canadian shield - uranium banner photo

FAQ – BWXT

We encourage you to send us your health-related questions about upcoming re-licensing of BWXT in Peterborough. All questions will be reviewed and those within the scope of Peterborough Public Health will be answered by a Public Health Inspector and posted below. If your question is not health-related, we will provide a referral for the agency that is better-suited to answer the question. Your question will remain anonymous except for your street name and municipality.

Here are some frequently asked questions updated as of 3:46 PM February 19, 2020

Prepared by Peterborough Public Health

If pelleting operations are relocated to Peterborough, the emission of uranium would be expected to increase to similar amounts observed at the Toronto facility. A review of the data from the Toronto facility over the last five years shows that uranium emissions in the air have ranged from 6.3 to 10.9 grams per year. Although this is many times higher than the current air emissions of uranium at the Peterborough facility, it is still well below the licence release limits which ensure the radiation dose to the public remains below 1 milliSievert (mSv).

Additional air monitoring is conducted at the boundary of the Toronto facility and over the last three years, the highest average concentration was thirty times lower than Ontario’s Ambient Air Quality Criteria (AAQC) limit. As long as uranium emissions remain below the AAQC limit, there is no health risk to local residents and students/staff at Prince of Wales School.

Prepared by Peterborough Public Health

Data provided by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and BWXT has been reviewed to determine whether or not emissions are posing a risk to the health to the general public. Peterborough Public Health does not have data on occupational health as this falls within the mandate of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour and are outside the scope of this review.

Prepared by Peterborough Public Health

Release limits are established according Canadian Standards Association Guidelines[i] and are considered key to the protection of human health and the ambient environment.[ii]  A review of the 2011- 2018 data from the Toronto facility show that uranium emissions in the air have ranged from 6.3 to 10.9 grams per year. Although this is many times higher than the current air emissions of uranium at the Peterborough facility, it is still well below the licence release limits.

PPH Staff toured the BWXT Toronto Facility on February 11, 2020. The uranium dioxide product arrives to the facility in plastic-lined drums. When the drum is opened for processing, it is taken into a negative-pressure room. The lid of the drum is removed under a fume hood and the liner is adjusted to ensure that all uranium dioxide is settled into the drum. There is no visible dust produced as a result of this procedure. It should be noted that uranium is heavy so it has a tendency to settle versus become airborne. (While a gallon of milk weighs about 8 pounds, a gallon container of uranium would weigh about 150 pounds.) Once the drum is open and the liner adjusted, a heavy metal cone is attached to create a seal over each drum and then the drum is inverted to add the product to the manufacturing line.

The uranium dioxide is then compressed into coarse pellets, which happens in a hood.  Once in its pellet form it is then baked (sintered) in the hydrogen-fired oven, then ground down to precise measurements using water in the process. The pellets are placed in trays, inspected and packaged for shipping. No fugitive dust was observed during the tour.


[i] CSA N288.1 (2014) Guidelines for Calculating Derived Release Limits for Radioactive Material in Airborne and Liquid Effluents for Normal Operation of Nuclear Facilities
[ii] Process for Establishing Release Limits and Action Levels at Nuclear Facilities. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. https://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/pdfs/Discussion-Papers/12-02/February-22-2012-DIS-12-02-Process-for-Establishing-Release-Limits-and-Action-Levels-at-Nuclear-Facilities_e.pdf

Prepared by Peterborough Public Health

PPH has completed a comprehensive review of the Commission Member Document and BWXT compliance reports to identify and assess potential health hazards from the operations at BWXT.   PPH has consulted with experts at Public Health Ontario and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to review regulatory limits and evidence surrounding health-related impacts. PPH has also engaged an expert in environmental monitoring to propose a comprehensive monitoring program that would ensure that sufficient data is collected to assess the full extent of uranium emissions into the environment. 

On January 27, 2020, PPH submitted a written intervention to the CNSC with a request to present orally during the public hearings in Peterborough. PPH is urging commission members to consider the following additional recommendations before approving the licence renewal:

  1. That BWXT implement a comprehensive environmental monitoring program to provide sufficient data to assess the full extent of uranium and beryllium emissions in the surrounding area prior to any decision regarding renewal of the licence and the addition of pelleting at the Peterborough site.
  2. That the BWXT Peterborough facility retain the services of an independent, neutral third party for soil, water, and air testing for Uranium and Beryllium, as appropriate, and publicly share all reports and test results in their entirety; and
  3. That the BWXT Peterborough facility establish a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) in Peterborough, similar to that which has been established in Toronto.

