Warning: Javascript must be enabled within your browser's settings for this site to function properly.

Your browser appears to be out of date, and is not supported by this site. For the best experience, we recommend that you upgrade to a more modern browser. You can find a list of modern browsers from www.browsehappy.com.

We use technical and analytics cookies data to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. For more information visit our Privacy Page.

BWXT $   $  
As of . Minimum 20 minute delay.

Environmental Monitoring

The safety of our employees, members of the public and the environment is our first priority. At our facilities in Peterborough and Toronto, emissions are measured to ensure we are operating in a safe and responsible manner. Monitoring results show that our facilities have very low emissions.

Additional information on environmental performance for both the Toronto and Peterborough facilities can be found in the latest Annual Compliance Reports here.  

About Regulation Limits:

Airborne and liquid effluent discharged from fuel fabrication facilities like BWXT NEC in Peterborough and Toronto are regulated by concentration limits. Action Levels and our own Internal Control Levels are set at just a fraction of Licence Release Limits, which are set by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), to keep public exposure to emissions and any radiation as low as possible. 

Although Action Levels are set below Licence Release Limits, exceeding an Action Level is considered a CNSC reportable event in which BWXT NEC must notify the Commission within 24 hours of becoming aware that an Action Level has been exceeded. Accordingly, BWXT NEC has established Internal Control Levels for various radiological and environmental parameters that are set even lower than Action Levels to act as an early warning system. An Internal Control Level exceedance results in internal investigation and corrective and preventive action.

Below we have shared information on our emissions and outlined recent data from our 2021 Annual Compliance Reports. If you have any questions, please contact us at questions@bwxt.com or 1.855.696.9588 (toll-free).

Toronto Uranium

Toronto Uranium Air Monitoring

The Toronto facility performs both continuous in-stack sampling and perimeter air sampling for uranium.

Stack Sampling: Continuous in-stack sampling is conducted for all six stacks at the facility. A sample of air is drawn across a filter capable of trapping uranium dust. The samples are analyzed in-house daily and verified externally by an independent laboratory. Recent stack air monitoring results are as follows:

Perimeter Sampling: Perimeter samples are high-volume air samples drawn at five positions strategically located around the facility perimeter. Boundary samples are analyzed externally by an independent laboratory. In both cases the external independent laboratory tests the filter papers by delayed neutron activation analysis. Recent perimeter air sampling results are as follows:

Toronto Uranium Water Monitoring

Water is used in the production process and to clean protective clothing, floors and other janitorial functions. The water is first held in storage tanks at the facility, treated to remove uranium dioxide, tested and only released in batches once the test results confirm it meets release requirements. Recent water monitoring results are as follows:

Note: Uranium in water concentrations and water discharge quantities are subject to normal variations from year to year, depending on production activities, cleaning and maintenance activities that occur during a given year.

Toronto Uranium Soil Sampling

In Ontario, background levels of uranium in soil are generally below 2.5 µg/g (parts per million (ppm)). The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) established soil quality guidelines to protect human health and the natural environment.

Soil sampling for uranium is conducted annually by a third-party consultant. Samples of surface soil are retrieved from locations both onsite and in the surrounding community. The sampling methodology used is based on Ministry of the Environment Conservation & Parks guidelines.

Peterborough Uranium

Peterborough Uranium Air Monitoring

Stack Sampling: Continuous in-stack sampling is conducted for the single process uranium air emission point. A sample of air is drawn across a filter capable of trapping uranium dust. The samples are analyzed by an independent laboratory. Due to the nature of the process and our stack sample results to-date, perimeter monitoring is not required. Recent stack air monitoring results are as follows:

Peterborough Uranium Water Monitoring

Waste water is generated from routine cleaning activities in the fuel bundle assembly area. All potentially uranium-contaminated waste water is held in a drum, filtered and samples are sent to an external laboratory for analysis. This waste water is only released to the sanitary sewer once the test results confirm it meets release requirements. Recent water monitoring results are as follows:

Note: Uranium in water concentrations and water discharge quantities are subject to normal variations from year to year, depending on production activities, cleaning and maintenance activities that occur during a given year.

