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People Strong - Innovation Driven

What is Radiation?

Radiation is energy in the form of waves or particles. Radiation doesn’t just come from nuclear energy. It’s all around us – and we’re exposed to both natural and man-made sources of radiation daily. There are two types of radiation, ionizing and non-ionizing. Some examples of non-ionizing radiation include microwaves, radio waves and television signals. Ionizing radiation comes from natural sources and man-made sources such as x-ray machines and nuclear power plants.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulates the nuclear energy industry to limit the radiation that employees and members of the public receive. Using studies performed by the International Commission on Radiological Protection on acceptable levels of radiation exposure, the CNSC has set limits of 50 mSv (millisievert) per year, or 100 mSv per five-year span for workers. The regulatory limit for members of the public is 1 mSv and BWXT NEC is well below that limit. The average natural background radiation exposure from living in Canada is 1.8 mSv. Additional information on environmental performance for Toronto and Peterborough can be found in the latest Annual Compliance Report.

BWXT NEC has a comprehensive radiation protection program and is guided by the principles of ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable). We use the best available technology to restrict uranium emissions and ensure emissions from our facilities are as low as possible. The small amount of uranium emissions that do occur does not pose a risk to members of the public.