Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: Darlington Nuclear Generating Station

Publication date: August 5, 2016

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is licensed by the CNSC to operate the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (Darlington NGS facility), located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the Municipality of Clarington, Ontario. OPG operates four 881 megawatt CANDU reactors and a Tritium Removal Facility (TRF). The TRF extracts tritium from the heavy water used in the reactors to minimize the amount of tritium going into the environment, as well as reducing the potential radiation exposure of workers. OPG maintains a comprehensive environmental protection program to monitor and control nuclear and hazardous substances released from the Darlington NGS facility, determine concentrations of contaminants in the environment, and assess exposure to the public.

The Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) results for 2014 and 2015 confirm that the public and the environment around the Darlington NGS facility are safe and that there are no health impacts.

Legend

[ ] Guideline/Reference Level

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station Points

Sample Type Sample Description Parameter 2014 Result 2015 Result Guideline/
Reference Level
Expected Health Impact (Yes/No) Background Sample Code
Water Lake water (Surface) Cesium-137 < 0.24 Bq/L <0.25 Bq/L 10 Bq/L No 0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP01-W01
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Alpha < 0.11 Bq/L <0.03 Bq/L 0.5 Bq/L No N/A DP01-W01
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Beta 0.11 Bq/L 0.08 Bq/L 1 Bq/L No N/A DP01-W01
Water Lake water (Surface) Tritium 4.3 Bq/L <3 Bq/L 7,000 Bq/L No 0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP01-W01
Water Lake water (Surface) Cobalt-60 N/A <0.29 Bq/L 12.1 Bq/L No N/A DP01-W01
Soil Beach Sand (0-5 cm) Cesium-137 < 0.49 Bq/kg dry weight 0.56 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP02-SA01
Soil Beach Sand (0-5 cm) Cobalt-60 N/A <0.54 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP02-SA01
Water Lake water (Surface) Cesium-137 < 0.24 Bq/L N/A 10 Bq/L No 0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP02-W02
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Alpha < 0.11 Bq/L N/A 0.5 Bq/L No N/A DP02-W02
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Beta 0.10 Bq/L N/A 1 Bq/L No N/A DP02-W02
Water Lake water (Surface) Tritium < 3.5 Bq/L N/A 7,000 Bq/L No 0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP02-W02
Soil 0-5 cm Cesium-137 8.47 Bq/kg dry weight 3.26 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP03-S01
Soil 0-5 cm Cobalt-60 N/A <0.99 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP03-S01
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Organically Bound Tritium 2.3 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP03-V01
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Tritium 5.4 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP03-V01
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cesium-137 N/A <3.2 Bq/kg fresh weight 52 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP03-V01
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cobalt-60 N/A <3.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 605 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP03-V01
Air Cesium-137 < 0.0004 Bq/m3 <0.000065 Bq/m3 2.56 Bq/m3 No N/A DP04-A01
Air Elemental Tritium < 2 Bq/m3 <1 Bq/m3 5,100,000 Bq/m3 No N/A DP04-A01
Air Iodine-131 < 0.001 Bq/m3 <0.00037 Bq/m3 0.228 Bq/m3 No N/A DP04-A01
Air Tritium < 2 Bq/m3 1.9 Bq/m3 340 Bq/m3 No N/A DP04-A01
Air Cobalt-60 N/A <0.000072 Bq/m3 0.832 Bq/m3 No N/A DP04-A01
Soil Beach Sand (0-5 cm) Cesium-137 < 0.49 Bq/kg dry weight 0.52 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP04-SA02
Soil Beach Sand (0-5 cm) Cobalt-60 N/A <0.54 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP04-SA02
Water Lake water (Surface) Cesium-137 < 0.24 Bq/L <0.25 Bq/L 10 Bq/L No 0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP04-W03
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Alpha < 0.11 Bq/L 0.16 Bq/L 0.5 Bq/L No N/A DP04-W03
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Beta 0.10 Bq/L 0.14 Bq/L 1 Bq/L No N/A DP04-W03
Water Lake water (Surface) Tritium < 3.5 Bq/L 3.6 Bq/L 7,000 Bq/L No 0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP04-W03
Water Lake water (Surface) Cobalt-60 N/A <0.29 Bq/L 12.1 Bq/L No N/A DP04-W03
Air Cesium-137 < 0.0004 Bq/m3 <0.000065 Bq/m3 2.56 Bq/m3 No N/A DP05-A02
Air Elemental Tritium < 2 Bq/m3 <1 Bq/m3 5,100,000 Bq/m3 No N/A DP05-A02
Air Iodine-131 < 0.001 Bq/m3 <0.00037 Bq/m3 0.228 Bq/m3 No N/A DP05-A02
Air Tritium < 2 Bq/m3 <1 Bq/m3 340 Bq/m3 No N/A DP05-A02
Air Cobalt-60 N/A <0.000072 Bq/m3 0.832 Bq/m3 No N/A DP05-A02
Soil 0-5 cm Cesium-137 1.72 Bq/kg dry weight 2.31 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP05-S02
Soil 0-5 cm Cobalt-60 N/A <0.99 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP05-S02
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Organically Bound Tritium 10.1 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP05-V02
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Tritium 105.5 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP05-V02
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cesium-137 N/A <3.2 Bq/kg fresh weight 52 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP05-V02
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cobalt-60 N/A <3.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 605 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP05-V02
Soil 0-5 cm Cesium-137 1.49 Bq/kg dry weight 2.16 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP06-S03
Soil 0-5 cm Cobalt-60 N/A <0.99 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP06-S03
