CNSC Staff Report on the Performance of Uranium and Nuclear Substance Processing Facilities: 2013

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The operating performance of the uranium and nuclear processing facilities regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is presented in this Commission member document (CMD) titled CNSC Staff Report on the Performance of Uranium and Nuclear Substance Processing Facilities: 2013. The information covers the 2013 calendar year and, when applicable, shows trends and compares information to previous years.

The report focuses on the three Safety and Control Areas (SCAs) of radiation protection, environmental protection, and conventional health and safety which cover the key performance indicators for these facilities. Also highlighted in the report is a discussion of public information programs, ratings for all 14 SCAs, reportable events, significant facility modifications and areas of increased regulatory focus.

The evaluations conducted by CNSC staff identified that the uranium and nuclear processing facilities in Canada operated safely during 2013. This conclusion is based on assessment of licensee activities which included site inspections, review of reports submitted by licensees, event and incident reviews with follow-up and general communication and exchange of information with the licensees.

As part of the 2013 report, an introductory section on dose limits, release limits and action levels is presented. This section provides information on action levels and how action levels are used by the CNSC to ensure that licence limits and dose limits are not exceeded.

CNSC staff conclude that in 2013, each of the regulated facilities discussed in this report met performance expectations with respect to the health and safety of persons, the protection of the environment, and Canada's international obligations.

1. Overview

1.1 Background

The CNSC Staff Report on the Performance of Uranium and Nuclear Substance Processing Facilities: 2013 summarizes the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff's assessment of the safety performance of:

  • Uranium processing facilities
  • Nuclear substance processing facilities

The assessment aligns with the legal requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) and its associated regulations, facility licences, applicable standards and regulatory documents.

The report highlights the areas of the CNSC staff's regulatory focus - including information on regulatory requirements and expectations in selected areas - and discusses significant events, licence changes, major developments and overall performance. It provides performance data on the Safety and Control Areas (SCAs) of radiation protection, environmental protection, and conventional health and safety.

The report is organized by industry sector, covering uranium processing facilities and nuclear substance processing facilities. The information presented covers the 2013 calendar year and, where appropriate, compares information to previous years.

1.2 CNSC Regulatory Efforts

As part of its mandate, the CNSC regulates Canada's uranium and nuclear substance processing facilities to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment; to implement Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public. The CNSC regulates these facilities through licensing, reporting, verification and enforcement. For each facility, CNSC staff conduct inspections, assessments, reviews and evaluations of licensee programs, processes and safety performance reports.

CNSC staff establish compliance plans for each facility, based on risk-informed regulatory oversight of the facility's activities. Modifications to the compliance plans are made on an ongoing basis in response to events, facility modifications and changes in licensee performance.

Inspections conducted in 2013 covered various aspects of many SCAs, applying a risk-informed approach for compliance activities, commensurate with the risk associated with these facilities. Twenty-three (23) inspections were conducted by the CNSC at uranium and nuclear substance processing facilities. While some inspections focus on specific SCAs, the inspectors strive to ensure that aspects of radiation protection, environmental protection, and conventional health and safety are covered in every inspection. This is done to continually ensure that:

  • Radiation protection measures are effective and radiation doses to workers remain As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA)
  • The environmental protection programs are effective and releases remain ALARA
  • Conventional health and safety programs continue to protect workers from injuries/accidents

CNSC staff also verify compliance through desktop reviews of reports and licensee programs which are supplemented with meetings, presentations, and facility visits.

1.3 International Atomic Energy Agency Regulatory Efforts

Safeguards agreements between Canada and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) lay the groundwork for those activities the IAEA may carry out in Canada, and what Canada is obligated to do to support those activities.

Safeguards apply to all nuclear material in Canada - which comprises uranium, plutonium, and thorium, but excluding ores and other impure forms. As such, safeguarded facilities or locations in Canada refer only to locations which possess any of these materials. Most of safeguards efforts are concentrated on large facilities, such as uranium processing facilities, power reactors and their dry storage areas, as well as research facilities.

IAEA conducts safeguards-related inspections; all safeguarded facilities have to conduct a physical inventory taking, where all onsite material is quantified. The IAEA then verifies the inventory by conducting a Physical Inventory Verification (PIV). These are intensive inspections, because they involve careful verification of all onsite material.

The IAEA also carries out inspections on short-notice, targeted at specific flows or inventories (such as material planned to be shipped overseas). These are known as short-notice random inspections.

Finally, the IAEA performs planned inspections for shipment of historic material at the Port Hope Conversion Facility (PHCF). Typically the IAEA inspects PHCF prior to shipment.

In 2013, the IAEA conducted the following inspections at the uranium and nuclear processing facilities:

  • Blind River Refinery
    • two physical inventory takings
    • three short-notice random inspections
  • Port Hope Conversion Facility
    • two short-notice random inspections
    • three inspections for the shipment of historic material
  • Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc.
    • one short-notice random inspection
  • GEH-C Peterborough/Toronto
    • one physical inventory taking
    • two short-notice random inspections
  • Nordion (Canada) Inc.
    • no inspections were performed

1.4 Status Update on the CNSC Integrated Action Plan: Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Accident

CNSC staff previously updated the Commission on the CNSC's Fukushima action plans. These updates were presented in October 2012 and August 2013 as referenced below:

  • CMD 12-M56, Status Update on the CNSC Action Plan: Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Accident, October 2012
  • CMD 13-M34, Status Update on the CNSC Integrated Action Plan: Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Accident, August 2013

These presentations informed the Commission that licensees for uranium and nuclear substance processing facilities were required to re-examine safety cases for their facilities and to report on implementation plans for short-term and long-term measures to address any gaps discovered.

As a result, the licensees developed facility-specific improvement initiatives, based on their facility's hazards and site characteristics, to address the recommendation to strengthen defense-in-depth.

Licensees for uranium and nuclear substance processing facilities have completed all of their improvement initiatives including the following two initiatives that were open at the time of the last Commission update.

  • Flood modeling re-assessment for the Blind River Refinery
  • Assessment of critical spare parts through the operational reliability program for the Port Hope Conversion Facility

CNSC staff are satisfied that all uranium and nuclear substance processing facilities have completed their facility-specific improvement initiatives to address lessons learned from the Fukushima accident.

1.5 Licence Limits and Action Levels

CNSC staff use radiation dose limits, release limits and action levels to ensure that the health and safety of workers, the public and the environment are being protected, and that licensees are demonstrating adequate control of their radiation and environmental protection programs.

Regulatory dose limits are specified in sections 13, 14 and 15 of the Radiation Protection Regulations (RPR) to limit radiation dose to workers and members of the public to levels that have been deemed safe. These dose limits follow the recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), which includes some of the world's leading scientists and other professionals in the field of radiation.

Any dose limit exceedance is a violation of the RPR and triggers specific responses pursuant to section 16 of the RPR. These responses include immediate notification of the dose to the affected person and the Commission, removal of the person from any work that would lead to additional exposure, investigations to determine the magnitude of the dose and causes of the exposure, and actions to prevent reoccurrence. The authorization to return to work following a dose limit exceedance must be also obtained from the Commission or a designated officer pursuant to section 17 of the RPR.

Release limits are imposed by the CNSC on quantities, rates and/or concentrations of pollutants released from point sources (i.e., end-of-pipe or stack) into surface waters or the atmosphere to protect the environment and the public and to promote sustainable development.

Release limits, identified in the licence or licence conditions handbook, may be technology or risk-based. Technology limits are based on levels achievable by pollution prevention technologies and/or practices. Risk based limits are determined through site-specific modelling of levels that would result in achieving specified criteria in the receiving environment considered to be protective of the environment and the public. The exceedance of a release limit is a violation of a licence condition which would result in a CNSC enforcement action.

Action levels are a tool used to ensure that licensees are operating their facility appropriately and in accordance with their approved radiation and environmental protection programs, and within the design and operational parameters of their wastewater treatment and air pollution control systems. In this respect, the use of action levels also serves as an early warning system to ensure that licensees are carefully monitoring their operation and performance, to ensure radiation dose limits and release limits are not exceeded. There are both radiation protection action levels and environmental protection action levels.

An action level is defined in the RPR as "a specific dose of radiation or other parameter that, if reached, may indicate a loss of control of part of a licensee's radiation protection program and triggers a requirement for specific action to be taken". The Uranium Mines and Mills Regulations provide a similar definition for action levels, although slightly modified to directly incorporate environmental protection into the definition.  Action levels for environmental protection have also been incorporated into uranium and nuclear processing licences.

Action levels are site-specific parameters that are chosen to be effective and efficient indicators of a potential loss of control - typically set near the upper bounds of normal operating performance. As such, reaching an action level is not a regulatory noncompliance or violation. It also does not necessarily imply a negative outcome. As indicators of performance, action levels may also be revised to properly represent changes in the operation of the facility.

The following list provides some examples of parameters used for action levels:

  • The quantity of dose that an individual receives (due to external and or internal sources of radiation). It is not uncommon to have both individual annual dose action levels (set at a small fraction of annual dose limit) and daily action levels.
  • Surface contamination levels (e.g. radioactivity per unit surface area).
  • The rate or concentrations for which nuclear and hazardous substances are released to the environment.

Reaching action level results in increased oversight by both the licensee and the CNSC. When an action level is reached, specific responses are required pursuant to  subsection 6(2) of the RPRor licence condition. When a licensee becomes aware that an action level is exceeded, they shall take the following course of action:

  • Conduct an investigation to determine the cause for reaching the action level
  • Identify and take action to restore the effectiveness of the radiation protection program or environmental program
  • Notify the Commission within the time period specified in the licence

While reaching an action level is not a violation of a licence condition or RPR, failure to fulfill obligations of follow-up reporting and investigation would be a violation of the RPRs and/or a CNSC licence condition.

In summary it is important to note the difference between radiation dose limits, release limits and action levels:

  • Radiation dose limits are established to limit the dose received to workers and members of the public to levels that are safe
  • Release limits are used to limit the quantity of nuclear and hazardous substances released into the environment (to protect the environment, the public and to promote sustainable development)
  • Action levels are used to provide assurance that dose and release limits will not be exceeded by providing early indication of a potential loss of control of part of the environmental or radiation protection program. Action levels are also used to ensure that licensees demonstrate adequate control of their facility based on their approved facility design, environmental protection programs, and radiation protection programs

2. Part I: Uranium Processing Facilities

2.1 Overview

Part I of this report focuses on the five uranium processing facilities in Canada. They are:

  • Cameco Corporation (Cameco): Blind River Refinery (BRR)
  • Cameco Corporation (Cameco): Port Hope Conversion Facility (PHCF)
  • Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. (CFM)
  • GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Incorporated (GEH-C): Peterborough facility
  • GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Incorporated (GEH-C): Toronto facility

The three Cameco facilities operate under separate operating licences, issued in  March 2012. The Blind River Refinery and Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. facility licences expire in February 2022, and the Port Hope Conversion Facility licence expires in February 2017.

The two GEH-C facilities operate under a combined licence (issued in January 2011 and expiring in December 2020). All five facilities are located within the province of Ontario, as shown in figure 2-1 below.

Figure 2-1: Location of uranium processing facilities in Ontario, Canada
Alternative Text This map shows the location of uranium processing facilities in Ontario, Canada: Cameco’s Blind River Refinery, GEH-C Toronto facility, GEH-C Peterborough facility, Cameco’s Port Hope Conversion Facility, and Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc.

The CNSC staff adopted a risk-informed approach to the compliance oversight of these facilities, based on the risk posed by their types of activities and associated hazards. The level of risk at these facilities is considered in the development of the compliance verification program and the frequency at which safety and control areas (SCAs) are inspected.

In 2013, the CNSC staff performed 18 compliance inspections at the five uranium processing facilities. All the findings resulting from these inspections were provided to the licensee in a detailed inspection report. Any enforcement actions arising from the findings were recorded in the CNSC regulatory information bank to ensure that the licensee has adequately addressed each enforcement action.

All the enforcement actions identified during these inspections have been or are being addressed by the licensees.

Each of the five uranium processing facilities are required, as per their operating licences, to submit an annual compliance report by March 31. These reports contain facility performance information including annual production volumes, improvements to programs in all SCAs, and details related to environmental, radiological and safety performance, including any events and associated corrective actions.

CNSC staff review these reports as part of their normal regulatory compliance oversight, to verify that licensees are meeting their regulatory requirements and are operating safely. The full versions of these reports are available on the licensees' websites, as provided below:

The CNSC staff used annual compliance reports, revisions to licensee programs, responses to events and incidents by licensees, as well as field observations during inspections, to compile the 2013 performance ratings for the uranium processing facilities, as presented in table 2-1.

For 2013, the CNSC staff ratings for all individual SCAs were "satisfactory" for the uranium processing facilities, except for GEH-C (which was given a "fully satisfactory" rating in the SCA of environmental protection) and for Cameco's Blind River Refinery (which has a "fully satisfactory" rating in the SCA of conventional health and safety). Appendix C contains the ratings from 2009 to 2013 for each facility.

Table 2-1: Fuel cycle facilities – SCA performance ratings, 2013
Safety and control area Blind River Refinery Port Hope Conversion Facility Cameco Fuel Manufacturing GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough
Management system SA SA SA SA
Human performance management SA SA SA SA
Operating performance SA SA SA SA
Safety analysis SA SA SA SA
Physical design SA SA SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA SA SA
Radiation protection SA SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety FS SA SA SA
Environmental protection SA SA SA FS
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA SA SA
Waste management SA SA SA SA
Security SA SA SA SA
Safeguards and non-proliferation SA SA SA SA
Packaging and transport SA SA SA SA

2.1.1 Radiation protection

For 2013, the CNSC staff continue to rate the radiation protection SCA at all five uranium processing facilities as "satisfactory".

The RPR require each licensee to implement a radiation protection program that keeps radiation doses ALARA, social and economic factors taken into consideration.

The RPR also require licensees to ascertain doses resulting from their licensed activity, which includes both "effective dose" and "equivalent dose". Effective dose refers to the sum of all radiation exposures, internal and external to the whole body. Equivalent dose is a measure of dose to a tissue or an organ (such as the skin, extremities and lens of the eye).

The CNSC evaluated each licensee's radiation protection program through several methods, including desktop reviews, facility inspections and review of licensees' compliance reports.

Radiological exposures to workers at uranium processing facilities result primarily from the internal (inhalation) and external (whole body and extremities) exposures to natural uranium. Each facility uses a licensed dosimetry service provider to measure and monitor the dose resulting from external exposures. External doses to a worker's whole body are ascertained through a dose monitoring device such as a Thermo Luminescent Dosimeter (TLD) or an optically stimulated luminescence dosimeter.

The maximum and average effective doses for uranium processing facilities are provided in figure 2-2. The maximum exposure for all facilities ranged from 6.6 mSv to 12.1 mSv, well below the regulatory limit of 50 mSv/yr.

Figure 2-2: Uranium processing facilities – comparisons of average and maximum effective doses to nuclear energy workers, 2013
Alternative Text
Radiation Dose Statistics for Nuclear Energy Workers at the Uranium Processing Facilities
Facility Maximum individual
effective dose 2013
(mSv/yr)
Average individual
effective dose 2013
(mSv/yr)
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
Blind River Refinery 12.1 3.3
Port Hope Conversion Facility 6.6 0.7
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. 8.6 0.7
GE Hitachi Canada Peterborough 8.0 1.5
GE Hitachi Canada Toronto 7.8 1.4

In 2013, no radiation exposures reported by any uranium processing facility exceeded any of the regulatory dose limits.

Each facility is unique in the type of work performed: as such it is required to tailor its radiation protection program to the unique hazards posed by the processes used in handling uranium. For example, in facilities where workers may come in direct contact with uranium products, the extremity dose to a worker's hand may be measured using a ring dosimeter.

Annual effective doses for Nuclear Energy Workers are based on complex and differing work environments. Therefore, direct comparisons of effective doses among facilities do not necessarily provide an appropriate measure of the effectiveness of a radiation protection program. However, the CNSC requirement to apply the ALARA principle has consistently resulted in doses well below regulatory limits. Based on the review of the dose data provided above, CNSC staff are satisfied that all uranium processing licensees are controlling radiation doses below the CNSC regulatory dose limits, and in accordance with the ALARA principle. Appendix E provides radiation doses of the workers at these facilities, and lists the facilities' respective regulatory limits.

Estimated dose to the public

The maximum dose to the public from licensed activities at each uranium processing facility is calculated using monitoring results from air emissions, liquid effluent releases and fence-line gamma monitoring. The CNSC's requirements to apply ALARA principles ensure that the licensees monitor their facilities and take corrective actions whenever action levels are exceeded.

Table 2-2 provides a comparison of potential public doses from 2009 to 2013 for all five facilities.

Table 2-2: Fuel cycle facilities – public dose comparison table (mSv), 2009-13
Facility Year Regulatory limit
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
* Prior to 2012, GEH-C did not report public dose results. The values reported here are based on CNSC staff calculations of GEH-C emissions with respect to the Derived Release Limits (DRL).
Blind River Refinery <0.001 0.006 0.006 0.012 0.012 1 mSv/yr
Port Hope Conversion Facility 0.034 0.019 0.019 0.029 0.021
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing 0.002 0.008 0.042 0.031 0.013
GEH-C Toronto *0.00085 *0.00109 *0.00062 0.0008 0.0003
GEH-C Peterborough *<0.00001 *<0.00001 *<0.00001 <0.001 <0.001

Estimated doses to the public from all uranium processing facilities continue to be low and well below the regulatory annual public dose limit of 1 mSv.

2.1.2 Environmental protection

The environmental protection SCA covers programs that identify and monitor all releases of radioactive and hazardous substances resulting from licensed activities, along with their effects on the environment. Licensees are required to develop and implement policies, programs and procedures that comply with all applicable federal and provincial regulatory requirements, to control the release of radioactive and hazardous substances into the environment and to protect the environment.

Licensees are also expected to have suitably trained and qualified staff to effectively develop, implement and maintain their environmental protection programs.

CNSC staff rate the environmental protection SCA as "satisfactory" for all uranium processing facilities in 2013 except for GEH-C, (rated as "fully satisfactory").

The uranium processing facilities are also regulated by Ontario's Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Environmental protection is, therefore, a shared federal and provincial responsibility. The CNSC avoids or minimizes any duplication of regulatory oversight - including MOE's requirements by working cooperatively and inclusively whenever possible.

All uranium processing facilities have established programs to identify, control and monitor all releases of nuclear and hazardous substances into the environment. For uranium, the licensees rely on this public dose limit to ensure that releases are ALARA and that the public is protected.

State of Receiving Environment
Uranium in Ambient Air

All the uranium processing facilities, except GEH-C Peterborough, operate "high-volume" air samplers at the perimeter of the facilities to confirm the effectiveness of emission abatement systems and to monitor the impact of uranium emissions on the environment. GEH-C Peterborough does not use air samplers, because releases from the stack (average of 0.0012 µg/m3) are very low.

The results from the high-volume samplers with the highest values near a facility (maximum average) for 2009 through 2013, are provided in figure 2-3. These values are measured as Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) representing the total amount of uranium in air. In contrast, the impending MOE standard is based on PM-10 which means uranium associated with particles suspended in air must be smaller than 10 µm in size. The TSP measured around uranium processing facilities would include PM-10 as well as particles that are larger than PM-10. These results provide an indication that all uranium processing facilities would be able to meet MOE's standard when it comes into effect in 2016.

As shown in figure 2-3, the maximum annual average concentration of uranium in ambient air is below the impending MOE air standard for uranium (0.03 µg/m3) and well below any levels that would pose a risk to human health and the environment.

Figure 2-3: Uranium concentration in ambient air (maximum annual average), 2009-13
Alternative Text
Uranium Concentration in Ambient Air (maximum Annual Average)
Facility 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment Standard: 0.03 µg/m3
Blind River Refinery 0.0034 0.0035 0.0036 0.0042 0.0017
Port Hope Conversion Facility 0.003 0.003 0.002 0.003 0.002
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. 0.00011 0.00005 0.00005 0.00004 0.00006
GE Hitachi Canada Toronto 0.0014 0.0011 0.0011 0.0011 0.0007
Uranium in Soil

The three Cameco facilities and GEH-C Toronto have soil monitoring programs. Uranium releases from GEH-C's Peterborough facility are negligible, because the fuel pellets received from the Toronto facility are in a solid form, and uranium is not released to air. This is confirmed by monitoring in the stack in Peterborough. As such, uranium-in-soil monitoring is not warranted at GEH-C's Peterborough facility.

Soil monitoring programs are intended to monitor the long-term effects of air emissions, to show whether there is accumulation of uranium in soil, in the vicinity of the facility. Soil sampling results in 2013 continue to indicate that current uranium emissions from the uranium processing facilities have no measurable impacts on soil.

Figure 2-4 provides the annual average uranium concentrations in soil results for 2009 through 2013. The annual average concentration of uranium in soil is well below the applicable guideline value for the land-use type, as described by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment soil quality guidelines.

Figure 2-4: Uranium concentration in soil (annual average), 2009-13
Alternative Text
Uranium Concentration in Soil (Annual Average)
Facility 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment Standard: 23 µg/g
*N/A indicates value is not available
Blind River Refinery 1.8 2.1 4.8 3.3 4.3
Port Hope Conversion Facility 1.4 1.1 1 1.4 1
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc 5.3 4.4 N/A N/A 3.7
GE Hitachi Canada Toronto 2.2 2.2 2.3 1.9 2.3

Elevated levels of uranium in soil at Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. (CFM) are due to historic uranium contamination, which is common to the Port Hope area. The sampling frequency at CFM is every three years.

2.1.3 Conventional health and safety

The conventional health and safety SCA covers the implementation of a program to manage workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel. For 2013, the CNSC staff rated the conventional health and safety programs at all of its uranium processing facilities as "satisfactory", with the exception of Camecos's Blind River Refinery (which is rated as "fully satisfactory").

Each licensee is responsible for developing and implementing a conventional health and safety program for the protection of its staff and contract workers, which must comply with the Canada Labour Code, Part II.

The regulation of conventional health and safety at uranium processing facilities involves Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the CNSC. The CNSC staff monitor compliance with regulatory requirements. On rare occasions where a concern is identified, HRSDC staff are consulted and asked to take appropriate action. Licensees submit hazardous occurrence investigation reports to both HRSDC and the CNSC, in accordance with their respective reporting requirements.

As summarized in table 2-3 below, the number of recordable Lost-Time Incidents (LTIs) reported by all facilities has remained low from 2009 to 2013. Further information is provided in facility-specific sections.

Table 2-3: Fuel cycle facilities lost-time incidents (LTIs), 2009-13
Facility 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Blind River Refinery 0 0 0 0 0
Port Hope Conversion Facility 1 1 3 1 0
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing 1 0 2 0 0
GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough 0 1 0 1 0

The uranium processing facility licensees have been implementing their conventional health and safety programs satisfactorily during 2013, and their programs are effective in protecting the health and safety of persons working in their facilities.

2.1.4 Public information and disclosure programs

Major CNSC licensees are required to implement public information programs, as per RD/GD 99.3, Public Information and Disclosure, published in 2012. These programs are supported by disclosure protocols, which outline the type of information on the facility and its activities that will be shared with the public (e.g., incidents, major changes to operations, periodic environmental performance reports) and how that information will be shared. The objective is to ensure that timely information about the health, safety and security of persons, the environment , as well as any other issues associated with the lifecycle of the nuclear facility, are effectively communicated.

Cameco successfully revised the Blind River Refinery's (BRR) public information program to reflect the requirements of RD/GD 99.3. Stakeholders are being kept informed about BRR activities, and information of public interest is being disclosed through BRR's public information program and disclosure protocol. In 2013, BRR held meetings with the town of Blind River and the council of Mississauga First Nation to discuss issues and the performance of the facility. BRR also posts on its website quarterly environmental and annual operation performance reports and provides facility tours. Every few years Cameco measures public opinion in Blind River to help determine the effectiveness of its public information program. In 2013, Cameco undertook a community survey: the results indicate that Cameco continues to have strong public support among the majority of Blind River residents.

In Port Hope, Cameco has robust public information programs and disclosure protocols for its Port Hope Conversion Facility and Fuel Manufacturing Facility. In 2013, Cameco successfully revised the public information program at these facilities to better reflect the requirements in RD/GD 99.3. The programs and their implementation are almost identical for the two facilities as they share the same target audiences and communication activities. The licensee has undertaken numerous activities and efforts to continuously improve and maintain communication with those interested in - and concerned about - their Port Hope facilities. In 2013, Cameco's activities included two public meetings (called Community Forums), three presentations to the Port Hope town council and three community newsletters (mailed to all mailing addresses in Port Hope). Cameco also disclosed information on unplanned events at the Port Hope Conversion Facility, and released quarterly environmental and annual operation performance reports on its website.

Since 2006, Cameco has undertaken annual public opinion surveys in Port Hope to help determine the effectiveness of its public information program. The 2013 survey demonstrated that Cameco's public information program is seen as effective and appropriate by the majority of Port Hope residents. The CNSC staff conclude that Cameco is committed to a sustained and fulsome public information program, which informs and engages the citizens of Port Hope.

During 2013, GEH-C undertook improvements to its public information and disclosure program and new activities to inform the public and stakeholders regarding their nuclear activities. For example, they have increased their efforts in Toronto to improve their website, and to improve their outreach to homes in the vicinity of facility. GEH-C has also engaged elected officials and established a Community Liaison Committee. The CNSC recognizes that GEH-C is working towards establishing an atmosphere of openness, transparency and building trust within the Toronto and Peterborough communities, however, some work remains in progress. Further details for GEH-C are provided in section 2.5.1.

2.2 Cameco's Blind River Refinery

Cameco Corporation owns and operates a Class IB nuclear fuel facility in Blind River, Ontario, under an operating licence that expires in February 2022. The Cameco Blind River Refinery (BRR) facility is located about 5 kilometres to the west of Blind River, as shown in figure 2-5.

Figure 2-5: Aerial view of the Cameco Blind River Refinery
Alternative Text

This picture shows an aerial view of Cameco’s Blind River Refinery. The Blind River Refinery facility is located about five kilometres to the west of Blind River, situated on the shore of Lake Huron and the Mississagi River.

The BRR facility refines uranium concentrates (yellowcake) received from uranium mines worldwide to produce uranium trioxide (UO3), an intermediate product of the nuclear fuel cycle. The primary recipient of the product is Cameco's Port Hope Conversion Facility.

There have been no licence amendments since relicensing in March 2012. BRR's licence condition handbook (LCH) (LCH-CAMECO-BRRF-R001) was revised to reflect the most current compliance verification criteria documents and to reflect an update to BRR's safety analysis report (required in response to a 2012 incident involving a pressurized drum of uranium concentrate. The changes made to the LCH followed the CNSC administrative control process prescribed in section 1.3 of the LCH. The revised LCH became effective on October 28, 2013.

2.2.1 Performance

Figure 2-6: UO3, totes being filled at the Blind River Refinery, for shipment to the Port Hope Conversion Facility
Alternative Text

This picture shows UO3 totes being filled at the Blind River Refinery, for shipment to the Port Hope Conversion Facility.

For 2013, the CNSC staff rated BRR's performance as "satisfactory" in all SCAs, except conventional health and safety, which was rated as "fully satisfactory". The BRR facility ratings from 2009 to 2013 are found in Appendix C.

In 2013, there were two modifications to the facility's operations, processes and safety systems. These modifications were reflected in a revision to the licensee's safety analysis report in 2012. The modifications included changes to the auger sampling de-lidding station and the installation of whole-body monitors at the main entrance of the facility. The modification to the auger sampling station was the final corrective action taken as a result of an incident in June 2012, where a Cameco employee had a significant uptake of uranium concentrate. Details of this incident were reported to the Commission in the 2012 annual report (CMD 13-M51). The installation of the whole-body monitors was done to address a CNSC action item on improving BRR's contamination monitoring program.

There were two reportable action level exceedances involving worker skin dose. Details on these exceedances are provided below, in the radiation protection section. 

In 2013, CNSC staff conducted one Type I and two Type II compliance inspections to verify BRR's compliance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and associated regulations, its operating licence, and its programs used to meet their regulatory requirements. None of the findings made during the inspection posed an immediate or unreasonable risk to the health, safety, and security of Canadians, and to the environment.

2.2.2 Radiation protection

The radiation protection SCA covers the implementation of a radiation protection program in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulations. The program must ensure that contamination levels and radiation doses received by individuals are monitored, controlled and maintained ALARA. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Application of ALARA
  • Worker dose control
  • Radiation protection program performance
  • Radiological hazard control
  • Estimated dose to the public

In 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate BRR's radiation protection SCA as "satisfactory".

Ratings for Radiation Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the radiation protection SCA at Cameco's Blind River Refinery as "satisfactory". Cameco has implemented and maintained an effective radiation protection program as required by the Radiation Protection Regulations.
Application of ALARA

Annually, BRR establishes radiation safety objectives and targets with the goal to reduce worker doses and in-plant uranium-in-air concentrations, as examples. Performance against these objectives is regularly reviewed and tracked. BRR also established an ALARA committee in 2013. This committee regularly meets to review and discuss radiation safety-related issues, and makes recommendations for improving radiation protection at BRR.

Worker dose control

All the workers at BRR are Nuclear Energy Workers (NEWs). Radiation exposures are monitored, to ensure compliance with the CNSC's regulatory dose limits and keep radiation doses ALARA. In 2013, no worker's radiation exposure reported by BRR exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limits. The maximum effective dose received by a worker in 2013 was 12.1 mSv, or approximately 24 per cent of the regulatory limit for effective dose (50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period). Annual average and maximum effective dose results from 2009 to 2013 are provided in figure 2-7. During these years, the average and maximum doses were relatively stable at approximately 3 mSv and
12 mSv, respectively. These results indicate that Cameco has an effective radiation program at BRR.

Figure 2-7: Blind River Refinery – average and maximum effective dose trends to nuclear energy workers, 2009-13
Alternative Text
Blind River Refinery Worker Dose
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
Total Persons Monitored 168 176 170 173 162
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 12.6 11.1 12.6 12.0 12.1
Average Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 3.4 3.0 2.7 3.7 3.3
Radiation protection program performance

BRR's radiation protection program performance was assessed in 2013, through various CNSC staff compliance activities. These activities included an inspection to verify and assess the implementation and effectiveness of BRR's Radiation Protection (RP) program in protecting the health and safety of persons. Opportunities for improvement were identified, and BRR subsequently implemented corrective actions to CNSC staff's satisfaction.

Action levels for radiological exposures and contamination control are an integral part of BRR's RP program. If an action level is reached, it triggers BRR staff to establish the cause and, if applicable, restore the effectiveness of the RP program. In 2013, there were two action level exceedances. Both instances involved BRR workers exceeding the monthly skin dose action level of 10 mSv, with dosimeter results of 13.9 mSv and
14.6 mSv; this represents a small percentage (approximately 3 percent) of the CNSC's regulatory dose limit to the skin of 500 mSv. BRR reported, investigated and implemented corrective actions that were deemed acceptable by CNSC staff.

Radiological hazard control

Radiation and contamination control programs are established at BRR, to control and minimize radiological hazards and the spread of radioactive contamination. Methods of control include the establishment of a radiological zone controls and monitoring to confirm the effectiveness of the program. In 2013, no adverse trends were noted during routine monitoring activities at BRR.

Estimated dose to the public

The dose to the public is determined by summation of doses resulting from air, water and gamma emissions from the facility. Air and water emissions represent a small fraction
(< 0.001 mSv) of the public dose calculation. As such, gamma fields are the main contributor to public dose.

In 2010, BRR implemented a more accurate methodology for the determination of public dose. This methodology uses a passive environmental dosimeter that continuously monitors gamma dose. This new methodology is deemed to be an industry best practice; the previous method estimated the public dose using weekly gamma survey results, taken at a point in time.

The 2009-2013 annual doses to the public are shown in the following table. The estimated dose to the public is well below the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 1 mSv/year. The increased public dose from 2010 to present is attributed to the difference in methodology. 

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Note: Results less than detection limits are denoted as "<".

< 0.001 mSv 0.006 mSv 0.006 mSv 0.012 mSv 0.012 mSv

2.2.3 Environmental protection

The environmental protection safety and control area (SCA) covers programs that identify, control and monitor all releases of radioactive and hazardous substances and effects on the environment from facilities or as the result of licensed activities. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Effluent and emissions control (releases)
  • Environmental management system (EMS)
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection of the public
Ratings for Environmental Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the environmental protection SCA at Cameco's Blind River Refinery as "satisfactory". Cameco has implemented and maintained an effective environmental protection program as required by the NSCA and regulations.

For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate Cameco Blind River Refinery's environmental protection SCA as "satisfactory".

Releases of uranium from the BRR facility into the environment continue to be controlled and monitored in compliance with the conditions of the operating licence and regulatory requirements. BRR continues to control its releases of hazardous substances into the environment, in accordance with the Ontario MOE's applicable regulations and the certificates of approval.

Both uranium and hazardous substances releases to the environment during 2013 were well below regulatory limits.

Effluent and emissions control (releases)
Air emissions

BRR monitors uranium, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates released from the facility stacks on a daily basis. The monitoring data in table 2-4 demonstrate that stack emissions from the facility in 2013 continued to be effectively controlled and consistently well below their respective licensed limits.

Table 2-4: Blind River Refinery – air emissions monitoring results (annual averages), 2009-2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit

Note: Results less than detection limits are denoted as "<".

Dust collection and exhaust ventilation stack – uranium (kg/h) 0.00014 0.00009 0.00010 0.00006 0.00004 0.1
Absorber stack – uranium (kg/h) 0.00001 <0.00001 <0.00001 0.00001 <0.00001 0.1
Incinerator stack – uranium (kg/h) <0.00001 <0.00001 <0.00001 <0.00001 <0.00001 0.01
Nitrogen oxides (NOX) + nitric acid (HNO3)  (kg NO2/h) 3.8 4.4 3.9 3.3 3.4 56.0
Particulate (kg/h) 0.024 0.030 0.027 0.024 0.014 11.0
Liquid Effluent Monitoring

There are three sources of liquid effluent from the BRR facility: plant effluent, storm water runoff and sewage treatment plant effluent. These effluents are collected in lagoons and treated, as required, prior to being discharged into Lake Huron. Cameco monitors uranium, radium-226, nitrates and pH to demonstrate compliance with their respective licensed limits. The average monitoring results from 2009 to 2013 are summarized in table 2-5. For 2013, the liquid discharges from the facility continued to be below their respective licensed limits.

Table 2-5: Blind River Refinery – liquid effluent monitoring results (annual averages), 2009-2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit
Note: Results less than detection limits are denoted as "<".
Uranium (mg/l) 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.01 20
Nitrates (mg/l) 30 24 30 28 26 1,000
Radium-226 (Bq/l) <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 0.01 11
pH 7.1-8.4 7.2-8.4 7.1-8.2 7.2-8.2 7.1-8.4 6.0-9.5
Environmental management system

BRR staff have developed and are maintaining an Environmental Management System (EMS) to describe the integrated activities associated with the protection of the environment at the facility. BRR's EMS is described in their Environmental Management Program Manual;it includes activities such as establishing annual environmental objectives and targets which are reviewed and assessed by CNSC staff through compliance verification activities. Cameco holds an annual safety meeting in which environmental protection issues are discussed. The CNSC staff, as part of their compliance verification activities, review these minutes and follow-up with BRR staff on any outstanding issues.

BRR's EMS is ISO-14001 registered, and is subject to periodic ISO audits and reviews to identify potential improvements.

Assessment and monitoring
Soil Monitoring

Cameco's BRR continues to monitor soil for the long-term effects of air emissions, to show whether there is accumulation of uranium in soil in the vicinity of the facility. The results in 2013 remained consistent with the previous years. The maximum uranium soil concentrations observed near the facility were well below the most restrictive soil quality guidelines for uranium of 23 μg/g for residential and parkland land use. Uranium soil concentrations were measured in the area surrounding of the facility. Soil sampling results are provided in Appendix F.

Uranium in Ambient Air

The concentrations of uranium in the ambient air as monitored by BRR's sampling network around the facility continue to be consistently low. In 2013, the highest annual average concentration (amongst the sampling stations) of uranium in ambient air measured was 0.0017 µg/m3, which is below the MOE's new standard limit for uranium of 0.03 µg/m3. This new standard for uranium takes effect in 2016.

Groundwater Monitoring

Currently, a total of 43 monitoring wells exist in and around the BRR (17 wells located inside the perimeter fence and 26 wells located outside the fence).

Based on the groundwater sampling data presented in Cameco's annual compliance reports, the refinery operations are not causing any adverse impact to groundwater quality.

Groundwater monitoring results are provided in Appendix F.

Protection of the public

The licensee must demonstrate that the health and safety of the public are protected from exposures to hazardous substances released from the facility. The effluent and environmental monitoring programs currently conducted by BRR are used to verify that releases of hazardous substances do not result in environmental concentrations that may affect public health.

CNSC receives reports of discharges to the environment through the reporting requirements outlined in the Blind River Refinery licence and licence conditions handbook. The review of BRR's hazardous (non-radiological) discharges to the environment indicates that no significant risks to the public or environment have occurred during this period.

The programs at the BRR facility, as summarized above, indicate that the public continues to be protected from facility emissions.

2.2.4 Conventional health and safety

The conventional health and safety SCA covers the implementation of a program to manage workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel and equipment. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Performance
  • Practices
  • Awareness
Ratings for Conventional Health and Safety
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA FS
For 2013, CNSC staff rate the conventional health and safety SCA at Cameco's Blind River Refinery as "fully satisfactory". Overall, the compliance verification activities conducted at BRR confirm that Cameco continues to view conventional health and safety as an important consideration. Cameco has demonstrated the implementation of an effective occupational health and safety management program, which has resulted in the ability to keep their workers safe from occupational injuries; no LTIs have occurred for more than seven years.
Performance

A key performance measure for this SCA is the number of LTIs that occur per year. An LTI is an injury that takes place at work, and results in the worker being unable to return to work and carry out their duties for a period of time. As per table 2-6, the number of LTIs remains zero in 2013. BRR has not had an LTI in the past seven years.

Table 2-6: Lost-time injuries (LTIs) at BRR, 2009-2013.
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lost-time injuries 0 0 0 0 0
Practices

In addition to the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its associated regulations, Cameco's activities and operations must comply with Part II of the Canada Labour Code. As such, Cameco is required to report incidents resulting in an injury to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. To stay informed, the CNSC staff is copied on these reports.

BRR's commitment to safety is captured in a safety charter signed by each employee and displayed at the entrance of the facility. Cameco has a Facility Health and Safety Committee (FHSC) that inspects the work place and meets monthly to resolve and track any safety issues. The CNSC staff frequently review the FHSC monthly meeting minutes and associated corrective actions to ensure issues are promptly resolved. 

Awareness

Cameco continues to develop and maintain a comprehensive occupational health and safety management program for the BRR site. During 2013, Cameco undertook eight initiatives to improve occupational health and safety at the site. The CNSC staff will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these improvement initiatives through future inspections.

2.3 Port Hope Conversion Facility

Lake Ontario

 Cameco Corporation owns and operates the Port Hope Conversion Facility (PHCF) under an operating licence that currently expires in 2017. PHCF is located in the municipality of Port Hope, Ontario; it is situated on the north shore of Lake Ontario, approximately 100 kilometres east of Toronto, and an aerial photograph of the site is shown in figure 2-8.

Figure 2-8: Port Hope Conversion Facility Site 1 (looking north)
Alternative Text

This picture shows the Port Hope Conversion Facility Site 1 (looking north). The Port Hope Conversion Facility location shown is in the Municipality of Port Hope, Ontario, situated on the north shore of Lake Ontario.

PHCF primarily converts uranium trioxide (UO3) powder produced by Cameco's Blind River facility into uranium dioxide (UO2) and uranium hexafluoride (UF6). UO2 is used in the manufacture of CANDU reactor fuel (natural uranium), whereas UF6 is exported for further processing before being converted into fuel for light-water reactors.

Since relicensing in March 2012, there have been no licence amendments or changes to the PHCF licence conditions handbook (LCH-Cameco-PHCF-R000).

2.3.1 Performance

For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate PHCF's performance as "satisfactory" in all safety and control areas (SCAs). The PHCF ratings for 2009 through 2013 are found in Appendix C.

The management system and human performance management  (which includes training) SCAs for PHCF are rated as "satisfactory", despite the recent cell room event, described in an Event Initial Report (CMD 14-M36), presented to the Commission in June 2014 identifying some areas for improvement. As a result of this event, the CNSC staff have heightened the regulatory oversight of this facility for 2014. The outcome of this heightened regulatory oversight and its impact to the performance ratings of the relevant SCAs will be reflected in the 2014 annual report. 

For 2013, there were no modifications made to the facility that affected the safety case for PHCF. However, the UO2 and UF6 plants underwent scheduled shutdowns in the summer of 2013, to allow for planned maintenance activities and allow employees to take vacation time. The UO2 and UF6 plants were safely shutdown in November 2013, after achieving their annual production targets.

In 2013, PHCF reported two monthly gamma action level exceedances (in May and June) at one of their fence-line monitoring locations. The UF6 cylinders causing the elevated gamma dose rate were moved and fence-line gamma levels were closely monitored following these exceedances. These action level exceedances had no impact on the operating release limit of 0.3 mSv/year. The CNSC staff visited the site following these incidents, and are satisfied with the actions taken by Cameco.

PHCF also reported to the CNSC two events in 2013. In February 2013, a UF6 cylinder valve was bent when the valve cover came in contact with a doorframe when backing out of a building. The emergency response team was activated. There was no release to the environment. The corrective actions implemented by PHCF have been reviewed by CNSC staff and found to be adequate.

In June 2013, discharge drum rupture discs in the UF6 plant failed prematurely, due to nickel/fluoride corrosion. This caused a fluorine fire. The plant was safely shutdown, with no injuries and no environmental releases. CNSC staff are satisfied with the corrective actions initiated by Cameco to prevent future reoccurrence, and continue to follow-up with compliance verification activities.

Following the acceptance of the environmental assessment for the "Vision 2010" project (now referred to as "Vision in Motion" (VIM)) by the federal Minister of the Environment, in December 2012, work has been undertaken by Cameco to identify the project's scope for implementation. Cameco's focus in 2014 will be to progress the project planning and licensing activities for VIM, with the intention of applying for an amendment to the PHCF operating licence in 2014-15.

In 2013, CNSC staff conducted one Type I and five Type II compliance inspections to verify PHCF's compliance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its regulations, its operating licence, and its programs used to meet their regulatory requirements. Of the inspections conducted, no inspection findings posed an immediate or unreasonable risk to the health, safety and security of Canadians, and the environment.

2.3.2 Radiation protection

The radiation protection SCA covers the implementation of a radiation protection program in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulations. The program must ensure that contamination levels and radiation doses received by individuals are monitored, controlled and maintained ALARA. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Application of ALARA
  • Worker dose control
  • Radiation protection program performance
  • Radiological hazard control
  • Estimated dose to the public
Ratings for Radiation Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the radiation protection SCA at Cameco's Port Hope Conversion Facility as "satisfactory". Cameco has implemented and maintained an effective radiation protection program as required by the Radiation Protection Regulations.
Application of ALARA

As required by the Radiation Protection Regulations, PHCF continued to implement RP measures in 2013 to keep radiation exposures and doses to persons ALARA, taking into account social and economic factors. Annually, PHCF establishes RP objectives and ALARA targets (such as worker dose reduction initiatives), in addition to key performance indicators on training, monitoring and RP objectives, to track RP program performance at the facility.

Worker dose control

At PHCF, radiation exposures are monitored to ensure compliance with the CNSC's regulatory dose limits and with keeping radiation doses ALARA. In 2013, all the workers at PHCF were NEWs and no worker's radiation exposure reported by PHCF exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limits. The maximum effective dose received by a worker in 2013 was 6.6 mSv, or approximately 13 percent of the regulatory limit for effective dose of 50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period. Annual average and maximum effective dose results from 2009 to 2013 are provided in figure
2-9. During these years, average doses were relatively stable at 2 mSv, except in 2013 due to the inclusion of contractor NEW dose statistics, which decreased the average dose to workers. The maximum dose over these years has ranged from 5.8 mSv to 8.8 mSv, with a decreasing trend for the years after 2011.

Radiation protection program performance

PHCF's RP program performance was assessed in 2013 through various CNSC staff compliance activities. These activities included a focused RP inspection to assess compliance with regulatory requirements and PHCF's RP program requirements. While these compliance activities identified areas for improvement with respect to contamination control at PHCF, the CNSC staff's assessment is that overall, PHCF's corrective actions stemming from the findings have been appropriate.

Action levels for radiological exposures and contamination control are established as part of the PHCF RP program. If reached, they trigger PHCF staff to establish the cause and, if applicable, restore the effectiveness of the RP program. In 2013, there were no action level exceedances at PHCF.

Figure 2-9: Port Hope Conversion Facility – average and maximum effective dose trends to nuclear energy workers, 2009-2013
Alternative Text
Port Hope Conversion Facility Worker Dose
Dose Statistic 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
Total Persons Monitored 501 438 422 442 450 823
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 7.8 5.8 7.8 8.8 7.0 6.6
Average Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 1.9 2.2 1.7 1.9 2.0 0.7
Radiological hazard control

Radiological contamination controls have been established at PHCF to control and minimize the spread of radioactive contamination. The methods of contamination control include the use of a radiation zone control program and monitoring, to confirm the effectiveness of the program. In 2013, areas for improvement with respect to contamination control at PHCF were identified during CNSC compliance activities, which PHCF has addressed to CNSC staff's satisfaction.

Estimated dose to the public

The 2009-2013 annual doses to the public are shown in the following table. The estimated dose to the public is well below the PHCF operating release level of 0.3 mSv/year, indicating that the public has remained protected from radiological releases from the facility.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
0.034 mSv 0.019 mSv 0.019 mSv 0.029 mSv 0.021 mSv

2.3.3 Environmental protection

The environmental protection SCA covers programs that identify, control and monitor all releases of radioactive and hazardous substances and effects on the environment from facilities or as the result of licensed activities. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Effluent and emissions control (releases)
  • Environmental management system (EMS)
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection of the public
Ratings for Environmental Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the environmental protection SCA at Cameco's Port Hope Conversion Facility as "satisfactory". Uranium releases to the environment continue to be controlled and monitored, to comply with the conditions of the operating licence and regulatory requirements. The releases of hazardous substances from the facility to the environment are controlled in accordance with the Ontario MOE's applicable regulations and the certificates of approval. All the releases to the environment were well below regulatory limits during 2013.
Effluent and emissions control (releases)
Air emissions

PHCF monitors uranium, fluorides and ammonia released from stacks at the facility. The monitoring data in table 2-7 demonstrates that stack emissions from the facility in 2013 continued to be effectively controlled, and remained consistently below their respective licence limits.

Liquid effluent monitoring

For 2013, PHCF continued to evaporate rather than discharge process liquid effluent. Their licence does not allow any discharge.

Table 2-7: Port Hope Conversion Facility – air emissions monitoring results (annual averages), 2009-2013
Location Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit
UF6 plant Uranium (kg/h) 0.0033 0.0044 0.0051 0.0042 0.0051 0.290
Fluorides (kg/h) 0.0280 0.0175 0.0199 0.0160 0.0190 0.650
UO2 plant Uranium (kg/h) 0.0014 0.0013 0.0013 0.0012 0.0013 0.150
Ammonia (kg/h) 4.8 3.3 2.4 1.9 2.0 58
Environmental management system (EMS)

The PHCF staff have developed and are maintaining an EMS to describe the integrated activities associated with the protection of the environment at the PHCF. PHCF's EMS is described in their Environmental Management Program Manual and includes activities such as establishing annual environmental objectives and targets, which are reviewed and assessed by CNSC staff through compliance verification activities. Cameco holds safety meetings annually, as refresher training, which include environmental protection issues. The EMS is verified through the annual management review where minutes and follow-up to outstanding issues are documented. CNSC staff, as part of their compliance verification activities, reviews these minutes and follows-up with PHCF staff on any outstanding issues.  

PHCF's EMS is ISO-14001 registered, and is therefore subject to periodic ISO audits and reviews to identify potential improvements.

Assessment and monitoring
Soil Monitoring

PHCF's soil monitoring program includes annual sampling in the municipality of Port Hope, including one location (Waterworks side yard) remediated with clean soil to avoid interference from historic uranium soil contamination. Samples are taken at various depths within the soil profile, to determine whether the concentrations of uranium change as compared to previous sample results.

The average uranium-in-soil concentrations in 2013 arising from current operations remained similar to past years. This suggests that uranium emissions from current PHCF operations have not accumulated in soil over the past few years. Soil sampling results are provided in Appendix F.

Uranium in Ambient Air

PHCF measures uranium in the ambient air at several locations around the facility, to confirm the effectiveness of emission abatement systems and to monitor the impact of the facility on the environment. For 2013, the results from these samplers show that uranium in air as suspended particulate has consistently remained very low: the highest annual average concentration (amongst the sampling stations) of uranium in ambient air measured around the facility in 2013 was 0.002 µg/m3, well below the MOE's impending standard for uranium (0.03 µg/m3).

Groundwater Monitoring

Currently, the groundwater quality at PHCF is sampled at:

  • 13 active pumping wells on a monthly basis, four of which commenced operation in October 2011
  • 66 monitoring wells on a quarterly basis
  • 15 bedrock wells on an annual basis
  • The CNSC staff found that the groundwater monitoring program, including the pump-and-treat wells, has been performing as expected, and the groundwater quality across the PHCF site in 2013 has not deteriorated relative to the groundwater quality in previous years.

Table 2-8 provides the mass of Contaminants of Concern (COC) that were captured in the pump-and-treat wells and removed before they reached the harbor. In 2012 and 2013, there was a noticeable increase in the mass removed for most COC, due to the addition of four new pump-and-treat wells in October 2011. This result indicates a significant improvement to the pump-and-treat-well performance at PHCF.

Table 2-8: Port Hope Conversion Facility – mass (kg) of contaminants of concern (COC) removed by the pumping wells, 2009-2013
COPC (kg) Year
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Uranium 17.2 14.0 19.7 27.7 28.9
Fluoride 65.7 43.5 38.6 60.4 51.1
Ammonia 51.1 26.1 20.9 34.7 53.0
Nitrate 72.4 27.8 41.2 37.5 41.0
Arsenic 4.1 3.5 2.6 3.1 2.8
Fluoride Monitoring

The impact of fluoride emissions from PHCF on the environment is determined each autumn, when samples of fluoride-sensitive vegetation are collected. The results in 2013 continued to be well below the MOE's Upper Limit of Normal guideline of 35 parts per million (ppm). Details are provided in Appendix F.

Protection of the public

The licensee must demonstrate that the health and safety of the public are protected from exposures to hazardous substances released from the facility. CNSC licensees are required to ensure that adequate provisions are made for protecting the health and safety of the public. The effluent and environmental monitoring programs currently conducted by the licensee are used to verify that releases of hazardous substances do not result in environmental concentrations that may affect public health.

CNSC receives reports of discharges to the environment through the reporting requirements outlined in the PHCF licence and licence conditions handbook. The review of hazardous (non-radiological) discharges to the environment for PHCF in 2013 indicate that no significant risks to the public or environment have occurred during this period.

The programs at the PHCF, as summarized above, indicate that the public continues to be protected from facility emissions.

2.3.4 Conventional health and safety

The conventional health and safety SCA covers the implementation of a program to manage workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel and equipment. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Performance
  • Practices
  • Awareness
Ratings for Conventional Health and Safety
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the conventional health and safety SCA at the Port Hope Conversion Facility as "satisfactory". Overall, compliance verification activities conducted at the facility confirm that Cameco continues to view conventional health and safety as an important consideration. Cameco has demonstrated a satisfactory ability to keep their workers safe from occupational injuries. 
Performance

A key performance measure for conventional health and safety is the number of LTI that occur per year. An LTI is an injury that takes place at work and results in the worker being unable to return to work to carry out their duties for a period of time. As per table 2-9, the number of LTIs were reduced to zero in 2013.

Table 2-9: Lost-time injuries (LTIs) at PHCF, 2009-13.
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lost-time injuries 1 1 3 1 0
Practices

In addition to the NSCA and its associated regulations, Cameco's activities and operations at the PHCF site must comply with Part II of the Canada Labour Code.

In 2013, Cameco created a Conversion Safety Steering Committee (CSSC); a joint committee that captures the interests and functions of PHCF's previously existing Policy Health and Safety Committee (PHSC) and the workplace health and safety committee (WHSC). The CSSC allots time, reviews actions, discusses issues and records minutes to address topics or concerns of the previously existing WHSC and PHSC.

All the reported conventional health and safety incidents are tracked and managed as part of PHCF's Cameco Incident Reporting System (CIRS) database.

Awareness

Cameco continues to develop and maintain a comprehensive occupational health and safety management program for the PHCF site. During 2013, Cameco advanced several initiatives to improve occupational health and safety at the site. CNSC staff will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these improvement initiatives through future inspections.

2.4 Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc.

Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. (CFM) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cameco Corporation, and operates two facilities: a nuclear fuel fabricating facility licensed by the CNSC, and a metals manufacturing facility in Cobourg, Ontario which manufactures zircaloy tubes. This latter facility is not licensed by the CNSC, and is not discussed further in this report.

Figure 2-10: Aerial view of Cameco Fuel Manufacturing
Alternative Text

This picture shows an aerial view of Cameco Fuel Manufacturing located in the Municipality of Port Hope on the north shore of Lake Ontario.

The CFM facility is located in Port Hope, Ontario, and operates under a CNSC licence which expires in 2022. The facility manufactures nuclear reactor fuel bundles from uranium dioxide and zircaloy tubes. The finished fuel bundles are primarily shipped to Canadian nuclear power reactors.

In 2013, CFM had approximately 145 employees. The risks associated with the licensed activities at this Class IB facility are mainly due to conventional industrial hazards and radiological hazards of UO2.

Since relicensing in March 2012, there have been no licence amendments or changes to the CFM's licence conditions handbook (LCH-Cameco-CFM-R000), issued in July 2012.

2.4.1 Performance

For 2013, the CNSC staff rated CFM's performance as "satisfactory" in all 14 safety and control areas (SCAs). The CFM facility ratings for 2009 to 2013 are found in Appendix C.

CFM continued to operate in a safe manner through 2013, with planned annual shutdowns for maintenance (three weeks in the summer and during the winter holidays). In 2013, there were several modifications to the facility, including the ceramics laboratory, respirator room, production office area and the quality verification inspection area.

Major improvements to the facility made in 2013 include upgrading the sintering furnaces, a new extraction unit in the ceramics laboratory, construction of a catwalk for furnace controls and associated sprinkler systems. Several program and procedure documents were also updated, including the waste management procedure, to reflect CFM's waste minimization efforts accepted by the CNSC in 2012. All modifications to facility buildings, processes, equipment and procedures with a potential impact to safety are evaluated through CFM's internal change control and design change control processes, to help identify potential impacts to the licensing basis. The 2013 modifications did not alter the licensing basis, and were within the safety case described in the licensee's Safety Analysis Report

In 2013, there were three reportable action level exceedances related to internal dose, details of which are described in the subsequent sections of this report. There were no action level exceedances related to environmental protection. One transport event was reported during the fourth quarter of 2013, in which five Type IP-1 drums filled with UO2 production scrap were transported from CFM to PHCF with loose drum lids. CFM reported the incident to the CNSC, completed an investigation of the incident and implemented corrective measures, to prevent reoccurrence.

In 2013, the CNSC staff conducted one Type I inspection and four Type II inspections to verify CFM's compliance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its regulations, its operating licence and its programs used to meet their regulatory requirements. None of the findings made during these inspections posed an immediate or unreasonable risk to the health, safety and security of Canadians, and the environment.

2.4.2 Radiation protection

The radiation protection SCA covers the implementation of a radiation protection program, in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulations. The program must ensure that contamination levels and radiation doses received by individuals are monitored, controlled and maintained ALARA. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Application of ALARA
  • Worker dose control
  • Radiation protection program performance
  • Radiological hazard control
  • Estimated dose to the public
Ratings for Radiation Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, the CNSC staff continue to rate the radiation protection SCA at the CFM facility as "satisfactory". Cameco has implemented and maintained a radiation protection program as required by the Radiation Protection Regulations.
Application of ALARA

CFM annually establishes ALARA initiatives and dose targets and regularly reviews and tracks its performance against these initiatives and targets. CFM also has a joint worker-management ALARA committee whose main goal is to implement initiatives to lower workers' radiological exposures.

Worker dose control

At CFM, all workers are nuclear energy workers (NEWs). Radiation exposures are monitored, to ensure compliance with the CNSC's regulatory dose limits and to keep radiation doses ALARA. In 2013, no worker's radiation exposure reported by CFM exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limits. The maximum effective dose received by a worker in 2013 was 8.6 mSv, or approximately 17 percent of the regulatory limit for effective dose of 50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period. Annual average and maximum effective dose results from 2009 to 2013 are provided in figure 2-11. During these years, average doses were stable, although the maximum total effective dose in 2013 was higher than previous years (with the exception of 2011). The maximum individual dose occurred to employees working in the pelleting area (furnace operators) and this dose closely mirrors the amount of UO2 processed in a year by CFM. CFM sets ALARA targets based on this information, and closely monitors this parameter to ensure doses are properly managed. For 2013, all employees were below CFM's ALARA target of 9.5 mSv. CFM also monitors employees' five years individual total effective dose, to ensure compliance to radiation protection regulations, and uses this information through its ALARA committee for further improvements.

Figure 2-11: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – corrected average and maximum effective dose trends to nuclear energy workers, 2009-2013
Alternative Text
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Worker Dose
Dose Statistic 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
Total Persons Monitored 408 443 355 368 365 330
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 10.0 6.4 5.0 9.9 6.0 8.6
Average Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 0.9 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.7 0.7
Radiation protection program performance

CFM's RP program performance was assessed in 2013 through various CNSC staff compliance activities, which included select RP topics. The CNSC staff's assessment is that, overall, CFM's compliance with the Radiation Protection Regulations and CNSC licence requirements was acceptable.

Action levels for radiological exposures and contamination control are established as part of the CFM RP program. If reached, these levels trigger CFM staff to establish the cause and, if applicable, restore the effectiveness of the RP program. In 2013, there were three action level exceedances at CFM, which were reported to the CNSC.

The first action level exceedance was reported to the CNSC in January 2013, and was included in the CNSC Staff Report on the Performance of Canadian Uranium Fuel Cycle and Processing Facilities: 2012 (April 2014). CFM reported to CNSC staff issues related to their internal dose calculations. CFM workers' internal doses are determined using urine bioassay. Cameco had undertaken an initiative to bring their various sites' RP programs and the associated internal dosimetry programs into one consistent database for Cameco's Fuel Services Division. During this initiative, they discovered errors in CFM's internal dose spreadsheet calculations. These errors were corrected, and CFM workers' internal dose results were recalculated from 2003 to 2011. Upon reviewing the recalculated results, CFM identified exceedances of the quarterly internal dose action level of 0.8 mSv on ten occasions over these years, which prompted a report to the CNSC. The CNSC staff have reviewed the recalculated doses, along with the following corrective actions taken by CFM to ensure that worker doses are accurately calculated:

  • An independent expert verified that the changes to the internal dose spreadsheet calculations are accurate and now reflect the technical basis for the internal dosimetry program.
  • CFM verified that they are now using the corrected internal dose spreadsheet calculations.
  • As part of CFM's preventive maintenance process and as required by the technical basis document, a schedule to review the dosimetry program every 24 months has been established.

Cameco has recently incorporated CFM as part of their approved internal dosimetry program for Cameco's entire Fuel Services Division (which previously only included BRR and PHCF). Presently, Cameco is seeking authorization to perform in-vivo lung counting as the method to ascertain the internal dose of CFM workers. At the time of writing this report, CNSC staff are currently reviewing the technical basis submitted by Cameco in support of this change. In addition, a focused CNSC radiation protection inspection at CFM, which included aspects of the internal dosimetry program, occurred in July 2014.

CNSC staff are satisfied with the measures taken by CFM to resolve this issue, and have adjusted their compliance activities accordingly, to continue to verify the implementation and effectiveness of these corrective actions. CFM reported this event to CNSC staff in a timely manner, and has notified all affected workers of their recalculated internal doses. While the dose miscalculation errors meant that CFM did not detect some quarterly internal dose action level exceedances at the time that they occurred, the investigation revealed that no regulatory dose limits were exceeded, as the recalculated annual maximum effective doses to workers for the years 2003-2011 remain well below the annual regulatory dose limit of 50 mSv.

The additional two action level exceedances in 2013 involved two separate occasions where two CFM workers' quarterly internal doses were determined to be 0.82 mSv  and 1.02 mSv respectively; which exceeded CFM's internal dose action level of 0.8 mSv/quarter. In both instances, CFM reported, investigated and implemented corrective actions as required. The CNSC staff is satisfied with Cameco's response to these action level exceedances

Radiological hazard control

CFM has a radiation and contamination control program to control and minimize radiological hazards and the spread of radioactive contamination. Methods of control include radiological zone controls and monitoring to confirm the effectiveness of the program. In 2013, no adverse trends were noted during routine monitoring activities at CFM.

Estimated dose to the public

The 2009-2013 annual doses to the public are shown in the following table. The estimated dose to the public is well below the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 1 mSv/year. As noted in previous annual reports, and discussed during the re-licensing in 2012, CFM stored finished fuel bundles in trailers during 2011; this resulted in an increased public dose for that year. Subsequently, CFM constructed an engineered indoor storage facility in 2012 for the fuel bundles. CNSC staff note that the public dose for 2013 continues to decrease from 2011, and is almost at the levels estimated in 2010.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
0.002 mSv 0.008 mSv 0.042 mSv 0.031 mSv 0.013 mSv

2.4.3 Environmental protection

The environmental protection SCA covers programs that identify, control and monitor all releases of radioactive and hazardous substances and effects on the environment from facilities or as the result of licensed activities. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Effluent and emissions control (releases)
  • Environmental management system (EMS)
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection of the public
Ratings for Environmental Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the environmental protection SCA at the CFM facility as "satisfactory". Uranium and hazardous substance releases from CFM to the environment continue to be controlled and monitored, in compliance with the conditions of the operating licence and regulatory requirements.
Effluent and emissions control (releases)
Air Emissions

CFM continues to monitor uranium released as gaseous emissions from the facility. The monitoring data in table 2-10 demonstrate that stack emissions from the facility in 2013 continued to be effectively controlled, and remained consistently well below their licence limits.

Table 2-10: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – air emissions monitoring results, 2009-13
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit
Total uranium discharge through stacks (kg/yr) 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.03 14
Liquid Effluent Monitoring

CFM also continues to monitor uranium released as liquid effluent from the facility. The monitoring data in table 2-11 demonstrate that liquid effluent from the facility in 2013 continued to be effectively controlled, and remained consistently well below its licence limits.

Table 2-11: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – liquid effluent monitoring results, 2009-13
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit
Total discharge to sewer (kg/yr) 0.65 1.05 0.68 0.61 0.55 475
Environmental management system (EMS)  

CFM staff have developed and are maintaining an EMS to describe the integrated activities associated with the protection of the environment at CFM. The EMS is described in their Radiation &Environmental Protection Manual and includes activities such as establishing annual environmental objectives and targets, which are reviewed and assessed by CNSC staff through compliance verification activities. Cameco holds an annual management review meeting in which environmental protection issues are discussed. The CNSC staff, as part of their compliance verification activities, review these minutes and follow- up with CFM staff on any outstanding issues.

CFM's EMS is ISO-14001 registered, and is subject to periodic ISO audits and reviews to identify potential improvements.

Assessment and monitoring
Soil Monitoring

CFM collects soil samples from 23 locations surrounding the facility, on a three-year sampling frequency. Soil samples were collected in 2013 and analysed for uranium content. The results for all samples were below 23 μg/g, which is the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment soil quality guideline for uranium associated with residential and parkland land uses. A comparison of 2013 results with previous years indicates that there is no increasing trend in uranium concentration in soil. Soil sampling results are provided in Appendix F.

Uranium in Ambient Air

CFM operates high-volume air samplers to measure the airborne concentrations of uranium at points of impingement of stack plumes. The samplers are located on the east, north, southwest and northwest sides of the facility. In 2013, the results from these samplers show that the highest annual average concentration (amongst the sampling stations) of uranium in ambient air measured around the facility was 0.00006 µg/m3, well below the MOE's new standard limit for uranium of 0.03 µg/m3.

Groundwater Monitoring

As of the end of 2013, CFM has a network of 75 groundwater monitoring wells located onsite (54) and offsite (21) within the immediate area of the facility. These wells are screened within the overburden (soil) and some are within the underlying bedrock. The monitoring wells have a dual purpose. Their primary purpose is to investigate the extent of historical uranium in groundwater on the licensed property. They also serve to confirm that current operations are not contributing to the concentrations of uranium in groundwater on the licensed property. The monitoring results indicate that there is no increasing trend in uranium concentration in groundwater.

Surface Water Monitoring

In 2013, Cameco collected surface water samples at five (5) locations in June and seven (7) locations in October. The sample locations were on, and adjacent to, the facility, and were analyzed for uranium.

Uranium concentrations in all surface water samples collected in 2013 met the interim provincial water quality objectives (PWQO) of 0.005 mg/L, with the exception of the samples collected at SW-4 (0.0773 mg/L and 0.0352 mg/L) in June and October, and SW-9 (0.0272 mg/L) in October. These sampling stations are located in a drainage ditch leading to the creek. Uranium concentrations measured in samples collected from two off-site locations (i.e., downstream of CFM) were below the PWQO.

CNSC staff will continue to oversee when Cameco's monitoring at these locations, to confirm whether there are elevated uranium concentrations in surface water.

Protection of the Public

The licensee must demonstrate that adequate provisions are made for protecting the health and safety of the public from exposures to hazardous substances released from the facility.

The effluent and environmental monitoring programs currently conducted by the licensee are used to verify that releases of hazardous substances do not result in environmental concentrations that may affect public health.

The CNSC receives reports of discharges to the environment through the reporting requirements outlined in the CFM licence and licence conditions handbook. The review of CFM's hazardous (non-radiological) discharges to the environment for CFM in 2013 indicate that no significant risks to the public or environment have occurred during this period.

The programs at the CFM facility, as summarized above, indicate that the public continues to be protected from facility emissions.

2.4.4 Conventional health and safety  

The "Conventional health and safety" SCA covers the implementation of a program to manage non-radiological workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel and equipment. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Performance
  • Practices
  • Awareness
Ratings for Conventional Health and Safety
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the "Conventional health and safety" SCA at Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. as "satisfactory". CFM has implemented and maintained a conventional health and safety program as required by the NSCA and Part II of the Canada Labour Code.
Performance

CFM uses a variety of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to measure effectiveness of their conventional health and safety program. Among these KPIs, CNSC staff review the number of LTIs that occur per year as well as their severity. An LTI is an injury that takes place at work and results in the worker being unable to return to work for their scheduled shift or carry out their regular duties for a period of time.

As per table 2-12, no LTIs were reported in 2013.

Table 2-12: Lost-time injuries (LTIs) at CFM 2009-2013
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lost-Time Injuries 1 0 2 0 0
Practices

CFM's activities and operations must comply with the NSCA and Part II of the Canada Labour Code. CFM achieves this through a comprehensive Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (E/OH&S) program that is consistent with Cameco's corporate policy and is modeled on the OHSAS 18001 standard.

CFM maintains a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JH&SC) which meets monthly to review performance as well as a Policy Health and Safety Committee which meets quarterly to review and discuss revisions to policies, procedures and programs. All reported conventional health and safety incidents are tracked and managed as part of CFM's Cameco Incident Reporting System database.

Awareness

CFM continues to develop and maintain a comprehensive Occupational Health and Safety Management program and tracks both leading and lagging safety indicators like safety meeting attendance, percentage of monthly safety inspections completed, performance of the JH&SC and a variety of other safety statistics. This information is regularly reviewed by both the JH&SC and Cameco's divisional management which has led to several safety initiatives in 2013. These improvements included development of a worker led Fuel Safety Steering Committee (FSSC), monthly awareness sessions on a wide variety of safety topics, continued focus on ergonomic injuries, implementation of a hand safety program and revision of several procedures. CNSC staff continue to monitor CFM's changes to the Health and Safety programs during onsite inspections.

2.5 GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Incorporated (GEH-C)

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (GEH-C) is a Canadian company that manufactures nuclear fuel bundles from uranium dioxide (UO2) powder and zircaloy tubes. It operates two Ontario sites under one CNSC licence (FFOL 3622.00 / 2020): one site in Toronto that deals with fuel pelleting operations and one in Peterborough that deals with fuel bundle manufacturing using the pellets from Toronto.

In 2013, there were no amendments to GEH-C's licence and there was one update to
GEH-C's LCH (LCH-GEH-C-R001) The revised LCH became effective as of
April 16, 2013 and contained changes requested by GEH-C due to accepted administrative updates to referenced documents and compliance verification criteria. For additional details refer to Appendix K.

GEH-C Toronto

The Toronto facility has been producing nuclear fuel pellets for nuclear reactors since 1965 and occupies a small site in the city of Toronto. In 2013, GEH-C employed approximately 66 employees at its Toronto facility. The immediate surroundings of the facility are shown in the aerial photo in figure 2-12. The risks associated with the Toronto facility are primarily industrial and radiological hazards associated with processing UO2 powder into precision dimension ceramic pellets.

Figure 2-12: Aerial view of the GEH-C Toronto facility (shown in red)
GEH-C Toronto Aerial photo
Alternative Text

This picture shows an aerial view of the GEH-C Toronto facility which occupies a small site in the city of Toronto.

GEH-C Peterborough

The Peterborough facility has also been assembling fuel bundles for CANDU reactors since 1965 and is located on a larger industrial site that belongs to General Electric Canada. The site has approximately 76 employees and is located in the middle of the city of Peterborough. The aerial photo in figure 2-13 shows the location of the facility.

Figure 2-13: Aerial view of the GEH-C Peterborough facility
Alternative Text

The aerial photo shows the location of the facility within the city of Peterborough.

The Peterborough facility takes the UO2 pellets fabricated in Toronto and assembles them into CANDU reactor fuel bundles. In addition, GEH-C Peterborough has a nuclear services and design business, which includes work associated with receiving, repairing, modifying and returning contaminated equipment from offsite nuclear facilities.

2.5.1 GEH-C public information and disclosure program

In accordance with RD/GD-99.3, Public Information and Disclosure, published by the CNSC in 2012, major licensees in Canada, including GEH-C, are required to implement public information programs supported by disclosure protocols.

In January 2013, GEH-C submitted a revised public information program that aligned their existing program to RD/GD-99.3 requirements. CNSC staff reviewed GEH-C's proposed program and provided recommendations for several improvements including website enhancements, improved stakeholder engagement – incorporating the creation of a community liaison committee for the Toronto facility, and a more defined program evaluation.

In May 2013, GEH-C submitted an updated program to address CNSC comments which was accepted by CNSC staff. GEH-C was requested to implement this new accepted program and provide quarterly reports on the status of implementation to CNSC staff.

CNSC staff performed desktop reviews of all the reports submitted by GEH-C to assess the licensee's performance in 2013. CNSC staff also conducted a Type II inspection focused on GEH-C's Public Information and Disclosure Program (PIDP) in June 2014. CNSC staff's evaluation of GEH-C's PIPD implementation for 2013 and into 2014 is that GEH-C has increased their efforts specific to the Toronto facility, which included:

  • A multi-lingual newsletter delivered to 800 homes in the vicinity of the Toronto facility in May 2014
  • Facility tours for members of the public
  • Engagement with elected officials
  • Establishment of a community liaison committee for the Toronto facility

During a CNSC public Commission meeting held on December 2-3, 2013, in Toronto, numerous interveners expressed their ongoing concerns about the safety of the facility and the lack of public information and awareness about its operations. Listening to these concerns, the Commission directed GEH-C to take further action to improve its PIDP, and to provide more information on emergency planning and the transport of uranium products.

To date, GEH-C has responded to the issues raised at the Commission meeting by posting on its website their current emergency response plan, a summary of their transportation emergency response plan, and the name of the third-party contractor who verifies their stack emissions. GEH-C has also posted a video addressing concern about key accident scenarios. The video provides information about rail accidents, uranium transportation, hydrogen tank safety and fire safety. GEH-C is also in the process of identifying activities (orientation sessions, drills) with the Toronto police and fire departments that may be of interest to the public and plans to put this information in the public domain.

GEH-C remains in the process of improving their PIDP and CNSC staff note that for the Toronto facility, a number of activities are still in progress including public engagement and program evaluation by the licensee.

The CNSC recognizes that GEH-C is working towards establishing an atmosphere of openness, transparency and building trust within the Toronto and Peterborough communities. GEH-C currently has a PIDP that meets the intent of RD 99.3 and has been accepted by CNSC staff.  Improving public awareness and building trust within a community takes time, resources and on-going evaluation and program improvements to meet the information needs of an evolving urban neighborhood, as is the case for the Toronto facility. However, CNSC staff will continue to require GEH-C to undertake more sustained proactive and direct communications with residents living near both facilities.

As previously mentioned CNSC staff conducted a Type II inspection focused on GEH-C's public information program, and identified several opportunities for improvement. CNSC staff will continue to monitor the progress of GEH-C's PIDP and its implementation through increased compliance monitoring and verification activities. 

2.5.2 Performance

For 2013, CNSC staff rated all safety ratings the same as in 2012. Of the 14 SCAs, 12 are rated "satisfactory" while the environmental protection and conventional health and safety SCAs remain "fully satisfactory". The SCA ratings for GEH-C facilities over the period 2009 to 2013 are provided in Appendix C.

GEH-C continued to operate both facilities in a safe manner through 2013 with planned shutdowns during the summer and winter holidays. In 2013, there were several significant improvements made to automation equipment controls such as the bundle assembly welder controls upgrade, cut-to-length controls, coiner guarding as well as building 24 fire safety upgrades, building 24 powder storage upgrades in Peterborough and improving security at the Toronto facility. All modifications to facility buildings, processes, equipment and procedures with a potential impact to safety are evaluated through GEH-C's change control and management of change and preventive maintenance processes which requires review of impacts to the environment and health & safety. There was one modification that involved storage of UO2 powder that required an administrative update to the facility safety analysis report as well as the fire hazard assessment for building 24. All the modifications performed by GEH-C were minor in nature, and did not alter the licensing basis.

In 2013, there was one reportable action level exceedances related to internal dose; the details are provided in the radiation protection section of this report. There were no action level exceedances related to environmental protection.

In 2013, CNSC staff conducted four Type II compliance inspections to verify GEH-C's compliance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its regulations, its operating licence, and its programs used to meet their regulatory requirements. None of the findings made during these inspections posed an immediate or unreasonable risk to the health, safety and security of Canadians, and the environment. 

2.5.3 Radiation protection

The radiation protection SCA covers the implementation of a radiation protection program in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulations. The program must ensure that contamination levels and radiation doses received by individuals are monitored, controlled and maintained ALARA. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Application of ALARA
  • Worker dose control
  • Radiation protection program performance
  • Radiological hazard control
  • Estimated dose to the public

In 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate GEH-C's Radiation Protection SCA as "satisfactory".

Ratings for Radiation Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the "Radiation Protection" SCA at GEH-C as "satisfactory". GEH-C has implemented and maintained an effective radiation protection program as required by the Radiation Protection Regulations.
Application of ALARA

As required by the Radiation Protection Regulations, GEH-C continued to implement RP measures in 2013 to keep radiation exposures and doses to persons ALARA, taking into account social and economic factors. GEH-C establishes RP improvements and the ALARA committee meets quarterly at a minimum to discuss dose and internal audit results as well as employee RP related concerns. The committee also sets annual ALARA goals, such as worker dose reductions.

Worker dose control

At GEH-C, all the employees are classified as either NEWs or non-Nuclear Energy Workers (non-NEWs). All contractors are classified as non-NEWs. Radiation exposures are monitored to ensure compliance with the CNSC's regulatory dose limits and to maintain radiation doses ALARA. In 2013, no worker's radiation exposure reported by GEH-C exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limits. The maximum effective dose received by a worker in 2013 at the Peterborough facility was 8.0 mSv, or 16 per cent of the regulatory limit for effective dose of 50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period. The maximum effective dose received by a worker in 2013 at the Toronto facility was 7.80 mSv. Annual average and maximum effective dose results from 2009 to 2013 are provided in Appendix E. During these years, average doses have been relatively stable at around 2 mSv for both facilities. The maximum dose over these years has ranged from 7.1 mSv to 11.9 mSv for both facilities.

Figure 2-14: Effective dose limit for Peterborough Facility
Alternative Text
GEH-C Peterborough Worker Dose
Dose Statistic 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
*N/A indicates value is not available
Total Persons Monitored 76 83 73 80  N/A  N/A
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 10.5 9.6 7.2 7.1 9.2 8.0
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 2.0 1.8 1.6 1.7 2.1 1.5
Figure 2-15: Effective dose limit for Toronto Facility
Alternative Text
GEH-C Toronto Worker Dose
Dose Statistic 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
*N/A indicates value is not available
Total Persons Monitored 51 52 56 59  N/A  N/A
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 9 9.7 11.9 7.8 9.2 7.8
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 3.5 3.3 2.2 1.6 2.0 1.4
Radiation protection program performance

GEH-C's RP program performance was assessed in 2013 through various CNSC staff compliance activities. These activities included a focused CNSC inspection on RP to assess compliance with regulatory requirements and GEH-C's RP program requirements, with a particular focus on internal dosimetry. While these compliance activities identified areas for improvement with respect to contamination control and urinalysis action levels at GEH-C, CNSC staff's assessment is that overall, GEH-C's corrective actions stemming from the findings have been appropriate.

Action levels for radiological exposures, urinalysis results and contamination control are established as part of the GEH-C RP program. If reached, it triggers GEH-C staff to establish the cause for reaching the action levels and, if applicable, restore the effectiveness of the RP program. In 2013, there was one action level exceedance of 
GEH-C, pertaining to a worker's urinalysis result of 13.5 µg U/L, above their action level of 10 µg U/L (micrograms of uranium per liter of urine). An investigation into the incident was conducted, and corrective actions implemented by GEH-C, included new and modifications to existing policies and work instructions, as well as improved training with respect to respirator cleaning and storage. CNSC staff deemed the corrective actions to be acceptable.

Radiological hazard control

Radiological contamination controls have been established at GEH-C to control and minimize the spread of radioactive contamination. Methods of contamination control include the use of a radiation zone control program and monitoring to confirm the effectiveness of the program. In 2013, areas for improvement with respect to contamination control at GEH-C were identified during CNSC compliance activities, which GEH-C has addressed to CNSC staff's satisfaction.

Estimated dose to the public

Based on annual uranium releases, maximum potential doses to the public are estimated from the GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough facility through direct correlation with the facilities DRL. In 2013, the estimated effective dose from the Toronto facility was 0.38 µSv, while it was less than 0.01 µSv from the Peterborough facility. GEH-C's annual estimated dose to the public from the GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough facilities from 2009 to 2013 are provided below. Doses are well below the regulatory public dose limit of 1 mSv/year and within natural background variation.

Estimated Dose to Public from the GEH-C Toronto Facilities from 2009-2013
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*  Prior to 2012, GEH-C did not report public dose results. Values reported here are based on CNSC staff calculations of GEH-C emissions with respect to the DRL.
0.00085 mSv 0.00109 mSv 0.00062 mSv 0.00083 mSv 0.00038 mSv
Estimated Dose to Public from the GEH-C Peterborough Facilities from 2009-13
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*  Prior to 2012, GEH-C did not report public dose results. Values reported here are based on CNSC staff calculations of GEH-C emissions with respect to the DRL.
<0.00001 mSv <0.00001 mSv <0.00001 mSv <0.00001 mSv <0.00001 mSv

2.5.4 Environmental protection

The "Environmental Protection" SCA covers programs that identify, control and monitor all releases of radioactive and hazardous substances and effects on the environment from facilities or as the result of licensed activities. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Environmental management system (EMS)
  • Effluent and emissions control (releases)
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection of the public
Ratings for Environmental Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
FS FS FS FS FS
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate GEH-C's environmental protection SCA as "fully satisfactory". GEH-C warrants a fully satisfactory rating due to its industry leading practices related to emissions systems that ensure all emissions from the facility are controlled and monitored resulting in very low releases of uranium into the environment. In addition, GEH-C continue to control releases of hazardous substances into the environment in accordance to its licence and the NSCA.
Environmental management system (EMS)

GEH-C staff have developed and are maintaining an EMS in order to describe the integrated activities associated with the protection of the environment at the GEH-C facility. GEH-C's Environmental management systemis described in their Environmental Management Program Manual. GEH-C's EMS includes activities such as establishing annual environmental objectives and targets which are reviewed and assessed by CNSC staff through compliance verification activities.

GEH-C holds an annual safety meeting in which environmental protection issues are discussed. CNSC staff, as part of its compliance verification activities, reviews these minutes and follows up on any outstanding issues with GEH-C staff.  

GEH-C's EMS is ISO-14001 registered and is subject to periodic ISO audits and reviews to identify potential improvements.

Effluent and emissions control (releases)
Air Emissions

To ensure compliance with licence limits, air from the GEH-C facilities are filtered and sampled prior to its release to the atmosphere. In 2013 the annual release of uranium from the GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough facilities were 0.006 kg/year and  
0.000013 kg/year, respectively. GEH-C's annual uranium emissions from the GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough facilities from 2009 to 2013 are provided in Appendix F. The annual uranium emissions remained well below the licence limits for both facilities. A decrease in uranium releases at the Toronto facility is due to improvements to the air pollution control technology in 2012. The results demonstrate that air emissions are being controlled effectively at the GEH-C facilities.

Liquid Effluent Monitoring

To ensure compliance with licence limits, waste water from the GEH-C facilities is collected, filtered and sampled prior to its release to the sanitary sewers in Toronto and Peterborough. In 2013, the annual release of uranium from the GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough facilities were 0.8 kg/year and 0.0002 kg/year, respectively. GEH-C's annual uranium effluent releases from the GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough facilities for 2009 to 2013 are provided in Appendix F. In 2013, the releases continued to be well below the licence limit. A decrease in uranium releases at the Toronto facility is due to changes in the waste water mixing and treatment process. The results demonstrate that liquid effluent releases are being controlled effectively at the GEH-C facilities.

Assessment and monitoring
Soil Monitoring

As noted earlier, GEH-C conducts soil sampling at its Toronto facility as part of its environmental program. Samples are taken from 49 locations around the facility and analyzed for uranium content. The sample locations are located on either GEH-C site, on commercial property located along the south border of the site, and in residential areas. In 2013, the average concentration of uranium in residential soil was 1.1 µg/g while the maximum concentration of uranium in soil was 3.1 µg/g. These values are well below the CCME soil quality guidelines for uranium of 23 μg/g for residential and parkland land use. Soil sampling results are provided in Appendix F.

Uranium in Ambient Air

GEH-C Toronto operates five high-volume air samplers to measure the airborne concentrations of uranium at points of impingement of stack plumes. The results from these samplers show that the highest annual average concentration (amongst the sampling stations)of uranium in ambient air measured around the facility in 2013 was 0.0007µg/m3, well below the impending MOE standard for uranium in ambient of 0.03 µg/m3.

Protection of the public

The licensee must demonstrate that the health and safety of the public are protected from exposures to hazardous substances released from the facility. CNSC licensees are required to ensure that adequate provisions are made for protecting the health and safety of the public. The effluent and environmental monitoring programs currently conducted by the licensee are used to verify that releases of hazardous substances do not result in environmental concentrations that may affect public health.

CNSC receives reports of discharges to the environment through the reporting requirements outlined in the GEH-C licence and LCH. Review of hazardous (non-radiological) discharges to the environment for GEH-C in 2013 indicate that no significant risks to the public or environment have occurred during this period.

The programs at the GEH-C facility, as summarized above, indicate that the public continues to be protected from facility emissions.

2.5.5 Conventional health and safety

The "Conventional health and safety" SCA covers the implementation of a program to manage non-radiological workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel and equipment. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Performance
  • Practices
  • Awareness
Ratings for Conventional Health and Safety
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
FS FS FS SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the "Conventional health and safety" SCA at GEH-C as "satisfactory". Overall, compliance verification activities conducted at GEH-C confirm that GEH-C has demonstrated a satisfactory ability to keep their workers safe from occupational injuries.
Performance

GEH-C has several key performance measures for this SCA including the number of LTIs that occur per year. An LTI is an injury that takes place at work and results in the worker being unable to return to work and carry out their duties the next day or for a period of time. There were no recorded LTI's for GE in 2013.

Table 2-13: Lost-Time Injuries (LTIs) for GEH-C – Toronto
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lost-Time Injuries 0 0 0 1 0
Table 2-14: Lost-Time Injuries (LTIs) for GEH-C – Peterborough
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lost-Time Injuries 0 1 0 0 0
Practices

GEH-C's activities and operations must comply with the NSCA and its Regulations and Part II of the Canada Labour Code. GEH-C's conventional health and safety program is under the oversight of the Workplace Safety Committee (WSC) at both sites which meets on a monthly basis. GEH-C facilities are also internally certified by GE corporate requirements which include certifications like GE Global Star site for Health and Safety program excellence that ensures a 21 element program is implemented that includes training, housekeeping, personal protective equipment, respirator, contractor safety, fall protection, electrical safety, hot work, cranes and hoists, chemical management and others.   

Awareness

GEH-C has several self-assessments and program evaluations to ensure compliance and continuous improvement of its conventional health and safety program. Goals are identified for each facility for a reporting period summarized in the licensee's annual report that demonstrate management oversight as well as regular review. During 2013, GEH-C undertook several improvements to its conventional health and safety programs with continued focus on machine guarding upgrades, installation of category 3 safety systems like interlocks, deployment of safety mats and safety rated programming logic controllers. CNSC staff will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these improvement initiatives through onsite inspections.

3. Part II: Nuclear Substance Processing Facilities

3.1 Overview

Part II of this report deals with three nuclear substance processing facilities located in Ontario:

  • Shield Source Incorporated (SSI), in Peterborough, Ontario
  • SRB Technologies (Canada) Incorporated (SRB), in Pembroke, Ontario
  • Nordion (Canada) Inc., in Ottawa, Ontario

The operating licences for both SRB and Nordion are scheduled for renewal in 2015. Licence renewal applications are expected from SRB and Nordion in 2014 to provide CNSC staff with a suitable review period.

In 2013, SSI decided to no longer renew their operating licence, choosing instead to commence clean-up and decontamination of their facility to be released from regulatory control.

Clean-up and decontamination activities at SSI began in 2013 and were completed in
March 2014. These activities were carried out by qualified staff under the regulatory oversight of CNSC inspectors. In addition to SSI monitoring and reporting, the CNSC also conducted independent sampling of air, soil and water, and verified that all the regulatory requirements and clean-up criteria were met. Based on the extensive sampling and verification, the CNSC staff concluded that the building was clean and there are no health risks to the community or the environment.

SSI was not rated in this report due to the licensee not being in operation. CNSC regulatory efforts were focused on ensuring that the facility was safely and completely decontaminated. These regulatory efforts included having a CNSC inspector onsite during decontamination and clean-up activities.

On March 28, 2014 the Commission issued a licence to abandon to SSI for its processing facility located in Peterborough, Ontario. As of April 1, 2014, SSI was no longer subject to the CNSC's regulatory requirements.

For 2013, CNSC staff performed five inspections at Nordion and SRB. All issues identified during these inspections were minor deficiencies and have been addressed by the licensees.

The CNSC staff used annual compliance reports, revisions to licensee's programs, and licensee's responses to events and incidents, as well as field observations during inspections, to compile the 2013 performance ratings for the nuclear substance processing facilities, as presented in table 3-1.

Licensees are also required to submit annual reports by March 31 of each year, reporting on the operations of their facilities. The reports include all environmental, radiological and safety-related information, including events and associated corrective actions taken.

The full versions of these reports are available on the licensees' websites listed below:

Figure 3-1: Location of nuclear substance processing facilities in Ontario, Canada
Alternative Text

This map shows the location of the nuclear substance processing facilities in Ontario, Canada: SRB Technologies in Pembroke, Nordion in Ottawa (Kanata), and Shield Source Incorporated in Peterborough.

CNSC staff rated all SCAs for SRB and Nordion as "satisfactory" with the exception of the Conventional health and safety for both Nordion and SRB which were rated as "fully satisfactory". The Environmental protection and security SCAs were also rated "fully satisfactory" for Nordion. The 2013 performance ratings for the nuclear substance processing facilities are presented in table 3-1.

Table 3-1: Nuclear substance processing facilities – SCA performance ratings, 2013
Safety and control area SRB Technologies Inc. Nordion (Canada) Inc.
Management system SA SA
Human performance management SA SA
Operating performance SA SA
Safety analysis SA SA
Physical design SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA
Radiation protection SA SA
Conventional health and safety FS FS
Environmental protection SA FS
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA
Waste management SA SA
Security SA FS
Safeguards N/A SA
Packaging and transport SA SA

Radiation protection

The RPR require each licensee to implement a radiation protection program that keeps radiation doses ALARA, social and economic factors taken into consideration. The RPR also require licensees to ascertain dose as a result of the licensed activity. This includes effective dose and equivalent dose. Effective dose refers to the sum of all radiation exposures, internal and external to the whole body. Equivalent dose is a measure of dose to a tissue or an organ (such as the skin, extremities and lens of the eye).

Radiological exposures to workers at SRB primarily result from inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption of tritium. Consequently, internal doses are ascertained by a urine bioassay.

Nordion's workers may be exposed to alpha, beta and gamma radiation emitted from the radioisotopes processed in the nuclear medicine areas, for medical diagnostic purposes and radiopharmaceuticals, and from the production of sealed sources for industrial applications. Nordion ascertains external doses using whole body and extremity dosimetry. For internal radiological exposures, Nordion has a bioassay program for routine thyroid monitoring of workers working with iodine-125 and iodine-131. There are also provisions for the whole body counting or urine analysis if elevated air and/or contamination monitoring would indicate a need.

The CNSC evaluates each licensee's radiation protection program through several methods, including desktop reviews, inspections and review of the licensee's annual compliance reports.

Nordion and SRB have implemented and continue to maintain radiation protection programs to control the radiological hazards present in their facilities, and have ascertained and recorded doses for each person performing duties in connection with their licensed activities. In 2013, no radiation exposures reported exceeded the regulatory dose limit of 50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period.

CNSC staff reviewed licensee dose data, presented in Appendix E, and are satisfied that the nuclear substance processing facilities are adequately controlling radiation doses to levels well below the regulatory limits and keeping doses in accordance with the ALARA principle.

Protection of the public

The licensee must demonstrate and ensure that adequate provisions are made for protecting the health and safety of the public from exposures to hazardous substances released from the facility. The effluent and environmental monitoring programs currently conducted by the licensee are used to verify that any releases of hazardous substances do not result in environmental concentrations that may affect public health.

CNSC receives reports of discharges to the environment through the reporting requirements outlined in the Nordion licence and the SRB LCH. The review of hazardous (non-radiological) discharges to the environment indicate that no significant risks to the public or environment have occurred during this period.

The programs, as summarized above, indicate that the public continues to be protected from facility emissions from all nuclear substance processing facilities.

3.1.2 Environmental protection

The environmental protection SCA covers programs that identify and monitor all releases of nuclear and hazardous substances as a result of licensed activities and their effects on the environment. Licensees are required to develop and implement policies, programs and procedures that comply with all applicable federal and provincial regulatory requirements, to control the release of radioactive and hazardous substances into the environment, and to protect the environment. Licensees are also expected to have suitably trained and qualified staff to effectively develop, implement and maintain their environmental protection programs. There were no exceedances of licence limits for any nuclear substance processing facilities in 2013.

3.1.3 Conventional health and safety

The regulation of conventional health and safety at these facilities involves Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the CNSC. CNSC staff monitor compliance with CNSC regulatory reporting requirements. On occasions, when a concern is identified, HRSDC staff are consulted and asked to take appropriate action. The licensees submit hazardous occurrence investigation reports to both HRSDC and the CNSC, in accordance with their respective reporting requirements.

Licensees are required to report unsafe occurrences to the CNSC as directed by the General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulation (GNSCR) section 29. These reports include serious illness or injury incurred or possibly incurred as a result of licensed activity. The number of recordable LTIs reported by all facilities has remained low from 2009-2013.

The CNSC staff conclude that the nuclear substance processing facility licensees' programs related to the conventional health and safety SCA were effective in protecting the health and safety of persons working in those facilities.

3.1.4 Public information and disclosure programs

In 2013, SRB began the process of transitioning to the requirements of RD/GD 99.3 Public Information and Disclosure. SRB's program is striving to adhere to the criteria outlined in RD/GD-99.3. However, CNSC staff determined that the program requires further improvements to be satisfactory. SRB is in the process of revising its program to renew its communication products and activities, and stakeholder engagement approach.

SRB's communication activities in 2013 included numerous facility tours, a presentation to Pembroke residents at the Algonquin College Pembroke campus to discuss the facility and the licensing process, and posting their annual operation performance reports on its website.

In 2013, Nordion began the process of transitioning to the requirements of RD/GD 99.3. Nordion's program is striving to adhere to the criteria outlined in RD/GD-99.3; however the CNSC determined that the program requires improvements to be satisfactory. As the community is evolving around Nordion, the licensee is required to take proactive measures to reach out to new residents and continually build upon public awareness of the nuclear facility and its related activities. Nordion is in the process of revising its program to renew its communication activities and stakeholder engagement approach.

Nordion's communication activities in 2013 included an advertisement in the local community newspaper, and updating their website with new information on environmental performance, transportation safety and their annual operation performance report. Nordion also utilized its Twitter and Facebook accounts to inform and engage target audiences in 2013.

3.2 Shield Source Incorporated

Shield Source Incorporated (SSI) was classified as a nuclear substance processing facility. The facility was located at the Peterborough Municipal Airport in Peterborough, Ontario, and was licensed by the CNSC from 1986 to 2014. Figure 3-2 provides an aerial view of the building where SSI was located. The facility occupied 300 square metres of leased commercial space within the airport.

Figure 3-2: View of SSI Facility
Alternative Text

This picture shows an aerial view of the SSI facility.

Up until May 2012, SSI was licensed to process tritium gas to produce Gaseous Tritium Light Sources (GTLS) and to manufacture radiation devices containing GTLS. The facility received tritium gas which was used and fill glass tubes to produce GTLS. The radiation devices were distributed in Canada and internationally.

In March 2013, SSI announced that they would be ceasing operations at the Peterborough facility. SSI then was required by CNSC staff to produce a plan for clean-up and decontamination of their facility. SSI hired qualified third parties to complete this work and all clean-up and decontamination activities were completed in March 2014.

A resident CNSC inspector was present onsite during the clean-up activities to ensure that the public and the environment were protected and all activities carried out by SSI were completed in accordance with CNSC requirements.

The average and maximum dose to any of the six workers (SSI and Radsafe personnel, plus a CNSC inspector) associated with clean-up activities were 0.01 mSv and 0.02 mSv, respectively. This is over 1000 times below the regulatory dose limit for workers of
50 mSv/year. 

The potential dose to the public in 2013 associated mainly with the clean-up activities and SSI's limited operations of disassembling returned signs, was calculated to be 0.00523 mSv, representing 0.52% of the allowable dose limit to the public of 1.0 mSv.

The total tritium released from SSI's facility in 2013 was 3.53 TBq which is 140 times below the SSI's licence limit of 500 TBq/year.

Based on extensive sampling and independent verification activities conducted by CNSC staff, the clean-up of the facility met all regulatory requirements and the facility could be released from regulatory control as it posed no risk to future occupants and the public.

CNSC staff conducted environmental monitoring activities in 2013 to independently verify the levels of contaminants in surface water, soil, and fruits near the former SSI facility. Results from CNSC independent monitoring are presented in table 3-2 below.

Table 3-2: Results from CNSC independent monitoring performed around the former SSI facility in 2013
Sampling Description Results
Minimum Detection Concentration is 5 Bq/L
Sampling of water Pond across from SSI (HTO) 460 Bq/L
Otonabee River (HTO) < 5 Bq/L
Sampling of soil On Brealey Drive (HTO) 16 Bq/L
By Otonabee River (HTO) < 5 Bq/L
Sampling of fruits Apples across from SSI (HTO) 165 Bq/L
Apples from Brealey Drive (HTO) < 5 Bq/L

CNSC staff calculated the potential dose to the public and to workers in and near the former SSI facility. The most extreme scenario – dose to a worker excavating soil with the highest tritium-in-soil measurement - would yield a dose of approximately
0.002 mSv. Based on air monitoring carried out adjacent to the SSI building, the dose from tritium in air outside of the facility is expected to be 0.0004 mSv per year. This is more than 1000 times below the public dose limit of 1 mSv/year.

CNSC staff concluded that the dose from tritium to both new occupants and individuals outside the facility is well below the regulatory dose limit, and poses no risk to the environment or the health and safety of people.

On March 28, 2014, the Commission issued a licence to abandon the SSI nuclear substance processing facility. SSI has now vacated the property and it is suitable for a new tenant.

3.3 SRB Technologies (Canada) Incorporated

SRB Technologies (Canada) Incorporated (SRB) is a gaseous tritium light source manufacturing facility located in Pembroke, Ontario (see figure 3-3). The facility processes tritium gas to produce light sources and manufactures radiation devices for containing the sources. SRB leases a space in an industrial building similar to a strip mall. The closest residence is located approximately 255 metres from the facility. SRB employed 36 people in 2013.

Figure 3-3: Aerial view of SRB Technologies
Alternative Text

This picture shows an aerial view of SRB Technologies.

The facility has been in operation since 1990, possessing a nuclear substance licence and, in 2000, was issued a Class IB nuclear substance processing facility operating licence. The current licence was issued in July 2010 and expires in June 2015. In 2013, there were no licence amendments nor updates to SRB's LCH (LCH-SRBT-R000).  

3.3.1 Performance

For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate SRB's performance as  "satisfactory" in all of the Safety and Control Areas (SCA), except one, the conventional health and safety SCA which is rated as "fully satisfactory" based upon effective implementation of this program. The performance ratings for SRB from 2009 to 2013 are provided in Appendix C.

In 2013, there were no building modifications that impacted the licensing basis, and no exceedances of dose limits, licence limit or action levels were reported for the year.

3.3.2 Radiation protection

The radiation protection SCA covers the implementation of a radiation protection program in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulations. The program must ensure that contamination levels and radiation doses received by individuals are monitored, controlled and maintained ALARA. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Application of ALARA
  • Worker dose control
  • Radiation protection program performance
  • Radiological hazard control
  • Estimated dose to the public

In 2013, CNSC staff rate SRB's Radiation Protection SCA as "satisfactory".

Ratings for Radiation Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the radiation protection SCA at SRB as "satisfactory". SRB has implemented and maintained an effective radiation protection program as required by the Radiation Protection Regulations.
Application of ALARA

As required by the Radiation Protection Regulations, SRB continued to implement RP measures in 2013 to keep radiation exposures and doses to persons ALARA, taking into account social and economic factors. SRB establishes RP objectives and ALARA targets, such as worker dose reduction initiatives, to track RP and improve program performance.

Worker dose control

All workers At SRB are NEWs. Radiation exposures are monitored to ensure compliance with the CNSC's regulatory dose limits and with keeping radiation doses ALARA. In 2013, no worker's radiation exposure reported by SRB exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limits. The maximum effective dose received by a worker in 2013 was 1.9 mSv, or approximately 4 per cent of the regulatory limit of 50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period. Annual average and maximum effective dose results from 2009 to 2013 are provided in figure 3-4.

During the last five years average doses have fluctuated between 0.1 mSv and 0.3 mSv but still remain low and within an acceptable range. The maximum dose over these years has also fluctuated between 0.8 mSv to 1.9 mSv, with an increase from 2012 to 2013. The yearly variation in SRB staff's radiation exposure is directly correlated with three primary factors: the level of production, the types of light sources being manufactured, and the results of ALARA-driven improvements to manufacturing processes. The recent increase in effective dose to workers is partly attributed to a near 3-fold increase in tritium processing during this year.

Figure 3-4: SRB Technologies – average and maximum effective dose trends to nuclear energy workers, 2009-2013
Alternative Text
SRB Technologies Worker Dose
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
*N/A indicates value is not available
Total Persons Monitored 18 17 18 22 N/A 
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 1.5 0.9 1.2 0.8 1.9
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.2
Radiation protection program performance

Action levels for radiological exposures and contamination control are established as part of the SRB RP program. If reached, these levels trigger SRB staff to establish the cause and, if applicable, restore the effectiveness of the RP program.

SRB undertook a complete review of their action levels in 2012 to ensure that they are adequately set to detect the emergence of a potential loss of control of the RP program. In 2013, SRB implemented revised action levels set much lower than those used in the previous years. These revised action levels were reviewed and accepted by CNSC staff.

In 2013, there were no action level exceedances at SRB.

Radiological hazard control

Radiological contamination controls have been established at SRB to control and minimize the spread of radioactive contamination. Methods of contamination control include the use of a radiation zone control program and monitoring to confirm the effectiveness of the program. Tritium contamination control is maintained by assessment of non-fixed tritium contamination levels throughout the facility by means of the swipe method and liquid scintillation counting of the swipe material. SRB also utilizes administrative surface contamination limits for each of the radiation zones.

Dose to the Public

The 2009-2013 annual doses to the public are shown in the following table. The estimated dose to the public is well below the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 1 mSv/year.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
0.0066 mSv 0.0050 mSv 0.0050 mSv 0.0043 mSv 0.0068 mSv

Consequently, the public remains protected from releases from the SRB facility.

3.3.3 Environmental protection

The environmental protection SCA covers programs that identify, control and monitor all releases of radioactive and hazardous substances and effects on the environment from facilities or as the result of licensed activities. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Effluent and emissions control (releases)
  • Environmental management system(EMS)
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection of the public
Ratings for Environmental Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the environmental protection SCA at SRB as "satisfactory". SRB has an environmental monitoring program that collects site-specific environmental data at and around the facility. These data are used to calculate all possible tritium exposure pathways for the public that result from SRB's licensed activities. SRB's environmental monitoring program includes the determination of tritium concentrations at various locations: in drinking water wells and numerous other wells, in milk and produce, in air and in samples taken from nearby surface waters. The samples are analyzed and collected by a qualified third party contracted by SRB. In September 2013, CNSC staff collected a number of environmental samples to compare with SRB's third party results. Results obtained and analyzed by the CNSC laboratory were found to be comparable to those analyzed by SRB.
Effluent and emissions control (releases)
Air Emissions

SRB's releases to the atmosphere continued to be below the release limits prescribed in its operating licence. The monitoring data in table 3-3 demonstrate that stack emissions from the facility were effectively controlled and consistently well below SRB's licence limits. The relative increase in total tritium released to air is related to a three-fold increase in tritium processing at SRB. Nevertheless, dose to public remains very low.

Action levels were not exceeded at any time from 2009 to 2013.

Table 3-3: SRB Technologies – air emissions monitoring results, 2009–2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit (TBq/yr)
Tritium as tritium oxide (HTO), TBq/yr 14.25 9.17 12.50 8.40 17.82 67
Total tritium as HTO + tritium gas (HT), TBq/yr 40.55 36.43 55.68 29.90 78.88 448
Liquid Effluent Monitoring

In 2013, SRB continued to monitor tritium released as liquid effluent from the facility. The monitoring data for 2009 through 2013, provided in table 3-4, demonstrate that liquid effluent from the facility continues to be effectively controlled and that tritium concentrations are consistently well below the licence limit.

Table 3-4: SRB Technologies – liquid effluent monitoring results, 2009–2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit (TBq/yr)
Tritium-water soluble – TBq/yr 0.062 0.007 0.008 0.012 0.009 0.200
Environmental management system (EMS)

SRB staff have developed and are maintaining an EMS in order to describe the integrated activities associated with the protection of the environment at the SRB facility. SRB's EMS includes activities such as establishing annual environmental objectives and targets which are reviewed and assessed by CNSC staff through compliance verification activities. SRB holds an annual safety meeting in which environmental protection issues are discussed. The CNSC staff, as part of its compliance verification activities, reviews these minutes and follows up on any outstanding issues with SRB staff.

Assessment and monitoring
Air Monitoring

SRB has a total of 40 passive air samplers located within a two-kilometer radius of the facility. The samples are collected and analyzed monthly by a qualified third-party laboratory.

The passive air samplers represent tritium exposure pathways for inhalation and skin absorption and are used in the calculations to determine public dose. The results from these samplers demonstrate that tritium levels in air are low which is consistent with air emissions measured in 2013 that were well below SRB's licence limits. Routine monitoring of produce, milk, etc. in support of dose calculations for the public was consistent with expectations based on air emissions and air monitoring results.

Air monitoring has confirmed that public exposure to tritium is very low.  

Groundwater Monitoring

Since the last renewal of its licence in 2010, SRB has conducted a groundwater study, which confirmed that the residential wells (with highest tritium concentration of 226 Bq/L for 2013) and the Muskrat River (with tritium concentrations for the last two years in the range of 3.2 – 22 Bq/L) are not at risk of exceeding the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guideline of 7,000 Bq/L, neither currently nor in the future.

Groundwater is sampled in 57 non-potable wells. The highest tritium concentration was found in well MW06-10, which is located near the SRB stacks, averaging 33,402 Bq/L  in 2011, 39,492 Bq/L in 2012 and 30,380 Bq/L in 2013. These values are restricted to a small area adjacent to the SRB building and represent past releases from the facility. Values continue to be within the range anticipated from the soil profile data obtained when the wells were drilled in 2006.

Tritium concentrations were much lower further away from SRB. Figure 3-5 shows a few examples of the spatial distribution of annual average tritium concentrations in groundwater in the area in 2013.

The highest tritium concentration in a potential drinking water well was found in business well B-2, averaging 1,616 Bq/L in 2013. SRB continued to provide bottled drinking water to the business, even though the tritium concentrations were well below the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guideline of 7,000 Bq/L.

Figure 3-5: Annual Average Tritium Concentrations in Groundwater around SRB
Alternative Text

This picture shows the groundwater monitoring wells from an aerial view, including the concentration of tritium in Bq/L.

Location RW-2: 114 Bq/L
Location MW06-10: 30380 Bq/L
Location B-1: 1032 Bq/L
Location B-3: 4 Bq/L
RW-10: 4 Bq/L

Protection of the public

CNSC licensees are required to ensure and demonstrate that the health and safety of the public are protected from exposures to hazardous substances released from the facility.

There are no releases of hazardous substances (non-radiological) to the environment from SRB that would pose a risk to the public or environment.

3.3.4 Conventional health and safety

The "Conventional health and safety" SCA covers the implementation of a program to manage workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel and equipment. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Performance
  • Practices
  • Awareness
Ratings for Conventional Health and Safety
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA FS FS
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the conventional health and safety SCA at SRB as "fully satisfactory", based on the effective implementation of its conventional health and safety program. Overall, compliance verification activities conducted at SRB confirm that SRB continues to view conventional health and safety as an important consideration for all activities. SRB has demonstrated an ability to keep the workers safe from occupational injuries.
Performance

A key performance measure for this SCA is the number of LTIs that occur per year. An LTI is an injury that takes place at work and results in the worker being unable to return to work to carry out their duties for a period of time. As per table 3-5, the number of LTIs remains zero in 2013.

Table 3-5: Lost-time injuries (LTI) at SRB Technologies Inc. 2009-2013.
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lost-Time Injuries 0 0 1 0 0
Practices

In addition to the NSCA and its regulations, SRB's activities and operations must comply with Part II of the Canada Labour Code. As such, SRB is required to report incidents resulting in an injury to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

In accordance with Part II of the Canada Labour Code, SRB maintains a workplace health and safety committee, comprised of two representatives. The committee is required to meet minimum 9 times a year. In 2013, this committee has met 12 times. meeting minutes are kept and reviewed by CNSC staff during inspections.

Awareness

SRB continues to maintain a comprehensive conventional health and safety program. CNSC staff will continue to monitor the effectiveness of this program through future inspections.

3.4 Nordion (Canada) Inc.

Figure 3-6: Nordion personnel working with a hotcell manipulator
Alternative Text

This picture shows a Nordion employee working with a hotcell manipulator.

Nordion (Canada) Inc. (Nordion), located adjancent to industrial and residential property in Ottawa, Ontario, is licensed to operate a Class IB nuclear substance processing facility. Figure 3-6 shows an employee working with the many hot cells located in the Nordion facility.

At this facility, Nordion processes unsealed radioisotopes, such as iodine-131, for the health and life sciences, and manufactures sealed radiation sources for industrial applications.

Nordion did not have any licence amendments in 2013 and does not currently have a Licence Conditions Handbook (LCH). However an LCH will be prepared for Nordion for its upcoming Licence renewal hearing in 2015.

3.4.1 Performance

CNSC staff rated all of Nordion's SCAs as "satisfactory" for the year 2013, with the exception of environmental protection, conventional health and safety, and security, which were rated as "fully satisfactory". The Nordion facility ratings for 2009 to 2013 are found in Appendix C.

For 2013, the facility operated according to the original design and no major modifications were made to any structural areas of the building or to designated active areas. Nordion made several improvements to the radiation protection program, conventional health and safety program, environmental protection program and fire protection program. These programs fall within the scope of the quality assurance (QA) management program. Moreover, Nordion implemented a systematic approach to training (SAT) program for safety critical and safety related positions.

There were no instances in which there was potential to exceed a regulatory limit or to reach or exceed an action level in 2013. All measurable doses received by personnel and the public were within the regulatory limits and no internal dose levels or limits were exceeded. 

For 2013, one disabling injury occurred at Nordion resulting in 18 days of lost time. The injury was the result of picking up portable equipment which cause the employee to experience pain in their lower back.  Three minor injuries also occurred at Nordion. These injuries did not result in any lost time and were related to slips, trip and falls.

3.4.2 Radiation protection

The "Radiation Protection" SCA covers the implementation of a radiation protection program in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulations. The program must ensure that contamination levels and radiation doses received by individuals are monitored, controlled and maintained ALARA. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Application of ALARA
  • Worker dose control
  • Radiation protection program performance
  • Radiological hazard control
  • Astimated dose to the public

In 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate Nordion's Radiation Protection SCA as "satisfactory".

Ratings for Radiation Protection
Overall Compliance Rating
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA SA SA SA
For 2013, CNSC staff continue to rate the radiation protection SCA at the Nordion (Canada) Inc. nuclear processing facility as "satisfactory". Nordion has implemented and maintained an effective radiation protection program as required by the Radiation Protection Regulations.
Application of ALARA

Annually, Nordion establishes ALARA objectives with the goal to maintain radiation doses to employees as per the ALARA principle. Performance against these objectives is regularly reviewed and tracked.

Worker dose control

All workers at Nordion are Nuclear Energy Workers (NEWs). In 2013, no worker's radiation exposure reported by Nordion exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limits. The maximum effective dose received by a NEW working in the active area in 2013 was 6.4 mSv, or approximately 13 per cent of the CNSC regulatory limit (50 mSv) in a one-year dosimetry period. Annual average and maximum effective dose results from 2009 to 2013 are provided in figure 3-7.

During these years, average doses are relatively stable at 0.6 mSv. The maximum dose over these years has increased from 4.6 mSv to 6.4 mSv. The increasing trend is attributed to increased Cobalt production and shipments, with the highest worker doses occurring to those working in Nordion's Cobalt Operations.

For internal radiological exposure monitoring, Nordion continued to implement a bioassay program at their facility for routine thyroid monitoring of NEWs working with iodine-125 and iodine-131. There are also provisions for whole-body counting or urine analysis if elevated air and/or contamination monitoring would indicate a need. In 2013, there were no exceedances of Nordion's investigation level for thyroid monitoring. No whole body counting or urine analysis was required to be conducted.

Figure 3-7: Nordion (Canada) Inc. – average and maximum effective dose trends to nuclear energy workers, 2009-2013
Alternative Text
Nordion (Canada) Inc. Worker Dose
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
*Regulatory Limit for Effective Dose: 50 mSv/yr
*N/A indicates value is not available
Total Persons Monitored 335 332 325 N/A   N/A
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 4.6 4.9 5.1 5.2 6.4
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6
Radiation protection program performance

Nordion's RP program performance was assessed in 2013 through various CNSC staff compliance activities which included select topics on RP. CNSC staff's assessment is that, overall Nordion's compliance with the Radiation Protection Regulations and CNSC license requirements was acceptable.

Action levels for radiological exposures and contamination control have been established at Nordion as part of their RP program. If reached, these levels trigger Nordion staff to establish the cause and, if applicable, restore the effectiveness of the RP program. In 2013, there were no action level exceedances at Nordion.

Radiological hazard control

Nordion continued to implement a radiological survey and contamination control program which consists of routine sampling and monitoring of areas within the active and non-active areas of the facility. In 2013, no adverse trends were noted during routine monitoring activities at Nordion.

Estimated dose to the public

Nordion monitors environmental gamma radiation to deployed theremoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) deployed at locations in the direction of the prevailing winds for airborne releases from the facility as well as at the residences of Nordion employees as well. The monitoring results showed the levels of gamma radiation at those monitoring locations are in the range of natural background. This result indicated that Nordion is not contributing to dose at - and beyond - the perimeter of the facility.

In 2013, public doses resulting from operations at the Nordion facility continued to be negligible (0.0018 mSv/yr). This was due to the very small quantities of nuclear substances released into the environment.

3.4.3 Environmental protection

The environmental protection (EP) SCA covers the programs that identify, control and monitor all releases of nuclear and hazardous substances, their levels in the environment, and the potential effects on the environment as the result of licensed activities. The SCA for Nordion encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Effluent and emissions control (releases)
  • Environmental management system (EMS)
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection of the public
Trends for Environmental Protection
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA FS FS FS
For the review period, CNSC staff rate the environmental protection SCA at Nordion as "fully satisfactory". Nordion continues to implement and maintain a effective environmental protection program to control and monitor liquid releases of nuclear and hazardous substances to the environment.
Effluent and emissions control (releases)

CNSC licensees are required to develop and implement policies, programs and procedures that comply with all applicable federal and provincial regulatory requirements, to control the release of radioactive and hazardous substances into the environment, and to protect the environment. Licensees are also expected to have suitably trained and qualified staff to effectively develop, implement and maintain their environmental protection programs.

Air emissions

Nordion continues to monitor and control the releases of radioactive and other hazardous materials from the facility. CNSC staff confirm that, as reported by Nordion in 2013, the releases of nuclear substances were well below regulatory limits and no action limits were exceeded. In addition, the releases were a very small percentage of the regulatory limit (also known as the DRL). Data for air emissions is provided in Appendix F. The maximum airborne emissions were less than 0.2 percent of the DRLs.

Liquid Effluent Monitoring

Nordion continues to monitor all liquid effluent releases prior to discharging them into the municipal sewer system. All liquid releases were found to be well below CNSC licensed limits. The liquid releases from 2009 to 2013 are provided in Appendix F. No action levels were exceeded from 2009 to 2013.

Environmental management system (EMS)

Nordion has developed and implemented an EMS and maintains its certification of ISO 14001:2004.

Nordion's environmental protection program was evaluated by CNSC staff in 2013. Nordion also performed ten environmental inspections of its environmental protection program to identify areas for improvement and/or concerns. An annual maintenance audit of the EMS was also performed by ISO; there were no non-conformances and four opportunities for improvement were, however, identified during the course of the audit.

Assessment and monitoring

Nordion continues to implement environmental monitoring programs consisting of groundwater monitoring, soil sampling and an environmental TLD program which monitors gamma exposure at the perimeter of the facility.

Groundwater Monitoring

Nordion conducted groundwater sampling for both non-radioactive and radioactive contaminants sampling in 2013.

Nordion has been monitoring groundwater at least once a year for non-radioactive contaminants such as ammonia, nitrate, dissolved organic carbon, total dissolved solids, Iron, Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons since 2005. The latest non-radiological groundwater sampling was taken in September 2013. The results of monitoring demonstrated that there were no significant changes for non-radioactive contaminants in the ground water in 2013 relative to previous years which were all near the background levels or the detectable limit.

Nordion commenced radiological sampling for groundwater in 2013.The samples were taken in November 2013. The results showed that only naturally occurring radionuclides were detected which are not processed at this site. The results indicate that Nordion has not released nuclear and hazardous substances to groundwater.

Soil Sampling

Nordion conducts soil sampling every two years to determine radiological materials in the soil. Soil sampling was performed in 2012 and no nuclear substances attributable to the Nordion licensed activities were detected.

Protection of the public

The licensee must demonstrate that the health and safety of the public are protected from exposures to hazardous substances released from the facility. CNSC licensees are required to ensure that adequate provisions are made for protecting the health and safety of the public. The effluent and environmental monitoring programs currently conducted by the licensee are used to verify that releases of hazardous substances do not result in environmental concentrations that may affect public health.

CNSC receives reports of discharges to the environment through the reporting requirements outlined in the Nordion licence and LCH. Review of hazardous (non-radiological) discharges to the environment for Nordion in 2013 indicate that no significant risks to the public or environment have occurred during this period.

The programs at the Nordion facility, as summarized above, indicate that the public continues to be protected from facility emissions.

3.4.4 Conventional health and safety

The "Conventional health and safety" SCA covers the implementation of a program to manage workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel and equipment. This SCA encompasses the following specific areas:

  • Performance
  • Practices
  • Awareness
Ratings for conventional health and safety
Overall Compliance Ratings
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
SA SA FS FS FS
For 2013, CNSC staff rate the conventional health and safety SCA at Nordion as "Fully Satisfactory". Overall, compliance verification activities confirm Nordion continues to view conventional health and safety as an important consideration for all activities.
Performance

A key performance measure for this SCA is the number of LTIs that occurs per year. An LTI is an injury that takes place at work and results in the worker being unable to return to work to carry out their duties for a period of time. As per table 3-6, there was one LTI at Nordion in 2013.

Table 3-6: Lost-time injuries (LTI) at Nordion 2009-2013.
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lost-Time Injuries 1 2 0 0 1

The disabling injury was the result of an employee bending over to pick up a portable piece of equipment and experiencing pain in their lower back when standing. The injury resulted in 18 days of lost time. 

For 2013, three minor injuries occurred at Nordion's facility. The injuries were related to slips, trips and falls and did not result in any lost time.

Practices

In addition to the NSCA and its Regulations, Nordion's activities and operations must comply with Part II of the Canada Labour Code. A Workplace Health and Safety Committee is represented by union and management and typically meets on a monthly basis. The Health and Safety Policy Committee is represented by union and management and typically meets on a quarterly basis.

For 2013 Nordion made several improvements to the Conventional health and safety Program. Some notable improvements include:

  • Creating a Job Hazard Analysis Program which is completed jointly between Managers of high risk operations and employees performing the work.
  • Conducting a Safety Culture Survey among all employees which provided positive results.
  • Creating and implementing a Manual Material Handling Program which includes instructions and training for operations employees describing correct ergonomic practices when manually lifting or handling materials.
Awareness

Nordion continues to develop and maintain a comprehensive Conventional health and safety Management program for the Kanata Operations Building (KOB). During 2013, Nordion health and safety committees met regularly and Nordion management made several improvements in manual material handling programs and safety culture awareness. CNSC staff will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these improvement initiatives through future inspections.

Glossary

Commission
A corporate body of not more than seven members, established under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and appointed by the Governor in Council, to perform the following functions:
  • Regulate the development, production and use of nuclear energy and the production, possession, use and transport of nuclear substances
  • Regulate the production, possession and use of prescribed equipment and prescribed information
  • Implement measures respecting international control of the development, production, transport and use of nuclear energy and nuclear substances, including those respecting the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive devices
  • Disseminate scientific, technical and regulatory information concerning the activities of the CNSC and the effects on the environment and on the health and safety of persons, of the development, production, possession, transport and uses referred to above
Commission Member Document
A document prepared for Commission hearings and meetings by CNSC staff, proponents and interveners. Each CMD is assigned a specific identification number.
Derived Release Limit (DRL)
A limit imposed by the CNSC on the release of a radioactive substance from a licensed nuclear facility, such that compliance with the derived release limit gives reasonable assurance that the regulatory dose limit is not exceeded.
Effective Dose
The sum of the products, in sieverts, obtained by multiplying the equivalent dose of radiation received by and committed to each organ or tissue set out in column 1 of an item of schedule 1 of the Radiation Protection Regulations, by the weighting factor set out in column 2 of that item. equivalent dose.
Equivalent Dose
The product, in sieverts, obtained by multiplying the absorbed dose of radiation of the type set out in column 1 of an item of schedule 2 ofthe Radiation Protection Regulations, by the weighting factor set out in column 2 of that item.
International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA)
An independent international organization related to the United Nations system. The IAEA, located in Vienna, works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies. The IAEA reports annually to the UN General Assembly and, when appropriate, to the Security Council regarding non-compliance by States with their safeguards obligations, as well as on matters relating to international peace and security.
Lost-Time Incident
An injury that takes place at work and results in the worker being unable to return to work for a period of time.
Root-Cause Analysis
An objective, structured, systematic and comprehensive analysis designed to determine the underlying reason(s) for a situation or event, which is conducted with a level of effort consistent with the safety significance of the event.
Total number of workers
The total number of workers includes employees and contractors and is expressed as Full-Time Equivalents (FTE).

Appendix A: Safety and Control Area Framework

The CNSC evaluates how well licensees meet regulatory requirements and CNSC expectations for the performance of programs in 14 safety and control areas (SCAs) that are grouped according to their functional areas of management, facility and equipment, and core control processes.  

These SCAs are further divided into  specific areas that define the key components of the SCA. The CNSC's safety and control area framework is found in Table A.1.

Table A.1: CNSC Safety and Control Area Framework
Functional area Safety and control area Definition Specific areas
Management Management system Covers the framework that establishes the processes and programs required to ensure an organization achieves its safety objectives, continuously monitors its performance against these objectives, and fosters a healthy safety culture.
  • Management system
  • Organization
  • Performance assessment, improvement and management review
  • Operating Experience (OPEX)
  • Change management
  • Safety culture
  • Configuration management
  • Records management
  • Management of contractors
  • Business continuity
Human performance management Covers activities that enable effective human performance through the development and implementation of processes that ensure a sufficient number of licensee personnel are in all relevant job areas and have the necessary knowledge, skills, procedures and tools in place to safely carry out their duties.
  • Human performance program
  • Personnel training
  • Personnel certification
  • Initial certification examinations and requalification tests
  • Work organization and job design
  • Fitness for duty
Operating performance Includes an overall review of the conduct of the licensed activities and the activities that enable effective performance.
  • Conduct of licensed activity
  • Procedures
  • Reporting and trending
  • Outage management performance
  • Safe operating envelope
  • Severe accident management and recovery
  • Accident management and recovery
Facility and equipment Safety analysis Covers maintenance of the safety analysis that supports the overall safety case for the facility. Safety analysis is a systematic evaluation of the potential hazards associated with the conduct of a proposed activity or facility and considers the effectiveness of preventative measures and strategies in reducing the effects of such hazards.
  • Deterministic safety analysis
  • Hazard analysis
  • Probabilistic safety analysis
  • Criticality safety
  • Severe accident analysis
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Management of safety issues (including R&D programs)
Physical design Relates to activities that impact the ability of structures, systems and components to meet and maintain their design basis given new information arising over time and taking changes in the external environment into account.
  • Design governance
  • Site characterization
  • Facility design
  • Structure design
  • System design
  • Component design
Fitness for service Covers activities that impact the physical condition of structures, systems and components to ensure that they remain effective over time. This area includes programs that ensure all equipment is available to perform its intended design function when called upon to do so.
  • Equipment fitness for service / equipment performance
  • Maintenance
  • Structural integrity
  • Aging management
  • Chemistry control
  • Periodic inspection and testing
Core control processes Radiation protection Covers the implementation of a radiation protection program in accordance with the Radiation Protection Regulations.  The program must ensure that contamination levels and radiation doses received by individuals are monitored, controlled and maintained ALARA.
  • Application of ALARA
  • Worker dose control
  • Radiation protection program performance
  • Radiological hazard control
  • Estimated dose to public
Conventional health and safety Covers the implementation of a program to manage workplace safety hazards and to protect personnel and equipment.
  • Performance
  • Practices
  • Awareness
Environmental protection Covers programs that identify, control and monitor all releases of radioactive and hazardous substances and effects on the environment from facilities or as the result of licensed activities.
  • Effluent and emissions control (releases)
  • Environmental management system (EMS)
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection of the public

Emergency management and fire protection Covers emergency plans and emergency preparedness programs that exist for emergencies and for non-routine conditions. This area also includes any results of participation in exercises.
  • Conventional emergency preparedness and response
  • Nuclear emergency preparedness and response
  • Fire emergency preparedness and response
Waste management Covers internal waste-related programs that form part of the facility's operations up to the point where the waste is removed from the facility to a separate waste management facility. This area also covers the planning for decommissioning.
  • Waste characterization
  • Waste minimization
  • Waste management practices
  • Decommissioning plans
Security Covers the programs required to implement and support the security requirements stipulated in the regulations, the licence, orders, or expectations for the facility or activity.
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Response arrangements
  • Security practices
  • Drills and exercises
Safeguards and non-proliferation Covers the programs and activities required for the successful implementation of the obligations arising from the Canada/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreements, as well as all other measures arising from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
  • Nuclear material accountancy and control
  • Access and assistance to the IAEA
  • Operational and design information
  • Safeguards equipment, containment and surveillance
  • Import and export
Packaging and transport Programs that cover the safe packaging and transport of nuclear substances to and from the licensed facility.
  • Package design and maintenance
  • Packaging and transport
  • Registration for use
Other Matters of Regulatory Interest
  • Environmental assessment
  • CNSC consultation – Aboriginal
  • CNSC consultation – Other
  • Cost recovery
  • Financial guarantees
  • Improvement plans and significant future activities
  • Licensee public information program
  • Nuclear liability insurance

Appendix B: Rating Methodology and Definitions

Performance ratings used in this report are defined as follows:

Fully Satisfactory (FS)
Safety and control measures implemented by the licensee are highly effective. In addition, compliance with regulatory requirements is fully satisfactory, and compliance within the SCA or specific area exceeds requirements and CNSC expectations. Overall, compliance is stable or improving, and any problems or issues that arise are promptly addressed.
Satisfactory (SA)
Safety and control measures implemented by the licensee are sufficiently effective. In addition, compliance with regulatory requirements is satisfactory. Compliance within the area meets requirements and CNSC expectations. Any deviation is only minor, and any issues are considered to pose a low risk to the achievement of regulatory objectives and CNSC expectations. Appropriate improvements are planned.
Below Expectations (BE)
Safety and control measures implemented by the licensee are marginally ineffective. In addition, compliance with regulatory requirements falls below expectations. Compliance within the area deviates from requirements or CNSC expectations to the extent that there is a moderate risk of ultimate failure to comply. Improvements are required to address identified weaknesses. The licensee or applicant is taking appropriate corrective action.
Unacceptable (UA)
Safety and control measures implemented by the licensee are significantly ineffective. In addition, compliance with regulatory requirements is unacceptable and is seriously compromised. Compliance within the overall area is significantly below requirements or CNSC expectations, or there is evidence of overall non-compliance. Without corrective action, there is a high probability that the deficiencies will lead to an unreasonable risk. Issues are not being addressed effectively, no appropriate corrective measures have been taken, and no alternative plan of action has been provided. Immediate action is required.

Appendix C: Trend in Safety and Control Area Ratings

Table C-1: Blind River Refinery –Safety and control area summary
Safety and control areas 2009 rating 2010 rating 2011 rating 2012 rating 2013 rating
Management system SA SA SA SA SA
Human performance management SA SA SA SA SA
Operating performance SA SA SA SA SA
Safety analysis SA SA SA SA SA
Physical design SA SA SA SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA SA SA SA
Radiation protection SA SA SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety SA SA SA SA FS
Environmental protection SA SA SA SA SA
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA SA SA SA
Waste management SA BE SA SA SA
Security SA SA SA SA SA
Safeguards SA SA SA SA SA
Packaging and transport SA SA SA SA SA
Table C-2: Port Hope Conversion Facility – Safety and control area summary
Safety and control areas 2009 rating 2010 rating 2011 rating 2012 rating 2013 rating
Management system SA SA SA SA SA
Human performance management BE SA SA SA SA
Operating performance SA SA SA SA SA
Safety analysis SA SA SA SA SA
Physical design SA SA SA SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA SA SA SA
Radiation protection SA SA SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety SA SA SA SA SA
Environmental protection SA SA SA SA SA
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA SA SA SA
Waste management SA SA SA SA SA
Security SA SA SA SA SA
Safeguards SA SA SA SA SA
Packaging and transport SA SA SA SA SA
Table C-3: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – Safety and control area summary
Safety and control areas 2009 rating 2010 rating 2011 rating 2012 rating 2013 rating
Management system SA SA SA SA SA
Human performance management SA SA SA SA SA
Operating performance SA SA SA SA SA
Safety analysis SA SA SA SA SA
Physical design SA SA SA SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA SA SA SA
Radiation protection SA SA SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety SA SA SA SA SA
Environmental protection SA SA SA SA SA
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA SA SA SA
Waste management SA SA SA SA SA
Security SA SA SA SA SA
Safeguards SA SA SA SA SA
Packaging and transport SA SA SA SA SA
Table C-4: GEH-C Toronto and Peterborough – Safety and control area summary
Safety and control areas 2009 rating 2010 rating 2011 rating 2012 rating 2013 rating
* Not separately assessed in the past.
Management system SA SA SA SA SA
Human performance management SA SA SA SA SA
Operating performance SA SA SA SA SA
Safety analysis SA SA SA SA SA
Physical design SA SA SA SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA SA SA SA
Radiation protection SA SA SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety FS FS FS SA SA
Environmental protection FS FS FS FS FS
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA SA SA SA
Waste management SA SA SA SA SA
Security SA SA SA SA SA
Safeguards SA SA SA SA SA
Packaging and transport SA SA SA SA SA
Table C-5: SRB Technologies – Safety and control area summary
Safety and control areas 2009 rating 2010 rating 2011 rating 2012 rating 2013 rating
*  N/A: There are no safeguard verification activities associated with this facility.
Management system SA SA SA SA SA
Human performance management SA SA SA SA SA
Operating performance SA SA SA SA SA
Safety analysis SA SA SA SA SA
Physical design SA SA SA SA SA
Fitness for service SA SA SA SA SA
Radiation protection SA SA SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety SA SA SA FS FS
Environmental protection SA SA SA SA SA
Emergency management and fire protection SA SA SA SA SA
Waste management SA SA SA SA SA
Security SA SA SA SA SA
Safeguards* N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Packaging and transport SA SA SA SA SA
Table C-6: Nordion (Canada) Inc. – Safety and control area summary
Safety and control areas 2009 rating 2010 rating 2011 rating 2012 rating 2013 rating
Management system SA SA SA SA SA
Human Performance Management SA SA SA SA SA
Operating Performance SA SA SA SA SA
Safety Analysis SA SA SA SA SA
Physical Design SA SA SA SA SA
Fitness for Service SA SA SA SA SA
Radiation Protection SA SA SA SA SA
Conventional health and safety SA SA FS FS FS
Environmental Protection SA SA FS FS FS
Emergency Management and Fire Protection SA SA SA SA SA
Waste Management SA SA SA SA SA
Security SA SA SA FS FS
Safeguards SA SA SA SA SA
Packaging and Transport SA SA SA SA SA

Appendix D: Financial Guarantees

The following tables outline the current financial guarantees for the uranium processing facilities, tritium processing facilities, and Nordion.