On February 11, 2020 PPH staff, management and executive toured the BWXT Toronto facility in order to better-understand pelleting operations and the potential risks in the event that pelleting operations are relocated to Peterborough. The objectives of the tour were to:

  • Be able to visualize the pelleting process
  • To learn about the depth of safety measures that exist in the Toronto plant
  • To understand the uranium monitoring process
  • To understand the role of hydrogen in the process and learn about the safety measures in place


Prepared by Peterborough Public Health

According to the BWXT 2018 Annual Compliance and Monitoring Report, there are fire safety and evacuation emergency response plans at the Peterborough facility. PPH staff consulted with City of Peterborough staff, who indicated that fire services and emergency management staff meet annually with BWXT to discuss emergency response and review emergency response plans. City staff advised that in the event pelleting is relocated to Peterborough and there is the need to store liquid hydrogen at the facility, protective measures will be required and implemented.

Prepared by Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough Public Health has requested that the CNSC ensure:

  1. That BWXT implement a comprehensive environmental monitoring program to provide sufficient data to assess the full extent of uranium and beryllium emissions in the surrounding area prior to any decision regarding renewal of the licence and the addition of pelleting at the Peterborough site.
  2. That the BWXT Peterborough facility retain the services of an independent, neutral third party for soil, water, and air testing for Uranium and Beryllium, as appropriate, and publicly share all reports and test results in their entirety.

Also, the CNSC has recommended the following release limits:

Proposed Release Limits (2021-2030)

  1. The licensee’s environmental protection program shall ensure control, monitoring and recording of environmental emissions from the Peterborough facility such that the releases do no exceed operating limits defined below:

uranium 1


Proposed Peterborough Environmental Emissions Action Levels

Action levels are set limits that are lower than the facility’s release limits. They ensure that release limits are not exceeded by providing an early warning system of a potential loss of control of the Environmental Protection Program.[i]The licensee’s environmental protection program shall have action levels for environmental emissions. The environmental emissions action levels for the Peterborough facility are:  




[i] A Licence Renewal BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc.:  Application to renew licence for the Toronto and Peterborough Facilities. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/the-commission/hearings/cmd/pdf/CMD18/CMD20-H2.pdf

Prepared by Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough Public Health is mandated by the Ministry of Health to conduct surveillance of environmental factors and identify health hazards in the community.  As part of this work, PPH will collaborate with relevant regulatory authorities like the CNSC and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. PPH will be present and available for questions at the hearings in March and has also submitted recommendations to the CNSC for an enhanced environmental monitoring program.

PPH staff periodically meets with representatives from BWXT and reviews monitoring data.

Submitted by Paterson St., Peterborough

A. For questions that pertain to the natural environment please contact the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.  Also, the Commission Member Document provides detailed plans for environmental protection.

Submitted by Paterson St., Peterborough

A: It is anticipated that if pelleting is added to the operations at the Peterborough plant that exposures will be similar to the Toronto plant.  Natural uranium is radioactive but only weakly so, and its radiotoxicity is quite low. However, as a heavy metal it is a chemical hazard, similar to lead. Its chemical toxicity is of much greater concern than its radiotoxicity. There is no evidence that there will be an increased risk for cancer.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer has not classified uranium as carcinogenic.

Submitted by Paterson St., Peterborough

A:  Exposure to ‘one particle’ does not make any difference to overall cancer risk from ionizing radiation, as everyone is already exposed to far more than ‘one particle’. Even though uranium is considered to be only weakly radioactive and not carcinogenic, it is still a toxic substance. With all toxic substances, rather than the ‘one particle’ we are concerned more about the overall exposure that will come from the plant and whether this will make any difference to the health of people in the community. Independent air sampling in multiple sites carried out in 2019 did not find any detectable levels of uranium present in the ambient air.   

