Posts Tagged ‘regulatory failure’

Pembroke factory sparks nuclear concern

April 1st, 2009 Comments off

After discovering groundwater contaminated with radioactive tritium, regulatory agency recommends shutting company

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 Page A3

Alarmed about radioactivity levels around Pembroke, Ont., that are hundreds of times above normal, staff at Canada’s nuclear regulatory agency have taken the unprecedented step of recommending the closing of a manufacturer of glow-in-the-dark signs. 

Staff at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission have found that emissions from the company, SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc., have created a trail of groundwater contaminated with radioactive tritium more than a kilometre long under the Ottawa River Valley community of 15,000. The most contaminated water had tritium levels 743 times normal. Read more…

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…

Misleading statement on CNSC website about tritium risk

March 20th, 2009 Comments off

In his recent letter to Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on behalf of the Tritium Awareness Project, Dr. Gordon Edwards points out  that  the CNSC should remove from its web site this statement:

Radiation doses of 100 mSv [millisieverts] and more have shown increases in cancer incidence but there is no evidence of health effects at doses below about 100 mSv.
Frequently Asked Questions : Tritium

In his letter to CNSC President Michael Binder, Dr. Edwards says “The statement is scientifically incorrect and misleading. It suggests that a safe threshold of radiation exposure exists – a conclusion at odds with the widespread scientific consensus as found in many documents published by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the US National Research Council (NRC), and the International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP).

Categories: Letters Tags:

“Immediate federal action is required to end the practice of dumping tritium in the Ottawa River” – MP Paul Dewar

March 20th, 2009 Comments off

On March 6, 2009, Ottawa Centre Member of Parliament, Paul Dewar tabled a motion in the House of Commons that seeks to end tritium dumping into the Ottawa River and reduce the Canadian drinking water limit for tritium.

Here is the press release from Dewar’s office:

OTTAWA – NDP MP [New Democratic Party Member of Parliament] Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) is calling for a reduction in the amount of tritium — a cancer-causing radioactive form of hydrogen — in drinking water.

Dewar’s effort comes as Tritium Awareness Project announced that 28 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium has been released at the Chalk River nuclear facility into the Ottawa River, the source of drinking water in Ottawa.

“I am extremely concerned about the high levels of tritium in the water we drink” said Dewar. “There is a host of health risks posed by exposure to high levels of tritium in water”.  Studies in lab animals have shown that high levels of tritium exposure can cause a number of health problems from miscarriages and birth defects to permanent genetic damage and cancer.

Read more…

TAP urges an end to CNSC-sanctioned tritium dumping

March 11th, 2009 Comments off

Gordon Edwards has written to CNSC President Michael Binder to point out CNSC failure to provide accurate, scientific information to the public about tritium. The letter challenges Mr. Binder to remove inaccurate statements from the CNSC website and urges an end to CNSC-sanctioned tritium dumping in the Ottawa River.

Here is an excerpt from the TAP letter:

“On behalf of the Tritium Awareness Project, I urge the CNSC to discontinue the practice of allowing AECL to dilute and release tritium-contaminated water into the Ottawa River. This practice is unjustified, as it does no good and only harms the population that drinks the water.

Regulatory limits must not be regarded as a license to pollute.”

For the complete letter, continue reading: Read more…