Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station

Publication date: June 22, 2016

New Brunswick Power Corporation (NB Power) is licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to operate the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS), which is situated 2 km northeast of Point Lepreau, NB and 40 km southwest of Saint John, NB. The facility is located on the Lepreau Peninsula, on the northern shore of the Bay of Fundy. The station began operations in 1982 and consists of a single CANDU reactor with a rated capacity of 705 megawatts.

The Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) results for 2014 and 2015 confirm that the public and the environment around the PLNGS facility are safe and that there are no health impacts.

Legend

[ ] Guideline/Reference Level

 

Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS)

Sample Type Sample Description Parameter 2014 Result 2015 Result Guideline/
Reference Level
Expected Health Impact (Yes/No) Background Sample Code
AirIodine-131<0.003 Bq/m3N/A0.288 Bq/m3NoN/A PL04-A01
AirIodine-131<0.003 Bq/m3N/A0.288 Bq/m3NoN/A PL05-A02
AirCesium-137N/A <0.000063 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A PL06-A06
AirCobalt-60N/A<0.000072 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A PL06-A06
AirCesium-137<0.0004 Bq/m3N/A2.56 Bq/m3NoN/A PL09-A03
AirIodine-131<0.003 Bq/m3N/A0.288 Bq/m3NoN/A PL09-A03
AirCesium-137N/A <0.000063 Bq/m32.56 Bq/m3NoN/A PL16-A05
AirCobalt-60N/A<0.000072 Bq/m30.228 Bq/m3NoN/A PL16-A05
FoodstuffsMilk - RawTritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A5560 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL01-F01
FoodstuffsMilk - RawOrganically Bound Tritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A2,260 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL01-F01
FoodstuffsBlackberriesTritium6.8 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A123,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F02
FoodstuffsBlackberriesOrganically Bound Tritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A50,300 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F02
FoodstuffsCarrotsTritium7 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A104,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F03
FoodstuffsCarrotsOrganically Bound Tritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weightN/A45,200 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F03
FoodstuffsLettuce / CarrotsTritium7.4 Bq/kg fresh weight13.1 Bq/kg fresh weight104,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F04
FoodstuffsLettuce / CarrotsOrganically Bound Tritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight1.6 Bq/kg fresh weight45,200 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F04
FoodstuffsBeet greensTritiumN/A9.9 Bq/kg fresh weight104,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F06
FoodstuffsBeet greensOrganically Bound TritiumN/A<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight45,200 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F06
FoodstuffsApplesTritium16 Bq/kg fresh weight40.9 Bq/kg fresh weight123,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F14
FoodstuffsApplesOrganically Bound Tritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight2.8 Bq/kg fresh weight50,300 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F14
FoodstuffsApplesCesium-137N/A<0.82 Bq/kg fresh weight258 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F14
FoodstuffsApplesCobalt-60N/A<0.97 Bq/kg fresh weight242 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-F14
FoodstuffsFishTritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight17.0 Bq/kg fresh weight488,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F05
FoodstuffsFishOrganically Bound Tritium<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight15.9 Bq/kg fresh weight212,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F05
FoodstuffsFishCesium-137N/A<0.89 Bq/kg fresh weight1,040 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F05
FoodstuffsFishCobalt-60N/A<0.99 Bq/kg fresh weight1,350 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F05
FoodstuffsShellfishTritiumN/A17.0 Bq/kg fresh weight2,400,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F08
FoodstuffsShellfishOrganically Bound TritiumN/A<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight1,040,000 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F08
FoodstuffsShellfishCesium-137N/A<1.6 Bq/kg fresh weight3,700 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F08
FoodstuffsShellfishCobalt-60N/A<1.7 Bq/kg fresh weight11,900 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL12-F08
SedimentSediment 0-5 cmCesium-137<0.65 Bq/kg dry weightN/A37,300 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL03-SE01
SedimentSediment 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.81 Bq/kg dry weightN/A5,870 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL03-SE01
SedimentSediment 0-5 cmCesium-137N/A<0.66 Bq/kg dry weight37,300 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL06-SE02
SedimentSediment 0-5 cmCobalt-60N/A<0.74 Bq/kg dry weight5,870 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL06-SE02
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCesium-137N/A23.2 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL04-S08
