Bruce Power won’t be shipping radioactive waste through the Great Lakes—for now

Bruce Power won’t be shipping radioactive waste through the Great Lakes—for now

The Great Lakes (Image: Wikipedia) 

Bruce Power’s proposal to dispose of old steam boilers from the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station by shipping them to a recycling plant in Sweden via the Great Lakes may not have rung many alarms bells in Toronto, but it did raise more than a few eyebrows for residents living beside Lake Huron. While at first glance the plan sounds innocent enough, here’s the rub: the old boilers are mildly radioactive.

The Ottawa Citizen has the story:

Ontario utility company Bruce Power has withdrawn its request for approval from the U.S. to transport 16 decommissioned nuclear reactors across the Great Lakes for recycling, despite permission from Canadian regulators, according to a Michigan state lawmaker.

U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller, whose district lies near the eastern coast of Michigan, said in a statement that the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration informed her that Bruce Power had scrapped plans to ship the radiation-laced steam generators through the Great Lakes region to Sweden for processing.

Turns out that this is just an extension on the hold that Bruce Power announced in March. Back then the company postponed plans in order to buy more time to consult with First Nations groups along the Great Lakes watershed before it went ahead with the shipping. Bruce Power spokesperson Steve Cannon tells The Informer the plan is actually not permanently off the table. Rather, the consultation process is going to last longer than the company’s current permit to move waste through the Great Lakes allows. “We’re not going to do this in a rush,” Cannon says.

The proposal didn’t seem to light a fire among Torontonians the same way, say, diesel rail did along the Georgetown corridor or the way the Island airport aggravates residents along the waterfront. Our personal theory is that Toronto doesn’t actually think of itself as a Great Lakes city, which would also explain our uneven support for things like Waterfront Toronto.

Bruce Power scraps plans to ship generators through Great Lakes [Ottawa Citizen]