Canada

Great Lakes nuclear shipments on hold

The Ontario nuclear utility Bruce Power is delaying plans to ship radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River as it meets with some of the groups that have been protesting the move.
Bruce Power has permission from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to ship 16 radiation-contaminated steam generators from its facility in Tiverton, Ont., to Sweden for re-processing. (Bruce Power)

The Ontario nuclear utility Bruce Power is delaying plans to ship radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River as it meets with some of the groups that have been protesting the move.

Bruce Power president Duncan Hawthorne said the delay would allow further talks with First Nations and Métis.

Bruce Power workers load a steam generator onto a flatbed truck. The company says it's delaying plans to ship radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. (Bruce Power)

The plan has sparked protests from First Nations as well as municipal politicians and nuclear safety advocates, who worry that an accident in the Great Lakes would harm the fresh water supply to 40 million people.

Critics also said it would set a precedent for shipping radioactive waste through the Great Lakes.

Hawthorne said the company has met regulatory obligations but has not yet met its own standard needed for providing information to those legitimate groups.

The company wants to ship 16 school bus-sized radiation-contaminated steam generators from its plant on the shores of Lake Huron to Sweden for recycling.

It's part of a plan by Bruce Power, a private utility that generates about a fifth of Ontario's electricity, to refurbish its nuclear generating plant.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has approved the move and says the risk to the health and safety of the public and the environment is negligible.