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Ban Plutonium Reprocessing in Canada

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Nuclear Waste Watch

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A bird watching Sierra Club Canada's All Hands on Deck WebinarsAn All Hands on Deck Webinar: Plutonium is a byproduct of nuclear reactors. When separated from irradiated fuel it is a powerful nuclear explosive. Photo at right shows the mushroom cloud from the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki in August 1945. The separation of plutonium (and other isotopes) from irradiated fuel is called “reprocessing.” It is a dirty, dangerous and expensive process that leads to intractable radioactive waste problems and nuclear weapons proliferation risks. “Reprocessing” nuclear fuel waste was officially banned in the U.S. many years ago and a similar but informal policy exists in Canada.

However, the nuclear industry is pushing for plutonium reprocessing and the use of extracted plutonium as reactor fuel in a new generation of so-called “small modular” nuclear reactors, claiming it is required to mitigate climate change. This webinar features three expert speakers who will address the key dangers of the push for reprocessing including nuclear weapons proliferation and the toxic legacy nuclear waste that reprocessing creates. Visit www.nuclearwastewatch.ca or reprocessing.ca to learn more.


Ray Acheson is Director of Reaching Critical Will, the disarmament program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. steering group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. They are author of Banning the Bomb, Smashing the Patriarchy and Abolishing State Violence: A World Beyond Bombs, Borders, and Cages.

Joshua Frank is an environmental journalist and is an editor of CounterPunch. He is the co-author of several books, including The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink (AK Press). He is also the author of the recently released Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America (Haymarket Book, 2022).

M.V. Ramana is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security and professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, and the author of The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India. He is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, the Canadian Pugwash Group, the International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group.

Hosted by Nuclear Waste Watch and co-sponsored by: Beyond Nuclear, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Coalition for Responsible Energy Development – New Brunswick, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, David Suzuki Foundation, Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Cooperative, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – Canada , Northwatch, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Regroupement des organismes environnementaux en énergie, Science for Peace, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, and Voice of Women for Peace