BWXT Licence Renewal in Peterborough
BWXT is located in the former GE plant in Peterborough and manufactures nuclear fuel bundles for Canada’s nuclear power plants from uranium dioxide powder. It operates two Ontario sites under one CNSC licence: one site in Toronto and one in Peterborough. The Toronto facility produces natural uranium dioxide pellets from uranium powder. The Peterborough facility receives the pellets and loads them into tubes that are sealed and assembled into fuel bundles. The BWXT site in Peterborough also handles beryllium, which can be an occupational health hazard if workers are exposed. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is responsible for regulating the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; and to share objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.
BWXT Licence Application and Local Concerns
In 2019, BWXT began the process of requesting a licence from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for the option to produce natural uranium dioxide pellets from uranium powder at its Peterborough facility. If approved, some community members have expressed concerns about the possibility of increased health risks to people living and going to school nearby and for the employees at the BWXT plant. Staff at Peterborough Public Health are working closely with Public Health Ontario, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, BWXT and others to ensure these concerns are addressed. Peterborough Public Health is also committed to supporting public education about the possible effects of uranium pelleting production on public health.