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Critics hit Great Lakes nuclear waste plan

DETROIT, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A plan to ship 16 steam generators -- with nuclear waste inside -- on the Detroit River and the Great Lakes has raised international outrage, authorities said.

Residents on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the waterways are alarmed by the plan to ship the generators, each the size of a city bus, from a nuclear power plant in Canada to a recycling plant in Sweden, The Detroit News reported Saturday.

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An accident could contaminate the lakes, a source of drinking water in the region, environmentalists and elected officials said.

"It's a bad idea," Michael Keegan, chairman of the Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes, said. "It sets a dangerous precedent."

U.S. and Canadian towns along the proposed route are angry they were never told about the plan, and three Canadian mayors and two Michigan state legislators say they are opposed to the shipment.

"The Great Lakes are a tremendous economic engine for the state," state Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, said. "I just don't think we should support any kind of threat that would harm a single job."

After weeks of criticism the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which originally didn't plan to seek public input on the proposal, has scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 29, the News reported.

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