacked in my private sphere where someone had tried to find materials– materials about Haiti. Why that, if nothing unnatural had happened there?

I emerged from this second shock when I got the support of the President of my University and a large international campaign of friends all over the world, who supported me publicly. At that time I had learned that I had to do the research myself – and so I found Rosalie!

She wrote me that indeed there has been a development of military technologies in the decades after world War II that are able to produce earthquakes and even more seemingly natural catastrophes, like hurricanes, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, changes in the sea-currents and in whole weather-systems, including the melt down of the Arctic! – They are using the knowledge of Nicola Tesla, famous, but officially neglected Serbo-Croatian inventor in the fields of electricity and electromagnetism during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Rosalie even told me that the Haitian case could very well have been an example for an artificially induced earthquake, because the heating of the ionosphere which is needed to produce the earthquake by sending strongly pulsed electromagnetic waves through our heaven and back to earth, leaves plasma-lights like auroras in the sky – and this happened near Haiti at the time shortly before the earthquake. But, she added, nobody can prove it, neither whether the light was directly related to the accident, nor who had caused it, as there are so many nations in East and West already able to use these technologies!

And she sent me her book: „Planet Earth. The Latest Weapon of War“, published in 2000, which has not been very well known internationally, because the publisher went bankrupt the same year. Maybe even some of you here do not know it yet! Indeed, I had heard about Rosalie and her book many years earlier and remembered it always in connection to international ecofeminism, but I had never seen it or her.

Now I held it in my hands. And I have to tell you that I needed weeks to read it, because it was so shocking, again, and I felt earthquakes happening in my body itself while reading it.

[Read more...]

Radiation Is Always Dangerous, Says World Health Organization Director-General

Until May 12, 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) always followed the lead of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on nuclear health effects issues as there is a 1959 agreement that WHO would accept the findings of that organization. This agreement is still in effect and hopefully will be rescinded soon. However this most likely will need some considerable political pressure from the public.

On that day in May, history was made when courageous WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said “There is no safe low level of radiation.” This was very exciting news for those of us who have been working so diligently over many years to get people and governments to understand this simple fact that has been very well-researched and scientifically proven over and over, that there is no safe level of nuclear (ionizing) radiation. There has been no significant media attention paid to this announcement. We learned about it through emails from other NGOs. This gives us some concern as there is sure to be opposition from the nuclear industries and governments that want nuclear power and/or nuclear weapons.

This pronouncement was made at a short meeting with the collective, “Independent WHO” made up of several organizations. Started in 2006, this collective has been carrying out a vigil at the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. They have been demanding the revision of the Agreement “WHA-12-40” that leads to the WHO accepting the decisions of the IAEA on nuclear radiation health matters. The collective has grown from the original eight founders to over 40 organizations and growing! Included in the list is Enfants de Tchernobyl Belarus. One of its founding members, the late Solange Fernex, was an activist with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), also part of the coalition.

[Read more...]

Final Comments to the Joint Review Panel (JRP) on the proposed Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project by Ontario Power Generation (OPG)

Download ‘Final Comments to Joint Review Panel on Proposed Darlington New Nuclear Plant’ as a PDF (670Kb)

May 17, 2011
Panel Secretariat
Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project Joint Review Panel
280 Slater Street
P.O. Box 1046, Station B
Ottawa, ON K1P 5S9
Fax: 613-995-5086
Email: JRP-OPG-Darlington@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca

Dear Mr. Graham;

The International Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH) intervened in the recently held JRP Hearing under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) in regard to the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project (NNPP). This submission addresses a number of issues raised at the Hearing and provides a summary of the position ofIICPH on these issues, the rationale for IICPH’s position, and recommendations for consideration.

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How Many in the Nuclear Sacrifice Zone?

In response to the rising possibility of a disaster greater than Chernobyl, the USA and EU are considering raising the allowable level of radiation in food. As it presently stands, the allowable level of nuclear radiation exposure does not protect the most vulnerable populations, the fetus, the infant and small child, the adolescent, women especially if pregnant, the elderly and immune compromised. Only fatal cancer is considered in calculating health risks by those who follow the suggested dose limits developed by the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP), even though there is a long list of health effects from nuclear radiation, in addition to cancer. Effects of cumulative exposures are ignored. Evidence of damage from very low doses of ionizing particles from the fission process in nuclear reactors is also ignored.

To arbitrarily increase the allowable level in food will greatly increase the damage to the health of every individual throughout the prodigious area of fallout from meltdowns and resulting explosions at Fukushima.

On April 8, Reuters reported that “the core of Fukushima’s nuclear reactor may have melted through the reactor core pressure vessel.” There was nothing on the newscasts on the CBC on that date. However, it was mentioned by U.S. Rep. Edward Markey at the hearing on the disaster in the American House of Representatives. He said that he was informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the core had gotten so hot that part of it was probably melted.

[Read more...]

Iran on Threshold of Nuclear Capability, IAEA Says

On Nov. 6, 2011 the Washington Post quoted statements from an IAEA Report that indicated that know-how for the development of nuclear weapons can be obtained from technological experts from other countries. This demonstrated how the “peaceful use“of the atom can give rise to the development of nuclear weapons. It is easy for the nuclear power industry to develop the technical know-how from experts in nuclear weapons construction. Factories built to enrich uranium can be camouflaged as part of the civilian nuclear power chain. Plutonium for bombs can be stockpiled and described as planning for the eventual use of advanced fuel cycles. Without a civilian nuclear power industry, none of these activities could be portrayed as anything but an overt attempt to develop nuclear weapons.

In the Washington Post article by Joby Warrick, it states that intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials showed that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon. According to western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings of the report, it is believed that they have received assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles. A former Soviet weapons scientist is alleged to have tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators. Experts in Pakistan and North Korea are also alleged to have helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability.

However, we have since learned that the Russian scientist named in the report is said to have had nothing to do with weapons and he has completely denied helping Iran.

[Read more...]