Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. - Toronto
|Site name||BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto|
|Licensee||BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT), formerly GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada|
|Facility name||BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto|
|Facility location||Toronto, Ontario|
|Land acknowledgement||The CNSC acknowledges that BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto is located within the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.|
|Facility description||BWXT uses uranium dioxide (UO2) powder to manufacture nuclear fuel bundles for Canada's nuclear power plants. The BWXT Toronto facility produces UO2 pellets from uranium powder.|
|Environmental protection requirements||In accordance with regulatory requirements under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, all licensees must maintain a comprehensive environmental protection program to monitor and control nuclear and hazardous substances released from the facilities they own and operate. As part of every licensee’s environmental protection program, concentrations of contaminants in the environment must be determined and the potential exposure routes to the public must be assessed.|
Our Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) results from 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2022 are consistent with the results submitted by BWXT, supporting our assessment that the licensee’s environmental protection program is effective. The results add to the body of evidence that people and the environment in the vicinity of BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto are protected and that there are no anticipated health impacts from the operation of the facilities on the site.
- Interactive map and IEMP results
- Data table BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. - Toronto CSV (8.7 kb)
- Overview of the sampling campaign
- Results: (2014) (2016) (2018) (2019) (2022)
- Video: Introduction to the IEMP
- Frequently asked questions
[ ] Guideline/Reference Level
BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. - Toronto
|Sample Type||Sample Description||Parameter||2014||2016||2018||2019||2022||Guideline/
|Expected Health Impact (Yes/No)||Sample Code|
|Air||Ambient (Particulate)||Uranium||0.000128 µg/m³||N/A||<0.003 µg/m³||<0.00005 µg/m³||<0.00014 µg/m³||0.03 µg/m³||No||GT01-A01|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||1.5 mg/kg dry weight||N/A||1.17 mg/kg dry weight||0.98 mg/kg dry weight||0.68 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT01-S01|
|Soil||0-3 cm||Uranium||1.68 mg/kg dry weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT02-S02|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||N/A||1.3 mg/kg dry weight||1.47 mg/kg dry weight||1.02 mg/kg dry weight||0.53 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT02-S02|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||1.05 mg/kg dry weight||1.6 mg/kg dry weight||1.57 mg/kg dry weight||1.54 mg/kg dry weight||0.85 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT03-S03|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||0.72 mg/kg dry weight||1.5 mg/kg dry weight||1.37 mg/kg dry weight||1.2 mg/kg dry weight||N/A||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT04-S04|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||1.72 mg/kg dry weight||1.7 mg/kg dry weight||1.63 mg/kg dry weight||1.62 mg/kg dry weight||0.68 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT06-S06|
|Air||Ambient (Particulate)||Uranium||0.0000488 µg/m³||<0.0009 µg/m³||<0.003 µg/m³||N/A||<0.00014 µg/m³||0.03 µg/m³||No||GT07-A02|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||0.87 mg/kg dry weight||1.5 mg/kg dry weight||1.55 mg/kg dry weight||1.24 mg/kg dry weight||0.76 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT07-S07|
|Air||Ambient (Particulate)||Uranium||N/A||N/A||<0.003 µg/m³||<0.00005 µg/m³||<0.00016 µg/m³||0.03 µg/m³||No||GT08-A08|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||1.13 mg/kg dry weight||1.8 mg/kg dry weight||1.91 mg/kg dry weight||1.49 mg/kg dry weight||0.65 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT08-S08|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||N/A||1.3 mg/kg dry weight||1.81 mg/kg dry weight||1.34 mg/kg dry weight||0.71 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT09-S09|
|Soil||0-7 cm||Uranium||0.93 mg/kg dry weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT09-S09|
|Air||Ambient (Particulate)||Uranium||N/A||<0.0009 µg/m³||<0.003 µg/m³||<0.00005 µg/m³||<0.00014 µg/m³||0.03 µg/m³||No||GT10-A03|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||N/A||1.7 mg/kg dry weight||1.78 mg/kg dry weight||1.88 mg/kg dry weight||0.66 mg/kg dry weight||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT10-S10|
|Soil||0-5 cm||Uranium||N/A||N/A||N/A||1.89 mg/kg dry weight||N/A||23 mg/kg dry weight||No||GT12-S12|
1 The < symbol indicates that a result is below the provided laboratory analytical detection limit.
2 N/A – not available
3 For soil samples, the CNSC laboratory began using the partial digestion method as opposed to the total digestion method used before 2020. This change was made so that the 2020 results could be compared with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines. As a result, soil concentrations are lower than in previous years.
