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Great Lakes saved from nuke waste shipments!

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Bruce Power. Photo: one.juniper/flickr

Communities and organizations around the Great Lakes received heartening news over the weekend. A plan to ship radioactive waste across the Lakes was officially cancelled after years of community opposition.

Swedish company Studsvik announced that the plan was annulled in its interim report for the first half of 2013.

As you may remember, Bruce Power had proposed shipping 16 bus-size radioactive steam generators across the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean to Sweden for the nuke waste to be decontaminated.

City mayors, U.S. Senators, environmental and nuclear groups, indigenous communities and other civil society groups raised many important concerns about this shipment including the potential for water contamination and the lack of adequate community consultation. The shipment would have passed through British, Danish and Swedish waters and many European organizations and communities spoke out against the shipments.

This is a huge victory for communities around the Great Lakes and shows what can be achieved when people come together with passion and purpose.

However, the need to protect the Great Lakes from nuclear waste is not over. We need to use this victory as fuel for stopping plans to bury nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin. Ontario Power Generation has proposed a plan to bury low and intermediate level waste on the shores of Lake Huron. And there are further plans to find a willing community in Ontario or Saskatchewan that would bear the brunt of a high-level nuke waste site.

I'm just about to leave for a trip to Port Elgin where the next Protect the Great Lakes Forever event is being held. Maude Barlow will join Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, Saugeen First Nations Chief Randall Kahgee, water levels expert Mary Muter of Sierra Club of Canada, and Councillor Chris Peabody of Brockton to talk about a new vision for protecting the Great Lakes.

Stay tuned for more!

Photo: one.juniper/flickr

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