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCobalt-60N/A<1.4 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL04-S08
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCesium-137N/A10.6 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL06-S07
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCobalt-60N/A<1.4 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL06-S07
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCesium-13742.4 Bq/kg dry weightN/A58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL07-S01
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.81 Bq/kg dry weightN/A14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL07-S01
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCesium-1372.44 Bq/kg dry weightN/A58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL10-S02
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.81 Bq/kg dry weightN/A14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL10-S02
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCesium-137<0.65 Bq/kg dry weight39.2 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL11-S03
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.81 Bq/kg dry weight<1.4 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL11-S03
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCesium-1378.6 Bq/kg dry weightN/A58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL18-S04
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.81 Bq/kg dry weightN/A14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL18-S04
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCesium-137N/A13.6 Bq/kg dry weight58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL16-S06
SoilSoil 0-5 cmCobalt-60N/A<1.4 Bq/kg dry weight14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL16-S06
SoilSand 0-5 cmCesium-1371.12 Bq/kg dry weightN/A58.6 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL15-S05
SoilSand 0-5 cmCobalt-60<0.81 Bq/kg dry weightN/A14 Bq/kg dry weightNoN/A PL15-S05
WaterWell WaterTritium8.5 Bq/LN/A7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PL04-W02
WaterWell WaterGross Beta<0.16 Bq/LN/A1 Bq/LNoN/A PL04-W02
WaterWell WaterCesium-137<0.24 Bq/LN/A10.0 Bq/LNoN/A PL04-W02
WaterWell WaterTritium32 Bq/LN/A7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PL05-W03
WaterWell WaterGross Beta<0.16 Bq/LN/A1 Bq/LNoN/A PL05-W03
WaterWell WaterCesium-137<0.24 Bq/LN/A10.0 Bq/LNoN/A PL05-W03
WaterSurface WaterTritium15 Bq/L3.5 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W04
WaterSurface WaterCesium-137<0.24 Bq/L<0.23 Bq/L10.0 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W04
WaterSurface WaterCobalt-60N/A<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W04
WaterStream / Ground WaterTritiumN/A46.0 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W08
WaterStream / Ground WaterGross BetaN/A<0.05 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W08
WaterStream / Ground WaterCesium-137N/A<0.23 Bq/L10.0 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W08
WaterStream / Ground WaterGross AlphaN/A<0.05 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W08
WaterStream / Ground WaterCobalt-60N/A<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PL06-W08
WaterSurface WaterTritium385 Bq/LN/A7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PL08-W05
WaterSurface WaterGross Beta<0.16 Bq/LN/A1 Bq/LNoN/A PL08-W05
WaterSurface WaterCesium-137<0.24 Bq/LN/A10.0 Bq/LNoN/A PL08-W05
WaterWell WaterTritium14 Bq/L17.9 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PL11-W06
WaterWell WaterGross Beta<0.16 Bq/L0.11 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PL11-W06
WaterWell WaterCesium-137<0.24 Bq/L<0.23 Bq/L10.0 Bq/LNoN/A PL11-W06
WaterWell WaterGross AlphaN/A<0.05 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PL11-W06
WaterWell WaterCobalt-60N/A<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PL11-W06
WaterWell WaterTritiumN/A9.9 Bq/L7,000 Bq/LNoN/A PL16-W07
WaterWell WaterGross BetaN/A0.08 Bq/L1 Bq/LNoN/A PL16-W07
WaterWell WaterCesium-137N/A<0.23 Bq/L10.0 Bq/LNoN/A PL16-W07
WaterWell WaterGross AlphaN/A<0.05 Bq/L0.5 Bq/LNoN/A PL16-W07
WaterWell WaterCobalt-60N/A<0.28 Bq/L12.1 Bq/LNoN/A PL16-W07
VegetationCesium-137N/A<5.8 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL16-V01
VegetationCesium-137N/A<5.8 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL06-V02
VegetationCesium-137N/A<5.8 Bq/kg fresh weight52 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-V03
VegetationCobalt-60N/A<6.4 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL16-V01
VegetationCobalt-60N/A<6.4 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL06-V02
VegetationCobalt-60N/A<6.4 Bq/kg fresh weight605 Bq/kg fresh weightNoN/A PL04-V03

1 The < symbol indicates that a result is below the provided laboratory analytical detection limit.

2 N/A – not available

3 For radiological parameters where no guidelines exist, CNSC reference levels were established based on conservative assumptions using CSA Standard N288.1-14. The reference level for a particular radionuclide in a particular medium (e.g., water, air, food) represents the activity concentration that would result in a dose of 0.1 millisieverts/year (mSv/a), a dose at which no health impacts are expected.