The 2022 IEMP sampling plan for BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto focused on uranium. Uranium is both a radioactive substance (it decays at a slow rate, primarily emitting alpha radiation and, at lower levels, beta and gamma radiation) and a hazardous substance (exposure to uranium can lead to chemical toxicity). A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on the licensee’s approved environmental monitoring program and our regulatory experience with the site. We endeavour to incorporate traditional Indigenous land use, values and knowledge by engaging with Indigenous Nations and communities on the sampling plan. More information on this engagement is provided in the “Indigenous Nations and communities’ participation” section.
In June 2022, we collected air and soil samples in publicly accessible areas outside the facility perimeter.
The levels of radioactivity and hazardous substances measured in soil and air were below available guidelines and our own laboratory screening levels. Our screening levels are based on conservative assumptions about the exposure that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv per year (one-tenth of the regulatory public dose limit of 1 mSv per year). IEMP measurements to date have consistently found levels of radioactivity in the environment to be low and well within the range of natural background radiation levels. As a result, no effects on human health are expected.
Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), licensees of nuclear facilities are required to implement environmental monitoring programs to demonstrate that the public and the environment are protected from emissions related to the facilities’ nuclear activities. The results of these monitoring programs are submitted to the CNSC to ensure compliance within 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 protected. 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 independent laboratory for testing and analysis. The area outside of the BWXT Toronto site perimeter was sampled in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 results
IEMP sampling at BWXT Toronto site for 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 focused on uranium. Uranium is both a radioactive substance (it decays at a slow rate by emitting gamma radiation) and a hazardous substance (since exposure to uranium leads to chemical toxicity). A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on BWXT’s environmental monitoring program and the CNSC’s regulatory experience with the site. In July 2014, July 2016, June 2018, and June 2019 samples were collected in areas outside the BWXT Toronto site perimeter fence and included samples of air and soil. The concentrations of uranium in the samples were below available guidelines. No health or environmental impacts are expected at these levels.
Indigenous Nations and communities’ participation
We have made it a priority to ensure that IEMP sampling reflects Indigenous traditional knowledge, land use and values where possible. In addition to routine IEMP sampling activities, we seek input from local Indigenous Nations and communities on our IEMP sampling plans.
In advance of the 2022 IEMP sampling campaign at BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto , notification emails were sent to Indigenous Nations and communities near the facility to notify them of the sampling campaign and to seek input on the sampling plan.
For the purposes of the 2022 sampling campaign, no feedback was received. We will continue to engage with interested Indigenous Nations and communities to ensure that IEMP sampling incorporates Indigenous knowledge in future sampling.
Focus on health
We take a weight of evidence approach when assessing risk. We review the results of existing health reports and conduct health studies to provide further independent verification that the health of people in and around BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto is protected.
In Canada, several studies have been carried out in Port Hope, Ontario, due to the historical and current presence of the nuclear industry in the town, where the uranium refining, processing and fabrication industry has existed since 1932. The findings are consistent with research studies conducted in other countries. Studies have consistently demonstrated that people who live near uranium processing facilities, such as BWXT, are as healthy as the rest of the general population. Access our library of health studies and third-party research.
Based on exposure and health data, we have not observed any adverse health outcomes or trends resulting from the presence of BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto in the community.
If you would like more general health information and data for your community, please visit the following websites:
Our IEMP results from 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2022 are consistent with the results submitted by BWXT, supporting our assessment that the licensee’s environmental protection program is effective. The results add to the body of evidence that people and the environment in the vicinity of BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. – Toronto are protected and that there are no anticipated health impacts from the operation of the facilities on the site.
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