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BWXT Completes Soil Sampling in Peterborough

15 September 2020

(PETERBOROUGH, ON – September 15, 2020) – BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT), a subsidiary of BWXT Canada Ltd., announced today that it has completed soil sampling for the presence of beryllium at several sites in Peterborough, including the Prince of Wales Public School across from its facility on Monaghan Road.

Beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal found in the earth’s crust and can be found in everything from cell phones and airbag sensors to aircrafts and pacemakers. Beryllium, which can be hazardous if its use is not properly controlled, is used in small amounts at BWXT’s Peterborough operations to join portions of the fuel bundle together. Its use is controlled by a robust program that protects the health and safety of employees, the public and the environment.

Soil samples were obtained and analyzed by two independent outside laboratories. All results are well below the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s (CCME) guidelines for the protection of environmental health (4 mg/kg) and human health (75 mg/kg). According to the CCME, concentration of beryllium in soil in Canada ranges from 0.25 mg/kg to 16 mg/kg and averages 0.75 mg/kg, whereas samples taken for BWXT did not exceed 0.52 mg/kg. The full report is available here.

“These test results that are all significantly lower than the level regarded as safe by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks confirm that our controls are effective and that our operations do not negatively impact the public or the environment,” said John MacQuarrie, president of BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. “BWXT is proud that our nuclear fuel production in Peterborough safely contributes to the fight against climate change by supporting the production of clean electricity that does not create greenhouse gases.”

BWXT’s sampling for the presence of beryllium in soil is unrelated to the potential for conducting pelleting in Peterborough, which was the subject of an amendment request in the recent licence renewal application and public hearing. No beryllium is used in the pelleting process.


About BWXT Canada Ltd.

BWXT Canada Ltd. (BWXT Canada) has over 60 years of expertise and experience in the design, manufacturing, commissioning and service of nuclear power generation equipment. This includes steam generators, nuclear fuel and fuel components, critical plant components, parts and related plant services. BWXT Canada’s sister company, BWXT ITG Canada, Inc. (BWXT ITG) provides its customers, who conduct life-saving medical procedures for patients around the world, the benefit of decades of experience in the development, manufacturing, packaging and delivery of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, BWXT in Canada has approximately 1,500 employees at locations in Cambridge, Dundas, Peterborough, Toronto, Arnprior, Pickering, Port Elgin, Owen Sound, Kanata and Oakville, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. BWXT Canada is a subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT). Follow us on Twitter @BWXTech and learn more at www.bwxt.com.

Media Contact

Natalie Cutler
Director, Communications, BWXT Canada Ltd.