Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: Pickering Nuclear Generating Station

Publication date: June 22, 2016

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to operate the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station (PNGS). The station is located in Pickering, ON and has eight CANDU reactors. Units 2 and 3 are not operating and are maintained in safe storage. Reactors 1 and 4 have a gross electrical output of 542 MWe (megawatts electrical) each, and reactors 5 to 8 have an output of 540 MWe each.

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

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[ ] Guideline/Reference Level

 

Pickering Nuclear Generating Station

Sample Type Sample Description Parameter 2014 Result 2015 Result Guideline/
Reference Level
Expected Health Impact (Yes/No) Background Sample Code
AirTritium<2 Bq/m3<2 Bq/m3340 Bq/m3NoN/A PP04-A01
AirTritium<2 Bq/m3<2 Bq/m3340 Bq/m3NoN/A PP06-A02
AirTritium<2 Bq/m3<2 Bq/m3340 Bq/m3NoN/A PP07-A03
AirTritium<2 Bq/m3N/A340 Bq/m3NoN/A PP12-A05
AirElemental Tritium<2 Bq/m3<2 Bq/m35,100,000 Bq/m3NoN/A PP04-A01
AirElemental Tritium<2 Bq/m3<2 Bq/m35,100,000 Bq/m3NoN/A PP06-A02
AirElemental Tritium<2 Bq/m3<2 Bq/m35,100,000 Bq/m3NoN/A PP07-A03
AirElemental Tritium<2 Bq/m3N/A5,100,000 Bq/m3NoN/A PP12-A05
AirCesium-137<0.0005 Bq/m3<0.000065 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A PP04-A01
AirCesium-137<0.0005 Bq/m3<0.000065 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A PP06-A02
AirCesium-137<0.0005 Bq/m3<0.000065 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A PP07-A03
AirCesium-137<0.0005 Bq/m3N/A2.56 Bq/m3NoN/A PP12-A05
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium19 Bq/L24.3 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PP02-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium17 Bq/L21.7 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PP05-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium14 Bq/L6.6 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PP07-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium40 Bq/L6.9 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PP10-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Tritium3.9 Bq/L5.7 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PP11-W05
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta0.15 Bq/L<0.08 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PP02-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta<0.12 Bq/L<0.08 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PP05-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta<0.12 Bq/L<0.08 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PP07-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta<0.12 Bq/L<0.08 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PP10-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross Beta<0.12 Bq/L <0.08 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PP11-W05
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross AlphaN/A<0.04 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PP02-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross AlphaN/A<0.04 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PP05-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross AlphaN/A<0.04 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PP07-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross AlphaN/A<0.04 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PP10-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Gross AlphaN/A <0.04 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PP11-W05
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137<0.24 Bq/L<0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNoN/A PP02-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137<0.24 Bq/L<0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNoN/A PP05-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137<0.24 Bq/L<0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNoN/A PP07-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137<0.24 Bq/L<0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNoN/A PP10-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Cesium-137<0.24 Bq/L<0.24 Bq/L10 Bq/LNoN/A PP11-W05
WaterLake water (Surface)Cobalt-60<0.28 Bq/L<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PP02-W01
WaterLake water (Surface)Cobalt-60<0.28 Bq/L<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PP05-W02
WaterLake water (Surface)Cobalt-60<0.28 Bq/L<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PP07-W03
WaterLake water (Surface)Cobalt-60<0.28 Bq/L<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PP10-W04
WaterLake water (Surface)Cobalt-60<0.28 Bq/L<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PP11-W05
FoodstuffsMilk - from tankTritium6.8 Bq/kg fresh weight6.7 Bq/kg fresh weight5,560 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP13-F01
FoodstuffsMilk - from tankOrganically Bound Tritium2.5 Bq/kg fresh weight<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight2,260 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP13-F01
FoodstuffsMilk - from tankCesium-137N/A<0.25 Bq/kg fresh weight25 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP13-F01
FoodstuffsMilk - from tankCobalt-60N/A<0.32 Bq/kg fresh weight11 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP13-F01
Vegetationgrass/vegetationTritium61.8 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP01-V01
Vegetationgrass/vegetationTritium30.9 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP03-V02
Vegetationgrass/vegetationTritium17.6 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP04-V03
Vegetationgrass/vegetationTritium118.7 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP06-V04
Vegetationgrass/vegetationTritium73.8 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP07-V05
Vegetationgrass/vegetationTritium10.2 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A10,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP09-V07
Vegetationgrass/vegetationOrganically Bound Tritium8.7 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP01-V01
Vegetationgrass/vegetationOrganically Bound Tritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP03-V02
Vegetationgrass/vegetationOrganically Bound Tritium6.6 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP04-V03
Vegetationgrass/vegetationOrganically Bound Tritium17.6 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP06-V04