Air Cesium-137 < 0.0004 Bq/m3 <0.000065 Bq/m3 2.56 Bq/m3 No N/A DP07-A03
Air Elemental Tritium < 2 Bq/m3 <1 Bq/m3 5,100,000 Bq/m3 No N/A DP07-A03
Air Iodine-131 < 0.001 Bq/m3 <0.00037 Bq/m3 0.228 Bq/m3 No N/A DP07-A03
Air Tritium < 2 Bq/m3 1.8 Bq/m3 340 Bq/m3 No N/A DP07-A03
Air Cobalt-60 N/A <0.000072 Bq/m3 0.832 Bq/m3 No N/A DP07-A03
Soil 0-5 cm Cesium-137 5.04 Bq/kg dry weight 1.55 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP07-S04
Soil 0-5 cm Cobalt-60 N/A <0.99 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP07-S04
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Organically Bound Tritium 4.1 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP07-V04
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Tritium 3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP07-V04
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cesium-137 N/A <3.2 Bq/kg fresh weight 52 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP07-V04
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cobalt-60 N/A <3.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 605 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP07-V04
Water Lake water (Surface) Cesium-137 < 0.24 Bq/L <0.25 Bq/L 10 Bq/L No 0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP07-W04
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Alpha < 0.11 Bq/L <0.03 Bq/L 0.5 Bq/L No N/A DP07-W04
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Beta 0.09 Bq/L 0.08 Bq/L 1 Bq/L No N/A DP07-W04
Water Lake water (Surface) Tritium < 3.5 Bq/L 4.8 Bq/L 7,000 Bq/L No 0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP07-W04
Water Lake water (Surface) Cobalt-60 N/A <0.29 Bq/L 12.1 Bq/L No N/A DP07-W04
Water Lake water (Surface) Cesium-137 < 0.24 Bq/L <0.25 Bq/L 10 Bq/L No 0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP08-W05
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Alpha < 0.11 Bq/L <0.03 Bq/L 0.5 Bq/L No N/A DP08-W05
Water Lake water (Surface) Gross Beta 0.09 Bq/L 0.07 Bq/L 1 Bq/L No N/A DP08-W05
Water Lake water (Surface) Tritium 3.6 Bq/L 5.1 Bq/L 7,000 Bq/L No 0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP08-W05
Water Lake water (Surface) Cobalt-60 N/A <0.29 Bq/L 12.1 Bq/L No N/A DP08-W05
Foodstuffs Milk - from tank Organically Bound Tritium 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight <1.5 Bq/kq fresh weight 2,260 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP09-F01
Foodstuffs Milk - from tank Tritium 3.4 Bq/kg fresh weight 6.7 Bq/kg fresh weight 5,560 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP09-F01
Foodstuffs Milk - from tank Cesium-137 N/A 0.39 Bq/kg fresh weight 25 Bq/kq fresh weight No N/A DP09-F01
Foodstuffs Milk - from tank Cobalt-60 N/A <0.32 Bq/kg fresh weight 11 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP09-F01
Foodstuffs Apples Organically Bound Tritium < 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight <1.5 Bq/kq fresh weight 50,300 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP10-F02
Foodstuffs Apples Tritium 11.9 Bq/kg fresh weight 7.0 Bq/kg fresh weight 123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP10-F02
Soil 0-5 cm Cesium-137 N/A 3.09 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP10-S06
Soil 0-5 cm Cobalt-60 N/A <0.99 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP10-S06
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cesium-137 N/A <3.2 Bq/kg fresh weight 52 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP10-V06
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cobalt-60 N/A <3.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 605 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP10-V06
Foodstuffs Chicken (necks) Organically Bound Tritium < 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 85,500 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F05
Foodstuffs Chicken (breast) Organically Bound Tritium N/A 10.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 85,500 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F06
Foodstuffs Kale Organically Bound Tritium < 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 45,200 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F04
Foodstuffs Swiss Chard Organically Bound Tritium N/A 3.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 45,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F07
Foodstuffs Potatoes Organically Bound Tritium 1.6 Bq/kg fresh weight 2.1 Bq/kg fresh weight 121,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F03
Foodstuffs Tomatoes Organically Bound Tritium N/A <1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 50,300 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F08
Foodstuffs Tomatoes Tritium N/A 12.4 Bq/kg fresh weight 123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F08
Foodstuffs Chicken (necks) Tritium 2.8 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 196,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F05
Foodstuffs Chicken (breast) Tritium N/A 3.1 Bq/kg fresh weight 196,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F6
Foodstuffs Kale Tritium 21.1 Bq/kg fresh weight N/A 104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F04
Foodstuffs Swiss Chard Tritium N/A 7.4 Bq/kg fresh weight 104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F07
Foodstuffs Potatoes Tritium 13.4 Bq/kg fresh weight 6.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 279,000 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-F03
Soil 0-5 cm Cesium-137 N/A 6.15 Bq/kg dry weight 58.6 Bq/kg dry weight No 0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP11-S05
Soil 0-5 cm Cobalt-60 N/A <0.99 Bq/kg dry weight 14 Bq/kg dry weight No N/A DP11-S05
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cesium-137 N/A <3.2 Bq/kg fresh weight 52 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-V05
Vegetation Wild Vegetation/Grass Cobalt-60 N/A <3.5 Bq/kg fresh weight 605 Bq/kg fresh weight No N/A DP11-V05

