Plutonium reprocessing is dirty and dangerous. So why do it beside the Bay of Fundy?

Plutonium reprocessing has never been done commercially in Canada – and it was informally banned in the 1970s. Now the New Brunswick government and NB Power are supporting a plan to reprocess plutonium at the Point Lepreau Nuclear site. Reprocessing operations are the most contaminated sites in the world. So why are we planning to do it at all, and why beside the Bay of Fundy? We need to stop this plan now. Send a letter to federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, HERE.

For more information, including fact sheets, videos and links to scientific reports, check out the website of the national campaign to ban plutonium reprocessing in Canada HERE. The direct link to the factsheet on reprocessing and environmental contamination is HERE. Check out our webinar with four international experts on the topic on Feb. 28, Plutonium: How Nuclear Power’s Dream Fuel Turned into a Nightmare, info HERE.

New Brunswick’s SMR plans finally get a public airing: webcast on Feb. 14 and 15

Finally. Finally! On Feb. 14 and 15, the public has a chance to learn more about plans by the NB government and NB Power to build two experimental nuclear reactors (SMRs) at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy. The NB Legislature’s standing committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship is meeting that week, including two days of hearings on SMRs that will be webcast. Please tune in to learn more about the SMR plans and what our elected representatives have to say about them.

The 13 presentations over the two days each have a one-hour time slot, with 20 minutes by presenters followed by 40 minutes of Q&A with the MLAs on the committee. CRED-NB will be represented by Susan O’Donnell at 11am on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The full schedule of presentations is HERE. The link to the webcast is HERE (the webcast link will appear when the Committee is in session).

Webinar – Plutonium: How Nuclear Power’s Dream Fuel Turned Into a Nightmare

Tuesday, Feb. 28 @ 8pm Atlantic. NB Power and the NB government are supporting a plan to build a plutonium reprocessing plant at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy. To inform the public about this development, CRED-NB is co-sponsoring a webinar featuring a conversation with international experts on plutonium reprocessing and nuclear weapons proliferation. With Frank von Hippel, senior research physicist and professor of public and international affairs emeritus with Princeton’s Program on Science & Global Security; Jungmin Kang, a former chairman of South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission; Masafumi Takubo, an independent nuclear policy analyst based in Tokyo and member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials; and M. V. Ramana, Professor and Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia. More info HERE. Register for the webinar HERE.

CRED-NB: Comments on NB Power’s proposed rate hike

CRED-NB representative Gail Wylie (Council of Canadians) prepared a comment to the Energies and Utilities Board (EUB) responding to the proposed NB Power rate hike. Read or download the submission HERE. The document outlines the choices available to NB Power moving forward and includes a history of NB Power’s nuclear activities and a critique of its plans to develop SMRs.

CRED-NB member Dave Thompson of Leap Forwards made an oral presentation, text HERE. The Conservation Council of New Brunswick also submitted a document to the EUB, details HERE.

Small modular nuclear reactors are unsafe

CRED-NB core member Ann McAlister, representing Council of Canadians Saint John, was featured in an NB Media Co-op article and video. Ann explained the history and outcome of CRED’s application to the federal Environment minister requesting that the SMRs planned for Point Lepreau in New Brunswick should undergo a federal impact assessment. Read the article HERE.

CRED-NB on CBC’s The Current

CRED-NB was represented on CBC’s The Current this morning by Susan O’Donnell. CRED-NB is fighting for a nuclear free renewable energy future. We unfortunately need to spend much of our time countering the misinformation spread by the nuclear industry (and their government collaborators).

Have a listen to the interview with The Current’s Matt Galloway. The recording HERE is the discussion between Susan and Joe McBrearty, the CEO and President of Canadian Nuclear Labs. To listen to the full segment on the CBC page, including a presentation by a nuclear energy representative in Europe, click HERE.

Shouldn’t a new and experimental nuclear reactor for New Brunswick deserve a federal impact assessment?

