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CNSC response to a CBC article on the Nuclear Power Demonstration Project

We’ve read your article on the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) project and would like to provide you with additional information that you may wish to add to your current article or in future articles.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulates releases of tritium to the environment through several regulatory and licensing requirements, including limits on how much tritium can be released by each nuclear facility.

The report referenced in your article has been submitted to the CNSC as part of the ongoing environmental assessment process for the decommissioning of the NPD facility. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has until April 19, 2018 to respond to all government, Indigenous and public comments. A Commission hearing will be held at a later date to decide whether the project can proceed.

It should be noted that the CNSC’s independent environmental monitoring along the Ottawa River shows very low levels of tritium and heavy metals, indicating that the Ottawa River has not been impacted by CNL facilities. At below 5 Bq/l, tritium levels are well below the 7,000 Bq/l drinking water guidelines and similar to background levels. CNSC staff will be carrying out a sampling campaign at the NPD facility later this year, the results of which will be made public.

As Canada’s nuclear regulator, the CNSC will continue ongoing oversight of this facility to ensure that regulatory requirements are met and that the licensee is, and remains, qualified to undertake activities safely and in a manner that will protect the public and the environment.

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