Peterborough Uranium Soil Sampling

In Ontario, background levels of uranium in soil are generally below 2.5 µg/g (parts per million (ppm)). The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) established soil quality guidelines to protect human health and the natural environment.

Soil sampling for uranium began in 2021 and will be conducted annually by a third-party consultant. Samples of surface soil are retrieved from locations surrounding the facility. The sampling methodology used is based on Ministry of the Environment Conservation & Parks guidelines.

Peterborough Beryllium

Beryllium is used as part of the fuel bundle manufacturing process.

Peterborough Beryllium Air Monitoring

Continuous in-stack monitoring is conducted for the three beryllium air emission points. A sample of air is drawn across a filter capable of trapping beryllium. The filter is analyzed for beryllium at an external laboratory.

Stack monitoring is not required by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) as BWXT NEC’s emissions are deemed to be insignificant in accordance with MECP methodology. Regardless, BWXT NEC monitors the concentration of beryllium to air. Recent stack monitoring results are as follows:

Peterborough Beryllium Water Monitoring

Waste water is generated from equipment use and cleaning activities in the beryllium classified zones. Water passes through a weir settling system prior to release to the sanitary sewer. Regular sampling of the beryllium waste water is conducted via a 24-hour composite sample taken from the outflow lines which is sent for analysis externally by an independent laboratory. Recent water monitoring results are as follows:

Peterborough Beryllium Soil Sampling

In Canada, levels of beryllium in soil range from 0.25 mg/kg to 16 mg/kg and averages 0.75 mg/kg. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) established soil quality guidelines to protect human health and the natural environment.

Soil sampling for beryllium began in 2020 and will be conducted annually by a third-party consultant. Samples of surface soil are retrieved from locations in accordance with a documented plan. The sampling methodology used is based on Ministry of the Environment Conservation & Parks guidelines.

Read More:

    Environmental Risk Assessment: Licensees are required by the CNSC to have an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA), which is to be updated on a five-year cycle, or whenever a significant change occurs in the facility or activity. The ERA is to be conducted in accordance with the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) N288.6-12, Environmental risk assessments at Class I nuclear facilities and uranium mines and mills, 2012.

    The purpose of an ERA is to identify possible environmental effects, propose measures to mitigate adverse effects, predict if there will be significant adverse environmental effects after mitigation is applied, minimize or avoid adverse environmental effects before they occur, and incorporate environmental factors into decision making.

    BWXT NEC’s Peterborough and Toronto facilities have existing ERAs that were completed in 2018. These ERAs remain in effect and will continue to be the governing ERAs so long as BWXT NEC’s operations continue as they do today.

    An additional consolidated ERA was undertaken to determine whether there is a potential for environmental (i.e. ecological and human health) effects from current or possible future emissions or physical stressors associated with producing pellets at BWXT NEC’s Peterborough facility. This consolidated ERA is available here.

    Preliminary Decommissioning Plan:  BWXT NEC maintains a preliminary decommissioning plan (PDP) and financial guarantees in accordance with CNSC Regulatory Guide G-219 Decommissioning Planning for Licensed Activities, CNSC Regulatory Guide G-206 Financial Guarantees for the Decommissioning of Licensed Activities, and CSA N294-09 Decommissioning of Facilities Containing Nuclear Substances. The PDP strategy and end-state objective of decommissioning is to release the site from regulatory control for industrial use or demolition of the structures. These are reviewed at least once every five years.

    Read More:

    Soil Sampling Results:  Full soil sampling results for the Peterborough facility can be found here:

    Environmental Dashboards:  To continue to demonstrate transparency and provide information to the public, BWXT NEC has developed Environmental Dashboards to provide more detail on our low emissions. These documents will be updated throughout the year when new data becomes available.