Radioactive materials will go to NEWGreen by ship and rail. The U.S. and Canada are poised to water down shipping regulations. Radioactive metals may soon be mixed with regular scrap metal.
• NEWGreen is located directly on Lake Erie at Perry, OH, adjacent to the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.
THE PERFECT STORM:
• NEWGreen CEO Patrick New has appealed to Bruce Power in Ontario to receive shipments of 100-ton radioactive steam generators for “decontamination” and “recycling”. Bruce Power operates 8 nuclear reactors on the shores of Lake Huron, part of the largest nuclear facility in North America.
• Canada recently passed an omnibus budget bill making sweeping changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Under the changes, Bruce Power’s shipping of the steam generators would not trigger an environmental assessment. Environmental organizations and First Nations have strongly objected to the re-writing of environmental law through a budget bill.
• In the United States the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is working to “harmonize” (this means water down, not strengthen!) U.S. regulations for shipping of radioactive and hazardous materials with those of Canada.
• In April 2010, Bruce Power applied for a license to ship radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes to Sweden for refurbishing. That application has expired.
• The Ohio Department of Health gave NEWGreen a license to “receive, acquire, possess and transfer radioactive materials” on April 14, 2011.
• NEWGreen CEO Patrick New said that in 2012 the facility has decontaminated and recycled more than 750 tons of nuclear steam turbines that “were more contaminated than containers from Canadian nuclear power plants”.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
• What activities are going on at NEWGreen? Exactly how is NEWGreen doing the “cleaning”? Will they be doing melting?
• What monitoring is being conducted for leaks, spills, and routine releases of radioactivity? How often will Ohio Dept. of Health personnel visit the site? What penalties will be leveled for any NEWGreen contamination? Are there any requirements for cleanup of NEWGreen’s radioactive spills?
• What will go up the chimney? What will become of any filters?
WHAT WE KNOW
• All radioactivity, even background, can cause cancer and genetic mutation. Determinations of “safe” or “allowable” amounts of radioactivity are therefore political and not scientific.
• It is impossible to remove all radioactivity from radioactively-contaminated metal.
• Not all “cleaned” components will be reused. What purpose, then, for decontamination? “Decontaminated” metals—still containing radioactivity—might be dumped into ordinary landfills or be allowed to be sold for use in commercial products.
• The U.S. Dept. of Energy is considering a change to the moratorium on the mixing of radioactive metals with the nation’s scrap metal stream. An Environmental Assessment on this proposal is expected soon. Want radioactive autos, refrigerators, bikes, tissue boxes, strollers or pet bowls?
• Facilities similar to NEWGreen, such as Studsvik which has operations in Sweden, the United Kingdom and Tennessee, have caused large amounts of contamination and public outcry at their facilities. NEWGreen CEO Patrick New has and continues to have dealings with Studsvik.
• All communities on rail and road transport routes are at risk of spills and radioactive contamination. Shipments of “dangerous goods”, as the industry now calls them, will be concentrated in northeast Ohio as they converge on the site, increasing the likelihood of radioactive spills into the back yards of local cities and their unsuspecting residents.
• Shipments of radioactive materials on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway threaten long-term contamination of Great Lakes water in the event of an accident. Both the U.S. and Canada are making serious plans for moving high-level radioactive waste to proposed storage sites.
• Rail shipments to NEWGreen of up to 300 tons are proposed, which could include the largest radioactive steam generators in the United States.
• There is a strong likelihood of worker contamination, as radioactive materials processing is notoriously dirty and dangerous.
• NEWGreen has been given $1.15 million in subsidies from the state of Ohio.
RADIOACTIVE WASTE MAGICALLY BECOMES AN ASSET
This misleading scheme, disguised as "recycling", would conveniently rid the nuclear industry of responsibility of a large amount of its dangerous wastes while resulting in hidden, long-term contamination of the global market's clean recycled metal supply. Such contamination is difficult and expensive to monitor, and would add insidiously to background contamination in our homes and workplaces. In 2012 alone, bicycle baskets, tissue holders and pet food bowls that were constructed unknowingly with radioactive metals were pulled from U.S. and global markets.