Footnotes

Footnote 1

The < symbol indicates that a result is below the provided laboratory analytical detection limit.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

N/A – Not Available

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Footnote 3

For radiological parameters where no guidelines exist, CNSC reference levels were established based on conservative assumptions using CSA Standard N288.1-14. The reference level for a particular radionuclide in a particular medium (e.g., water, air, food) represents the activity concentration that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv/a, a dose at which no health impacts are expected.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

Tritiated water (HTO) is a radioactive form of water where the usual hydrogen atoms in H2O are replaced with tritium. Elemental Tritium (HT) refers to the radioactive form of hydrogen gas.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Background

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), licensees of nuclear facilities are required to implement an environmental monitoring program to demonstrate that the public and the environment are protected from emissions related to the facility’s nuclear activities. The results of these monitoring programs are submitted to the CNSC to ensure compliance with applicable guidelines and limits, as set out in regulations that oversee Canada’s nuclear industry.

The CNSC has implemented its IEMP to verify that the public and the environment around licensed nuclear facilities are safe. It is separate from, but complementary to, the CNSC’s ongoing compliance verification program. The IEMP involves taking samples from public areas around the facilities, and measuring and analyzing the amount of radiological (nuclear)and hazardous substances in those samples. CNSC staff collect the samples and send them to the CNSC’s state-of-the-art laboratory for testing and analysis. Since the implementation of the IEMP, the area outside of the Darlington NGS site perimeter was sampled in 2014 and 2015.

2015 results

The 2015 IEMP sampling plan for the Darlington NGS facility focused on nuclear contaminants. A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on OPG’s approved environmental monitoring program, CSA Group standards and the CNSC’s regulatory experience with the site. In 2015, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the Darlington NGS site perimeter and included surface water, soil and beach sand, air particulates, grass, and foods such as meat, fruits, vegetables and milk from local farms. Detailed sampling data appear in appendix B. View detailed sampling data.

The radioactivity measured in air, water, sand, soil, vegetation, as well as samples of food, were below guidelines and CNSC reference levels. CNSC reference levels are based on conservative assumptions about the exposure that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv/year. No health impacts are expected at this dose level.

2014 results

The 2014 IEMP sampling plan for the Darlington NGS facility focused on nuclear contaminants . A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on OPG’s approved environmental monitoring program, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards and the CNSC’s regulatory experience with the site. In 2014, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the Darlington NGS site perimeter and included air, water, soil and beach sand, vegetation and food such as milk, fruits, vegetables and chicken from local farms. View detailed sampling data.

The measured radioactivity the samples were well below CNSC reference levels and are mostly below the minimum detection concentrations. CNSC reference levels are based on conservative assumptions about the exposure that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv/year, which represents one-tenth of the CNSC’s public dose limit of 1 mSv/year. No health impacts are expected at this dose level.

To obtain the full technical IEMP report, contact us at cnsc.information.ccsn@canada.ca or call 613-995-5894 or 1-800-668-5284 (in Canada). Please provide the name of the facility and the report year.

Conclusions

The IEMP results indicate that the public and the environment around the Darlington NGS facility are safe and that there are no health impacts. These results are consistent with the results submitted by OPG, demonstrating that the licensee’s environmental protection program protects the health and safety of people and the environment.