Bruce Power has applied for a licence at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to ship 16 radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to Sweden. Bruce Power plans to recycle 90% of the 16 steam generators by contracting Swedish company Studsvik to ship, decontaminate, melt down and sell the metal on consumer markets. Studsvik will return 10% of the most radioactive parts to Bruce Power. Bruce Power currently has a contract with Studsvik to ship and recycle 32 steam generators.
City mayors, US Senators, environmental groups, First Nations communities and other civil society groups have raised many important concerns about this shipment. The total radioactive level exceeds the legal limits set out in International Atomic Energy Agency’s Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material by 50 times. Public consultation has been inadequate. There are many unanswered questions concerning Bruce Power’s application and emergency response plan. This could set a dangerous precedent for regularly shipping radioactive waste that exceeds legal limits through the Great Lakes. Nearly 80 groups provided written submissions and half of them intervened at a public hearing on Sept. 28-29, 2010. After accepting supplementary information from interveners, the CNSC is currently in discussions about whether or not to permit Bruce Power to ship the generators to Sweden.