I R O Q U O I S C A U C U S
Kahnawà:ke Kanehsatá:ke Akwesáhsne Tyendinaga Wahta Six Nations of the Grand River Oneida Nation of the Thames
Iroquois Caucus condemns plan to truck highly radioactive liquid from Chalk River
For immediate release
(February 22, 2017) The Iroquois Caucus announced today that it is unanimously condemning a plan to truck 23,000 liters of highly radioactive liquid from Chalk River, Ontario across the International border to the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, using public roads and bridges.
This unprecedented action could have a devastating impact on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River ecosystem. Depending on the route(s) chosen, there is the potential for a spill or spills into waterways flowing into the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River or one of their many tributaries.
This ecosystem provides drinking water for an estimated 40 million people on both sides of the border.
“We have stated clearly in the past that we will not stand idly by,” stated Chief Don Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. “The seven communities of the Iroquois Caucus stand together in the protection of Mother Earth.”
“It is appalling that such reckless and irresponsible plans are given approval by the regulators and the Courts when far more sensible solutions are at hand,” added Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon.
“The Iroquois Caucus is well aware that liquid of a very similar nature has been routinely solidified and stored at Chalk River since 2003,” explained Kahnawà:ke Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton. “There are processes already in existence to ‘down-blend’ the liquid in order to eliminate highly-enriched uranium by converting it into low-enriched uranium.”
“We strongly encourage that all persons, communities and organizations that share our concerns stand together to ensure that common sense prevails,” concluded Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict. “There is no reason to continue with a plan that puts 40 million people at risk when alternatives readily exist.”
The Iroquois Caucus consists of elected Councils from Akwesasne, Kahnawà:ke, Kanesatake, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (Tyendinaga), Oneida Nation of the Thames, Six Nations of the Grand River and the Wahta Mohawks. -30-
Contact: Trevor Bomberry, Coordinator Joe Delaronde, Political Press Attaché Iroquois Caucus Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke 519-761-7694, firstname.lastname@example.org 450-632-7500, email@example.com
Note from Beyond Nuclear: In the early part of this decade, the Mohawks of Quebec played a decisive role in blocking the proposed radioactive steam generator boat shipments from Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada -- via Lake Huron, Lake Saint Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and connecting rivers; the St. Lawrence River; and the Atlantic Ocean -- to Sweden for "recycling" into the metal recycling stream. A broad U.S.-Canadian environmental coalition had resisted the scheme for many months, and the Mohawks of Quebec provided the coup de grace.
Similarly, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Mohawks of Quebec -- as well as Aniishinaabe of Ontario, such as Serpent River First Nation -- joined with a broad U.S.-Canadian environmental coalition to oppose weapons-grade plutonium fuel shipments from the U.S. and Russia to Chalk River Nuclear Lab, Ontario, for a "test burn" of MOX fuel (Mixed Oxide plutonium-uranium). Terry Lodge of Toledo, OH and Kary Love of Holland, MI served as lead legal counsel for the coalition. Drs. Gordon Edwards (Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility), Ed Lyman (then with Nuclear Control Institute, since with Union of Concerned Scientists), Francis Boyle (University of Illinois) and James David Ballard (University of California Santa Barbara) served as the coalition's expert witnesses. The lawsuit was named Hirt v. Richardson (for Alice Hirt of Don't Waste Michigan, and U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson), and was heard by U.S. federal district judge Richard Enslen in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Anishinabek stand with Iroquois Caucus condemning radioactive shipping across Anishinabek and Iroquois Territories
-30-The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 60,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.
Anishinabek First Nations are the caretakers of the land, water air and resources within our regions and traditional territories.