Submitted by Paterson St., Peterborough

A: Canada’s Nuclear Safety and Control Act, passed in 1997 establishes the CNSC to do the following two tasks:

  1. Oversee the development and functioning of sectors that use radioactive substances in order to protect the environment and populations, prevent any risk to national security, and conform with international obligations; and
  2. Public education on the scientific, regulatory and technical aspects of all this work.

The CNSC does not have a role in promoting the nuclear industry. Peterborough Public Health has been engaged with the CNSC on two matters: emergency preparedness in response to a nuclear incident at the Pickering and Darlington facilities, and the licensing of BWXT in Peterborough as a Class 1 Nuclear Facility. In both instances, we have found their staff to be knowledgeable, responsible and thorough. We have no reason to doubt their commitment to regulate the industry, as mandated through legislation, in a way that ensures the safety of communities like Peterborough.

Submitted by Paterson St., Peterborough

A: BWXT has not requested any changes to its existing uranium possession and production limits. It currently can possess up to 1,500 tonnes of uranium at its Peterborough site. Pelleting will require the addition of liquid hydrogen.

BWXT maintains an acceptable Fire Hazard Analysis for operations in Toronto and Peterborough.  As per the Commission Member Document, BWXT’s Emergency and Fire Protection plans are reviewed every year and updated as needed. They are verified through regular testing, scheduled emergency drills and exercises as defined in the plans, and are supported by event specific procedures, standard operating guidelines, and pre-incident plans. BWXT also maintains required arrangements with offsite response organizations (fire, security and emergency medical services) to provide support for emergencies at each of the facilities. BWXT conducts regular exercises involving offsite response organizations to ensure their familiarity with the site, opportunities to train together, as well as to ensure integration of BWXT staff with off-site response organizations for direct facility-related support.

Since this is not a health-related question further queries regarding accidents would be better directed to a local or provincial Risk Assessment Officer.

Submitted by Paterson St., Peterborough

A: The proximity to a public school is not ideal.  That is why a rigorous environmental monitoring and surveillance program should be implemented. PPH is also recommending a stronger engagement of community representatives, similar to the model used in Toronto, as an ongoing way to address concerns and review data in a timely and effective manner.

Submitted by Paterson St., Peterborough

A: Please direct this question to your realtor or political representative.

Submitted by King St., Peterborough

A: In Dr. Salvaterra’s full statement, she was comparing the risk of uranium to the risk from another alpha-emitting radionuclides, Radon 222. The evaluation of all hazards typically includes data from lab testing, animal tests, studies of workers, and studies of human health. Sometimes children have been included in these studies, and sometimes, not. Working with all of the evidence available, toxicologists calculate a safe human dose, based on the scenario of a lifetime of exposure. In addition to using this scenario of maximum exposure, additional allowance is made to account for the differing susceptibilities in humans, like children or the infirm. If data is not available, an “Uncertainty Factor” is incorporated into the calculation of a safe human dose.

There are many types of nuclear installations around the world including those which manufacture and use enriched uranium which is much more likely to have an impact on health than the natural uranium used in manufacturing processes in Peterborough.  PPH has reviewed the evidence related to health impacts of the proposed operations and believes the current regulations to be health protective for our community.

Submitted by King St., Peterborough

 (Full Question) The Medical Officer of Health is quoted as saying "there is not an impact on human health at the BWXT facility.” Given that the International Atomic Energy Association guidelines state that schools need special attention (“6.8. Information on the existing and projected population distribution in the region, including resident populations and (to the extent possible) transient populations, shall be collected and kept up to date over the lifetime of the nuclear installation. Special attention shall be paid to vulnerable populations and residential institutions (e.g. schools, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons) when evaluating the potential impact of radioactive releases and considering the feasibility of implementing protective actions.” What is the impact of beryllium on children?

A: Human exposures to beryllium are primarily in the workplace and the respiratory tract is the prime target. Human and animal data provide evidence that inhaled beryllium is a human lung carcinogen. It also causes inflammation. There is very limited data for beryllium in children: children have been exposed to beryllium dust on the clothing of parents, the most recent case in the literature being in 1992, as well as from beryllium in the soil. There are animal studies that show inconsistent results in the developing fetus of dogs and rats. Toxicological profiles for beryllium have identified this as an area that would benefit from more research.

