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Environmental Risk Assessment

Licensees are required by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to have an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA), which is to be updated on a five-year cycle, or whenever 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

In our request to the CNSC to renew BWXT NEC’s Nuclear Fuel Facility Operating Licence, BWXT NEC is seeking the flexibility during the proposed next 10-year licence period to permit BWXT NEC to conduct natural uranium pelleting operations at both its Peterborough and Toronto facilities. 

Even though there is currently no plan to change the current state of operations, an 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. 

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. 

During the licence renewal process, the CNSC will review the ERA and, if necessary, request additional information to aid its assessment of the licence renewal application.

Read the ERA Here

Conclusions:

  • Overall, estimated emissions associated with consolidated operations at the Peterborough facility are determined to be low.
  • All radiological and non-radiological emissions are, and will continue to be, well-below regulatory limits.
  • For human health, there are no radiological or non-radiological risks to members of the public.
  • For ecological health, there are no radiological or non-radiological risks to the environment or wildlife.
  • Potential impacts of future activities at the Peterborough facility, should pelleting occur, are anticipated to be similar to the existing Toronto operation which does not cause any adverse environmental or human health impacts. 
  • BWXT NEC has a well-established and mature environmental monitoring program. Environmental monitoring programs in Toronto would be applied to the Peterborough operations and are considered effective in protecting human health and the environment.

No Predicted Radiological or Non-Radiological Risk to Human Health or the Environment