European civil society demand governments stop Bruce Power’s shipment of radioactive waste

Media Release
April 26, 2011

In an open letter to Canadian, US, UK, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish governments, 20 European civil society organizations are demanding a stop to Bruce Power’s plan to ship radioactive waste on the Great Lakes to Sweden.

Bruce Power wants to ship 16 radioactive steam generators from the Great Lakes to Sweden to be processed so that 90% of the metal can be sold onto consumer markets.

The letter states that “Water is a human right, public trust and global commons… Any harm to water is a harm to the whole including humans and the earth. Before this shipment proceeds, broader and more meaningful dialogues needs to take place locally, nationally and globally over several critical questions raised by this shipment.”

The civil society organizations who have signed the letter include KIMO International, the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (UK), several branches of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK), Réseau Sortir du nucléaire (France) Food & Water Europe, the Green Party (Vestfold, Norway) and Friends of the Earth (Denmark and Scotland).

“The nuclear crisis in Japan is a stern warning to these governments that nuclear accidents do not remain within national borders,” says Council of Canadians’ water campaigner Emma Lui. “It would be irresponsible for governments to put our waters and public health at risk just so that Bruce Power can sell the metal back on consumer markets.”

Lui was recently in Europe to meet with KIMO International and the Nuclear Free Local Authorities to broaden opposition to the shipments.

At the end of March, Bruce Power announced that they were delaying the shipments to ‘consult’ with First Nations in Canada. However, in the meantime they have submitted an application for a permit to the US Department of Transportation’s Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration indicating that they are moving forward with the plan.

The Canadian and Swedish governments have given necessary approvals and permits. According to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Bruce Power must also get approval from the UK, Denmark and Norway to pass through their waters.

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Read the letter here.