Submitted by King St., Peterborough

A: United Nations and World Health Organizations such as UNSCEAR (The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation), The International Agency on Research in Cancer (IARC), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) which is a federal public health agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services; and CAREX Canada, funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and hosted at Simon Fraser University are sources that were accessed for our assessment.

Submitted by King St., Peterborough

A: In the case of natural uranium, composed mostly of U238, the use of the words “relatively safe” are in reference to other sources of radiation, and especially, other alpha-particle emitters, such as radon gas. Please see the answer to question 18 above.

Submitted by King St., Peterborough

A: Soil monitoring in Peterborough is not required as part of BWXT’s operating licence, however, it too is conducted as part of CNSC’s Independent Environmental Monitoring Program. The upper limit has been steadily increasing: 1.1 mg/kg (2014) 1.34mg/kg (2018) and 2.34 mg/kg (2019). Although the results continue to be below the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Soil Quality Guidelines (4.0 mg/kg), the results are approaching the guideline and require further study to determine their source. Increasing concentrations are a potential concern, given the proximity of the facility to the elementary school across Monaghan Road, for which the playground for the youngest and potentially the most vulnerable children is directly across from the facility. Although there is little evidence indicating children are more susceptible to the toxic effects of beryllium, they may be at risk of increased exposure through ingestion and dermal contact. Contrary to how the question has been framed, these results do not “contradict” information released by the CNSC. They actually supplement results done in previous years and support the observations of an upward trend.  

Submitted by King St., Peterborough

A: In setting limits for daily exposures, or in deciding to licence a Class 1 Nuclear Facility or not, the health and safety of both workers and the general public are seen as a priority consideration. In the licensing of Class 1 Nuclear Facilities in Canada, legislation mandates that both the normal operation of the facility, as well as accidental or emergency situation be addressed. BWXT is not a nuclear reactor site. There is no nuclear fission taking place, hence there are no highly radioactive emissions or waste either present or possible. The worst-case scenario is a fire, and the CNSC has strict requirements and checks to ensure BWXT addresses this risk including the requirement for a emergency response plan that is exercised in collaboration with the City of Peterborough’s fire department.


Submitted  by KPR District School Board

A. Currently, BWXT is doing continuous in-stack monitoring for beryllium concentration in the emissions coming from the plant. It involves drawing air through a filter capable of trapping beryllium. Waste water leaving the plant is also tested for beryllium prior to its release to the sanitary sewer. Additional air and soil samples were collected and tested by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) as part of the Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP). In order to understand the beryllium soil testing procedure, we would encourage you to contact the CNSC at Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.information.ccsn@canada.ca or call 1-800-668-5284. Additionally, more information may be available on the IEMP webpage at: https://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/maps-of-nuclear-facilities/iemp/bwxt-peterborough.cfm.

Submitted by KPR District School Board

Details related to the sampling methodology can be provided by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at the contact information mentioned in question number one. The sample results indicate that the levels of beryllium in the soil are within the regulated limits, according to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Environmental and Human Health. Accordingly, the risk to students is very low.

Submitted  by KPR District School Board

Details about the sample locations can be found on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) webpage at: https://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/maps-of-nuclear-facilities/iemp/bwxt-peterborough.cfm#background. There are specific site codes for each soil sample site. Details regarding the locations of specific samples can be provided by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Submitted  by KPR District School Board

A. At this stage, Peterborough Public Health is recommending that additional sampling be conducted around the grounds of the Prince of Wales school in order to determine if the increase is a result of natural environmental variation or if there is an association with emissions from BWXT. Determining the need for remediation cannot be completed until a robust sampling program is implemented. However, at this stage, it is important to note that levels of beryllium in the soil are within the range considered to be safe. It is important to note that although the Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines have used a maximum concentration of 4 mg/kg for beryllium for Residential/Parkland land use since 1991, a 2015 review found that 75 mg/kg would be protective of human health. The concentrations found in the soil samples are well below this level.

