Chalk River Mound (NSDF) would release plutonium to the Ottawa River in “treated effluent”

June 7, 2022

It is clear that The NSDF would not contain and isolate radioactive waste from the accessible biosphere. One only needs to look at the table in the proponent’s Environmental Impact Statement entitled “Maximum concentrations of radionuclides in the treated effluent and east swamp stream.” (reproduced below)

Just above the table is the statement “both aquatic and terrestrial species will be exposed to contaminated surface water and sediment in the East Swamp stream, perch lake, perch creek, and Ottawa River.”

The table lists 29 radionuclides that would be present in the treated effluent. These are the “maximum concentrations” that CNSC expects, and the CNSC license would approve. They include a large quantity of tritium and four isotopes of plutonium. The maximum concentration of Pu 241 increased 50 fold between the draft EIS and final EIS. It would be good to know the reason for that and why the tritium more than doubled.

Table 5.7.6-2 is excerpted from CNL’s Environmental Impact Statement pages 5-698 – 5-699

As Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility said in his intervention at the licensing hearings last week:

“CNSC and CNL may say these levels are negligible, but why should any citizens of Ontario or Quebec be exposed to any amount of plutonium in their drinking water?”

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