Table D-1: Uranium processing facilities – Financial guarantees
Facility Canadian dollar amount
Blind River Refinery $38,600,000
Port Hope Conversion Facility $101,700,000
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing $19,500,000
GEH-C Peterborough $3,027,000
GEH-C Toronto $30,052,000
Table D-2: Nuclear substance processing facilities – Financial guarantees
Facility Canadain dollar amount
SRB Technologies $550,476
(currently under revision)
Nordion (Canada) Inc. $15,400,000

Appendix E: Worker Dose Data

Uranium processing facilities

The following table compares the maximum and average individual effective doses in 2013 for all five uranium processing facilities.

Table E-1: Radiation dose data for nuclear energy workers at the uranium processing facilities
Facility Maximum individual effective dose in 2013 (mSv/yr) Average individual effective dose in 2013 (mSv/yr) Regulatory limit
Blind River Refinery 12.1 3.3 50 mSv/yr
Port Hope Conversion Facility 6.6 0.7
Cameco Fuel Manufacturing Inc. 8.6 0.7
GEH-C Peterborough 8.0 1.5
GEH-C Toronto 7.8 1.4

The following tables provide a five-year trend (2009 through 2013) of average and maximum effective annual doses received at the various uranium processing facilities. In 2013, no radiation dose at a uranium processing facility exceeded regulatory dose limits.

Table E-2: Blind River Refinery – Effective Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistics 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Total Persons Monitored 168 176 170 173 162 n/a
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 3.4 3.0 2.7 3.7 3.3 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 12.6 11.1 12.6 12.0 12.1 50 mSv/year
Table E-3: Port Hope Conversion Facility – Effective Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Total Persons Monitored 438 422 442 450 823* n/a
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 2.15 1.69 1.86 2.04 0.72 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 5.80 7.82 8.82 6.95 6.56 50 mSv/year

* The number of persons monitored in 2013 includes 338 contractor NEWs and 485 PHCF NEWs. Contractor
NEWs are not included in the 2009-2012 dose statistics.

Table E-4: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – Effective Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistics 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Total Persons Monitored 442 351 359 365 330 n/a
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.7 0.7 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 6.4 5.0 9.9 6.0 8.6 50 mSv/year
Table E-5: GEH-C Peterborough – Effective Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Total Persons Monitored 83 73 80 76 82 n/a
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 1.79 1.57 1.71 1.97 1.51 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 9.57 7.20 7.06 9.16 7.96 50 mSv/year
Table E-6: GEH-C Toronto Facility – Effective Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Total Persons Monitored 52 56 59 61 67 n/a
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 3.20 2.20 1.50 1.78 1.37 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 9.70 11.90 7.78 9.22 7.80 50 mSv/year

Nuclear substance processing facilities

The following table compares the maximum and average individual effective doses for Nordion and SRB Technologies.

Table E-7: Radiation dose data for nuclear energy workers at tritium and nuclear substance processing facilities
Facility Maximum individual effective dose 2013 (mSv/yr) Average individual effective dose 2013 (mSv/yr) Regulatory limit
Nordion 6.4 0.6 50 mSv/yr
SRB Technologies 1.9 0.2

The following tables provide a five-year trend (2009 through 2013) of average and maximum effective annual doses received at the tritium processing facilities. In 2013, no radiation dose at a tritium processing facility exceeded regulatory dose limits.

Table E-8: SRB Technologies – worker effective dose
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Total Persons Monitored 18 17 18 24 38 n/a
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 0.25 0.11 0.25 0.11 0.21 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 1.50 0.88 1.15 0.80 1.93 50 mSv/year
Table E-9: Nordion (Canada) Inc. – Effective Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Total Persons Monitored 335 332 325 293 284 n/a
Average Dose (mSv) 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6 n/a
Maximum Dose (mSv) 4.6 4.9 5.1 5.2 6.4 50 mSv/year

Extremity doses

Uranium processing facilities

The following tables provide the average and maximum annual equivalent extremity dose for each uranium processing facility.

Table E-10: Blind River Refinery – Equivalent (Extremity) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Dose (mSv) 7.3 8.5 10.2 11.4 14.1 n/a
Maximum Dose (mSv) 32.5 44.4 49.0 47.6 35.1 500 mSv/year

There is limited use of extremity (ring) dosimeters by select BRR workers (maintenance and production personnel). Table E-12 provides the average and maximum annual equivalent extremity dose statistics for workers assigned extremity dosimeters at BRR. In 2013, no worker's extremity dose received exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 500 mSv/year. From 2009 to 2013, maximum extremity doses averaged 40 mSv, or approximately 8 percent of the annual regulatory dose limit.

The following table provides the average and maximum annual equivalent extremity dose statistics for workers assigned extremity dosimeters at CFM. In 2013, no worker's extremity dose received exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 500 mSv/year. In 2013, the maximum extremity dose was 87.6 mSv, or approximately 18 percent of the annual regulatory dose limit.

Table E-11: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – Equivalent (Extremity) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Dose (mSv) 10.6 17.6 23.4 16.5 14.3 n/a
Maximum Dose (mSv) 52.3 103.4 111.3 107.5 87.6 500 mSv/year
Table E-12: GEH-C Peterborough – Equivalent (Extremity) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 14.98 12.57 9.36 11.56 10.47 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 80.14 60.16 56.12 58.82 76.03 500 mSv/year
Table E-13: GEH-C Toronto – Equivalent (Extremity) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 37.60 50.60 40.02 46.41 32.92 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 138.60 209.10 160.64 357.29 143.59 500 mSv/year

The following table provides the average and maximum annual equivalent extremity dose statistics for workers at Nordion. In 2013, no worker's extremity dose received exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 500 mSv/year. From 2009 to 2013, maximum extremity doses averaged 12 mSv, or approximately 2 percent of the annual regulatory dose limit.

Table E-14: Nordion (Canada) Inc. – Equivalent (Extremity) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Dose (mSv) 0.8 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.5 n/a
Maximum Dose (mSv) 9.8 18.0 12.3 10.3 7.4 500 mSv/year

Skin doses

Uranium processing facilities

The following table provides the average and maximum annual equivalent skin dose statistics for workers at BRR. In 2013, no worker's skin dose received exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 500 mSv/year. From 2009 - 2013, maximum skin doses averaged 42 mSv, or approximately 8 percent of the annual regulatory dose limit.

Table E-15: Blind River Refinery – Equivalent (Skin) Dose Statistics for Workers 
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Dose (mSv) 5.3 5.8 5.5 6.0 6.8 n/a
Maximum Dose (mSv) 34.6 45.3 48.8 39.2 41.2 500 mSv/year

The following table provides the average and maximum annual equivalent skin dose statistics for workers at PHCF. In 2013, no worker's skin dose received exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 500 mSv/year. The maximum dose in 2013 was 28.6 mSv, which represents approximately 6 percent of the annual regulatory dose limit.

Table E-16: Port Hope Conversion Facility – Equivalent (Skin) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 0.5 0.8 0.8 0.7 1.7 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 15.5 29.1 181.4 16.3 28.6 500 mSv/year

The following table provides the average and maximum annual equivalent skin dose statistics for workers at CFM. In 2013, no worker's skin dose received exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 500 mSv/year. In 2013, the maximum skin dose was 88.4 mSv, or approximately 18 percent of the annual regulatory dose limit.

Table E-17: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – Equivalent (Skin) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Dose (mSv) 4.4 6.6 6.9 6.5 7.3 n/a
Maximum Dose (mSv) 70.7 72.1 95.4 93 88.4 500 mSv/year
Table E-18: GEH-C Peterborough – Equivalent (Skin) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 4.86 4.44 4.54 5.04 3.8 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 31.70 29.11 22.62 36.99 31.20 500 mSv/year
Table E-19: GEH-C Toronto – Equivalent (Skin) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Effective Dose (mSv) 21.60 13.80 10.81 12.45 10.29 n/a
Maximum Individual Effective Dose (mSv) 135.10 78.60 55.48 58.40 52.84 500 mSv/year

The most likely explanation for the dose discrepancies are minor reporting errors on the part of GEH-C. For example, the GEH-C 2012 ACR reports an average annual dose to Peterborough Facility employees of 2.09 mSv, while the 2013 ACR reports an average dose of 1.97 mSv for the same facility.

The following table provides the average and maximum annual equivalent skin dose statistics for workers at Nordion. In 2013, no worker's skin dose received exceeded the CNSC regulatory dose limit of 500 mSv/year. From 2009 – 2013, maximum extremity doses averaged 5.5 mSv, or approximately 1 percent of the annual regulatory dose limit.

Table E-20: Nordion (Canada) Inc. – Equivalent (Skin) Dose Statistics for Workers
Dose Statistic 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Regulatory Limit
Average Dose (mSv) 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.4 n/a
Maximum Dose (mSv) 4.5 5.5 6.1 5.2 6.4 500 mSv/year

Appendix F: Environmental Data

Blind River Refinery

Table F-1: Blind River Refinery – Soil monitoring results
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Minimum uranium concentration (µg/g) 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1
Average uranium concentration (µg/g) (within 1000 m, 0-5 cm depth) 1.8 2.1 4.8 3.3 4.3
Maximum uranium concentration (µg/g) 3.0 4.0 18.0 12.1 16.4
Table F-2: Blind River Refinery – Annual average groundwater monitoring results
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Average uranium (µg/L) 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.5
Maximum uranium (µg/L) 4.8 2.9 4.1 2.0 3.7

Port Hope Conversion Facility

Surface water is sampled in the harbour at 13 locations. Samples include collections at just below the water surface and at just above the harbour sediment layer at each location. In addition, there is ongoing monitoring of the PHCF's cooling water intake, located in the Port Hope Harbour near the mouth of the Ganaraska River.

The surface water quality in the harbour adjacent to the PHCF has been monitored since 1977 through the analysis of samples collected from the south cooling water intake. The trend of surface water quality over time shows improvement since 1977.

Figure F-1: Port Hope Conversion Facility – Average uranium concentrations from the south cooling water intake
Alternative Text
Port Hope Conversion Facility – Average Uranium Concentrations from the South Cooling Water Intake
Year Average Uranium Concentration (mg/L)
1977 0.06
*N/A indicates value is not available
1978 0.12
1979 0.13
1980 0.36
1981 0.11
1982 0.12
1983 0.07
1984 0.03
1985 N/A
1986 0.09
1987 0.08
1988 0.04
1989 0.03
1990 0.03
1991 0.02
1992 0.02
1993 0.01
1994 0.02
1995 0.021
1996 N/A
1997 N/A
1998 0.014
1999 0.013
2000 0.014
2001 0.015
2002 0.014
2003 0.012
2004 0.012
2005 0.014
2006 0.014
2007 0.005
2008 0.008
2009 0.006
2010 0.004
2011 0.004
2012 0.0037
2013 0.0033
Table F-3: Port Hope Conversion Facility – Uranium concentrations at Waterworks side yard remediated with clean soil (µg/g)
Depth (cm) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
0–2 1.4 1.1 1.0 1.4 1.0
2–6 1.1 1.0 0.7 1.1 0.9
6–10 1.1 1.0 0.3 1.3 1.0
10–15 1.1 1.0 0.8 1.5 1.0

 The impact of fluoride emissions on the environment is determined each autumn when samples of fluoride-sensitive vegetation are collected by Ontario MOE and PHCF staff, from locations close to the PHCF. These samples are analysed for fluoride content and for assessment of any leaf damage. The results presented in table F-4 indicate that there is no significant impact on vegetation caused by fluoride emissions from the PHCF. The results in 2013 continued to be well below MOE's Upper Limit of Normal guideline of 35 parts per million (ppm).

Table F-4: Port Hope Conversion Facility – Fluoride concentration in local vegetation
Result/year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 MOE's Objective
Fluoride in vegetation (ppm) 2.1 2.3 3.6 2.1 5.6 35

Cameco Fuel Manufacturing

Table F-5: Cameco Fuel Manufacturing – Soil monitoring results
Parameter 2009 2010 2013
(Note that CFM reverted to a three-year soil monitoring program and did not monitor soil in 2011 and 2012)
Average uranium concentration (µg/g) 5.3 4.5 3.7
Maximum uranium concentration (µg/g) 17.0 21.1 17.4

GEH-C Toronto

Table F-6: GEH-C Toronto – Uranium in Air Emission and Liquid Effluent Monitoring Results, 2009–2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit
Total U discharged to air (kg/yr) 0.013 0.017 0.009 0.013 0.006 0.76
Total U discharged to sewer (kg/yr) 2.0 0.4 1.1 0.9 0.8 9,000
Table F-7: GEH-C Toronto – Uranium in Boundary Air Monitoring Results, 2009-13
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Note: Ontario Reg. 415/05 2016 average annual U in air concentration is 0.03 µg/m3
Average uranium air concentration (µg/m3) 0.0014 0.0011 0.0011 0.0011 0.0007
Maximum uranium concentration (µg/m3) 0.0087 0.0035 0.0047 0.0079 0.0026
Table F-8: GEH-C Toronto – Uranium in Soil Monitoring Results 2009-2012
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012
Average uranium concentration (µg/g) 2.2 2.2 2.3 1.9
Maximum uranium concentration (µg/g) 30.9 13.7 14.8 10.8
Table F-9: GEH-C Toronto – Uranium in Soil Monitoring Results in 2013
Parameter On GEH-C Property Industrial/Commercial lands Residential Locations
Note: Ontario background is between 2-3 (µg/g)
Number of samples 1 24 24
Average uranium concentration (µg/g) 2.3 3.9 1.1
Maximum uranium concentration (µg/g) 2.3 24.9 3.1
Environmental Quality Guideline (µg/g) 300 33 23

GEH-C Peterborough

Table F-10: GEH-C Peterborough – Uranium in Air Emission and Liquid Effluent Monitoring Results, 2009–2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Licence limit
Total U discharged to air (kg/yr) 0.000006 0.000004 0.000011 0.000005 0.000013 0.55
Total U discharged to sewer (kg/yr) 0.0020 0.0003 0.0001 0.0001 0.0002 760

Nordion

Table F-11: Nordion (Canada) Inc. – Air emissions monitoring results, 2009 to 2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Derived Release Limit (GBq/yr) % of DRLin 2013
[1] Gigabecquerel per year
Cobalt-60 (GBq/yr) [1] 0.006 0.006 0.006 0.006 0.005 78 0.01
Iodine-125 (GBq/yr) 0.47 0.37 0.38 0.46 0.23 990 0.02
Iodine-131 (GBq/yr) 1.05 0.99 0.29 0.40 0.39 1,110 0.04
Xenon-133 (GBq/yr) 26,407 9,066 34,967 36,153 30,735 29,000,000 0.11
Table F-12: Nordion (Canada) Inc. – Liquid effluent monitoring results, 2009 to 2013
Parameter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Derived Release Limit (GBq/yr) % of DRL in 2013
Iodine-125 (GBq/yr) 0.008 0.011 0.007 0.005 0.005 14,700 0.0000345
Iodine-131 (GBq/yr) 0.016 0.021 0.013 0.009 0.009 10,800 0.0000819
Molybdenum-99 (GBq/yr) 0.144 0.180 0.116 0.075 0.077 467,000 0.0000164
Cobalt-60 (GBq/yr) 0.034 0.044 0.027 0.017 0.022 64,100 0.0000349
Niobium-95 (GBq/yr) 0.0006 0.001 0.001 0.0002 0.0006 64,100 0.000000912
Zirconium-95 (GBq/yr) 0.0004 0.001 0.001 0.0003 0.0006 64,100 0.000000936
Cesium-137 (GBq/yr) 0.0007 0.001 0.0004 0.0004 0.0005 64,100 0.000000774

Appendix G: Environmental Reportable Spills in 2013

No reportable environmental spills were documented for the year of 2013.

Appendix H: Lost-time Incidents in 2013

Table H-1: Lost-Time Incidents
Facility Lost-time incident Corrective action
Nordion Inc. An employee bending over to pick up a portable piece of equipment and experiencing pain in their lower back when standing. This Resulted in 18 days of lost time
  • Creating and implementing a Manual Material Handling Program which includes
    • instructions and training for operations employees describing correct ergonomic
  • Practices when manually lifting or handling materials.

Appendix I: Links to Licensee Web sites

Appendix J: Acronyms

ALARA
As Low As Reasonably Achievable
AREVA
AREVA Resources Canada Inc.
Bq/L
Becquerel per litre
BRR
Blind River Refinery
CCME
Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment
CFM
Cubic feet per minute
CFM
Cameco's Fuel Manufacturing Inc.
CMD
Commission Member Document
CNSC
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
DRL
Derived Release Limit
EC
Environment Canada
EMS
Environmental Management System
EP
Environmental Protection
ERT
Emergency Response Team
GBq
Gigabecquerel
GEH-C
General Electric-Hitachi Canada
GTLS
Gaseous Tritium Light Sources
HRSDC
Human Resources and Skill Development Canada
IAEA
International Atomic Energy Agency
KPI
Key Performance Indicator
LCH
Licence Conditions Handbook
LLRD
Long-Lived Radioactive Dust
LTI
Lost-Time Injury
mg/L
Milligram per litre
mSv
Millisievert
MOE
Ontario's Ministry of the Environment
NEW
Nuclear Energy Worker
PHCF
Port Hope Conversion Facility
PIPD
Public Information and Disclosure program
RP
Radiation Protection
RPR
Radiation Protection Regulations
SAT
Systematic Approach to Training
SCA
Safety and Control Area
SRB
SRB Technologies (Canada) Incorporated
SSI
Shield Source Inc.
TBq
Terabequerel
TSP
Total Suspended Particulate

Appendix K: Significant Changes to Licence and Licence Conditions Handbook(s)

Licensee Type of Change Description of Change Facility – LCH – Rev
GEH-C Administrative Updates to compliance verification criteria including National Building Code, 2010, the National Fire Code, 2010, and National Fire Protection Association, NFPA 801, 2008. As well, RD 99.3 was included as a compliance verification criteria for GEH-C's Public Information Program GEH-C-LCH-R001
Blind River Refinery Administrative Updates to compliance verification criteria including National Building Code, 2010, the National Fire Code, 2010, and National Fire Protection Association, NFPA 801, 2008 LCH-CAMECO-BRRF-R001
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