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Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: Gentilly-2 Nuclear Facility

Hydro-Québec is licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to operate the Gentilly-2 Facilities (G-2), located in Bécancour, Quebec. The G-2 nuclear power reactor was permanently shut down in December 2012. Since then, Hydro-Québec has conducted activities to stabilize and transition the G-2 Facilities to safe storage. Hydro-Québec also operates a nuclear waste management facility at the site. The licensee has a comprehensive environmental protection program to monitor and control radioactive and hazardous substances released from the site, determine concentrations in the environment, and assess exposure to the public.

The Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) results for 2015, 2016 and 2018 indicate that the public and environment near the G-2 Facilities are protected and that there are no expected health or environmental impacts. 


Gentilly-2 Nuclear Facility


Results Table

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

2 N/A – not available


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 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 radioactiveand hazardous substances in those samples. CNSC staff collect the samples and send them to the CNSC’s independent laboratory for testing and analysis. Since the implementation of the IEMP, the area outside of the G-2 facility perimeter was sampled in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

2015, 2016 and 2018 results

All IEMP sampling plans for the G-2 site focused on radioactive contaminants. Each year’s site-specific sampling plan was developed based on the licensee’s approved environmental monitoring program and the CNSC’s regulatory experience with the site. CNSC staff collected air, soil, vegetation, water and food samples (such as milk and produce from local farms) in publicly accessible areas outside the G-2 site perimeter. The levels of radioactivity measured in these samples were below available guidelines and CNSC screening levels. CNSC screening 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. View detailed sampling data.


The IEMP results for 2015, 2016 and 2018 confirm that the public and the environment in the vicinity of the Gentilly-2 Facilities are protected and that there are no expected health impacts. These results are consistent with the results submitted by Hydro-Québec, confirming that the licensee’s environmental protection program protects the health and safety of people and the environment.

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

Focus on health

The CNSC also conducts studies to assess the health of the public near nuclear facilities, including nuclear generating stations. For example, the CNSC conducted a large ecological study looking at radiation exposure and the incidence of cancer around Ontario nuclear generating stations. This study concluded that doses to the public were well below levels of natural background radiation and that people who live near nuclear generating stations are as healthy as the rest of Canada’s general population. Click here to access the CNSC’s library of health studies and third-party research.

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