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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Great Lakes Nuclear Waste: Another Threat to MI Water Quality?

There are 38 nuclear reactors on the Great Lakes, and a Midwest watchdog group says more people need to get involved in efforts to protect water supplies. (click/morguefile)
There are 38 nuclear reactors on the Great Lakes, and a Midwest watchdog group says more people need to get involved in efforts to protect water supplies. (click/morguefile)
March 1, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - Between Canada and the United States, there are 38 nuclear reactors on the Great Lakes and a watchdog group says if something isn't done, the world's largest body of surface water will become a nuclear garbage dump.

Dave Kraft is director of the Nuclear Energy Information Service.

He says safe energy may not be as exciting as other topics to advocate for, but people who want safe drinking water should get involved.

Kraft cites some international disasters as examples of what could happen here.

"We have the fifth anniversary of the Japanese Fukushima disaster, which took place on March 11, 2011," says Kraft. "But it's also the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster; the anniversary is April 26 of this year."

The Great Lakes supply drinking water for more than 40 million people, and Kraft says with all the nuclear reactors on their shores, it's reasonable for Americans to demand protection.

Kraft says what's happening in Flint brings to mind this question, How safe is our water?

"Mistakes happen, accidents happen," he says. "So, we're concerned that there's quite a cavalier attitude on the part of regulators, on the part of government officials, as we have seen exemplified in Flint, that we can't afford that level of risk on the Great Lakes, to have some sort of a nuclear accident."

Kraft says the government is considering creating new waste sites that would mean moving toxic materials by truck, rail and barge.

He believes that's another potential disaster that needs attention.

"Radioactive materials tend to re-concentrate through a lot of biological processes, through a lot of chemical processes," says Kraft. "And particularly as we get into a more climate-stressed scenario of the future, the constraints on water are going to be different."

Kraft urges people to become more vigilant in the effort to protect water sources, while at the same time moving toward a more renewable energy future.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI