Independent Environmental Monitoring Program: SRB Technologies
Publication date: August 30, 2019
SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc. (SRB) is licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to operate the SRB nuclear substance processing facility, located in Pembroke, Ontario. SRB uses tritium, a nuclear substance, to develop self-luminous emergency exit signs, military applications such as landmine markers, watch dials and other safety products not requiring batteries or other external sources of power. SRB maintains a comprehensive environmental protection program to monitor and control radioactive and hazardous substances released from the facility, determine concentrations of contaminants in the environment, and assess exposure to the public.
The Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) results for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018 confirm that the public and the environment around the SRB facility are protected and that there are no expected health impacts.
- Interactive map
- Data table SRB Technologies CSV (28 kb)
- Overview of the sampling campaign
- Results: (2013, 2014 and 2015) (2018)
[ ] Guideline/Reference Level
|Sample Type||Sample Description||Parameter||2013||2014||2015||2018||Guideline/
|Expected Health Impact (Yes/No)||Sample Code|
|Food||Kale||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F01|
|Food||Kales||Tritium||N/A||180 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F01|
|Food||Tomatoes||Tritium||89.63 Bq/kg fresh weight||43.2 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F02|
|Food||Potatoes||Tritium||N/A||37 Bq/kg fresh weight||4.9 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||279,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F03|
|Food||Potatoes||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||121,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F03|
|Food||Green Peppers||Tritium||N/A||N/A||7.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F06|
|Food||Green Peppers||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||45,200 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F06|
|Food||Strawberries||Tritium||35.8 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F06|
|Food||Carrots||Tritium||19.3 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F07|
|Food||Zucchinis||Tritium||25.3 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F08|
|Food||Cucumbers||Tritium||18.7 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-F09|
|Soil||Surface||Tritium||N/A||N/A||<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-S06|
|Soil||Surface||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||5.0 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||27,900,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-S06|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Tritium||N/A||N/A||6.4 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-V05|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||9.9 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR01-V05|
|Soil||0 - 5 cm||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||42.0 Bq/kg||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR02-S01|
|Soil||Surface||Tritium||54.88 Bq/kg fresh weight||12.7 Bq/kg fresh weight||23.6 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR02-S01|
|Soil||Surface||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||30.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||27,900,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR02-S01|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Tritium||560.33 Bq/kg fresh weight||34.3 Bq/kg fresh weight||61.8 Bq/kg fresh weight||72.8 Bq/kg||10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR02-V01|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||245.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||242.0 Bq/kg||73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR02-V01|
|Air||Ambient||Tritium||12 Bq/m3||2.4 Bq/m3||N/A||N/A||340 Bq/m3||No||SR03-A01|
|Air||Ambient||Elemental Tritium||7.7 Bq/m3||3.7 Bq/m3||N/A||N/A||5,100,000 Bq/m3||No||SR03-A01|
|Air||Ambient||Tritium||N/A||N/A||46.7 Bq/m3||<1.9 Bq/m3||340 Bq/m3||No||SR03-A03|
|Air||Ambient||Elemental Tritium||N/A||N/A||581.7 Bq/m3||<1.9 Bq/m3||5,100,000 Bq/m3||No||SR03-A03|
|Soil||0 - 5 cm||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||61.9 Bq/kg||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR03-S02|
|Soil||Surface||Tritium||73.43 Bq/kg fresh weight||13.7 Bq/kg fresh weight||87.1 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR03-S02|
|Soil||Surface||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||29.4 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||27,900,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR03-S02|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Tritium||177.8 Bq/kg fresh weight||48.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||328.9 Bq/kg fresh weight||119.7 Bq/kg||10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR03-V02|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||370.7 Bq/kg fresh weight||197.4 Bq/kg||73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR03-V02|
|Food||Red Wine||Tritium||10.8 Bq/L||14.6 Bq/L||N/A||N/A||45,100 Bq/L||No||SR04-F04|
|Soil||Surface||Tritium||31.52 Bq/kg fresh weight||57.2 Bq/kg fresh weight||38.0 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR05-S03|
|Soil||Surface||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||42.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||27,900,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR05-S03|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Tritium||101.22 Bq/kg fresh weight||130 Bq/kg fresh weight||111.1 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR05-V03|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||292.4 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR05-V03|
|Food||Apples||Tritium||93.43 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR06-F10|
|Food||Tomatoes||Tritium||68.78 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR07-F11|
|Food||Apples||Tritium||95.14 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR08-F12|
|Food||Potatoes||Tritium||84.67 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||279,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR08-F13|
|Food||Apples||Tritium||19.33 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR09-F14|
|Food||Tomatoes||Tritium||26.28 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||N/A||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR09-F15|
|Food||Wild Apples||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||24.3 Bq/kg||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR10-F21|
|Food||Wild Apples||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||2.8 Bq/kg||50,300 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR10-F21|
|Water||Surface Water||Tritium||6.3 Bq/L||<5 Bq/L||3.1 Bq/L||3.1 Bq/L||7,000 Bq/L||No||SR10-W03|
|Water||Surface Water||Tritium||8.7 Bq/L||<5 Bq/L||<3 Bq/L||N/A||7,000 Bq/L||No||SR11-W04|
|Food||Milk||Tritium||<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||1.7 Bq/kg fresh weight||<2.5 Bq/kg||5,560 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR12-F05|
|Food||Milk||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||<2.5 Bq/kg||2,260 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR12-F05|
|Air||Ambient||Tritium||N/A||N/A||1.1 Bq/m3||<1.9 Bq/m3||340 Bq/m3||No||SR13-A05|
|Air||Ambient||Elemental Tritium||N/A||N/A||83.5 Bq/m3||<1.9 Bq/m3||5,100,000 Bq/m3||No||SR13-A05|
|Soil||0 - 5 cm||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||4.6 Bq/kg||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR13-S05|
|Soil||Surface||Tritium||N/A||N/A||20.4 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR13-S05|
|Soil||Surface||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||<1.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||27,900,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR13-S05|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Tritium||N/A||N/A||31.1 Bq/kg fresh weight||13.8 Bq/kg||10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR13-V04|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||76.6 Bq/kg fresh weight||28.1 Bq/kg||73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR13-V04|
|Food||Wild Apples||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||88.2 Bq/kg||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR14-F07|
|Food||Wild Apples||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||11.2 Bq/kg||50,300 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR14-F07|
|Food||Wild Raspberries||Tritium||N/A||N/A||34.1 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR14-F07|
|Food||Wild Raspberries||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||11.8 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||50,300 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR14-F07|
|Food||Wild Apples||Tritium||N/A||N/A||99.4 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR14-F08|
|Food||Wild Apples||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||17.5 Bq/kg fresh weight||N/A||50,300 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR14-F08|
|Water||Surface Water||Tritium||N/A||N/A||<3 Bq/L||<3.0 Bq/L||7,000 Bq/L||No||SR15-W05|
|Water||Surface Water||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<3.0 Bq/L||7,000 Bq/L||No||SR16-W16|
|Air||Ambient||Tritium||N/A||N/A||96.4 Bq/m3||<1.9 Bq/m3||340 Bq/m3||No||SR17-A06|
|Air||Ambient||Elemental Tritium||N/A||N/A||2.0 Bq/m3||<1.9 Bq/m3||5,100,000 Bq/m3||No||SR17-A06|
|Food||Pumpkin||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||6.7 Bq/kg||123,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-F18|
|Food||Pumpkin||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<2.5 Bq/kg||50,300 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-F18|
|Food||Onion||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||3.7 Bq/kg||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-F19|
|Food||Onion||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<2.5 Bq/kg||45,200 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-F19|
|Food||Cucumber||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<2.5 Bq/kg||104,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-F20|
|Food||Cucumber||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<2.5 Bq/kg||45,200 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-F20|
|Soil||0 - 5 cm||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<3.0 Bq/kg||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-S18|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<3.0 Bq/kg||10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-V18|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<2.5 Bq/kg||73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR18-V18|
|Soil||0 - 5 cm||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||<3.0 Bq/kg||64,200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR19-S19|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||5.2 Bq/kg||10,900 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR19-V19|
|Vegetation||Wild Vegetation/Grass||Organically Bound Tritium||N/A||N/A||N/A||12.3 Bq/kg||73,000 Bq/kg fresh weight||No||SR19-V19|
1 The < symbol indicates that a result is below the provided laboratory analytical detection limit.
2 N/A – not available
Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, licensees of nuclear facilities are required to implement an environmental monitoring program 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 govern Canada's nuclear industry.
The CNSC has implemented its IEMP to verify that the public and the environment around licensed nuclear facilities are protected. 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 radioactiveand hazardous substances in those samples. CNSC staff collect the samples and send them to the CNSC's independent laboratory for testing and analysis. Since the implementation of the IEMP, the area outside of the SRB facility site perimeter has been sampled in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
The 2018 IEMP sampling plan for the SRB facility focused on radioactive contaminants. A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on SRB's approved environmental monitoring program, CSA Group standards and the CNSC's regulatory experience with the site. In 2018, samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the SRB facility site perimeter and included water, soil, vegetation, air, food such as milk, and produce from local farms. View detailed sampling data.
The radioactivity measured in water, soil, vegetation, air and food samples were below available guidelines and CNSC screening levels. CNSC screening 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.
2015, 2014 and 2013 results
The 2015, 2014 and 2013 IEMP sampling plan for the SRB facility site focused on radioactive contaminants. A site-specific sampling plan was developed based on SRB's approved environmental monitoring program, CSA Group standards and the CNSC's regulatory experience with the site. Samples were collected in publicly accessible areas outside the SRB facility site perimeter and included water, soil and vegetation, air, and food such as milk, fruits and vegetables from local farms. View detailed sampling data.
The radioactivity measured in water, soil, vegetation, air and food samples were below available guidelines and CNSC screening levels, and within natural background levels. CNSC screening 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.
In 2015, the results for air sample SR03-A03 were higher than those captured in the results from 2013 and 2014. The variation in results is not surprising, given that SRB's emissions to the environment are not continuous. The 2013 and 2014 sampling campaigns were performed during a time when the facility was not emitting tritium or when weather conditions were varying. The licensee uses passive air samplers to collect samples over a one-month period, while the IEMP uses active air samplers to collect samples over a period of approximately eight hours. Results from the two sampling methods cannot be directly compared. Passive air sampler results will reflect the average concentration of tritium, which is low because there are extended periods when the facility is not emitting tritium based on its operating conditions. The SR03-A03 results are within SRB's normal operating range, and no health impacts are expected at this dose level.
In 2014, tritium concentrations in two vegetation samples were lower by one order of magnitude compared to 2013. Since the IEMP results represent a snapshot in time, the differences between sample results can be attributed to differences in the sampling locations, seasonal variations, facility operations, meteorological conditions and/or natural variations in background radiation. Results over the sampling years consistently remain well below the available guidelines and CNSC screening levels.
Focus on health
Since the CNSC regulates tritium-emitting facilities, the CNSC conducts and coordinates studies to assess potential health effects of tritium exposure and remain up to date on the latest tritium research.
Tritium exposure can pose a health risk if ingested through drinking water or food, if inhaled or if absorbed through the skin in large quantities.
The Canadian public is protected from tritium intakes at current levels. The highest average annual tritium level measured in the drinking water of Canadian communities neighbouring nuclear facilities has never exceeded 20 Bq/L. This is well below the drinking water limits of 7,000 Bq/L recommended by Health Canada. There is no evidence of adverse health effects based on biological experiments, observations of humans following accidental intakes of tritium or routine surveillance of radiation workers at these levels. CNSC staff will continue to ensure that the latest developments in tritium science are integrated, as appropriate, into the regulation of tritium-emitting nuclear facilities.
The IEMP results for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018 confirm that the public and the environment in the vicinity of the SRB facility are protected and that there are no expected health impacts. These results are consistent with the results submitted by SRB, confirming that the licensee's environmental protection program protects the health and safety of people and the environment.
To obtain the full technical IEMP report, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-995-5894 or 1-800-668-5284 (in Canada). Please provide the name of the facility and the report year.
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