Posts Tagged ‘groundwater pollution’

Gross incompetence on the part of CNSC staff describing groundwater contamination near SRB

May 14th, 2015 No comments

Here is what the CNSC staff say (source) about groundwater contamination near SRB Technologies:

“The monitoring data collected by SRBT since the last licence renewal continue to be within the range predicted from CNSC staff’s modeling assessment conducted in 2010, as shown in figures 4 and 5, using the two monitoring wells in close proximity to SRBT as an example. The relatively good match between the modeling results and measurements provides validation to CNSC staff’s 2010 prediction on the behaviors of tritium in the groundwater system. It also demonstrates that releases of tritium resulting from SRB’s operation are under control and the tritium movement in groundwater around the SRB facility is well understood”

Here is what independent scientist, Dr. Ole Hendrickson found when he looked at the same data:

“In fact, Figure 5 indicates a poor match between the modeling results and actual tritium measurements in monitoring MW07-13.  None of the results for the 15 most recent samples taken from this monitoring well are within the range predicted by CNSC staff’s modeling assessment.  All had consistently higher tritium contamination than predicted by CNSC staff.”

Dr. Hendrickson goes on to say:

“Even more troubling is that the Environmental Assessment Information Report omits data for the other two monitoring wells modeled in the Update on Tritium Contamination in Groundwater at SRBT:  MW07-18 and MW07-29.  In these two wells, the agreement between the CNSC staff model and actual measurements is very poor.  Table 1 shows that during 2014, MW07-18 and MW07-29 had average tritium contamination levels 3.3 and 10.9 times higher than CNSC staff predictions, respectively.

“One must conclude that the statement on page 11 of 18 of the Environmental Assessment Information Report that “SRB’s operation has not adversely affected the groundwater quality” is false.  The mismatch between predicted and measured groundwater tritium contamination indicates that releases of tritium resulting from SRBT’s operations are not under control and the tritium movement in groundwater around the SRBT facility is not well understood.”

You can read Dr. Hendrickson’s full report, prepared for The First Six Years, here on the TAP website:  Tritium Behaviour in the Vicinity of SRB Technologies


Glow-in-the-dark light factory in Peterborough seeking a 10-year license

April 9th, 2012 No comments

Shield Source Incorporated (SSI) will appear before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on May 2, 2012 seeking a 10-year license to manufacture glow-in-the-dark devices filled with tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen. CNSC staff support ra 5-year renewal of SSI’s license, which expires July 31, 2012.  SSI, located at the Peterborough, Ontario airport, routinely emits large quantities of radioactive tritium gas into the surrounding environment. 

The CNSC has refused to release a full report on a February 1, 2010 accident when SSI released roughly 150 trillion Becquerels of radioactive gas in a period of only about five minutes, nearly ten times the company’s weekly release limit, and 30% of its yearly limit.  Groundwater in the area is highly polluted with tritium oxide.  Local vegetation has incorporated tritium into a broad range of organic compounds.

During the current licence period in late 2009, CNSC staff allowed SSI to increase the height of its stack without public notice or environmental review, so that the company could spread its radioactive pollution farther away from the factory.  CNSC staff, commenting on their decision in this matter, claim that “improvements to the design of the stack positively impacted the dispersion of tritium in the environment, consistent with industry best practice.”

For those familiar with the history of serious contamination of Pembroke, Ontario by tritium light manufacturer SRB Technologies, this is an unpleasant case of deja vu.