The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission says its latest study of soil, water and air samples again shows that areas around the BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada facility in Peterborough are ‘protected’ and show no signs of damage. health risk.
As part of its operating license renewal agreement, areas around the Monaghan Road facility are tested annually for levels of uranium and beryllium. Among the sites tested was the Prince of Wales Public School opposite the facility.
The Toronto-based company uses uranium and “small amounts” of beryllium – a light metal – to assemble parts of fuel bundles at the Peterborough facility using produced uranium dioxide pellets at its Toronto facility. The pellets are then inserted into the tubes to create fuel bundles.
Soil samples of uranium and beryllium near BWXT Peterborough show ‘no risk’: independent study
The commission made public on Tuesday results of its 2021 independent environmental monitoring program which tested the soil, water and air around “publicly accessible” areas of the city, focusing on both radioactive and hazardous substances. The report concluded that the levels of uranium and beryllium in the samples were “below available guidelines”.
“MPI measurements to date have consistently found that levels of radioactivity in the environment were low and well within the range of natural background radiation levels,” the study concludes. “Concentrations of beryllium in soil collected around the BWXT facility in Peterborough remain well below guidelines. Therefore, no health or environmental impacts are expected at these concentrations.
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The report notes that the results of the 2021 study are similar to those of studies conducted in 2014, 2018, and 2019 — all below federal and provincial guidelines, the PEMP notes.
“(Studies) show that the ambient environment surrounding BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. Peterborough meets provincial guidelines, confirming that the licensee’s environmental protection program is effective,” the report said. “The results add to the body of evidence that people and the environment near the Peterborough BWXT facility are protected and there are no anticipated health impacts.
In 2020, another study was carried out as part of the company’s operating permit renewal application. This study noted that there was “no significant change” in beryllium concentrations in soil in Peterborough.
The EPMF study is similar to an independent study of soil samples conducted in September 2021 by SDK Environmental Consulting Services which also collected samples approximately 25 kilometers west of the BWXT plant.
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