Regulatory action – Richmond Metals Recycling Inc.

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and associated regulations, various levels of regulatory action can be taken by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment. 

2016

October 4,  2016

CNSC publishes a report on the cleanup of Richmond Metals Recycling Inc.

Today, the CNSC published a report on the cleanup of Richmond Metals Recycling Inc. (Richmond Metals). On November 21, 2013, Richmond Metals was issued a two-year waste nuclear substance licence to clean zirconium tubes contaminated with natural uranium. In July 2015, the licensee notified the CNSC of its intention to cease operations and seek release of the facility from CNSC regulatory control. In order to revoke the licence, CNSC staff required Richmond Metals to develop a detailed plan for the cleanup and decontamination of its facility.

The final cleanup and decontamination work was planned and carried out under the supervision of a qualified third party (Energy Solutions). CNSC staff conducted independent radiological surveys and sampling at the facility to verify that all regulatory requirements and cleanup criteria were met.

As of November 18, 2015, Richmond Metals Recycling Inc. was no longer subject to CNSC regulatory control, and the facility was released for unrestricted public use.

2015

November 20, 2015

Today, the CNSC announced that it has revoked Richmond Metal Recycling Inc.’s licence, effective November 18, 2015. Richmond Metals Recycling Inc., based in Mississauga, ON, was an industrial metal recycling company specializing in zirconium tube recycling. The licensee was authorized to clean metal tubes contaminated with natural uranium.

The CNSC confirmed that Richmond Metals Recycling Inc. complied with all of the terms and conditions of the order issued on September 15, 2015. The order required the company to submit a decommissioning plan for approval by the CNSC, to safely decommission the facility and to submit a report on the decommissioning activities. All of this work has been completed to the satisfaction of CNSC staff. The facility site was tested for contamination by CNSC staff and a qualified independent third party. All results demonstrate no risk to the health and safety of the public or the environment. The site can now be used for other industrial purposes.

September 15, 2015

Order to Richmond Metals Recycling Inc.

Today, the CNSC announced it had issued an order to Richmond Metals Recycling Inc., in Mississauga, ON. Richmond Metals currently holds a CNSC licence authorizing the cleaning of metal tubes contaminated with natural uranium.

The order was issued on September 15, 2015, after a CNSC inspection found small amounts of radioactive contamination in the facility. Radioactive contamination is the deposition of radioactive substances on surfaces where they are not supposed to be.

The order requires Richmond Metals to check all items before they can be removed from the facility, to submit a facility decommissioning plan for approval by the CNSC, to decommission the facility and to submit a report on the decommissioning. CNSC inspectors will visit the site to verify that the facility has been decommissioned according to the approved plan.

According to the information on which the order was based, items at Richmond Metals were contaminated, and the contamination levels were measured in counts per minute (cpm). The CNSC uses tools that detect and measure the energy that is released by radioactive materials. This unit of measurement is called the becquerel (Bq). 1 Bq = 1 disintegration per second. Cpm is simply how many Bqs are detected every minute. The cpm of the areas highlighted in the Richmond Metals order are low levels and posed no immediate risk.

The CNSC requires these measures to protect the health and safety of workers and the public, as well as the environment.

July 3, 2015

Order to Richmond Metals Recycling Inc.

On July 3, 2015, the CNSC announced it had issued an order to Richmond Metals Recycling Inc., in Mississauga, Ontario. Richmond Metals currently holds a CNSC licence authorizing the cleaning of metal tubes contaminated with natural uranium.

The order was issued on June 25, 2015, after the licensee failed to adequately respond to the CNSC’s repeated requests for information.

The order requires Richmond Metals to immediately cease all operations authorized under their licence and place all drums containing contaminated zirconium tubes into safe storage until there are a sufficient number of qualified workers to carry on the licensed activity safely, in accordance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (the Act), the regulations made under the Act and the licence. The licensee must also provide a satisfactory response to the CNSC’s Type II inspection report of November 17, 2014, and to submit reports as required by the licence. The CNSC requires these measures to protect the health and safety of workers and the public, as well as the environment.

The CNSC requires these measures to protect the health and safety of workers and the public, as well as the environment.