Diane D’Arrigo of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) will speak by satellite at 7 PM Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at the Donald Dodge Auditorium, St. Clair County Administration Building, 200 Grand River Ave., Port Huron, MI 48060, regarding the growing international opposition to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) newly implemented policies, that plan for secretive large-scale foreign imports of dangerous nuclear power wastes to the U.S. for processing, in states such as: Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Washington State.
Ms. D’Arrigo will discuss how the NRC now is secretly granting “general” import licenses to U.S. Companies to truck Canadian (and likely other foreign nuclear power “materials”) across our borders, for treatment in U.S. states including: segregation, incineration, decontamination, recovery (re-use and recycling)! Some Canadian wastes will cross at the Blue Water Bridge at Port Huron, Michigan and travel on Michigan roads to be processed in other states, with the potential return transport of more concentrated radioactive ash or other “wastes.”
This “general” license allows for the first time, secret and numerous shipments of dangerous, radioactive nuclear power wastes (labeled as nuclear “materials”) to come into the U.S. – without any public notice, public comment, or the public’s right to intervene, in order to protect the health and safety of our communities! A general license to import also hides the identities of the owners and/or producers of these wastes and hides the wastes’ origin and characteristics (including radioactivity or types of wastes). Meanwhile in Canada, Ontario Power Generation is hastily re-organizing its radioactive waste import /export licenses behind the regulator’s closed doors, with no opportunity for a public hearing.
Alarmingly, some states that traffic in these wastes have “clearance levels”, which allow them to release some radioactive substances into the air and water during processing – and even into their landfills. WORSE, “clearance levels” allow some states to release radioactive substances into our recycling streams (metal, plastic, soil, concrete, asphalt and others). Since the start of the Atomic Age, U.S. citizens have STRONGLY rejected over a dozen attempts by U.S. regulators to deregulate and release nuclear wastes into everyday garbage and recycling streams. The American Iron and Steel Institute and Metals Industry Recycling Coalitions do not want to be the dump for radioactive metal from nuclear power and weapons! The American public is continually working to keep nuclear waste OUT of our air and water, our landfills, our consumer goods!
Some of these wastes remain dangerous for tens, hundreds, thousands, even millions of years (or longer) and can include such radioactive elements as plutonium, cobalt 60, strontium 90, tritium (radioactive hydrogen), carbon-14 and numerous others. Most scanners commonly used to check for radiation at our borders, or at metal recycling industries, can detect only gamma radiation and do not pick up highly hazardous alpha radiation that can wreak enormous damage inside a person’s body, if inhaled or ingested.
In Europe, one of the most widely publicized contamination incidents occurred with baby food jars being recalled, due to radioactive contamination in the steel sheets used to make them. Here, in the U.S., there have been a great many instances of recalled imported radioactive consumer items. To list just a few: imported radioactive tissue boxes were recalled from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Radioactive bike baskets and belt buckles (all imports) were found and taken off market. Do we really want radioactive baby cribs, jewelry, eyeglasses, cell phones or silverware? NIRS is leading the international campaign to stop this planned large-scale and secretive trafficking of nuclear power wastes! This critical campaign needs your support! Come learn what our communities can do to stop this madness!
Diane D’Arrigo is the Radioactive Waste Project Director at Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Takoma Park, Maryland. Ms. D’Arrigo has degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Studies with work experience in Analytical Chemistry and Biological Research. She has international expertise in radioactive waste and radiation Issues. She is author of the 2007 report: Out of Control on Purpose – DOE’s Dispersal of Radioactive Waste into Landfills and Consumer Products.
The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance (GLEA) is an organization working to safeguard the health of the Great Lakes watershed, which comprises 90% of North America’s fresh surface waters, critical to all life and future generations.
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