Submitted  by KPR District School Board

A. Most information regarding adverse health effects in humans after the inhalation of beryllium come from occupational exposure studies, where significant exposure has occurred. The respiratory tract is the primary target of beryllium toxicity. Inhalation of beryllium dust or fumes in an occupational setting can result in acute or chronic beryllium disease, which is scarring of the lungs that is irreversible and potentially fatal. Lung cancer may also be a result of occupational beryllium exposure. It is important to be mindful that the health-related outcomes described above are observed only in occupational settings. Beryllium is not likely to cause any respiratory disease from exposure in the general environment because ambient air levels of beryllium are very low.
Dermal exposure to beryllium compounds can cause both irritation and inflammation, with the possibility of sensitization and risk for chronic beryllium disease. In a study of residents living close to a beryllium manufacturing facility where airborne concentrations were up to 100 times greater than the current guidelines allow, there were NO cases of chronic beryllium disease (Eisenbud et al, 1949). Hence, we do not expect to see any skin or sensitization associated with the levels currently present in Peterborough air or soil.

There is very limited data for beryllium in children: children have been exposed to beryllium dust on the clothing of parents, with only one case reported in the literature being in 1992, as well as from beryllium in the soil. There are animal studies that show inconsistent results in the developing fetus of dogs and rats. Toxicological profiles for beryllium have identified this as an area that would benefit from more research.

Submitted  by KPR District School Board

A. At this point, the precise cause of the increase of beryllium concentrations in the soil samples is unknown. It is entirely possible that the increase may be the result of natural variation in the soil and/or an artefact of field sampling. Again, it is important to recognize that the levels of beryllium detected in the soil are within regulated limits and well below the levels deemed to be protective for human health. However, it is also possible that the increase may be a result of emissions from the BWXT facility. We are not aware of any data from soil samples collected prior to 2014. Working with the data available from 2014 to 2019, we have concluded that more sampling is required in order to confirm whether there truly is an increase of beryllium in the soil and to determine the cause of the increase.

Submitted  by KPR District School Board

A. Peterborough Public Health has made a recommendation via written submission to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for additional soil testing and monitoring. This recommendation will be reiterated to commission members during our oral presentation at the public hearings for BWXT’s license renewal. It is ultimately the decision of the commission whether or not more sampling and testing is required. As the regulator, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is responsible to ensure that BWXT complies with all sampling requirements required as conditions of the facility’s operating license.

Submitted by: King Street

A:

a. Yes, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a credible source. The CDC uses the weight of evidence approach to inform their decision making and public communication.

b. Peterborough Public Health is sharing information regarding uranium as it is relevant to the current and proposed activities in Peterborough. We are not providing information on enriched uranium as this is not relevant to the Peterborough facility. Our focus has been on the actual products used on site, For BWXT in Peterborough, it is uranium dioxide.

For more information on the potential risks if BWXT starts producing pellets in Peterborough, please refer to question one.

Submitted by: Charlotte St

A. The levels of beryllium found in the soil are about twenty times below the levels determined to have an impact on human health, based on a 2015 review of the science-based guidelines that have been in place since 1991. The measured air emissions from the facility are also well below the required regulatory and licence limits. Environmental monitoring and sampling are the best way to ensure that regulatory limits are being met and that the public is protected.

Submitted by: Charlotte Street

A: The development of cancer is typically multi-factorial and is rarely linked to a single exposure. Cancer Care Ontario provides information on the various risk factors that contribute to the development of cancer. It also manages a cancer registry for the whole province, which can be used to calculate incidence rates. We can access that data, and we have, for example, to look more closely at the rate of mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. In addition, we have worked with Cancer Care Ontario to examine whether there have been higher rates of cancers in neighbourhoods located close to industry. That analysis did not find an increased incidence of any cancer.

Often, increased rates of cancers are first noted in workers, who are usually exposed to higher concentrations of hazardous substances. Occupation is one of several risk categories for cancer. More information can be found in the Cancer Risk Factors Ontario: Evidence Summary report. Illness or death attributable occupational exposures associated with BWXT’s activities would be investigated by the Ministry of Labour and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The Ontario Cancer Statistics 2018 report provides a chapter on cancer statistics by Public Health Unit. The report can be downloaded from the Cancer Care Ontario website, or by clicking here. Additionally, Cancer Care Ontario has also published a report on the Burden of Occupational Cancer in Ontario, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Submitted by: Waterford Street

A: At this stage, we do not know why the beryllium levels are increasing in the soil at Prince of Wales school. Please refer to question 29 for more information.

