The Bruce Nuclear Power Plant wants to ship radioactive waste on the Great Lakes to Sweden, causing public opposition to the idea. Many groups and coalitions have been organizing to stop this shipment on the Great Lakes. Seven U.S. senators from the five Great Lakes states have asked the Department of Transportation to do a thorough review before the shipment crosses into U.S. waters. Bruce Power has told the public that there is no risk to the public or the environment and that this is all ‘low-level’ radioactive waste. The CEO of Bruce Power, Duncan Hawthorne admitted that there was no emergency recovery plan if the ship sinks in the Great Lakes, but added that there would be enough to take care of the problem. The welds that seal the radioactivity in the steam generators are capable of holding to a depth of 800 feet, which is the exact depth of some areas of the Great Lakes shipment route. The Great Lakes holds about 20% of the Earth’s surface fresh water and provides drinking water for 40 million people. The projected shipment route would navigate Lake Huron, the St. Claire River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Welland Canal, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Source: “Broad Coalition Reinforces Opposition to Radioactive Steam Generator Shipment on the Great Lakes” Beyond Nuclear, November 23, 2010
Student Researchers: Zach Clapp and Michael Harris
Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley Ph.D.
Evaluator: James G. Mills Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences