Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: Darlington Nuclear Generating Station

Publication date: June 15, 2015

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 confirm that the public and the environment around the Darlington NGS facility are safe and that there are no health impacts.

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[ ] Guideline/Reference Level

 

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station Points

Sample Type Sample Description Parameter 2014 Result Guideline/
Reference Level
Expected Health Impact (Yes/No) Background Sample Code
SoilBeach Sand (0-5 cm)Cesium-137< 0.49 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNo0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP02-SA01
SoilBeach Sand (0-5 cm)Cesium-137< 0.49 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNo0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP04-SA02
Soil0-5 cmCesium-137 8.47 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNo0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP03-S01
Soil0-5 cmCesium-137 1.72 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNo0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP05-S02
Soil0-5 cmCesium-137 1.49 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNo0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP06-S03
Soil0-5 cmCesium-137 5.04 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNo0.15 - 60 Bq/kg dry weight DP07-S04
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137< 0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNo0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP01-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137< 0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNo0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP02-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137< 0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNo0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP04-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137< 0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNo0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP07-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137< 0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNo0.00012 - 0.005 Bq/L DP08-W05
AirCesium-137< 0.0004 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A DP04-A01
AirCesium-137< 0.0004 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A DP05-A02
AirCesium-137< 0.0004 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A DP07-A03
AirElemental Tritium< 2 Bq/m35,100,000 Bq/m3NoN/A DP04-A01
AirElemental Tritium< 2 Bq/m35,100,000 Bq/m3NoN/A DP05-A02
AirElemental Tritium< 2 Bq/m35,100,000 Bq/m3NoN/A DP07-A03
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Alpha< 0.11 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A DP01-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Alpha< 0.11 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A DP02-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Alpha< 0.11 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A DP04-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Alpha< 0.11 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A DP07-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Alpha< 0.11 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A DP08-W05
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta0.11 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A DP01-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta0.10 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A DP02-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta0.10 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A DP04-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta0.09 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A DP07-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta0.09 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A DP08-W05
AirIodine-131< 0.001 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A DP04-A01
AirIodine-131< 0.001 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A DP05-A02
AirIodine-131< 0.001 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A DP07-A03
FoodstuffsApplesOrganically Bound Tritium< 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight50,300 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP10-F02
FoodstuffsChicken (necks)Organically Bound Tritium< 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight85,500 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP11-F05
FoodstuffsKaleOrganically Bound Tritium< 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight45,200 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP11-F04
FoodstuffsMilk - from tankOrganically Bound Tritium 1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight2,260 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP09-F01
FoodstuffsPotatoesOrganically Bound Tritium 1.6 Bq/kg fresh weight121,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP11-F03
VegetationWild Vegetation/GrassOrganically Bound Tritium 2.3 Bq/kg fresh weight73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP03-V01
VegetationWild Vegetation/GrassOrganically Bound Tritium 10.1 Bq/kg fresh weight73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP05-V02
VegetationWild Vegetation/GrassOrganically Bound Tritium 4.1 Bq/kg fresh weight73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP07-V04
FoodstuffsApplesTritium 11.9 Bq/kg fresh weight123,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP10-F02
FoodstuffsChicken (necks)Tritium 2.8 Bq/kg fresh weight196,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP11-F05
FoodstuffsKaleTritium 21.1 Bq/kg fresh weight104,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP11-F04
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium 4.3 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNo0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP01-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium< 3.5 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNo0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP02-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium< 3.5 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNo0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP04-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium< 3.5 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNo0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP07-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium 3.6 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNo0.12 - 45 Bq/L DP08-W05
FoodstuffsMilk - from tankTritium 3.4 Bq/kg fresh weight5,560 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP09-F01
FoodstuffsPotatoesTritium 13.4 Bq/kg fresh weight279,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP11-F03
VegetationWild Vegetation/GrassTritium 5.4 Bq/kg fresh weight10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP03-V01
VegetationWild Vegetation/GrassTritium 105.5 Bq/kg fresh weight10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP05-V02
VegetationWild Vegetation/GrassTritium 3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A DP07-V04
AirTritium< 2 Bq/m3340 Bq/m3NoN/A DP04-A01
AirTritium< 2 Bq/m3340 Bq/m3NoN/A DP05-A02
AirTritium< 2 Bq/m3340 Bq/m3NoN/A DP07-A03

1The < symbol indicates that a result is below the provided laboratory analytical detection limit.

2N/A - Not Available

3For 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.

4Tritiated 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.

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.

Results

The 2014 IEMP sampling plan for the Darlington NGS facility focused on radiological aspects. 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 info@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 confirm 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, confirming that the licensee’s environmental protection program protects the health and safety of people and the environment.