Are the Great Lakes in Nuclear Trouble?

An interesting article borrowed from the Freep. Check out the original link HERE for the entire piece. Should we be alarmed? What can we do? How can we help? 


More than 60,000 tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel is stored on the shores of four of the five Great Lakes — in some cases, mere yards from the waterline — in still-growing stockpiles.

“It’s actually the most dangerous waste produced by any industry in the history of the Earth,” said Gordon Edwards, president of the nonprofit Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

The spent nuclear fuel is partly from 15 current or former U.S. nuclear power plants, including four in Michigan, that have generated it over the past 50 years or more. But most of the volume stored along the Great Lakes, more than 50,000 tons, comes from Canadian nuclear facilities, where nuclear power is far more prevalent. 

It remains on the shorelines because there's still nowhere else to put it. The U.S. government broke a promise to provide the nuclear power industry with a central, underground repository for the material by 1998. Canada, while farther along than the U.S. in the process of trying to find a place for the waste, also doesn't have one yet.

More than 60,000 tons of highly radioactive, spent nuclear fuel is stored on the shores of the Great Lakes, on both the U.S> and Canadian sides.Keith Matheny/Detroit Free Press

The nuclear power industry and its federal regulator, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, point to spent nuclear fuel's safe on-site storage over decades. But the remote possibility of a worst-case scenario release — from a natural disaster, a major accident, or an act of terrorism — could cause unthinkable consequences for the Great Lakes region....




Click on map locations for nuclear site details:

All numbers approximate. U.S. site wet pool storage data from 2011; dry cask storage data from 2014, and may include some quantity of spent fuel listed as wet pool-stored in the 2011 survey. Sources: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission



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