Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: Welcome & Port Granby Waste Management Facilities

Publication date: May 10 2016

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to operate the Welcome and Port Granby Waste Management Facilities (WMFs), located in the Ontario municipalities of Port Hope and Clarington, respectively. The Welcome WMF contains historic low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) that comes from radium and uranium refining activities carried out between 1933 and 1955. The Port Granby WMF also currently stores LLRW, including process residues from that period, as well as scrap equipment, industrial trash, and soils that were received at the site between 1955 and 1988. Both WMFs are involved in the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI), which seeks to develop and implement a safe, local, long-term management solution for historic LLRW in the Port Hope area, and for the cleanup of legacy waste generated by the activities of a former federal Crown Corporation (Eldorado Nuclear) and its private sector predecessors.

The Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) results for 2013 and 2014 confirm that the public and the environment around the CNL facilities are safe and that there are no health impacts.

Legend

[ ] Guideline/Reference Level

 

Welcome & Port Granby WMF

Sample Type Sample Description Parameter 2013 Result 2014 Result Guideline/
Reference Level
Expected Health Impact (Yes/No) Background Sample Code
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Uranium0.84 mg/kg dry weightN/AN/ANo1 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG01-SE01
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Uranium0.5 mg/kg dry weightN/AN/ANo1 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG12-SE08
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Uranium1.49 mg/kg dry weight3.1 mg/kg dry weightN/ANo1 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG05-SE02
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Uranium1.68 mg/kg dry weight1.7 mg/kg dry weightN/ANo1 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG06-SE03
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Uranium1.2mg/kg dry weight1.3 mg/kg dry weightN/ANo1 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG07-SE04
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Uranium1.46 mg/kg dry weight1.6 mg/kg dry weightN/ANo1 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG08-SE05
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Uranium0.51 mg/kg dry weight0.5 mg/kg dry weightN/ANo1 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG09-SE06
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.38 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG01-W01
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.41 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG03-W02
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.52 µg/L0.59 µg/L15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.42 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG03-W04
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.82 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG03-W05
WaterSurface WaterUranium1.68 µg/L1.98 µg/L15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterUranium2.4 µg/L1.27 µg/L15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterUranium3.23 µg/L3.74 µg/L15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterUraniumN/A0.92 µg/L15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.5 µg/L0.39 µg/L15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.38 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG11-W11
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.36 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG11-W12
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.36 µg/L1.02 µg/L15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.38 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG11-W14
WaterSurface WaterUranium0.39 µg/LN/A15 µg/LNo< 1 µg/L WG12-W15
WaterSurface WaterpH7N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG01-W01
WaterSurface WaterpH7.7N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG03-W02
WaterSurface WaterpH7.77.486.5–9.0No7.8 WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterpH7.5N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG03-W04
WaterSurface WaterpH7.82N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG03-W05
WaterSurface WaterpH77.66.5–9.0No7.8 WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterpH7.597.826.5–9.0No7.8 WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterpH7.77.716.5–9.0No7.8 WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterpHN/A7.936.5–9.0No7.8 WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterpH8.28.076.5–9.0No7.8 WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterpH7.7N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG11-W11
WaterSurface WaterpH7.84N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG11-W12
WaterSurface WaterpH7.68.156.5–9.0No7.8 WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterpH7.77N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG11-W14
WaterSurface WaterpH8.1N/A6.5–9.0No7.8 WG12-W15
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Arsenic2.25 mg/kg dry weightN/A5.9 mg/kg dry weightNo1.9 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG01-SE01
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Arsenic0.96 mg/kg dry weightN/A5.9 mg/kg dry weightNo1.9 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG12-SE08
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Arsenic10.82 mg/kg dry weight5.1 mg/kg dry weight5.9 mg/kg dry weightNo1.9 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG05-SE02
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Arsenic16.23 mg/kg dry weight13.2 mg/kg dry weight5.9 mg/kg dry weightNo1.9 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG06-SE03
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Arsenic10.02 mg/kg dry weight2.8 mg/kg dry weight5.9 mg/kg dry weightNo1.9 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG07-SE04
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Arsenic2.28 mg/kg dry weight2.2 mg/kg dry weight5.9 mg/kg dry weightNo1.9 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG08-SE05
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Arsenic1.46 mg/kg dry weight1.5 mg/kg dry weight5.9 mg/kg dry weightNo1.9 - 2.1 mg/kg dry weight WG09-SE06
WaterSurface WaterArsenic1.31 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG01-W01
WaterSurface WaterArsenic0.94 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG03-W02
WaterSurface WaterArsenic0.94 µg/L0.84 µg/L5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterArsenic0.87 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG03-W04
WaterSurface WaterArsenic1.07 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG03-W05
