Archive for the ‘News stories’ Category

Too little is known about firms with nuclear ties, critics say

March 31st, 2009 Comments off

Martin Mittelstaedt, Globe and Mail (Canada)
February 8, 2006

The federal government is licensing companies to handle dangerous nuclear materials that have both peaceful and military uses without knowing who ultimately owns the businesses.

Nuclear critics say the fact that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the federal watchdog agency, does not know the identity of owners of the companies it oversees is a major blunder, given the high-security risks presented by nuclear materials and the potential costs of any accident involving radioactive releases. Read more…

Canadian watchdog cleared tritium shipment to Iran

March 31st, 2009 Comments off

March 23, 2006

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission approved a shipment to Iran last year by a Canadian company of about 70,000 glow-in-the-dark lights containing tritium, a radioactive gas that can also be used as a component in hydrogen bombs.

The amount of tritium approved by the nuclear regulator for shipment to the volatile Middle Eastern country was about 10 per cent of the quantity considered necessary for making one nuclear weapon, although the company selling the lights, SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc., said it sent less than it was allowed.
Read more…

Inspections of sign firm urged

March 29th, 2009 Comments off

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nuclear watchdog may ask atomic agency to monitor Ontario company’s tritium use

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the body that tries to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, should inspect SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc., a Canadian company that uses radioactive tritium, according to an internal report by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The recommendation will be reviewed by the commission, Canada’s nuclear watchdog, at a licence hearing for SRB next week. If approved, it would place the Pembroke, Ont., company in the same league in terms of inspections as facilities that have stockpiles of fissile material that could be converted into atomic weapons. Read more…

Firm hoping sewage mix dilutes radioactive water

March 29th, 2009 Comments off

Friday, October 20, 2006

A company in Eastern Ontario is hoping to find that the solution to pollution is dilution.

The company, SRB Technologies Canada Inc. of Pembroke, Ont., has contaminated the groundwater around its factory with radioactive tritium, raising the ire of nuclear regulators. So it is proposing to clean up the problem by dumping some of the pollutant into the city’s sewers.

From there, the radioactivity would be mixed with sewage flushed by the city’s 13,000 residents and ultimately poured into the nearby Ottawa River. Read more…

Lights out for glow-in-the-dark sign factory

March 29th, 2009 Comments off

Globe and Mail

Pembroke facility shuts down operations temporarily amid
radioactivity concerns

Thursday, December 1, 2005

A company that contaminated groundwater around its plant in Pembroke, Ont., with radioactive tritium says it has halted operations and will not resume manufacturing until it puts in place better pollution controls.

SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc. announced its temporary shutdown in an e-mail sent late Tuesday night to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the country’s nuclear watchdog agency. The letter was sent just before the company was scheduled to appear at a CNSC hearing yesterday into the future of the plant. Read more…

High levels of radioactive tritium found in Pembroke landfill

March 28th, 2009 Comments off

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Ministry of Environment has found elevated levels of radioactive tritium in ground water at the municipal dump serving Pembroke, Ont., and several other nearby Ottawa River valley communities.

The dump, the Alice and Fraser Township Landfill, is not licensed to receive radioactive waste, and it is not known exactly how tritium, used to make glow-in-the-dark lights, among other products, and nuclear weapons, got into the dump. Read more…

Mini firestorm of concern about drinking water in Ottawa

March 6th, 2009 Comments off

Our TAP press conference on Parliament Hill Wednesday has raised concern about Ottawa’s drinking water among some members of the media and general public.  People are surprised to learn that drinking water in Ottawa is radioactive. Perhaps this is because previous media reports included assurances from authorities like this one:

“Radioactive water never reached river: Feds”  (Ottawa Sun, January 30, 2009_

Peter Zimonjic  The federal government says no radioactive material from a recent leak at

the Chalk River nuclear research facility made its way into the Ottawa River…

No wonder people are upset to learn that in fact millions of bequerels of radioactive tritium entered the Ottawa River in December and subsequent spills in January and February.

Data released yesterday by the City of Ottawa show that the Ottawa River is chronically contaminated with tritium at the level of 6 bq / litre. This level is more than three times the background level.  In essence this means that in every litre of tap water in Ottawa, there are six radioactive decay events going off every second, second after second. This is equal to more than or 20,000 every hour, and more than half a million per day in this one litre of tap water.

When you drink water with tritium in it, much of the tritium passes through the body. However, small quantities get absorbed into organic molecules in the body including DNA. Inside organic molecules and especially in DNA, tritium can do significant damage. TAP’s position is that it’s good to keep tritium out of drinking water for this reason.

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Project launch on Parliament Hill

March 4th, 2009 Comments off

The Tritium Awareness Project (TAP) is being launched  today with a Press Conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. The media advisory and press release for this event are available for download in our press release section.

The mission of The Tritium Awarenss Project is to raise public awareness about radioactive tritium, sometimes referred to as “Canada’s national radionuclide” because Canada is the world’s leading tritium producer.

We are excited about getting this project off the ground. For too many years, the risks of tritium have been seriously underestimated and as a result, Canadians have been subjected to excessive amounts of tritium in their air and drinking water. We aim to change that with the TAP project.

TAP is a voluntary and cooperative undertaking involving Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility,  le Mouvement vert Mauricies, and other groups.

We are fortunate to have an excellent advisory board for the project. Please visit the “About TAP” to meet the advisory board members.

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