The Hill Times and the NB Media Co-op published a commentary this week outlining some of the reasons why CRED-NB requested an impact assessment for NB Power’s SMR demonstration project. Federal Environment and Climate Change minister Steven Guilbeault rejected the request in December. You can read the NB Media Co-op article HERE, written by CRED-NB core member Susan O’Donnell (RAVEN project) and M.V. Ramana (University of British Columbia).

The photo with the article is Japan’s Monju demonstration reactor, one of many sodium-cooled reactors shut down because it didn’t work the way it was intended. That project, including cleaning up the radioactive waste it generated, cost upwards of $10 billion. The ARC-100 sodium-cooled reactor is one of two SMR projects planned for the Point Lepreau site on the Bay of Fundy.

Jan. 19 @ 8pm AT: Webinar – Ban Plutonium Reprocessing in Canada

The new nuclear reactors (SMRs) planned for New Brunswick propose plutonium reprocessing as part of their designs.

Plutonium reprocessing – extracting plutonium from used nuclear fuel – was informally banned in Canada in the 1970s because of concerns about nuclear weapons proliferation.

Plutonium reprocessing is a dirty, dangerous distraction from real climate action, a ridiculously expensive process that creates difficult new radioactive waste problems and nuclear weapons proliferation risks.

Now the nuclear lobby is pushing hard to include plutonium reprocessing in Canada’s new radioactive waste management policy. The industry is claiming that plutonium reprocessing is necessary for SMRs to fight climate change.

The Ban Plutonium Reprocessing in Canada webinar, organized by Nuclear Waste Watch with more than a dozen co-sponsors including CRED-NB, features three expert speakers.

Register HERE for the Ban Plutonium Reprocessing in Canada webinar, Thursday, Jan. 19 at 8pm Atlantic, 7pm Eastern.

Speakers:

Ray Acheson is Director of Reaching Critical Will, the disarmament program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and a member of the steering group of ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

M.V. Ramana is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security and professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, and a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials.

Joshua Frank is an environmental journalist and author of “Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America” (Haymarket Books, October 2022)

Moderator: Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

Register HERE for the Ban Plutonium Reprocessing in Canada webinar, Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7pm Eastern.

Hosted by Nuclear Waste Watch and co-sponsored by: Beyond Nuclear • Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility • Canadian Environmental Law Association • Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick • Conservation Council of New Brunswick • David Suzuki Foundation • Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Cooperative • International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – Canada • Northwatch • Ontario Clean Air Alliance • Regroupement des organismes environnementaux en énergie • Science for Peace • Sierra Club Canada Foundation • Voice of Women for Peace.

Nuclear Waste Watch and partners are leading the Ban Plutonium Reprocessing in Canada campaign launched this month. The campaign website is: reprocessing.ca

‘My burning shame’: George Monbiot on wood-burning stoves

Prominent UK environmental writer George Monbiot writes in The Guardian this week about his shame and regret for converting his home to heat with wood-burning stoves. “Wood burners are incredibly bad for the environment – and flood our homes with toxins, too… Every time you open the stove door to refuel, your home is flooded with tiny particulates, accompanied by other toxins.” Read his article HERE.

In New Brunswick, the NB Lung Association recommends not burning wood for the same reason. Info on their website includes: “Burning wood is a major source of air pollution, and can have negative effects on the environment and human health. Smoke from wood combustion is the leading source of particulate emissions in New Brunswick. In fact, wood burning accounts for over 70% of total Particulate Matter 2.5 in the province, more than any industrial source.”

Clean Energy or Weapons? What the ‘Breakthrough’ in Nuclear Fusion Really Means

In contrast to the hype about nuclear fusion and its promise of limitless energy, experts have been analyzing the recent ‘breakthrough’ announcement. For example, UBC professor M.V. Ramana wrote this piece in Z Network, HERE. For another perspective, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists interviews Bob Rosner, a physicist at the University of Chicago and a former director of the Argonne National Laboratory, article HERE.