WaterSurface WaterArsenic5.22 µg/L2.05 µg/L5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterArsenic12.3 µg/L2.11 µg/L5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterArsenic25.2 µg/L11.18 µg/L5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterArsenicN/A0.4 µg/L5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterArsenic1.57 µg/L0.99 µg/L5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterArsenic0.96 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG11-W11
WaterSurface WaterArsenic0.92 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG11-W12
WaterSurface WaterArsenic0.96 µg/L0.89 µg/L5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterArsenic1.06 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG11-W14
WaterSurface WaterArsenic0.98 µg/LN/A5 µg/LNo1 µg/L WG12-W15
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids252 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG01-W01
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids221 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG03-W02
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids220 mg/L213 mg/L500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids219 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG03-W04
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids220 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG03-W05
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids716 mg/L600 mg/L500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids817 mg/L618 mg/L500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids865 mg/L955 mg/L500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved SolidsN/A534 mg/L500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids269 mg/L217 mg/L500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids216 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG11-W11
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids216 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG11-W12
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids217 mg/L209 mg/L500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids218 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG11-W14
WaterSurface WaterTotal Dissolved Solids231 mg/LN/A500 mg/LNo290 mg/L WG12-W15
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Radium-22618 Bq/kg dry weightN/A4800 Bq/kg dry weightNo< 20 - 110 Bq/kg dry weight WG01-SE01
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Radium-22618 Bq/kg dry weightN/A4800 Bq/kg dry weightNo< 20 - 110 Bq/kg dry weight WG12-SE08
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Radium-22651 Bq/kg dry weight28 Bq/kg dry weight4800 Bq/kg dry weightNo< 20 - 110 Bq/kg dry weight WG05-SE02
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Radium-22651 Bq/kg dry weight40 Bq/kg dry weight4800 Bq/kg dry weightNo< 20 - 110 Bq/kg dry weight WG06-SE03
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Radium-22653 Bq/kg dry weight20 Bq/kg dry weight4800 Bq/kg dry weightNo< 20 - 110 Bq/kg dry weight WG07-SE04
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Radium-22637 Bq/kg dry weight21 Bq/kg dry weight4800 Bq/kg dry weightNo< 20 - 110 Bq/kg dry weight WG08-SE05
SedimentSediment (0-10 cm)Radium-22622 Bq/kg dry weight< 12 Bq/kg dry weight4800 Bq/kg dry weightNo< 20 - 110 Bq/kg dry weight WG09-SE06
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG01-W01
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG03-W02
WaterSurface WaterRadium-2260.01 Bq/L<0.004Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG03-W04
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG03-W05
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/L0.0053 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/L0.0042 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/L0.0051 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226N/A<0.004 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterRadium-2260.01 Bq/L<0.004 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG11-W11
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG11-W12
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/L<0.004 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG11-W14
WaterSurface WaterRadium-226<0.009 Bq/LN/A0.5 Bq/LNo<0.01 - 0.02 Bq/L WG12-W15
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG01-W01
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG03-W02
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/L<2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG03-W04
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG03-W05
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/L<2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/L<2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/L<2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterTotal CarbonN/A<2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/L<2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG11-W11
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG11-W12
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/L<2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG11-W14
WaterSurface WaterTotal Carbon<2 mg/LN/AN/ANoN/A WG12-W15
WaterSurface WaterTotal Suspended SolidsN/A 1.2 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterTotal Suspended SolidsN/A 6.7 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterTotal Suspended SolidsN/A 5.0 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterTotal Suspended SolidsN/A 15.8 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterTotal Suspended SolidsN/A 2.5 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterTotal Suspended SolidsN/A 55.9 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterTotal Suspended SolidsN/A 0.5 mg/LN/ANoN/A WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG01-W01
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG03-W02
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/L<0.1 mg/L0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG03-W03
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG03-W04
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG03-W05
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/L<0.1 mg/L0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG05-W06
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/L<0.1 mg/L0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG06-W07
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/L<0.1 mg/L0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG07-W08
WaterSurface WaterAmmoniaN/A<0.1 mg/L0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG08-W05
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/L<0.1 mg/L0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG09-W09
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG11-W11
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG11-W12
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/L0.18 mg/L0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG11-W13
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG11-W14
WaterSurface WaterAmmonia<0.1 mg/LN/A0.3 mg/LNoN/A WG12-W15

