“Nuke Puck” Release into watersheds – June 20 2022

Help us show how far surface water contamination can go: catch a Nuke Puck and score a reward!

To raise awareness of the dangers of a proposed plan to bury and abandon highly radioactive nuclear fuel waste in Northwestern Ontario, affiliated members of We The Nuclear Free North (WTNFN) are holding a symbolic “nuke puck” contest.

Two-hundred-and-eighty yellow 1.5 to 3-inch cedar “nuke pucks,” hand-painted with black and red nuclear symbols have been released at the headwaters of the Turtle River and English-Wabigoon River systems east of Dryden, between Wabigoon and Ignace. They will float downstream to demonstrate the threat of radiation to communities along these waterways.

“We produced the ‘nuke pucks’ last fall and winter so that we could spread awareness of proposed nuclear waste burial in a watershed-specific way, releasing them into the waterways downstream of the proposed site,” said Peter Lang, a member of We the Nuclear Free North. “It will be interesting to hear from people who find them downstream.”

See the Thunder Bay Television News item about the Nuke Puck release!

Two prizes will be awarded to photographers who post photos of pucks – with locations identified – to the WTNFN Facebook page. One prize will be for the photo of the puck found farthest west, and another for the best puck photo with water in the background.

The floating pucks are not radioactive and are harmless to the environment. We The Nuclear Free North will track and publicize the downstream locations where pucks are reported.

The contest is intended to draw attention to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO’s) plan to bury an estimated 100,000 tonnes of highly radioactive nuclear fuel waste in an area 40 km west of Ignace, Ontario – near Revell Lake.

“The proposed plan to bury dangerous nuclear fuel waste in NW Ontario has alarmed many,” said Steve Riggins, a member of  No Nuclear Waste Northern Ontario. “Awareness of the project, and consent to it, are big issues. Are people downstream aware? Will they insist on having a say? We are hoping this contest will help publicize the NWMO’s intentions.” 

Waterways from the Revell Lake area flow north, west and south. Downstream communities include Atikokan, Fort Frances, Dryden, Kenora and Winnipeg, and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, Grassy Narrows, Couchiching, and Mitaanjigamiing First Nations. These communities and others could be affected in the event of release of radioactive material into the watershed areas.

Read more about potential contamination of waterways arising from transportation, repackaging, and burial of nuclear fuel waste: Burial of Nuclear Waste: Risks to Surface Water.


Contest Rules:

Yellow nuke pucks with black and red nuclear symbols have been released into the headwaters of the Turtle River, and English-Wabigoon River systems. They are floating downstream to show the threat of radiation to communities along these waterways.

Found a puck? Finders are asked to record your geographical location, time and date, and to photograph yourself with the puck and an identifable feature of the closest community. Post your photo and these details to the We the Nuclear Free North Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NuclearFreeNorth (if you don’t use Facebook, you may email the same to nuclearfreenorth@gmail.com). We The Nuclear Free North will track these downstream puck locations from your submissions. Two prizes of $50.00 will be awarded to photographers; one prize for the puck found farthest west, and another for the best puck photo with water in the background.

Red dot is proposed nuclear burial site; arrows show surface water flow downstream

The contest closes on Sept. 1, 2022.