4 Tritiated water (HTO) is a radioactive form of water in which the usual hydrogen atoms in H2O are replaced with tritium. Elemental Tritium (HT) refers to the radioactive form of hydrogen gas.

Background

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), licensees of nuclear facilities are required to implement an environmental monitoring program (EMP) to demonstrate that the public and the environment are protected from emissions related to the facility’s nuclear activities. The results of these monitoring programs are submitted to the CNSC to ensure compliance with applicable guidelines and limits, as set out in regulations that oversee Canada’s nuclear industry.

The CNSC has implemented its IEMP to verify that the public and the environment around licensed nuclear facilities are safe. It is separate from, but complementary to, the CNSC’s ongoing compliance verification program. The IEMP involves taking samples from public areas around the facilities, and measuring and analyzing the amount of radiological (nuclear) and hazardous substances in those samples. CNSC staff collect the samples and send them to the CNSC’s state-of-the-art laboratory for testing and analysis. Since the implementation of the IEMP, the areas outside the PLNGS site perimeter were sampled in 2014 and 2015.

2015 Results

The 2015 IEMP sampling plan for the PLNGS site focused on nuclear contaminants. A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on NB Power’s approved environmental monitoring program, CSA Group standards and the CNSC’s regulatory experience with the site. In 2015, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the PLNGS site perimeter and included surface and well water, soil and river sediment, air particulates, grass, and foodstuffs such as fish, shellfish and produce from local farms outside of the PLNGS perimeter fence. View detailed sampling data.

The measured radioactivity in all the samples with detectable radionuclide concentrations were below CNSC reference levels. While remaining below the reference level, the concentration of Cs-137 in one soil sample approached the reference level. It must be noted that Cs-137 in this region originates from fallout of weapons tests and reactor accidents (Chernobyl and Fukushima), and is not the result of NB Power’s operations. CNSC reference levels are based on conservative assumptions about the exposure that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv/year, which represents one-tenth of the CNSC’s public dose limit of 1 mSv/year. Overall, the results indicate that no health impacts are expected at this dose level.

To obtain the full technical IEMP report, contact us at cnsc.information.ccsn@canada.ca, or call 613-995-5894 or 1-800-668-5284 (in Canada). Please provide the name of the facility and the report year.

2014 Results

The 2014 IEMP sampling plan for the PLNGS site focused on radiological aspects. A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on NB Power’s approved Operational Radiological Environmental Monitoring Program (OREMP). In 2014, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the PLNGS site perimeter and included air particulate, surface water, soil and sediment, and food such as milk, fish and produce from local farms outside of the PLNGS perimeter fence. View detailed sampling data.

The radioactivity measured in water, sediment, and soil samples, as well as samples of milk and meat, were below available guidelines and CNSC reference levels. While remaining below it, the concentration of Cs-137 in one soil sample approached the reference level. It must be noted that Cs-137 in this region originates from fallout of weapons tests and reactor accidents (Chernobyl and Fukushima), and is not the result of NB Power’s operations. CNSC reference levels are based on conservative assumptions about the exposure that would result in a dose of 0.1 mSv/year. No health impacts are expected at this dose level. The tritiated water result at sampling location PL08-W05 is higher than the other sample results. This is due to the sample location’s proximity to an area that is affected by higher tritium levels. The IEMP result remains well below the drinking water guidelines and is in the same range as NB Power’s reported values.

To obtain the full technical IEMP report, contact us at cnsc.information.ccsn@canada.ca, or call 613-995-5894 or 1-800-668-5284 (in Canada). Please provide the name of the facility and the report year.

Conclusions

The IEMP results indicate that the public and the environment in the vicinity of the PLNGS facility are safe and that there are no health impacts. These results are consistent with the results submitted by NB Power, demonstrating that the licensee’s environmental protection program protects the health and safety of people and the environment.