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

2 For water samples, the results for non-radiological parameters are compared to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Canadian Water Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life; where no CCME guidelines exist, the Health Canada Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality are used.

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

4 N/A - not available

Background

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), licensees of nuclear facilities are required to implement an environmental monitoring program (EMP) 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 areas outside of the Welcome and Port Granby WMF site perimeter were sampled in 2013 and 2014.

2014 Results

The 2014 IEMP sampling plan for the Welcome and Port Granby WMFs sites focused on both nuclear and hazardous contaminants. A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on CNL’s approved EMP, CSA Group standards and the CNSC’s regulatory experience with the site. In 2014, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the perimeter of the Welcome and Port Granby WMF sites, and included water and sediment. View detailed sampling data.

The measured radioactivity of radium-226 in water samples was below levels in federal and provincial environmental quality guidelines and standards. Similarly, the measured radioactivity of radium-226 in sediment samples was below CNSC reference levels, which are based on conservative assumptions about the exposure that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv/a. At this dose level, which represents one-tenth of the CNSC’s public dose limit of 1 mSv/a, no health impacts are expected. Overall, the radiological results indicate safe levels of exposure.

For the non-radiological analyses, the concentrations of analyzed hazardous substances in water samples were below levels in federal and provincial environmental quality guidelines and standards, with the exception of arsenic at one location and total dissolved solids (TDS) at four locations. The concentrations of analyzed hazardous substances in sediment samples were below levels in federal and provincial environmental quality guidelines and standards, with the exception of arsenic at one location. The slightly elevated arsenic concentrations measured in water and sediment samples along Brand’s Creek are consistent with monitoring results reported by the licensee. The federal guidelines for TDS are an aesthetic objective only and the results measured do not pose any concern for the environment or human health. Even when arsenic and TDS concentrations are considered, the non-radiological results are still indicative of levels where no adverse health effects are expected.

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.

2013 Results

The 2013 IEMP sampling plan for the Welcome and Port Granby WMFs sites focused on both nuclear and hazardous contaminants. A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on CNL’s approved EMP, CSA Group standards and the CNSC’s regulatory experience with the site. In 2013, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the perimeter of the Welcome and Port Granby WMF sites, and included water and sediment. View detailed sampling data.

The measured radioactivity of radium-226 in water samples was below levels in federal and provincial environmental quality guidelines and standards. Similarly, the measured radioactivity of radium-226 in sediment samples was below CNSC reference levels, which are based on conservative assumptions about the exposure that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv/a. At this dose level, which represents one-tenth of the CNSC’s public dose limit of 1 mSv/a, no health impacts are expected. Overall, the radiological results indicate safe levels of exposure.

For the non-radiological analyses, the concentrations of analyzed hazardous substances in water samples were below levels in federal and provincial environmental quality guidelines and standards, with the exception of arsenic at three locations and TDS at three locations. The concentrations of analyzed hazardous substances in sediment samples were below levels in federal and provincial environmental quality guidelines and standards, and within natural background levels, with the exception of arsenic at three locations. These slightly elevated arsenic concentrations measured in water and sediment samples along Brand’s Creek are consistent with monitoring results reported by the licensee. The federal guidelines for TDS are an aesthetic objective only and the results measured do not pose any concern for the environment or human health. Even when arsenic and TDS concentrations are considered, the non-radiological results are still indicative of levels where no adverse health effects are expected.

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 from 2013 and 2014 indicate that the public and the environment in the vicinity of the Welcome and Port Granby WMF sites are protected and safe and that there are no adverse environmental and health effects as a result of site operations. These results are consistent with the results submitted by CNL, demonstrating that the licensee’s environmental protection program protects the health and safety of people and the environment.