Submitted by: Waterford Street

A; It is the responsibility of the regulator to monitor compliance with the standards in order to ensure that levels are maintained below regulatory limits. In the event that the regulatory limits for beryllium in soil are exceeded and a health hazard is identified, Peterborough Public Health would investigate and take any necessary actions to protect the health of the students.

Submitted by:  Gilmour Street

A: Avoiding unnecessary radiation of the thyroid during childhood and adolescence decreases the risk of papillary thyroid cancer. Even low-dose radiation of children from diagnostic imaging, for example CT Scans, should be minimized. Exposure to radiation increases the risk of thyroid cancer for decades after the exposure. (International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 2020)

In addition, we know that children and adolescents exposed to UV radiation from the sun can be at greater risk for developing melanoma, a cancer of the skin. This is why the avoidance of direct sun or artificial tanning beds is important. Australia has been able to decrease the incidence of melanoma since 2007 by implementing policies and strategies to avoid sun exposure in young children. (IARC, 2020)

Even though uranium is weakly radioactive, it is not considered to be carcinogenic. Studies of people living close to uranium mines or mills have not found increased risk of cancer-related deaths.  Uranium’s main target is the kidneys. Kidney damage has been seen in humans and animals after inhaling or ingesting uranium compounds. There is no data demonstrating whether or not children are more susceptible to these effects (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), 2013).


Submitted by: Waterford Street

A: The Staff Report to the Board of Health can be found within the February 12, 2020 meeting agenda by clicking here. Refer to pages 23 to 39.

Resident of Hunter St W.

A: Parents should be confident in knowing that the environmental standards for uranium and beryllium are health protective, that available data has been reviewed and it demonstrates that BWXT emissions are well below these limits. PPH has recommended a more comprehensive environmental monitoring program to help reassure the community.  

Submitted by: Euclid Ave.

A: Uranium is present in drinking water and food and small amounts are ingested and inhaled by everyone every day. It has been estimated that the average person ingests 1.3 µg or micrograms (0.033 Bq or becquerel) of uranium per day, corresponding to an intake of 11.6 Bq per year. It has also been estimated that the average person inhales 0.6 µg (15 mBq or megabecquerels) annually. On average, about 90 µg of uranium exist in the human body from daily intakes of water, food and air; approximately 66% is found in the skeleton, 16% in the liver, 8% in the kidneys and 10% in other tissues. The established regulatory limits are derived from the best existing evidence and are intended to be health-protective. Emissions from BWXT are well below these limits. Peterborough Public Health will continue to monitor annual compliance reports and results from the CNSC’s Independent Environmental Monitoring Program results to ensure that the community is protected.

Submitted by: Bolivar Street  

A: The intended audience for this infographic is for people who have had high exposures to uranium from processes such as mining, exploring abandoned mines, living in a building built with materials from a uranium mine, or drinking contaminated water. The infographic shows the potential chemical effects and radiological effects as a result of exposure to high levels of uranium. For additional information regarding the understanding of the infographic, we would encourage you to contact the publisher, which is the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Submitted by: Thomas Street

A: It is not okay to hurt people inside a workplace, nor are workers expendable. That is why there are specific occupational limits for exposure, which are regulated and enforced by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.  

Cancer Care Ontario has published a report on the Burden of Occupational Cancer in Ontario, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Submitted by: Thomas Street

A: Kidney damage is not acceptable which is why there are both occupational and public exposure limits for uranium in order to protect workers and the public to prevent kidney disease.

Submitted by: Hazeldean Avenue

A: During our tour, Peterborough Public Health learned that at the Toronto facility, fire officials and emergency responders review emergency response plans and potential incidents on an annual basis. BWXT frequently engages with fire and emergency services and conducts tours of the facility in order to educate responders and reassure them that a fire incident would not result in an exposure to radiation in excess of background levels. BWXT has conducted a safety case analysis and there are no known scenarios that would result in a criticality accident, which is an uncontrolled nuclear reaction. Safety Analysis Report Summaries for Peterborough and Toronto are available on the health and safety webpage of BWXT’s website.