Vegetationgrass/vegetationOrganically Bound Tritium8.9 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP07-V05
Vegetationgrass/vegetationOrganically Bound Tritium5.7 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A73,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP09-V07
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCesium-137N/A<2.7 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP01-V01
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCesium-137N/A<2.7 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP03-V02
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCesium-137N/A<2.7 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP04-V03
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCesium-137N/A<2.7 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP06-V04
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCesium-137N/A<2.7 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP07-V05
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCesium-137N/A<2.7 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP09-V07
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCobalt-60N/A<3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP01-V01
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCobalt-60N/A<3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP03-V02
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCobalt-60N/A<3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP04-V03
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCobalt-60N/A<3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP06-V04
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCobalt-60N/A<3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP07-V05
Vegetationgrass/vegetationCobalt-60N/A<3.3 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PP09-V07
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCesium-1374.73 Bq/kg dry weight2.62 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP01-S01
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCesium-1373.42 Bq/kg dry weight3.84 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP03-S02
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCesium-1372.66 Bq/kg dry weight1.26 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP04-S03
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCesium-1373.52 Bq/kg dry weight3.05 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP06-S04
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCesium-1372.29 Bq/kg dry weight5.93 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP07-S05
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCesium-1372.32 Bq/kg dry weight2.88 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP09-S07
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCesium-1372.11 Bq/kg dry weightN/A58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP12-S08
SoilSand, 0-5 cmCesium-137<0.81 Bq/kg dry weight0.39 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP05-SA01
SoilSand, 0-5 cmCesium-137<0.81 Bq/kg dry weight0.25 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP07-SA02
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<1.09 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP01-S01
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<1.09 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP03-S02
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<1.09 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP04-S03
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<1.09 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP06-S04
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<1.09 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP07-S05
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<1.09 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP09-S07
SoilSoil, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weightN/A14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP12-S08
SoilSand, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<0.59 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP05-SA01
SoilSand, 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.94 Bq/kg dry weight<0.59 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PP07-SA02
AirCobalt-60N/A<0.000072 Bq/m3N/ANoN/A PP04-A01
AirCobalt-60N/A<0.000072 Bq/m3N/ANoN/A PP06-A02
AirCobalt-60N/A<0.000072 Bq/m3N/ANoN/A PP07-A03
AirCobalt-60N/AN/AN/ANoN/A PP12-A05
AirIodine-131N/A<0.000047 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A PP04-A01
AirIodine-131N/A<0.000047 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A PP06-A02
AirIodine-131N/A<0.000047 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A PP07-A03
AirIodine-131N/AN/A0.228 Bq/m3NoN/A PP12-A05

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

2 N/A – Not available

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/year, a dose at which no health impacts are expected.

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.

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 PNGS site perimeter was sampled in 2014 and 2015.

2015 Results

The 2015 IEMP sampling plan for the PNGS site 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 PNGS site perimeter and included air particulate, lake water, soil and sediment, grass and wild vegetation, and foodstuffs such as milk. View detailed sampling data.

The measured radioactivity levels in all the samples with detectable radionuclide concentrations were below CNSC reference levels. These 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. Overall, the results indicate that no health impacts are expected at this dose level.

2014 Results

The 2014 IEMP sampling plan for the PNGS site 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 2014, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the PNGS site perimeter and included lake water, soil and sand, air particulate, vegetation and milk from a local farm outside of the PNGS perimeter fence. View detailed sampling data.

The measured radioactivity in all the samples with detectable radionuclide concentrations were below 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, which represents one-tenth of the CNSC’s public dose limit of 1 mSv/year. Overall, the results indicate that no health impacts are expected at this dose level.

Conclusions

The IEMP results indicate that the public and the environment in the vicinity of the PNGS 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.